CNN's Tailwind Tale: Inside Vietnam's Last Great Myth

Front Cover
Rowman & Littlefield, 2003 - History - 217 pages
0 Reviews
On June 7, 1998 CNN broadcast Valley of Death, the story of a 1970 raid into Laos by U.S. Special Forces. According to the report, Operation Tailwind had used sarin nerve gas to kill U.S. soldiers who had defected to the North Vietnamese. After a firestorm of controversy, CNN retracted the report, ruining the career of rising star April Oliver and compromising the network's credibility. Called "the TV news story of the year" by TV Guide, CNN's Operation Tailwind fiasco was the biggest news scandal of the 1990s. Hearing about the story after its broadcast, Jerry Lembcke was struck by its resemblance to war legends and myths. His search for the origins of the tale, and an explanation for why top-level journalists would believe it, led him into the shocking world of political paranoia, where conspiracy theory, popular culture, religious fundamentalism, and the fantasies of war veterans cross paths. Approaching the story as a case study in why people believe what they do, Lembcke reversed the normal inquiry into how journalists shape what the rest of us know, to ask questions about the social forces that shape what journalists know. With a likeness to Herbert Gans' 1980 classic, Deciding What's News, Jerry Lembcke's CNN's Tailwind Tale is at once a study of American journalism that opens a window on America itself. Special link to the author's interview on Radio Nation discussing this new book - CNN's Tailwind Tale
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

III
1
IV
6
V
7
VI
11
VII
17
VIII
18
IX
20
X
21
XXXII
93
XXXIII
99
XXXIV
107
XXXV
111
XXXVI
112
XXXVII
119
XXXVIII
127
XXXIX
128

XI
24
XII
25
XIII
28
XIV
31
XV
32
XVI
41
XVII
45
XVIII
46
XIX
49
XX
51
XXI
53
XXII
56
XXIII
59
XXIV
61
XXV
69
XXVI
70
XXVII
75
XXVIII
79
XXIX
82
XXX
87
XXXI
91
XL
129
XLI
133
XLII
134
XLIII
139
XLIV
142
XLV
145
XLVI
147
XLVII
151
XLVIII
154
XLIX
155
L
156
LI
158
LII
160
LIII
163
LIV
171
LV
173
LVI
201
LVII
209
LVIII
217
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Jerry Lembcke is associate professor of sociology at the College of the Holy Cross. He is the author of The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam and several articles on the news media, popular culture, and public memory about the war in Vietnam. He lives in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic information