Operation “Storm the Media”

Part of the Global Perspectives on War and Peace Collection. Footage of an anti-war demonstration outside ABC in New York on January 30, 1991. Protesters confront Peter Jennings about his network's Persian Gulf War coverage. Difficult to hear at times because of background noise of the demonstration.

00:00Copy video clip URL A woman with a “question your programming” television monitor around her head talks about how the media is portraying the war. “It has been an arm of the government, it has not been functioning as an independent organization of professionals as it’s supposed to be. It’s not offering any intelligent representation of anti-war activists.”

01:40Copy video clip URL Protesters yell “truth” and “shame” outside the doors of ABC as Peter Jennings watches.

02:25Copy video clip URL Jennings is asked if he thinks the protest is legitimate, and why the anti-war movement isn’t given equal time. “I’m just here to listen to listen to you.” Jennings remains fairly quiet under a barrage of questions from demonstrators, repeating only that he is there to listen and writing on a notepad.

04:31Copy video clip URL “On the network news, 35 seconds was spent on the demonstration in Washington, none on San Fransisco, and almost 2 minutes was spent on a tiny demonstration of pro-war demonstrators in Staten Island. There is a huge anti-war feeling in this country but you would never know it from watching ABC, NBC, CNN….”

07:15Copy video clip URL “What are you going to report on this crowd?” Jennings: “I’m going to try and do the same thing you’re trying to do, to cover the crowd.”  “Accurately?” Jennings: “I’ll let you judge that.”

07:56Copy video clip URL “In being falsely enthusiastic for the war, and not recording the problems, the risks, could it be that the press has served a disservice to the soldiers, an unpatriotic service, by creating an environment where public opinion allowed the attack to take place?”

09:20Copy video clip URL Jennings: “I just came down here to find out what was going on, I’m not here to speak, I’m here to listen.”

11:50Copy video clip URL A CUNY student talks about how 90% of the male students at his university would be eligible for the draft should it be called into effect. The majority of which would be blacks and Latinos.

15:00Copy video clip URL A woman to Jennings, “I like you very much and I watch you a lot, but you’re part of a big machine, and you can’t trust the machine.”

16:30Copy video clip URL The crowd chants “equal time.”

 

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