The Vietnam War was the first war to occur as more and more families had televisions in their homes. And with people finally able to see how terrible war was from their living rooms, the antiwar movement began to grow.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Brittany: Hi, Connor.

Connor: Hey, Brittany.

Brittany: So, war is unfortunately on everybody’s mind, but I think that makes sense right now because that is literally all anybody is talking about, and it’s really scary and we don’t know what’s gonna happen. And it’s really not fair that so many people’s lives are impacted by this, just because of actions of the government, you know? And it’s in these times though, I think we need to work harder to spread the message of peace and be as anti-war as we can because nobody wins in war. And you know, Connor, what was it, how many years ago was it? Did we put the billboard up in Utah?

Connor: It’s been like a decade now. Yeah. Is it

Brittany: Is it really a decade ago? Oh my goodness.

Connor: Well, the one with Iran about, bombing Iran.

Brittany: There was that one, and then there was another one about war, like people we did, there were two, yeah.

Connor: About 10 years ago. Yeah.

Brittany: That is nuts. Yeah. So things, we did not fight back against war entirely. War was not eradicated. But, you know, the government relies on propaganda, and we’ve talked about propaganda a lot. Propaganda is when the government uses media uses, you know, words against us, and tries to get us to believe whatever it is they want us to believe. And unfortunately, it works very well. so the government relies on this propaganda to keep people from rising up and speaking out when there is a war. Because if we think that the war is just and good, if we think that it’s us versus them, people won’t speak out. You know? And if we think it’s for our safety, they really won’t speak up because they think it’s what we need to do. Well, that was a lot easier. That meaning the propaganda machine, if you will, that was a lot easier before technology came around. So today I wanna talk about technological innovation and how it kind of disrupted this government’s propaganda. So let’s just jump right in. In the 1960s, the Vietnam War took place, and, you know, like many wars, it began when the government meddled in another country, it had no business meddling in. And then this whole chaotic mess happened. So the threat of communism, it was called the domino effect because all these leaders were worried that if one country was allowed to be communist, you know, the rest would all crumble. And this was a huge fear. So we wanted, I say we not me and Conor, but the United States government, they wanted to make sure that communism didn’t spread. And so in Vietnam, they decided to, what we do a lot of times, put in their own leader to make, you know, a president, be a president. And they picked a Catholic president. And this was a very big mistake because Vietnam is a Buddhist country. And so this turned into a mess because people were like, this isn’t anything we believe in, you know, what’s going on? So we started a civil war. We again, meaning the government started a civil war in Vietnam. And instead of letting the Vietnamese people figure out their own, you know, destiny for their country, we got involved. Young men were drafted to fight a war. They didn’t understand. They didn’t know why we were there. and unlike other wars though, this was different because more and more homes had televisions. So with televisions in homes, war coverage was a lot different because it used to just be newspapers, right? Or maybe radio programs. But they got their info from, you know, reporters who were doing news coverage. So, now people could see all this chaos, you know, they were watching it in their living rooms. And this kind of exposure really turned the tides, as they say, because people stopped believing whatever the government told them. And they saw the terror, you know, that their sons and their husbands were gonna be sent off to, to endure and to fight. And so this was huge.

Connor: That’s right. And it wasn’t just fighting, I think that outraged people. There were terrible abuses done by our military, for example, there was a massacre, and MAYLAI, which is spelled MYLAI, MAYLAI. And, you know, the US military committing horrible war crimes that we often think of the bad guys doing, but here’s the US military doing it. They killed and abused innocent civilians. And now a lot of the American public saw this. And so it was making it harder for the government to sugarcoat this and portray us as just the good guys. I think about, you know, right now, at the time we’re recording this, the Russia, Ukraine battles are going on. And I was just reading this morning again, like, you have to qualify things and say, well, who knows if it’s actually totally true? Yeah. And it could be even more propaganda, cuz right when the Ukraine, you know, war, started, there was a lot of propaganda, the ghost of Kyiv, of this plane flying around, shooting on all these Russian planes or these Ukrainians on the island, you know, telling the Russian boat to go away and leave them alone. And there are all these stories that turn out to be false. So maybe this story I’m about to share also is misleading or false, but at least as the story goes so far, there were some Russian soldiers who were captured and their helicopter, I believe it was attacked by Ukraine. It fell down. They got these soldiers and the soldiers are saying, well, we were told that there were all these Nazis in charge of the government and that you were all like evil people. And so that’s how we, Russians were persuaded to come fight you guys. And it turns out that that’s not actually true. So if that’s a sincere story, here we see another example where Russia is portraying itself to its people as the good guys. Just as North Korea, which we’ve talked about before, this horrible, you know, dictatorship in North Korea, they use their media and their propaganda to convince the people who live there that they are the good guys. And so even in Vietnam, right, it was like, Hey, America’s the good guys. And yet because of the media exposure that you were talking about Brittany, it was very hard to maintain that image because, you know, again, as the American people saw this, it was harder for the government to kind of cover that up. There was a trusted news anchor, which is like a reporter, basically. His name was Walter Cronkite.

Brittany: Is he alive? No, he’s not alive anymore.

Connor: I think he passed away. Okay. and sorry Walter, if you didn’t pass away, and I just, lost track. I dunno. but he reported that the war was mired in a stalemate, which meant that it couldn’t be one. And this was a huge moment for the anti-war movement when Cronkite said this about the Vietnam War. So there were protests on college campuses. There was this big anti-war movement, that started to rise. The sentiment, the kind of public opinion shifted. There were a lot of people who became very anti-war, and rock and roll music became really political, right? So the seventies, of course, there’s a lot of like really good rock and roll music coming out. And a lot of it had this very political anti-war message because this was the first war on television showing Americans what was really going on. Before then there would just read about it days later in the newspaper, they would get some sanitized version that some reporter and their editor had kind of, you know, or some politician had called the newspaper and said, you better not say that. You know? And it’s very hard to get the truth. And yet here you have now on TV live pictures, you can see these things happening. And it was much harder for the government to get away with lying about it.

Brittany: No, absolutely. And you know, the crazy thing about this is I think we get really disappointed because a lot of times we don’t see activism pay off maybe in big ways. I think we do see it in little ways, you know, kind of what you’re doing in Utah, you’re seeing laws being changed, but as long as there’s government, there’s war because they’re always trying to hold onto their power. And so it’s hard sometimes I think for the anti-war movement to keep going just because it’s easy to get discouraged. But this is a good lesson because the anti-war movement worked in Vietnam because the war was so unpopular and so many people died and were injured and suffered terrible mental health problems. And nobody knew why. Like, why were we there? No one could understand that, and the government couldn’t justify it anymore. So eventually they did pull the troops out and that was because, again, people could see it. And I do wanna say, cause we’re gonna switch to a different kind of technology in a minute, but, I do wanna point out that things are a little different now. I wouldn’t say that television is now destroying propaganda like it did so much in Vietnam. I do think we’ve reached a point where unfortunately television is being used to push propaganda. So.

Connor: I think that’s right. I remember when the Iraq war was happening, and I think that was the first time you had this concept of embedded journalists. And so what would happen in past wars and, you know, Kuwait, Gulf War and all these things in prior years is you would have TV reporters, you know, from a balcony in a hotel or, you know, coming in to see the aftermath of a big battle and they’re showing all the carnage or things like this. Well, with the Iraq war, you had the government work alongside the media. Typically the media has had this kind of, it’s called adversarial position, which comes from the word adversary or opponent. And so you think of like a true journalist that’s holding politicians accountable, right? Asking tough questions, taking on powerful people for that their wrongdoings. That’s kind of an adversarial relationship. Well, the government changed its position and because of propaganda, they wanted to work with the media. They wanted to use the media to get them to stop being adversarial. And so they came up with this idea for the Iraq war to have, embedded journalists and in Afghanistan and elsewhere since as well. And what this means is that they would offer to have these journalists, these TV reporters go alongside the military. They would be able to kind of report,  from kind of the ground and they would be able to film and interview these soldiers while they were living there, while they were, you know, on their missions. And it was very interesting. It changed the perception because suddenly, if you’re a journalist and your job depends upon you getting access, in other words, if you need to cover the Iraq war, and so you need to now be an embedded journalist so that you can be like all the other TV stations that have embedded journalists, suddenly you don’t wanna say anything upsetting to the government because they can revoke your access. They can say, oh no, you’re not gonna, and suddenly your whole TV station, your you know, company can suffer compared to your competitors because you said something to upset the government. So it radically shifted the power balance. And so now you have all these news media institutions that want to not upset the government or offend them too much because then they might lose access even more. And Brittany, you’ve seen this, I know where now you have, especially it’s CNN and sn BBC and some of these left-leaning, quote-unquote media companies. What, what do they do? They employ, they hire former CIA. Yeah.  Directors, former military generals, all of these people who were part of these problems. And they hired them to come on TV on their channels and, and offer their commentary and their perspective, which is very much propaganda for even more war and more conflict. And so, it’s not if anything, we’ve moved away from this adversarial type of position to almost, I, don’t know what the other word would be, but almost like a romantic relationship, between the media and the government when it comes to covering war.


They call it, there’s a nickname for that fourth branch of the government is what they call it. And, you know, you and I have talked about,  the three branches of government a few times, but there’s a, it’s kind of a little witticism to say that media’s become so intertwined with the government that it’s basically a part of it shouldn’t be, but Yeah. But it kind of is. Well, so television was I think the first thing to really bring this awareness to people. But you know, during the Iraq war when the government was saying that we had weapons of ma or no, we didn’t, but Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and we needed to go invade and start the Iraq war. This was interesting because now we had the internet, so we didn’t really have this before. And with the internet, people were able to do research that we couldn’t do before. You know, a lot of times the government has had the stranglehold, they’ve had the access to all the information, but now we had it. And so I know, Connor, you and I, that’s probably around the time you and I both anti-war. I don’t know if you were anti-war before that. in fact, I was actually not even anti-war when the Iraq war broke out. It wasn’t until a few years later when I did my research thanks to the internet where I was like, oh my goodness, I was wrong. Like, this is not a good thing. Yeah. So that really changed the world in that aspect. And one thing I wanna make sure we touch on that I think is a really important moment in history. Now, Twitter is not always great anymore. It’s become a lot different. But there was an uprising in Iran, oh goodness, what was that? 2008 I wanna say? I think so. right. I think that was it. And there it was the elections, and there was all this chaos, and communication was completely shut down. So the young people couldn’t communicate with each other to go to these protests and to stand up for their rights. So they ended up finding a way to use Twitter to start telling people, you know, this is what’s happening. So the rest of the world didn’t know what happened. Cause there was a blackout. So they were actually tweeting and saying, this is the terrible things we’re going through right now. And the whole world was able to see what was going on because of the internet, because of this technological, you know, these advancements. So it’s really cool that we have this now because as bad as things are, imagine how much worse they were when we couldn’t see what was really happening.

Connor: I think like a lot of tools, there’s kind of the curse and the blessing, right? Yeah. Where like, I think like a firearm, right? You can use it for self-defense, but you know, a merger can use it to more easily kill people. So it’s these tools that can be used in either way. I think of social media, and I was just talking with a buddy of mine the other day, and he made the suggestion that wars are now going to be, of course, he was talking about this right when the Russia-Ukraine thing started. And he, his theory was that wars would be more short-lived. In other words, they would be for shorter lengths of time because of social media, because people would share photos and videos and we would see the tragedies more easily. These things would go viral and be spread all over. We wouldn’t need to rely on CNN n to show us. People could just retweet it or repost it or whatever. And so I was like, okay, that’s an interesting theory. But then right as that was going too, we had all this propaganda that go viral over social media, things that were completely false. The president of Ukraine was being held up as this brave hero for being among his troops. And he is in this, you know, battle gear with his vest on and everything. Oh, come to find out, that was a photo from like three years ago. Yes. or whatever, you know, it was this old photo that was just circulated or the stories that I mentioned earlier. And, then I saw this article where some, officials in Ukraine justified all of this propaganda and said it was important to boost morale, right? They were intentionally supporting these lies, or I remember seeing the photo of Miss Ukraine with a gun standing against their window, right? All these things are propaganda. They’re designed to shift people’s opinions. And so this happens a lot. It has happened in the past, it’s happening now. We have to recognize that we’re being lied to, that we’re, these stories are being spread to try and manipulate us to change our opinion about the war. I don’t, Brittany, if we’ve talked in the past, if we haven’t, we should do an episode about Operation Northwood.

Brittany: We had Emma and I did. Yeah.

Connor: Oh, great. Okay. You and Emma did. So, go guys, go back and, listen to that episode. Brittany, maybe we can link that in the show notes page. So head to If you didn’t listen to that last episode, that past episode on Operation Northwood, because that is such an alarming example of when we know that the government was going to literally kill Americans and blame it on someone else to try and shift public opinion about going to war in Cuba. And so it’s a very, shocking example. And then I say, well, wait a minute. If that happened decades ago, do we really think it’s not happening today? Do you really think that similar things aren’t happening? I think they’re happening. I think they’re happening worse and they’re harder to detect. And so as great as social media and apps and mobile phones and everything are, we’re also I think even more susceptible to believing these kind of viral, you know, propaganda stories that are spread around and really get us to be, you know, feel something emotionally and shift our opinions. So it’s a curse, it’s a blessing. We have to be on guard for it, you guys, because propaganda is powerful. It is everywhere. We need to kind of focus on the truth and be skeptical of people in power and the stories that they tell because often they are for their purposes, not ours, and they’re trying to manipulate us. So we gotta be careful. We gotta seek the truth. Be careful. Don’t believe everything you hear, especially on the internet, even on a Tuttle Twins podcast. Do your own research. Don’t listen to us, even though we’re right all the time.  But we’ll wrap it there guys. Thanks for joining us. Make sure you’re subscribed. is where you can find the info for today. We’ll catch you on a future episode. Brittany is always great talking to you. Until next time, we’ll talk to you later.

Brittany: Talk to you later.