Some Comments about Rick Fredericksen's Article on AFVN News Censorship

    From:  Jim Allingham

     Sent:  October 8, 2013

Subject:  Rick Fredericksen's Feature Story about AFVN News Censorship


Kudos to Rick Frederiksen for his handling of a subject that has garnered its share of discussion...and arguments...some polite, some not...in this forum over the years.


I was there the night of the Bob Lawrence broadcast...and I was one of those newscasters who was "sent up-country" in the immediate fallout because I gave an "unauthorized interview" on camera to Kenley Jones of NBC News...an interview in which I said that I couldn't disagree with Bob; that I admired him as a dedicated professional; that Bob did what he believed was the right thing to do, albeit, I wouldn't have had the guts to do it and that I hadn't been in news broadcasting long enough to develop the passion that Bob had for it.


I was also the guy who led with the story on my radio newscast...finally at 3 a.m. (almost 4 hours after his TV newscast and only after stern guidance from MACOI to "attribute it the Associated Press." After reading Rick's article, I can honestly say that he did an excellent job of giving us the big picture in a fair, balanced, and unemotional way; especially considering that he was one of the first "casualties" among the guys who questioned why things were done the way they were.  And, I believe he gave us a fair and honest assessment of the root causes of the problem and perhaps what could have been done had the news department of AFVN been managed differently over the years leading up to Bob's broadcast. In my six months in Saigon, I learned a lot about the news business from a lot of great guys, including guys on both sides of the proverbial fence regarding censorship.  Rick Fredericksen was one of these guys, as were Bob Lawrence, Hugh Morgan, and Mike Maxwell.  But, they also included great professionals and career soldiers like Nick Palladino, Wayne Cannon, and Bob MacArthur. All of these guys put their hearts and souls into the news operation.  Regardless of how things ultimately shook down, all of these guys were honorable men and I believe all of them tried to do the right thing in their own way. Thanks, Rick, for a great article. My grown kids have now been told a story about their Dad that they've never heard before.  And, you've given this Dad a sense of peace with myself...finally, after 43 years.


And, a big thanks to Dr. Bob and to Jim White for getting us the electronic version...my Barnes and Noble still hasn't received the December issue! Best regards to all who served proudly at AFVN.


SP5 Jim Allingham, USA

AFVN News Saigon/Hon Tre Island
1969-1970

 
    From:  Ken Kalish

     Sent:  October 8, 2013

Subject:  Rick Fredericksen's Feature Story about AFVN News Censorship


Sometimes heroism requires that one face a different kind of danger, a different kind of fire.


Ken

This cut was a newscast that Jim did shortly after 5a.m. during halftime of an NFL play- off game; again, he led with it and, again, caught flak for doing so.   Jim caught further flak when he "re-capped" the story before switching back to AFRTS and the second half of the football game.


This includes a portion of an ABC (US News Broadcast which was included in Jim Alling- ham's news at 7AM. It includes an interview of Lawrence.  It came down on the AFRTS radio feed.  Again, there was much debate about whether Jim should run the cut and much debate afterwards about its newsworthiness.

SP5 Robert F. "Bob" Lawrence, USA made the charge of censorship in his Saturday night, January 3rd, TV newscast.  This was the first public acknowledgement by the Amercan military that the event did, indeed, take place.  Jim's placement of it as the lead story caused much heartburn from MACIO and others at MACV who viewed it as a "non-event" and "not newsworthy."

  • ABC Reporting on Censorship2:29

  • 5 AM News (Censorship)2:40

  • 3 AM News (Censorship)2:36

Audio Clips

These are the first radio newscasts on AFVN reporting on the story of

SP5 Bob Lawrence, USA, charging that news reports on AFVN

were being censored.  The newscaster is SP5 Jim Allingham, USA.

[Furnished by Jim Allingham]

AFVN Censorship Controversy