Thursday, August 02, 2012

War-o-tainment atrocity


This week, not only is the Yes on 34 campaign reducing my attention to this blog, but then there are the Olympics. Like most everyone else who is a fan of athletic prowess and not a saccharine nationalist, I find NBC's coverage pretty disgusting.

But an ad last night for a fall TV show headlined by retired general Wesley Clark hits a new low. The premise of Stars Earn Stripes is that celebrities play at war, earning money for "military-based" charities.

Roots Action has mounted a protest:

On "Stars Earn Stripes," celebrities will pair-up with members of the U.S. military to compete at war-like tasks, including "long-range weapons fire." Only there won't be any of the killing or dying.

Our wars kill huge numbers of people, primarily civilians, and often children and the elderly. NBC is not showing this reality on its war-o-tainment show any more than on its news programs. Other nations' media show the face of war, giving people a very different view of war-making...

While 57% of federal discretionary spending goes to the military, weapons makers can't seem to get enough of our tax dollars. In the spirit of transferring veterans' care to the realm of private charity, "Stars Earn Stripes" will give prize money each week to "military-based charities" in order to "send a message." We have our own message that we will be delivering to NBC: Dont lie to us.

One of NBC’s corporate parents, General Electric, takes war very seriously, but not as human tragedy -- rather, as financial profit. (GE is a big weapons manufacturer.) A retired general hosting a war-o-tainment show is another step in the normalization of permanent war.

The least we can do is sign this petition.

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