Parallax Views w/ J.G. Michael

The Late Neil Sheehan, The New York Times, Vietnam, and Daniel Ellsberg Pt. 1 w/ Jim DiEugenio

January 23, 2021

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On this edition of Parallax Views, the acclaimed New York Times journalist Neil Sheehan passed away on January 7th, 2021. Sheehan is particularly known for his reporting on the Vietnam War, his bestseller A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam, and his involvement in the story of whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. Although highly regarded by most, Jim DiEugenio of Kennedys and King offered criticisms of Sheehan's journalistic oeuvre in his piece "Neil Sheehan: In Retrospect". Jim joins us on this edition of the program to offer a parallax view on the work of Neil Sheehan and his contemporary David Halberstam, author of The Best and the Brightest, as it relates to their work on the Vietnam war. DiEugenio argues in his heavily footnoted piece that, contrary to recognizing the Vietnam War as a folly, Sheenan offers a "Lost Cause" theory of the conflict that has since been taken up by journalists today like Max Boot (author of The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the Tragedy in Vietnam) and others. Additionally, DiEugenio makes thoughtful critiques of Sheehan in relation to the story of the Pentagon Papers and Sheehan's spat with attorney Mark Lane over Vietnam atrocity. This is a fascinating conversation that also manages to delve into foreign policy during the administration of President John F. Kennedy and a rundown of the story behind the Pentagon Papers. Additionally, Jim offers his thoughts on the Capitol riots of January 6th, 2021. All that and more on this edition of Parallax Views!

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