Is Operation Genoa Real? A Newsroom investigation
I’ve noticed that many people find this blog by searching for something like “Did Operation Genoa really happen?” and I would like to answer that: No.
Wow, that was the shortest blog post anyone has ever seen!
Somehow I can’t leave well enough alone… Operation Genoa is inspired by Operation Tailwind — so I’m going to look at Tailwind from the prospective of someone who obsessively watches (and writes long, long blogs on) the Newsroom.
First: How do I know that it is based on Tailwind? Well, he said so on the Daily Show… video is below (hopefully, comedy central doesn’t seem to like embedding):
Here is a link since embedding didn’t work.
Operation Tailwind was an extraction (like Genoa) conducted in September 1970 in Laos. In 1998 (yes, almost 30 years after the operation) CNN accused Vietnam War soldiers of using sarin in Operation Tailwind (again, like Genoa) in a piece called “Valley of Death”. CNN later retracted the story (like ACN did).
CNN producers were accused of disregarding evidence that didn’t fit their story and edited the pieces in a misleading way. Jerry’s edit (in Genoa) is much worse and more bombastic than anything CNN was charged with.
CNN (like ACN) was not completely united in showing this story, reports about disagreements on Tailwind are now all over the place.
CNN fired the shows two producers, April Oliver and Jack Smith (both should be thought of as Jerry from the Newsroom), and Oliver and Smith sued CNN (as Jerry did). Oliver claimed she was wrongfully terminated and Smith argued that they were right (right now it seems like Jerry is doing both those things). CNN settled out of court and I don’t know how much money Smith got (but am guessing it had a few commas in the check).
Oliver has made the argument that she and Smith were scapegoats for the process (somewhere in the dregs of a New York City lawfirm Jerry is saying “I know! Right?” — except in an awesome Sorkin way).
The people who were interviewed in the broadcast continue to say that they did not use sarin.
I’m guessing that Rebecca’s character is based on Floyd Abrams (a LEGENDARY first amendment lawyer)… Off topic: I would absolutely LOVE to watch the newsroom with Floyd and have him go on about what Rebecca is or is not doing (it would be much more interesting than the Dan Rather pieces).
Obviously, the tweet from Homni8 was not included in Tailwind (Twitter was founded in 2006 and absolutely wasn’t around in ‘nam).
Overall the two events are really similar (as intended) but try not to get them confused (because you look silly if you site Operation Genoa instead of Tailwind in a serious conversation).