A Study of Bias: How Time & Newsweek Covered the Home Front

On the week-end of October 21-22, 1967, after months of planning by numerous paid full-time organizers, 35 to 100 thousand anti-war protesters demonstrated in Washington. There were also some smaller activities elsewhere.

On the same days as the march on the capitol, an all-volunteer movement, with half the lead-time, put together Operation Gratitude – a variety of events in 75 cities that stretched from the Pacific Ocean (Hawaii) to the Arctic Circle (Alaska) to the Caribbean Sea (Puerto Rico).

The biggest were centered in the New York City area, – home base of both Newsweek and Time magazines – where hundreds of thousands took part in 5 parades, plus rallies, vigils and other displays of support for our men fighting in Vietnam.

Newsweek gave two pages of coverage, with 6 pictures, to the protest in Washington.

Time’s cover introduced readers to 9 pages about the anti-war movement and the activities in the capitol.

Time magazine covered anti-war protests, not the pro-war demonstrations.

Did they report the other side of the story?

Well, sorta.

Time balanced its cover and 9 pages with a single sentence about Operation Gratitude.

The 31 words are buried within a paragraph – in the middle of the story – that begins with reports about Americans abroad demonstrating against the war.

“At home, thousands of Americans backed ‘Operation Gratitude,’ a grass-roots effort to show support of U.S. troops in Vietnam through all-night vigils and round-the-clock displays of lights.”

That’s it.

Hundreds of thousands, in the New York City area alone, reduced to thousands.
No mention of the longest parade in the history of New Jersey – or those in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island and Westchester.

Newsweek doubled the Time coverage to Two (2) sentences – buried deep in its story.

“Predictably, the antiwar demonstration begat a scattering of loyalist parades, vigils and religious services across the country, under the sponsorship of the National Committee for Responsible Patriotism (which posted messages of blessing from Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater). In Battery Park at the tip of New York City, 2,000 people showed up for a two day vigil in support of Vietnam GI’s, and elsewhere motorists solemnly complied with a request by the patriotism group to drive with their headlights on as a show of sympathy.”

(Americans who supported our fighting men were: “begat loyalists” who “showed up and solemnly complied” in a “show of sympathy.” No indication that hundreds of thousands “solemnly complied.”)

Newsweek reported that NCRP “posted blessings” from Nixon (before he was president) and Goldwater. But, ignored the support from two thirds of state governors, hundreds of mayors and members of Congress, from both parties, plus entertainment and sports stars.

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