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View Full Version : Are you enjoying the war? Can I get you some popcorn?



stillakid
03-22-2003, 03:15 AM
Though I haven't been home much in the past week, I've been, well, I guess "amazed" is as good a word as any to describe the media coverage of the invasion of Iraq. Most of us surely remember the first Iraqi war when we were "treated" to missile POV cameras as they fell into their targets. Just as military know-how has advanced greatly since then, so too has the manner in which such an event is presented to the public.

From the media presentation center in Kuwait to reporters "imbedded" in the field, the "war" eerily is starting to feel more like a nightly episodic reality show than something that is very very real.

I think it was the Sydney Olympic Games which were aired live here in the States, but only in the middle of the night. "Reruns" were run during normal daylight and primetime hours. As I come home each evening, I'm finding something similar to be true with this recent conflict. I'm able to flip on the telly and watch a nicely "packaged" montage of the day's events, complete with flashy titles and a symphonic score.

Now, before somebody gets all lathered up thinking this is a "political" discussion, it is not. We're talking about television here. I guess my question is, does anyone else feel like this is more like The Truman Show than real "news?" Do we need wall to wall coverage? Is there real value to having "live" cameras in Baghdad so we, here at home, can watch each bomb drop? Or is it just another form of entertainment?

What if the Revolutionary War had been broadcast live into the 13 states? Or the Civil War? What if we had cameras beaming live images from the beaches of Normandy? Can you imagine what that would have been like?

In fact, one of my favorite parts of history were the newsreels of WWII. They have that "This Week in Baseball" or NFL Films feel to them. They were "news" for sure, but there was definitely a real element of "homeland propaganda" to them as the efforts of the Allied Nations were romanticized. It's a fascinating part of our past.

There are a lot more questions that keep popping into my head about this topic, so I guess I'm just interested to know...what do you think?

Hasbro'sBountyHunter
03-22-2003, 08:33 AM
It's good that the media keeps us informed. But it's annoying when they keep us too informed and interfere with some quality broadcast. They ruined my leisurly watching of Saturday morning cartoons. :cry:

Exhaust Port
03-22-2003, 08:48 AM
I too have been amazed by the coverage. Now I don't know the benefit of having reporters riding in with the 3rd I.D. (Infantry Division for those that haven't been watching the 24 hour a day coverage. ;) ). They can't tell us anything due to security and have to be annoying as heck to ride with.

The images from downtown Baghdad have been amazing. I think the images show exactly what the military has been saying they've been aiming to do, hit only the targets of interests. The surgical strikes have been impressive to say the least. For me at least its comforting to see that the civilians aren't being subjected to aimless bombing.

Changes in the media coverage and the military's ability since Gulf 1 are significant. Both are for the better.

scruffziller
03-22-2003, 09:04 AM
I like the delayed screen progression.......














this thread will be closed soon........;)

sith_killer_99
03-22-2003, 09:09 AM
During the Revolutionary War there were actually people who would set up picnics on the hills above Battle Fields. They watched a few battles, until some of the "bystanders" got shot or killed.

So this is not exactly a new thing.:Pirate:

DarthBrandon
03-22-2003, 10:54 AM
I find nothing enjoyable about watching war on T.V., nor the fact that my four year old son thought it was some kind of cool movie on T.V. "Geeze Daddy, what movie is that your watching?, that's pretty cool, kinda like Star Wars Daddy. "No son, this is the real deal, something that is happening right now so you can enjoy the freedom and lifestyle you have right now." "It's time for bed son"
"Daddy are there people going on vacation to heaven like grampy?" "Maybe Brandon, I don't know, now get to bed"

This I hope will be over soon with hardly any deaths ( only Saddam I hope) on either side. Everyone should say a prayer for all involved.:cry:

Fulit
03-22-2003, 11:36 AM
My, God they're playing it on every T.V. at Wal-Mart when you go. You can't escape it. Everytime a marine drops his helmet in Qatar, I know about it 30 seconds later.

"Shop Wal-Mart for low prices while watching your government take down a corrupt Middle-Eastern regime!"

The future is weird.

sith_killer_99
03-22-2003, 11:58 AM
hehehehehehehe.............

I noticed that too. What's up with playing the war in Wal-Mart?

Bizarre:crazed:

Wal-Mart, always low prices, always war coverage...ALWAYS!

Exhaust Port
03-22-2003, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by sith_killer_99
During the Revolutionary War there were actually people who would set up picnics on the hills above Battle Fields. They watched a few battles, until some of the "bystanders" got shot or killed.

So this is not exactly a new thing.:Pirate:

I think your confusing your wars, your picnic reference was for the Civil War not the Revolutionary War.

Kidhuman
03-22-2003, 12:25 PM
I think its great. Sure beats the court shows and talk shows during the day. When it is night here it is day there so we can resume regular Tv programing. My wife yelled at me this morning because I woke up and put it right on. Kinda reminds me of 12 years ago. I am glad they brought this show back. DOn't know why it was canceled in the first place.:crazed:

dr_evazan22
03-22-2003, 05:00 PM
Originally posted by Fulit
My, God they're playing it on every T.V. at Wal-Mart when you go. You can't escape it. Everytime a marine drops his helmet in Qatar, I know about it 30 seconds later.

"Shop Wal-Mart for low prices while watching your government take down a corrupt Middle-Eastern regime!"

The future is weird.

That was very surreal watching TV of a whole wall of TV's showing the bombing of Baghdad.

I was eerily reminded of the old Atari game Missile Command:rolleyes: .

DarthChuckMc
03-22-2003, 05:16 PM
They should leave the coverage to the CNNs, MSNBCs and such. I would like to think that most folks have basic cable nowadays. If not, there is always NPRadio.

sith_killer_99
03-22-2003, 08:51 PM
I think your confusing your wars, your picnic reference was for the Civil War not the Revolutionary War.

You are correct, I don't know why I always do that, mix up the Civil War and the Revolutionary War.

Exhaust Port
03-22-2003, 09:15 PM
It really doesn't matter, the Americans won in both. :D

Amy
03-23-2003, 02:14 AM
Fulit-lol, yeah its the same with the wally words around here.

Eternal Padawan
03-23-2003, 08:08 AM
Shock and Awe: the Reality Series.

I think it was nice of America to leave the power plants intact this time around. Seeing stuff blow up with the lights on is waaay more entertaining than having to watch that blurry night scope vision from twelve years ago.

God bless you America. Always thinking ahead.:)

derek
03-23-2003, 08:09 AM
Do we need wall to wall coverage? Is there real value to having "live" cameras in Baghdad so we, here at home, can watch each bomb drop?

i understand your frustration, but this is really big news, and if the networks didn't have "wall to wall" coverage there would be as many people complaining about the lack of coverage or say the government is trying to hide something.

i too think this coverage should be limited to nightly news casts and the 24 hour cable news stations.

it looks like network TV is slowly returning to regular programing after just a few days. i saw a lot of hocky, basketball and sitcom re-runs on stations that were running 24 hour coverage the first few days.

scruffziller
03-23-2003, 10:07 AM
Man I don't know what is worse, the cheesy song set I have to hear all night long or them broadcasting CNN radio over the intercom.:crazed:

Deoxyribonucleic
03-23-2003, 11:12 AM
Remind me NEVER to use these words again!

"Shock" and "Awe"

OMG The media sure is good at driving things home to such a point that they actually ruin a word or an image that once was just a plain ol' word or image.

Stoopid media!

:eek: :crazed:

kadamontaga
03-23-2003, 02:10 PM
We're getting a great deal of coverage here in the UK too.
We have 5 main channels here that are broadcast nationally via an analogue signal (therefore no need for a satellite/cable subscription) and there's a good chance that at any given time one of those channels will be broadcasting something about the war.

I actually have it turned on for most of the time I'm in the house. I'm interested in the progess and I must confess that I do get a certain entertainment value from seeing the newsreaders in Iraq and seeing the bombs drop. That may sound sick, but I must be in the majority - otherwise the war wouldn't get as much airtime as it does.

You know what really got on my nerves though? During the sniper shootings in Washington a few months back our news service was reporting with a map of Washington in the background and guess what they were using to mark the shootings? A bloody cross-hair. Like it was a video-game! Whoever made that decison should have been fired, if not worse.

As soon as they caught the shooters I lost interest/stopped hearing about those events, so I don't know what the shooter's motivation was. But as that story was being broadcast, the news agencies, the public and as far as I know, the poilce had no idea about the motivation. Why then would they possibly encourage more shootings by using video-game graphics? What if the shooters were watching the news reports and enjoying the coverage. Talk about stupidity.

stillakid
03-23-2003, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by derek
i understand your frustration, but this is really big news, and if the networks didn't have "wall to wall" coverage there would be as many people complaining about the lack of coverage or say the government is trying to hide something.


I don't know that I'd describe myself as "frustrated" by the manner in which this particular conflict is being covered. As a "media" person myself, it's more of an curiosity at the ways technology is used to both disperse information "objectively" and at the same time, to perhaps influence public opinion and/or placate a widespread desire to know what's happening immediately.

I couldn't help but think of the movie Rollerball (James Caan version) and the premise behind that story. If I remember it correctly, war had become so destructive (go figure) that the world community had chosen to "solve" all of it's conflicts using the outcome of a sport to decide the victor. The problem arose that it became popular as entertainment and "stars" were developing as public heroes.

But the whole concept of "reality tv" is really interesting anyway. Essentially what's going on is that a whole lot of people sprawl out on their couches, munching on Cheetos, while watching electronic images of other people actually doing something flash in front of them night after night. The scenario isn't really that far off from regular fictional programming except that "reality tv" isn't scripted in the same way. But the end result is the same. "We" are fed images of other people doing extra-ordinary things that we would never do for one reason or another. Sometimes it's entertainment. Sometimes it's informational. But "event" after "event," that line seems to be getting a bit blurrier.

Darth Trymybestus
03-23-2003, 03:25 PM
I think it's definitely a good thing because if this man (Hussein) does any bad things, the media will see it and he will suffer the consequences.

JediTricks
03-23-2003, 05:54 PM
Yesterday here there was a large protest on Hollywood blvd, so we took Sunset which is where the CNN building is. In front of it, earlier in the day, apparently the protesters were there too (and left a lot of garbage in the street). Even though they moved over to Hollywood blvd by the time I was in the neighborhood, I saw some of the protesters holding signs that said stuff like "CNN: WAR IS NOT A VIDEO GAME" and "CNN: WAR IS NOT FOR RATINGS". I'm not sure how the 2nd one applies since during the war CNN doesn't air commercials and thus doesn't receive any income for their coverage, but the first one did ring true. I hate those graphics these news organizations use of a simplified map of Iraq with little bomb-blasts showing the location of stuff that we're blowing up right now. What next, health status bars, body-counts, and a SCORE field?

When I watch the coverage, it's not to be entertained, it's to be informed. Trying to read the crawl and other OSGs while paying attention to graphics is nearly impossible, thus I don't get informed by either sources AND I'm not even entertained. I'm up till about 3am every day, the other night I flipped on CNN and there was a live scene of Marines in Iraq blowing up enemy tanks and getting fired upon by an Iraqi with a grenade launcher. While the footage was crappy thanks to pitiful MPEG satellite technology (is it a thumb, a rear-view mirror, enemy soldiers, WHAT AM I SEEING?!?), it did seem present the situation without turning it into entertainment - it was scary and dangerous and the Marines got themeselves out of immediate danger so they could stay safe and better assess the situation. The reporter and his crew on the other hand were too close to the Iraqi tanks that were being destroyed and were waiting too long to get away, they did get out in time but there were explosions all around and they started to leave the camera guy behind as they took off and they were freaking out a little. The crew were even swearing a bit, their reporter reminded them that they were still live, but the anchors back in the states told them not to worry about it. That felt honest to me, honestly frightening, brave, panicked and all while painting a picture of that specific scene. It didn't seem hokey or particularly propagandized, it didn't make the actions of these Marines look overly-heroic or insultingly weak - it did however present the truth that few news organizations or governments ever promote: retreat is sometimes a necessary part of battle even when you're winning, retreating to safety isn't always about cowardice.



Originally posted by Exhaust Port
It really doesn't matter, the Americans won in both. :D Tell that to the Confederate Americans in that 2nd one... though I hear some southerners still think they won that war.

Fulit
03-23-2003, 07:25 PM
Originally posted by JediTricks



Tell that to the Confederate Americans in that 2nd one... though I hear some southerners still think they won that war.

??We did didn't we??:confused:

:p :p :p

JediTricks
03-23-2003, 07:43 PM
Originally posted by Fulit
??We did didn't we??:confused:

:p :p :p Yup, that's why Jefferson Davis is on our $4-bill and the 33-cent piece. :D

Tonysmo
03-24-2003, 01:20 AM
I think the coverage is almost overkill.... I certainly agree with the presenting everything so we understand whats going on, but uh, hang on.. sorry to interrupt, were going to live to Baghdad... whats that? you saw a flash of light? thats great, stay safe.. now where was I? Hang on, lemme pull up, if I could just pull up my map and show you guys what were currently doing..

seriously though, coverage and COMPLETE coverage seem to be two different things...

I did like the lady from the Pentagon the other day. She did something I thought was very comendable.. A reporter asked a question, and worded it as such that it seemed like a game to him. She stopped the reporter and scolded him a good one. It was pretty much to say, you guys need to figure out how to present your questions, this isnt a game, its a war, and its not fun. I was outta my chair with that one. She left him have it, and deservadly so...

now, If I could just pull up my map, and show you guys..


Who do you think is giving the best coverage? CNN? FOX? MSNBC?

Kidhuman
03-24-2003, 06:05 AM
Originally posted by Tonysmo



Who do you think is giving the best coverage? CNN? FOX? MSNBC?

Foxnews

Lord Malakite
03-24-2003, 08:04 AM
Originally posted by Exhaust Port
I think your confusing your wars, your picnic reference was for the Civil War not the Revolutionary War.

Yeah, that was the Civil War, though I'm certain it probably happened to some extent before then.

QLD
03-24-2003, 08:34 AM
I heard an anchor last night tell one of the "imbedded" reporters that his reports have been so vivid, that "I can taste the Iraqi sand in my mouth."

Maybe it just sounded weird, but I thought it sounded pretty dumb.

Exhaust Port
03-24-2003, 03:00 PM
Can their sand taste must different from anyone else's sand?

JediTricks
03-25-2003, 10:24 PM
Well, I spoke too soon. While we're not seeing much romanticising of this war yet, the 24-hour news organizations have started the most dangerous campaign so far - the advertising campaign. It's embarassing when the war is interrupted with 3 minutes of adverts and promos.

It does seem, as QLD points out, that the anchors in this war's coverage are mostly dullards who have nary the skills to deal with live coverage like this and either end up saying something totally stupid or just sitting there slack-jawed watching the footage.

Ultimately, I don't think it's particularly healthy to watch this stuff "live" like this, but it's impossible to know which moments will be interesting reporting and which ones will be boring fluff. The media SHOULD be presenting the news with an eye towards responsible editing to present the facts and feelings, not simply airing everything and patting themselves on the back when after 52 hours of filler they finally get something "juicy" that lasts for 5 minutes. And there IS other news going on in the world beyond Iraq, though it seems awfully difficult to tell from the newsmedia coverage lately.

stillakid
03-25-2003, 10:50 PM
I had a discussion with a co-worker today about the best way to keep up with current events. My problem is that I'll take my LA Times with me, but lately, I haven't had any time to really read it. By the time I get home, it's all old news after I flip on the tube to catch up.

So, the obvious solution to this quandry was to pick a medium: TV or newspaper. As stated, the problem with just going with print is that by the time I get to it, it's old news. The problem with choosing electronic media is that is shifts toward the sensational. Print goes more in-depth with what I feel is more fair coverage overall but at the expense of timeliness. Electronic is certainly up-to-date, but at the expense of accuracy.

There is no one good answer. But while discussing this, another "co-worker" tried to insert himself into our conversation and proceeded to preach that NONE of the media outlets was telling the whole truth. "Maybe so," I replied, however I quickly noted that the only way to really glean a completely objective viewpoint was to go experience it for himself, at which I invited him to hop on a plane. Not only did he not have a quippy response to that, I didn't hear a peep out of him for the rest of the day. :D

JediTricks
03-26-2003, 12:44 AM
Originally posted by stillakid
Electronic is certainly up-to-date, but at the expense of accuracy. And often focus and integrity, to boot.

stillakid
03-26-2003, 09:31 AM
Originally posted by JediTricks
And often focus and integrity, to boot.

That is one of my favorite moments of television news:

"Uh, what we're seeing here appears to be [fill in the blank]. We're seeing this images for the first time along with you, so once we get more information, we'll be sure to pass it along."


Nice. How 'bout this? Why not find out what the news is first before trying to report it? I already know the answer to that. By splashing the raw video onscreen, they can later claim that they had it "FIRST!" regardless of the fact that they had no idea what the hell it was.

plasticfetish
03-28-2003, 02:37 AM
Originally posted by Fulit
The future is weird.
"We are all interested in the future - for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives." - Criswell

Well ... we are watching history happen. Most of us outside of the Amish communities should be used to how the "media" does what it does by now. Take it all with a grain of salt ... someday you can sit back and try to figure out what was "real" and what was merely clever video editing and snappy sound bites.