zona Republican as a Nuclear Napoleonnabroad and a heartless characternout of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twistnat home. “”For the first time in a fifteenyearncareer in journalism,” Wicker observednof the angry fists of the 1964nGOP delegates directed toward thenCow Palace’s press box, “”I was forcednto acknowledge to myself that my colleaguesnand I were hated and feared bynmillions of other Americans.”n'”The Goldwater nomination,”nWicker adds with the first of numerousnevasions, “”was almost a model fornchange that lay ahead. Just as the Goldwateritesnperceived the men and eventsnof 1964 differently than those men andnevents seemed to be portrayed in thennewspapers and on television, Americansngenerally began to find it morendifficult in the 1960’s and the 1970’snto reconcile “the news’ they read ornwatched with their own perceptions,nbeliefs and attitudes.”nWicker does, however, acknowledgenwhat cannot now be denied, but whichnthe news media disbelieved when Goldwaternsaid it during the 1964 campaign,nnamely that Lyndon Johnsonnwas a bold-faced liar when claiming inn1964 to be a peace candidate; in fact,nhe was already conducting an undeclarednwar in Southeast Asia. And herenis where Wicker becomes warped in hisnperception.nThe wars of this century, in whichnAmerica has been involved, have hadnthe effect of corrupting the judgmentnand perception of intellectuals and journalists.nWicker perceives only that Vietnamnwas the product of the Cold Warnand the anticommunist mentality ofnhis generation, and the free ride thenpress provided John F. Kennedy. Tonhim, the CIA, the Johnson and Nixonnadministrations are the villains of thenVietnam nightmare, thus evading thentwo critical episodes in which the U.S.nnews media played a critical role innshaping events.n”The first took place three weeks beforenPresident Kennedy was assassinatednin Dallas, Texas, November 22,n16nChronicles of Culturen1963, when then pro-American PresidentnDiem of South Vietnam was overthrownnby a group of Saigon generalsnwith the active encouragement and activenassistance of the U.S. CIA. Thengroundwork, for what many of us innthe media at the time saw as either anprelude to deeper American involvementnor the fall of Saigon to the communistnViet Cong, was prepared bynthree principal Saigon U.S. correspondents:nDavid Halberstam of the NewnYork Times, Malcolm Browne of thenUnited Press International, and NeilnSheehan of the Associated Press. Allnthree helped orchestrate a media campaignnin which Diem was portrayed asna corrupt dictator oppressing a Buddhistnminority who were incineratingnthemselves in the streets of Saigon. Thenlate newspaper correspondent for thennow-defunct Herald Tribune, MargueritenHiggins, provides ample evidencenin her 1965 book. Our Vietnam Nightmare,nthat the press reports of all threenplayed a powerful part in influencingnWashington policymovers and shakersnto sanction Diem’s overthrow. Higginsndraws the conclusion that we wouldnnever have become mired in the Vietnamnnightmare if we had stuck withnDiem.nIn a 1971 New York television shownwith Neil Sheehan, I apprised him ofnthe perception, prevalent among journalistsnlike myself, that toppling Diemnmeant something far worse than andeeper involvement for the U.S. to trynIn the forthcoming issue of Chronicles of Culture:nAccentuate the Negative …n”‘We have iccently completed the fiisi fu|] year of thenCi)fomelet of Culft/ff’j cxistfntc, and itb time for a bitnof summing up and soul seaiclun^nWc are most often accused of two venial sinsnliberal-baiting and nepativi.sm Of couise bothncharges have the common rockbottom We tlonconcentrate on Liberal Cultuie because il is tiie reigningnsociOLultaral soveicipn whose ‘nisduiii and moral’txnwt question and challenge Caring for values ol intellectnand hteiary excellence we unfortunateh have littlento point out as satisfactory ans>ers to tlie libmlturalndommancc Whenever we run across them in fiction,narts or humanities, we piaisc them to the skiesnHowever, as tlicre is not enongli of them of tlie qualitynwe would wholeheartedly approve, we are oftennaccused of sounding negative by out own brethren innWeltitKufiauutig.”nfrom the Editor’s CommentnAlso:nOpinions & Views — Commendables — In FocusnWaste of Money — The American ScenenStage — ScreennLiberal Culture — JournalismnPolemics & Exchangesnnn