When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

August 18, 2005

Sounding Brass and Tinkling Cymbals


Phase II of the three-way war has begun in earnest. As Wretchard observes, the media are currently engaged in a discussion about how to dramatically portray the Iraq War with a sense of realism without signalling their hidden agenda. But, of course, they call that deliberation something else:

"It seems to me that if we make an overt political statement in 'Over There' about the war ... then immediately the debate becomes not only about policy, but it becomes about our politics, Chris' and mine, as opposed to a discussion or a provocation about the human consequences of war," Bochco said. "The moment we become overtly political, half the audience dismisses us and doesn't pay attention to us because they disagree with our politics. And the other half discuss us ... in the context of our political leanings. And that's just not what my goal is with this show."

So, they make a covert political statement instead, and couch it as artistic professionalism. This is a game that the "news" branch of media have been playing since the first APC rolled across the Kuwait border, couching the news as objective and balanced while determining the conclusion as surely as any Pravda article. And the heavy hand of propaganda has now made its way into the overtly "fictional" branch of media, who have apparently decided that the reportrayal of Iraq as a dessicated Vietnam will just have to do.

But, of course, the problem is that now, when they strike this bell, what emerges is much less like a ringing peal than a shallow tinkle, and the reverberations barely violate the boundaries of their echo chamber. For the first time the strategically opaque dramaturge of the entertainment industry is met by the naively transparent counterbalance of authoritative witnesses from the field, posting their contemporaneous experiences of the war in real time. The discourse is losing its constraints, and the memes no longer live forever.

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia and The Jawa Report)

Launched by Demosophist at August 18, 2005 05:31 PM | Missile Tracks

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