These days “fake news” is getting a lot of attention in the political area. If one did not know better they would think it is a new phenomenon. In this podcast I will point out that it has been going on at least back to the Vietnam War. Take for example the case of Kim Phuc, the “Napalm Girl” of Vietnam. It is hard not to forget the image of her as a nine year old back in June of 1972 running from a napalm attack on her village of Trang Bang where she was terribly burned. Award winning Associated Press photographer Nick Ut was in the right place at the right time to snap the iconic photograph. Over the years it has been a lasting reminder of the horrors of the Vietnam War in a way words could never describe.
Since the “Napalm Girl” image is so ingrained in our national psyche, fake news myths (lies) have grown up about the incident. Recently W. Joseph Campbell, a professor at American University in Washington, D.C. and an author of six books, including a recently published second edition of “Getting It Wrong” (University of California Press), which is about media-driven myths. Submitted a story about the subject of fake news about the “Napalm Girl” to The Baltimore Sun titled: Confronting the myths of the ‘Napalm Girl’.
In his piece in the Baltimore Sun he lists these three myths (lies) about the incident:
- The bombs were dropped by the US military aircraft.
- The image changed Americans attitude toward the war
- It caused the US to withdraw its forces from the war.
In the podcast each one of these myths will be shown to be totally false by Campbell and the evidence he lays out.
The lesson to be taken from this podcast episode is to be careful when you things in today’s media.