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Prisoners on TV

  • John Peters
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


People say, why did they put us prisoners of war on TV?

You go well, when was the last time prisoners of war

were paraded on TV?

Well, it was in the Vietnam War.

And what affect did that have

upon the American political will to fight, it decimated it.

The country didn't believe it.

And therefore, they thought well if we,

it's very easy to look at the first couple and say,

oh it's the perfect war, 'cause everyone agreed.

No, there was huge discourse whether we should or shouldn't

actually go to war.

The moment it was such a terrible thing to say for war,

such a success at the campaign.

That everyone then makes all the assumptions

well everything up to then

was just kind of inevitable,

but it wasn't there was should we, shouldn't we.

And so they had looked at the previous war

and they thought well we could add division

within the political intent, the coalition.

And so that's why they put us on TV, with a script.

But what they hadn't anticipated is the television audience,

because it was the first live televised war

the first scuffle,

was just so much more sophisticated

than the television audience back in the Vietnam day.

And everyone went well obviously therefore

'cause we'd all heard of the Vietnam war and so on.

So the reaction was 180 degrees out from the expectation.

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