Chris, I agree fully with your last statement, that it’s a function of grabbing ratings as opposed to worthwhile reporting. Your friends are technically correct in that they are showing life and death situations. The problem though is what’s already been addressed; they don’t show the consequences of the action. They had an almost 30 minute segment on the other day from a firefight outside Baghdad; guys running and shooting, a wounded guy popping off rounds from a stretcher, ammo supply vehicles blowing up. But again, they fail to show you what would separate it from watching a movie. There was a video from a checkpoint where they opened up on a car that failed to stop, and the first thing through my mind was that it was straight out the movie Heat. Then you add the commentary, as you mentioned, where they claim the absurd or mumble about the inane, such as that the guy in the stretcher actually hit anything with his two rounds. They not only edit the video it so that it’s visibly disassociated from the real violence of the activity, they supplement it with voice over crap that asserts things that you do ONLY find in movie.
What’s absolutely fucking absurd is that it looks like Saving Private Ryan might be more effective in persuading people that war is not something to be desired than real footage from current events. But is the solution to show what happens to people when they are shot or blown apart, or to turn off the camera completely and send dispatches at the end of activity?
As for the bit about our dead, you’re absolutely on point. We’re a microwave society and need our fix in 30 seconds or less, even if means it’s going to be a rubbery fucking mess.
One last gem; if you’re lucky, you can catch the weather reports for the Gulf on MSNBC. That way you at home can more acurately determine how far your 4th Armored Cav piece can move on that turn, er, day…
The other reality of the day is that I need to go full time at something. I have way too much time for this blog thing eh?