Vietnam War on T.V.
Late evening after dinner was done, the table was cleaned and dishes were washed. A family sits down on their living room hoping to spend some quality time together for the rest of the evening. They turn on the television and the show they choose to see is not a comedy show, one that the family can enjoy and share laughter and happiness. Instead, this family chose to watch a show that shows the real face of war, which includes bomb explosions, fire guns going at full blast, and soldiers getting killed left and right. The advance technology involving the development of television is what made possible the broadcasting of the Vietnam War into many American homes, resulting in anti-war sentiment in many Americans.
Philo T Farnsworth and Vladimir Zworykin are the two inventors that made possible the invention of television. Farnsworth’s invention of the television started in 1922 when he painted a square of glass black and scratched a straight line down its center. Images were then scanned using a transmitter and then sent via radio waves to a receiver which then displayed the images in the glass. Mr. Zworykin created a similar device to Farnsworth, which he called the iconoscope. However, it wasn’t until 1934 that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office gave Philo T Farnsworth the credit for being the inventor of the television and the battle between these two bright men came to an end (The Invention of television, 2010).
Farnsworth’s creation has been a great invention which was brought positive and negative things to our lives. Mr. Farnsworth probably understood the negative impact his invention would bring to society when he banned his own children from watching it. He felt that there was nothing worthwhile watching and they would only be wasting their time (The Invention of television, 2010). His son stated that his father felt that he had created “kind of a monster, a way for people to waste a lot of their lives” (The Invention of television, 2010). Mr. Farnsworth feelings about his creation were not that wrong, however T.V. has also been an eye opener is rewards to some topics, such as war.
Television made possible the broadcasting of the Vietnam War in 1965. The Vietnam War was the first war to be televised and became known as the “living room war” (Hallin, n.d.). The little given to it was perfect as many American families would gather in their living room and watch what was going on in the war. The images transmitted in their televisions sets created mixed feeling about the war, feelings that led to the division between American citizens who supported the war and those who were against the war.
The Vietnam War is considered to be one of the most unpopular American War during the 20th Century. The casualties totaled to approximately 60,000 American deaths, and approximately 2 million Vietnamese deaths (The Meaning of the Vietnam War, n.d). The unpopularity of the war was probably part due to all the casualties that resulted from the war, as well as all the mixed feelings Americans started to have when they got a chance to see the true face of war in their own living rooms.
The first episodes of the war to be televised were focused on the “American boys in action”, the stories behind these episodes where focused on the bravery and skills American soldiers had when fighting in the battlefield. Such episodes consisted of American Soldiers performing their duties, such as the search-and-destroy operations (Hallin, n.d.). Under this particular operation soldiers had the duties of burning down huts and destroying villages, these actions were portrayed as being correct since those villages where communist and they were considered part of the enemy.
The impact these images had in American families was tremendous. People got to see how a small village look liked while it was being burned down and there was nothing else left but