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Selling War in a Media AgeThe Presidency and Public Opinion in the American Century$
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Kenneth Osgood

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034669

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034669.001.0001

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“We Need to Get a Better Story to the American People”

“We Need to Get a Better Story to the American People”

LBJ, the Progress Campaign, and the Vietnam War on Television

(p.170) 7 “We Need to Get a Better Story to the American People”
Selling War in a Media Age
Andrew L. Johns, Kenneth Osgood
University Press of Florida

The chapter focuses specifically on the Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) administration's efforts in the Vietnam conflict during the Progress Campaign in 1967. This program, launched as a public relations offensive designed specifically to establish that the United States was achieving its goals in Vietnam, was a direct response to criticism from the media that had begun to erode public support for the war and the administration. The Johnson administration made a special effort during the campaign to sell the war in American living rooms. He was upbeat, insistent, and at times combative in asserting that U.S. forces were achieving their goals. LBJ recognized the need to “get a better story to the American people.” War and politics, then, were inextricably linked.

Keywords:   Lyndon B. Johnson, Vietnam conflict, Progress Campaign, peace initiatives, television coverage

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