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The media affect foreign policy in the United States largely by shaping public opinion. Media coverage of the Vietnam War, for example, played a major role in public disillusionment with the conflict. The media can also affect foreign policy, some might argue, by failing to sufficiently interrogate the claims of politicians. Many would cite the leadup to the recent war in Iraq as an example of this. Additionally, the media has repeatedly served as a means of portraying events in foreign countries to the American people in ways that help shape foreign policy. The "yellow journalism" of William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer's newspapers, for example, helped to stir up popular support for war with Spain. Similarly, images of humanitarian crises in foreign countries contribute to sentiment for not just government intervention or aid, but also private charity.
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