From:  Brian Wickham

     Date:  March 5, 2013

Subject:  Dan Rather

My memory is going but I think that Joe Fried also filed for the New York Daily News. 
Brian Wickham

    From:  Ray Profeta

     Date:  March 5, 2013

Subject:  Dan Rather

That's right, I was close, it started with "M"!

Ray Profeta

    From:  Joe Ciokon

     Date:  March 5, 2013

Subject:  Dan Rather

Mutual Radio News. At least when I was covering the 5 O'Clock Follies 67-68.

JoeC 

    From:  Ray Profeta

     Date:  March 4, 2013

Subject:  Dan Rather

I remember the  name Joe Fried, he was with Metromedia  news I think.  He would be at the 5 o'clock Follies everyday when I was taping them. 
Ray Profeta 

    From:  Jack Holsomback

     Date:  March 4, 2013

Subject:  Dan Rather

The Marine Corps send ten or twelve of us journalist to a two week seminar in New York. Everything was set up and ran very smooth for those weeks. During that time we spent time in the major news network studios. At NBC we were sat in a theater type setting where the big news bosses bragged to us how "wonderful" their reporters had been in reporting the news first hand, eye to eye. I think it was Roger Breedal to first spoke up with "horse shit" then began telling the news leaders how they had been with these people and what really happened during a particular battle. The bosses were surprised to hear that their star reporters gleaned their news, not went out to observe the news. All the rest of us started in and after about 20 minutes, the big NBC guys stopped the conversation, left and came back with t he entire news department including these so called reporters. Lots of red faces there but, for once, their agenda was busted and the truth got out. Didn't do any good but it felt good getting our side of the story.

Jack

    From:  Forrest Brandt

     Date:  March 4, 2013

Subject:  Dan Rather

Ladies and Gentlemen of AFVN, an apology.  I lied. 
As someone who has chastised others on this site for not checking out their sources and facts before posting, my tale of meeting Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw is particularly egregious. 
I escorted news men four times while serving with the First Division IO.  In mid December of 1968 I met with a 3 man crew from CBS and choppered out to FSB Julie with them.  They were there to do some follow-up interviews with men from the 28th Infantry who had survived a massive attack in October of that year. I do not know who the reporter was, but it cannot have been Rather as he was not in country at that time.  The team was gruff, went about their business and around 1600 hours they packed up and we headed back to Lai Khe.  I saw little of them then or during their time at Julie. 
My second escort, in February, was with a reporter from CBC.  He wanted to meet with the Australian unit supporting our ALO mission. I'm guessing he was doing a commonwealth story - why our Aussie brothers are here and we're not. I met him at the chopper pad, drove him to the ALO compound, picked him up when he was ready to return and took him to his chopper ride. 
Third was in March with a reporter from the Overseas Weekly who was working on a rumor that the Division CofS was keeping chickens outside his hooch and using G/5 funds to procure an incubator. (a real chicken shit story, that one)  I'm not sure what the result of that investigation was, but I do know that he wrote a blast on the CofS's ban on short-time calendars and Playmate of the Month displays in the EM tents. 
My fourth and final escort was a team from ABC, three men again, but the only name I can recall was that of Kim, a Korean cameraman in the team who gave me permission to use his Caravelle room the next time I was in Saigon as he was going to be on a two week leave back to Korea. This time we choppered out to the Trapazoid/Iron Triangle area and spent five hours tramping about with the the 1/4 Cav and a company from the 11th ACR before returning to Lai Khe.  This team was fun to work with, very friendly and outgoing. 
During my time with the division I frequently saw news teams from all three networks, CBC, and BBC come into the office, meet with my boss, Major Bob Chic and Lt. Lennon. A team of senior editors from major news sources came through in January and I believe that the team was headed by Lt. Lennon's dad.  This team met with most of the staff and shook hands, but they spent all of their time with Major Chic and General Talbot. Several years after my tour I had a phone conversation with Bob Chic.  The story of my good fortune to stay in the Caravelle came up and he told me that Kim had been killed filming in a Middle East conflict, probably the Yom Kippur War.


    From:  Bob Morecook

     Date:  March 4, 2013

Subject:  Dan Rather

Steve,

Please send this email directly to Rick rather than the list.

Thanks,

Bob


    From:  Steve Sevits

     Date:  March 4, 2013

Subject:  Dan Rather

Rick, 
What I saw in civilian network broadcasting was a departure from news to a system of what I can only say is propaganda -- using the ”news” format to promote a specific ideological or social agenda. 
Coverage of the MLK speech at Penn State was a classic example.  Rather than reporting what took place, the network agenda was on finding something which could be reported to create public controversy and create dissension.  Why not focus on truth and reality instead of sensationalism? 
From the time I worked for NBC in 1960 to the fall of 1964 when I worked for CBS upon leaving the Army, commercial network broadcasting changed completely and the new image resembled the psychological warfare operations I’d been exposed to in service.  Except that military psy-war had rules and standards, commercial broadcasting doesn’t, it’s just freewheeling BS -- anything goes to force the agenda -- whatever it may be at the moment. 
Everything seems agenda driven from the Wall Street Journal to what’s broadcast locally. 
In our small town an internet blog reported on local town affairs, with an agenda of truth and a wry sense of humor. Much to their credit they clearly identified opinion always, printed in green. www.schodacksmiles.blogspot.com is still out there in the Ethernet, but everyone both friend and foe alike agrees that it was honest.  It did result in a town supervisor declining to run for reelection as well as the defeat of a number of town council members.  Even now nobody knows who was behind it and speculation is that the prime mover behind it ether may have died or moved away. 
I guess when done right journalism can both do well and be fun. 
Steve

    From:  Bob Nelson

     Date:  March 4, 2013

Subject:  Dan Rather

Does the name Joe Fried ring a bell?

    From:  Bob Nelson

     Date:  March 4, 2013

Subject:  Gen Schwarzkopf

Quick PS... At my first meeting we discovered his daughter and my son were both attending U of Tampa.  That became the topic.., how's yours. --- how's yours?  Kind of neat.  Possessed a massive intelligence.

    From:  Rick Fredericksen

     Date:  March 4, 2013

Subject:  Dan Rather

Steve, what you describe continues to be an issue today doesn't it? Although not just CBS. You were pretty early to be picking up the "attitudes" that the the pre-cable, pre-Internet media was embracing. Even the local station I worked for in the 70s, when the consultants were just beginning to re-engineer news, had a policy to accentuate "controversy." If it didn't exist, make it happen in your writing, or delivery. It was suppose to produce better ratings. We've drifted away from Rather and Vietnam...think I'll stop here.

Rick 

    From:  Rick Fredericksen

     Date:  March 4, 2013

Subject:  Dan Rather

Forrest, what year would you have escorted Rather? I like your comments. Sounds like everyone was doing their job well. 
Rick Fredericksen

    From:  Forrest Brandt

     Date:  March 4, 2013

Subject:  Dan Rather

Just to clarify my position. Rather treated me the way a Sergeant Major would treat 2nd LT, politeness barley concealing disdain. He was professional in getting his story, but he certainly wasn't impressed by my silver bar. Nor did I expect him to be.  It was my job to see that he didn't wander off and get captured and to try and give my boss a heads up on what Rather was looking for.  I didn't pull escort very often as we had the son of Time's editor-in-chief, Lt. John Lennin, in our office and he did most of the escort work. 
Of the reporters I met, Jennings was far and away the most polite.  The photographers and sound men were easy to work with and appreciated anything you could do to help them get the footage they wanted. ABCs camera crew included someone named Kim, the Korean equivalent of Smith.  Kim gave me permission to use his room in the Caravelle, my first hot water shower in something like 6 months. 
Because we were so close to Saigon, the 1st, 25th and the 9th IO offices often had reporters out looking for a story. Rather, Brokaw, and  Jennings and Koppel all were frequent - as in usually once a month, more often if there was something hot going on, or rumored to be about to go on.​


    From:  Rick Fredericksen

     Date:  March 4, 2013

Subject:  Dan Rather

Jack, just to expand on your very correct observation. There were good reasons for CBS and other network reporters to hang out in their Saigon bureaus. This was where they filed their stories from, including a radio filing center at the Rex. There were no satellite facilities; film was flown to Hong Kong and writing and narrations were done at the Caravelle and shipped out from Ton Son Nhut. You are right that they did get a lot of information from the Caravelle vicinity: the Follies, Continental shelf, Tu Do, and sharing experiences with other reporters at other networks. CBS also used freelance Vietnamese crews, and had bureaus and contacts around the country that provided information and combat film. So, while it might appear a reporter is sitting on his ass in Saigon, there was information coming in from the countryside too. But they did get into the field--plenty. Especially during big battles...even Cronkite appeared at Hue during Tet. There were many casualties among the media, including our own at AFVN. In Phnom Penh last month, a group of old Vietnam War journalists dedicated a memorial for 37 of our colleagues killed in Cambodia between 1970-75.  A great topic of discussion.

Rick 


    From:  Steve Sevits

     Date:  March 3, 2013

Subject:  Dan Rather

After coming home I went to work for CBS in ’64 where it became obvious I had far more journalistic freedom as a PFC working in news at AFRS Saigon than I did later at CBS. 
Covering a Martin Luther King speech at Penn State, the people in the broadcast center in New York kept prompting me, “find something inflammatory or controversial, don’t feed us the ordinary stuff.” 
In ’64 CBS showed me they were agenda driven rather than motivated by an accurate recounting of factual circumstances. 
This experience with CBS led me to a rewarding career change where I made more money and had less inner turmoil.  One where there was greater credibility than in “journalism,” I embarked on a very successful career of selling used cars. 
Recent public polls put used car salesmen above both politicians and journalists in credibility in the perception of honesty. 
Even today while watching the evening talking heads on TV, my wife and son often voice choice passages from the "Handbook of Creative Profanity and Inventive Blasphemy" [professional edition] in response to what is said in the guise of "news." 
Steve


    From:  Jack Holsomback

     Date:  March 3, 2013

Subject:  Dan Rather

It was also my experience that many of the stories filed by the major news services were done from those rooms over the Caravel, or from the sidewalk cafe down below.  They got their "eyewitness" information from G.I.'s who had been there or the 5 o'clock follies.  Was the same in Da Nang at the Command Information Bureau.

Jack


    From:  Rick Fredericksen

     Date:  March 3, 2014

Subject:  Dan Rather

TWENTY YEARS AGO, Dan Rather returned to the old CBS News Saigon Bureau. I took him there. Room 206 of the Caravelle Hotel (above the Air France office) was the operations center for the network war news coverage. As a young reporter, Rather said, "this is where I earned my stripes." Both former Marines, we were back in Vietnam for a special "CBS Reports" program. Dan was the lead reporter. I was a field producer. In 1993, the former CBS bureau had reverted back to a hotel room and the couple staying there let us step inside for a couple pictures. 
We also went to the rooftop terrace, where a veterans group was filmed later. I was not there for the taping session, perhaps I had flown ahead of the group to Hanoi. Regarding any negative behavior by Dan, I have never seen it. I have heard of rumors about many public figures, including Dan, but I can only judge by what I have witnessed. He was always a gentleman, and always treated the locals with respect, whether we worked in Vietnam, China, Korea, Japan or the Philippines. I'm not suggesting he cannot be surly, or demanding, or that these incidents didn't happen...I've not seen it myself.  As for the "national reporter" who said Rather has "the smallest mind in Washington," I can assure you that is pure jealousy meant to harm. Sounds like it came from someone who worked for a network that CBS was beating in the ratings. 
I love hearing all these comments--good or bad. 
Rick Fredericksen


Stormin' Norman in his high pri (prioirty) boots

Forrest


    From:  Forrest Brandt

     Date:  March 2, 2013

Subject:  Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf

Thanks for including this, Nancy.  It's nice to hear the human side that exists in many commanders - 

I escorted Rather once when he visited a mech unit operating in the Micheline.  He ignored me as best he could.  My year of training as a second lieutenant had hardened me against such treatment.  At least he was out in the bush to get his story and not sitting on the veranda of the Continental. 

My only contact with Schwarzkopf was purely coincidental and at great distance. I was part of a team of SLJOs working supply issues (read, 'glitches') from Army Material Command, Alexandria, VA. while the general was putting his staff together in Saudi.  Someone on his staff got word of a new desert boot AMC was testing and suddenly there was an uber crisis that the boot be 'tested by troops in the field.'  A special order for a dozen of these boots went out and my group was tasked to make sure the boots got where they were needed.  We expedited the hell out of the thing, ignoring all supply and transportation priority codes and found ourselves on call for damn near hourly "sitreps" on the boots.  Then came word that they had to be ACCOMPANIED by a Major all the way from St. Louis to Charleston APOD for the handoff.  The poor major had the misfortune of calling Dhahran to report the tail number and pallet position of the package along with the exact Time of Departure and ETA thinking he could stay stateside.  He was informed that there was no way his mission was over; he was to hand deliver the boots at the end of the flight.  Oh, and the pilot had to contact us with his updated ETAs so we could pass them on to the G-4 in country on the scramble phone.

Now, I know that modern generals tend to be out with the troops, very busy, long-hour types, but if you wanted to know, truly know, if new, unproven boots worked, wouldn't you give them to a dozen grunts in ground pounder roles?  Instead all one dozen ended up in Cen Com HQs and the sizes "randomly selected" in the supply order just happened to match the boot sizes of one dozen very senior officers in the head shed.

    From:  Nancy Smoyer

     Date:  March 2, 2013

Subject:  Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf

Rick,

It was on that trip, I'm assuming, that I met him and was one of the interviewees at the dinner on top of the Cararvelle which was in the CBS program.  Below is my account of that meeting, written in '04.   It's mostly bout Rather in response to something that was said on line.

My experience with Gen S, on the other hand, was all positive.  I was sitting next to him, and I'm sure he knew I was very nervous.  What was great about him was that he talked with us like we were all just normal people.

When I first met him, having read his book and knowing he was raised near me, I said, "I think we have more in common than just having been in Vietnam.  I went to the same girls' school as your sister, and was the dance class you went to Mr. Sawyers?"  He immediately responded, "Yup, white gloves and all."

I recount my favorite part of the whole thing below--getting over Vietnam.  After the filming was over, he spent most of the rest of the evening talking with one of the veterans in our little group about alcoholism--his sister's and the vet's.  A very personal conversation.

Nancy

When I went back to VN in '93 with Veterans Vietnam Restoration Project, it happened that Dan Rather was in country filming Gen. Schwartzkopf's return.  They wanted to talk to other veterans and somehow hooked up with our group of four.  So we sat on the roof of the Caravelle at a long table and talked.

Rather was at the head and I was next to him.  He started by asking something relatively innocuous, like why did you come back.  I was so nervous (and determined not to cry on national television although I'd been near tears for 2 days), I just blurted out something like, ask someone else, I can't do sound bites.

I settled down and was able to say the main thing I wanted to say, which fortunately made the program, which was, "The war will never be over for me."   Rather asked General S if he felt the same way, and bless his soul, he said he did.  I felt it was very important that veterans realize that even the general didn't "just get over it."

At some point, Rather also asked me if I had been to the place where my brother was killed.  I just said, I don't want to talk about my brother.  When we took a break, General S reached over and patted my hand, and Rather said directly to me, "I want to say two things.  One, I don't do sound bites.  I wouldn't be sitting with all of you for this long if all I wanted was sound bites.  And two, I had no intention of asking you about your brother."

Even in my semi-basketcase condition, I thought, wow, a big shot reporter is getting mad at me, a scared, overwhelmed woman. Hardly seems necessary.

Another national reporter whom I respect greatly said to me when I told him this story,  Rather has the biggest ego and smallest mind in Washington.

That's my story.


Rick with Norman Schwarzkopf at the airport.

[Is that a halo over Schwarzkopf's head?  Jim W]

    From:  Rick Fredericksen

     Date:  March 2, 2013

Subject:  Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf

The day after Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf was laid to rest, brings back memories of his last trip to Vietnam, as a commentator for CBS News.  I was CBS Bureau Chief in Bangkok and helped organize the trip, which included Dan Rather, two camera crews, assorted producers, and a ton of equipment.  In Ho Chi Minh City, our delegation was threatened with bloodshed in a series of threatening letters, demanding gold and US Dollars. The story has never been told.  But I will, in my upcoming book―at Tan Son Nhut Airport, 1993.

Rick Fredericksen

Norman Schwarzkopf, General & Dan Rather, News Correspondent

With a few references to Joe Fried

March 2013

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