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argue from feeling. So the answer is I didn't pursue it.
Putting back your CBS hat on, based on what you saw with your own eyes in Vietnam,
how did that affect you in terms of thinking about ways in which the war should be covered
or could be covered.
You mean journalistically.
Well, I think actions speak louder than words, because we had an enormous
bureau out there, as we had in other parts of the world. Very costly. Didn't fill too much
time on the air, because there wasn't that much time available, or--I shouldn't say there
wasn't time available. It could have been made available, but the judgement of the people
in programming was that we were doing a reasonable job of covering the news and staying
with our main mission, which was mass entertainment.
If you look at the minutes of on-air performance that we got out of any of the bureaus, it
was difficult to justify the cost of maintaining the number of bureaus we had, stretching all
the way from Vietnam clear on around to the Pacific. So I guess the way we behaved
during World War II, the way we behaved during the Korean conflict and the way we did in
the Vietnam era sort of tells its own story. We tried to do the best job we could, and we
operated the news division at a tremendous loss--or I would prefer, and always did prefer,
not to talk about it as a loss, but as a cost of doing what we thought had to be done.
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