Friday, September 05, 2003

The Halifax Herald Sunday, March 30, 2003
TV critic finds American war coverage 'morally repugnant'

In a war where spectacle is taking precedence over information, Judy Rebick, a teacher of media democracy at Ryerson University, says she can barely watch the U.S. TV coverage.

"The thing that I find most troubling is this kind of excitement about the bombing, you know, almost sexual excitement," she says. "I find it deeply disturbing, really morally repugnant, this thrill over the technology with no comprehension that people are dying."

Rebick says the public can understand more about this war, however, than the '91 Gulf War thanks to Al-Jazeera - the Arab TV network - and a more advanced Internet.

"So we have everything from blogs from Baghdad to alternative media there putting out reports every day."


Still there's evidence of a media variation of the Stockholm syndrome with these reporters understandably absorbing the gung ho nature of the soldiers they are covering.

Rodgers, who has boasted of the "wall of steel" he is accompanying, is the former Associated Press reporter who gained fame with his on-the-spot radio coverage of the 1981 assassination attempt on then president Ronald Reagan. He's been travelling with the U.S. 7th Cavalry, a name that ironically, thanks to Custer, is forever associated in U.S. history with battlefield disaster.

If a hero must be identified, perhaps it should be veteran war correspondent Terry Lloyd of Britain's ITN, who along with his crew died, apparently at the hands of friendly fire, although even that event remains shrouded in war fog.


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