Legendary Reporter Who Forced Us To Confront The Brutality Of Vietnam Dies At 84

news

Famed CBS television correspondent Morley Safer died on May 19 at his home in Manhattan, New York, at the age of 84, just a week after retiring from almost five decades as the mainstay of “60 Minutes.”


At the time of his May 11 retirement, Safer had reported on the air for 61 years and broadcast 919 reports for CBS’ “60 Minutes,” where he profiled celebrities and politicians, and exposed corruption, scandal, and scams, reports the New York Times. Known for his distinct voice, poise, and self confidence, on camera Safer was unabashedly himself.

Safer’s reports seemed more more like conversations than interviews, with a mix of off-the-cuff quips or tough questions eliciting laughter, or sometimes anger. He travelled the world covering stories that ranged from the bizarre and uncanny, to those that were unexpected, and at times tragic.

Related: Nothing Was Out Of Al Webb’s Reach from Civil Rights, The Space Race, Jonestown, and War »

In August 1965, Safer brought the horrors of the Vietnam War into American homes when he reported on the destruction of Cam Ne, a hamlet in Vietnam, where Marines set fire to the villages’ thatched huts.

The news report angered viewers and even incited the ire of then-President Lyndon Johnson, who reportedly called CBS President Frank Stanton the day after the report aired, saying “your boys shat on the American flag yesterday.”

However, it solidified Safer’s reputation as a dogged reporter who understood the need for brutal honesty.

“This is what the war in Vietnam is all about,” said Safer in his CBS broadcast on Cam Ne, according to the New York Times. “The Vietcong were long gone. The action wounded three women, killed one baby, wounded one Marine and netted four old men as prisoners. Today’s operation is the frustration of Vietnam in miniature. To a Vietnamese peasant whose home means a lifetime of backbreaking labor, it will take more than presidential promises to convince him that we are on his side.”

Between 1964 and 1966, Safer spent three tours in Vietnam as the head of CBS’ Saigon bureau. His helicopter was shot down during a battle in 1965, after which he continued to report under fire.

In 1967 Safer toured China during Mao Zedong’s cultural revolution, and used the fact that he was born in Canada to pose as a tourist — reporters from the United States were banned. He covered the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and civil war in Nigeria, where he was expelled for reporting on the theft of supplies intended for refugees. For the last four decades of his career, Safer produced features on topics ranging from bureaucratic corruption, crime, and profiled artists, writers and politicians alike.

Watch the special “60 Minutes” report on Morley Safer, a storied journalist who consistently found the humanity of a story, even in the most inhumane of situations.

Photo by Charles Bogel via Wikimedia Commons

Shortly after Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher allegedly murdered a wounded ISIS prisoner, about half a dozen of his SEAL teammates watched as one SEAL flew a drone around their compound and hovered it just inches over the dead man's body.

It was yet another ethical lapse for the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon, many of whom had just taken a group photograph with the deceased victim after their commander had held an impromptu reenlistment ceremony for Gallagher near the body. Although some expressed remorse in courtroom testimony over their participation in the photo, video footage from later that morning showed a number of SEALs acted with little regard for the remains of Gallagher's alleged victim.

The video — which was shown to the jury and courtroom spectators last week in the trial of Gallagher — was recently obtained by Task & Purpose.

Read More Show Less
(Twitter/Libyan Address Journal)

A U.S. Air Force veteran held captive for six weeks by the Libyan military amid allegations that he was a hired mercenary was freed by the U.S. government on Tuesday, the Washington Post first reported.

Read More Show Less

On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.

Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.

In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.

Read More Show Less

Developed by Offworld Studios alongside living, breathing military veterans, 'Squad' may be the most realistic shooter on the market — or at least, with 40 vs 40 squad-level fighting, the most fun.

The game, according to its website, was designed to "establish a culture of camaraderie that is unparalleled in competitive multiplayer shooters." More importantly, it comes complete with realistic renderings of Stryker armored vehicles, which is my personal jam.

Learn more about 'Squad' here

(Reuters photo)

DUBAI (Reuters) - President Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to obliterate parts of Iran if the Islamic Republic attacked "anything American," as Iran said the latest U.S. sanctions had closed off any chance of diplomacy.

"Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force," Trump tweeted just days the United States came within minutes of bombing Iranian targets.

"In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration," the U.S. president tweeted.

Read More Show Less