Confront or hide?

Watching reality TV has long since replaced facing reality.

In a fleeting reprieve, a Wednesday news story showed one country confronting reality. After reading the article, I thought, “What a novel concept.” The next piece I read showed another country yet again ignoring the real world under the reality TV mirage. Then I thought, “One step forward, two steps back.”

A speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will air Christmas Day on TV in England. Amid egg nog and mistletoe, Ahmadinejad will harangue the United States’ role in the Middle East.

“If Christ were on earth today, undoubtedly he would hoist the banner of justice and love for humanity to oppose warmongers, occupiers, terrorists and bullies the world over,” Ahmadinejad will say in a not-so-thinly-veiled criticism of the U.S., according to a released transcript of the speech.

Critics of the speech say its airing is “aiding and abetting a tyrant.”

Dorthy Byrne of Channel 4, who will air the speech, believes showing it is necessary given the prominent position of the country and its leader to current events in the world.

“As the leader of one of the most powerful states in the Middle East, President Ahmadinejad‘s views are enormously influential. As we approach a critical time in international relations, we are offering our viewers an insight into an alternative world view,” Byrne said.

This public service decision has infinite more relevance than showing  “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the umpteenth time. 

ABC, however, perpetuates the demise of American culture with its decision to air “Homeland Security USA,” a reality TV show on the work of Homeland Security agents.

Debuting Jan. 6, the show, according to series executive producer Arnold Shapiro, will show “average men and women on the front lines protecting our country from various things illegal and dangerous.”

This show won’t be reality, rather fear mongering. The show will air elements such as a drug bust on the U.S.-Mexico border, not a mail inspector twittling his thumbs with no real work to do.

Homeland Security is bureaucratic excess, and “Homeland Security USA” is propaganda.



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