Sleepwalking into War as Entertainment

The war in Iraq was never a video game for the people on the ground, despite American TV’s inane efforts to make it so. Now we’re seeing the evidence — or at least we would be if the U.S. media were being more up-front with the audience. (See this LA Times story.)

I’m not in favor of gory close-ups of dead Americans, the pictures that have so infuriated Bush and Rumsfeld and many in the media. But the U.S. media are never shy about showing the dead from other places. Our sensitivity is, to put it mildly, selective. And hypocritical.

Showing war as a video game is even more hypocritical, however. The real thing is a bloody, ugly affair.

Also please read Frank Rich’s great Sunday New York Times column, “They Both Reached for the Gun.” Excerpt: To see why “Chicago” became the movie of the year in a year when America sleepwalked into war, you do not have to believe it is the best picture of 2002 (mine would be Almod

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