Schwarzkopf in 'Nam

  • David Sutton


During the summer of 1993, CBS News aired an hour-long television special program entitled Schwarzkopf in Vietnam: A Soldier Returns. This program, hereafter referred to as SVN:ASR, featured a return trip to Southeast Asia by retired US Army General H. Norman Schwarzkopf and CBS News personality Dan Rather, both of whom served in different capacities in Southeast Asia during the war years. Their current trip to Vietnam was the first time either person had been back to Indochina since the end of the war in April 1975. First and foremost, we must recognize that this particular program is a commodity. SVN:ASR was broadcast on network television, which like any other commercial enterprise exists to make a profit. Viewing this artifact at face value, the program appeared to be strictly informative -- a televised lesson in American military history given by a well-known military figure. One could reasonably surmise that the network...