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Rusk S, Interview with Dean Rusk, circa 1985

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:00 - Preparing for and staging press conferences as Secretary of State

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Partial Transcript: -- Department of State and perhaps some that weren't, how frequently did you have those things?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes preparing for his press conferences as Secretary of State, including a story wherein a member of the press asked him a "genuinely new" question.

Keywords: American press; Congressional hearings; John F. Kennedy; John Foster Dulles; Secretary of State; U.S. government press conferences; U.S. press; White House staff; church and state; religion and government; the press

00:04:56 - Comparing British, French, and American press

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Partial Transcript: In spite of some of your criticisms and complaints of the American press and media, you really think that our country is well served or better served by our press than any country in the world?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes the nuances in behavior and style differentiating the American, French, and British press concerning issues of public officials and government.

Keywords: American media; Bill DeCourcy; British media; Charles de Gaulle; French media; Gus P. Peleuses; Hiroshima; Japanese press; Pearl Harbor; Tokyo Bay; World War I; atomic bomb; political journalism; war; war and regret

00:09:12 - Classified information / Availability of information

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Partial Transcript: There is a mass of information available in the United States that you don't always get abroad.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk compares the news source availability between foreign countries and the United States. He talks about the politics of classifying information and mentions his famous comment, "We were eyeball to eyeball, and the other fellow blinked." He further discusses the use of trial balloons to test policy on the press, and the danger in using the press to create or broadcast policy that doesn't yet exist.

Keywords: Cuban Missile Crisis; Third World; censorship; classified information; declassification; eyeball to eyeball; government intelligence; government leaks; leaks; media censorship; trial balloon

00:15:38 - Favorite media outlets

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Partial Transcript: We discussed earlier possible ways the media might be able to improve their performance.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk offers his suggestions for media outlets, and names a few of his favorites from his time as Secretary of State.

Keywords: American media; American press; Christian Science Monitor; John F. Kennedy; London Times; Louisville Courier Journal; New York Herald Tribune; New York Times; St. Louis Post Dispatch; Wall Street Journal; Washington Post

00:18:47 - The Tet Offensive

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Partial Transcript: Peter Braestrup wrote a book called The Big Story.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses the relationship American media played in the Vietnam War and the role media played in the later analysis of the Tet Offensive.

Keywords: Adolf Hitler; American media; Battle of the Bulge; Harry G. Summers; Leslie H. Gelb; On Strategy in Vietnam; Peter Braestrup; Tet holiday; The Big Story; The Irony of Vietnam; The Vietnam War; U.S. media and the Vietnam War; Viet Cong; Vietnam War analysis; Vietnam War casualties; Vietnam War journalism; Vietnam War media coverage; Vietnam War military intelligence; Vietnam War propaganda; World War II; culture and war; government intelligence; war-time journalism