DAVID BIANCULLI

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1965: Morley Safer's Cam Ne Report Airs on CBS
August 5, 2017  | By TV WW
 
On this day in 1965, CBS Evening News broadcast a report by correspondent Morley Safer that sent shockwaves across the U.S. and infuriated then-president Lyndon Johnson.

The footage, which had been shot two days earlier in the Vietnamese village of Cam Ne, showed U.S. Marines setting fire to the homes of villagers, purportedly because the village was a Viet Cong stronghold. It was one of the first news reports to present the U.S. military in a negative light, and had a reveberating impact on America's attitudes toward the Vietnam War.

Following the broadcast, CBS was flooded with complaints about the network's portrayal of the American military. President Johnson called CBS's then-president Frank Stanton, saying the network had "shat on the American flag." He also ordered a background investigation on Safer, a Canadian, to determine whether the reporter was a Communist sympathizer. (He wasn't.)

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post

 

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