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?