In preparing to teach a course on documentary, I am interested in
the VHS availability of the CBS Reports piece "The Uncounted Enemy: A
Vietnam Deception" (1982). This was the 90-minute doc. hosted by Mike
Wallace which drew a libel suit from Wm Westmoreland.
Also, the law suit was emboldened by a critical article:
Bedell, Sally and Don Kowet. "Anatomy of a Smear: How CBS
News Broke the Rules and 'Got' Gen. Westmoreland." TV Guide, May 29,
This also led to Van Gordon Sauter's internal investigation of how the
piece was put together by producer George Crile. Several big studies of
the case have been published, but I have not read them. Before I try to
track them all down, can someone recommend which of these is most useful or
reliable? I know the Benjamin book was done by the CBS exec who did the
internal investigation, concluding that CBS News producers had violated
their own standards of fair practice (though not libelously so).
But again, my other concern is tracking down the documentary itself.
Adler, Renata. Reckless Disregard: Westmoreland v. CBS et al., Sharon v.
Time. New York: Knopf, 1986.
Benjamin, Burton. Fair Play: CBS, General Westmoreland, and How a
Television Documentary Went Wrong. NY: Harper & Row, 1988.
Brewin, Bob and Sydney Shaw. Vietnam on Trial: Westmoreland vs. CBS. New
York: Atheneum, 1987.
Vietnam: A Documentary Collection -- Westmoreland v. CBS. New York:
Clearwater Pub. Co., 1985.
Thanks. Dan Streible
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