The Tet Offensive represented a coordinated action of North Vietnamese attacks on over a hundred cities and outposts in South Vietnam. The key objective of the offensive was to initiate rebellion among the population of South Vietnam and therefore force the United States to decrease its role in the Vietnam War1. The Tet Offensive led to a large number of casualties; however, it resulted in a strategic victory of North Vietnam and the withdrawal of the United States from the escalation of military conflict in the region2.
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Studying the Tet Offensive from the perspective of changes in the United States’ domestic and foreign policy is important because the country had played a significant role in the Vietnam War.
The Tet Offensive initiated a significant media coverage and the subsequent bias. The American public was greatly misinformed of the real events that took place in the region3. The reality of American victory was reported as if the country among South Vietnam were defeated. For instance, it was reported that the Vietcong managed to overrun several floors of the United States embassy when in fact the former had never been found inside the building4.
Also, the news reported wounded marines huddling under cover or being dead while in reality, the Marines were fighting and causing casualties among the enemy. Such a coverage of the attacks led to the warped representation of reality for Americans, leading to significant changes in foreign and domestic policies of that time.
Gillam, James. “Historical, Social, and Personal Effects of a War and a Battle: The Vietnam War, and the Tet Offensive.” Journal of Third World Studies 12, no. 2 (1995): 14-43.
Herman, Arthur. “The Tet Offensive Revisited: Media’s Big Lie.” National Review, 2018. Web.
Huebner, Andrew. “Rethinking American Press Coverage of the Vietnam War, 1965-68.” Journalism History 31, no. 3 (2005): 1-6.
“Johnson’s Defense of the U.S. Presence in Vietnam (1965).” Pearson Mag, 2009. Web.
- James Gillam, “Historical, Social, and Personal Effects of a War and a Battle: The Vietnam War, and the Tet Offensive,” Journal of Third World Studies 12, no. 2 (1995): 18.
- “Johnson’s Defense of the U.S. Presence in Vietnam (1965),” Pearson Mag, 2009. Web.
- Andrew Huebner, “Rethinking American Press Coverage of the Vietnam War, 1965-68,” Journalism History 31, no. 3 (2005): 1.
- Arthur Herman, “The Tet Offensive Revisited: Media’s Big Lie,” National Review, 2018. Web.