Buoyed by White House red-baiting spin against Martin Luther King, Jr., the mainstream press attacked him for this speech. According to David Garrow (Bearing the Cross):
Typical media, always attacking Republicans for their opposition to war and commitment to nonviolence.
A barrage of negative newspaper editorials began on April 6 with a biting statement by The Washington Post condemning King's speech as "not a sober and responsible comment on the war but a reflection on a his disappointment at the slow progress of civil rights and the war on poverty." Some of his statements had been "sheer inventions of unsupported fantasy" .... All in all, the Post declared, King ... "has diminished his usefulness to this cause, to his country, and to his people" ....
The New York Times decried any combining of civil rights and peace movements, and rebuked king for "recklessly comparing American military methods to those of the Nazis." .... Life magazine called it a "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi." King "goes beyond his personal right to dissent, Life said, "when he connects progress in civil rights here with a proposal that amounts to abject surrender in Vietnam," and by so doing "King comes close to betraying the cause for which he has worked so long."