View Full Version : ABC's "Reality" Show

04-11-2003, 11:50 AM
I can't decide whether to be offended or appalled...ABC, owned by Disney and the home of the nauseating show Are You Hot? The Search for America's Sexiest People, is now airing a "reality" show that follows the lives of soldiers in Afghanistan and the northern Arabian Sea. Profiles from the Front Line oozes with potentially misguided patriotism and is filled with CNN-worthy sound bites. Most alarmingly, the show exists in a gray area between documentary and entertainment.

For example, in the premiere episode's opening credits, a commander readying the troops lectures on Iraq's leader: "Saddam Hussein is a criminal and a thug." Not many people would argue with this commander's assessment of the Iraqi dictator, but this statement is given right after an image showing troops in Afghanistan, implying that there is an inherent connection between the terrorist attacks of September 11 and Saddam Hussein.

Many of the soldiers seem to echo Bush's cowboy-style rhetoric towards the "war on terrorism." The same commander who described Saddam Hussein as "a thug" said, while speaking to a group of soldiers being deployed to the Arabian Sea, "How dare they fly the aircraft into the World Trade Towers? How dare they fly the aircraft into the Pentagon?" However, just exactly who "they" are remains unclear. As in Bush's recent press conference and State of the Union address, a link between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda is implied but, of course, never proven or substantiated with any evidence.

For those who wish, here's a Link (http://electroniciraq.net/news/608.shtml) to the whole story.


04-11-2003, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by Sarangel
I can't decide whether to be offended or appalled...
By the show or the clearly biased Anti-Bush article that you posted?

04-11-2003, 01:38 PM
The Show... I don't debate politics.


04-11-2003, 01:52 PM
Tough call until I see the show. If it presents both sides the good and the bad side of war then I see nothing wrong with it. If it's intent is to Glorify war or just show the horrors then I'll have a problem with it.

The article is clearly just trying to take shots at Bush and the war and really does not present a picture of what the show will be and it may not be the best article to gleam your feelings from.

04-11-2003, 02:07 PM
I think the show is appalling, because I don't think its approrpiate to use our troops in that way. The bias of the article is irrelevent to me.

04-11-2003, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by YoHo
I think the show is appalling, because I don't think its approrpiate to use our troops in that way. The bias of the article is irrelevent to me.

So I guess you would say the same thing if you saw the show described as

A show that follows the lives of soldiers in Afghanistan and the northern Arabian Sea. "Profiles from the Front Line"

I mean god forbid we would want to know what our soliders go through on a daily basis protecting this country.

04-11-2003, 02:44 PM
Yes, it would bug me then too. It isn't about knowing what they are going through, that's what CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews and the network News is for. Using it to fill a prime time slot is silly and says something about what ABC thinks of our fighting men and women.

Another Voice
04-11-2003, 02:56 PM
Check the weather; I'm going to be defending Jerry Bruckheimer…

Several episodes of this series have already aired. Before the Iraq War it was airing on Thursday opposite 'Friends' and 'Survivor' so it meant that no one watched it.

The series itself was actually very good. It was not entertainment; it was shot as a documentary. There is no narration: just simple news footage of the events and the monologues of the service people being profiled. There is no glamorizing, no phony entertainment, no "reality TV" style. This program had the look and feel of a good news program.

The troops profiled covered the range of all the forces currently involved in Afghanistan. There was a special forces team out in the country-side tracking down weapons and Taliban, a nurse on a medical transport talking having to watch an American soldier die, there was a teenager who was running a refueling station for helicopters and trucks, a doctor who was running an aide station for the Afghanis but hadn't even seen his own newborn child yet, and the women who was running one of the mess halls who was able to explain to us and her troops why what they did was important.

Far from being abhorrent – it was a very good explanation about why we are there and what we have accomplished. Sure, if you believe America is the source of all evil, if Bush is a bigger murder than Saddam and that Michael Moore is unbiased – this series is going to tweak you wrong. This series shows you that reality can not be found on cleaverly worded protest signs.

On interesting note – this series is produced by Bruckheimer ('Pirates of the Caribbean'). Rumors are he first approached Disney to finance the show, but Eisner said no (it's said that Eisner's anti-military stance runs just this side of rabid). So Bruckheimer took the show across the street to Warner Brothers. They said yes and then turned around and sold the show (at a very nice profit) to ABC.

And yes, given the people involved, I was shocked it turned out well too.

04-11-2003, 03:00 PM
I humbly Stand corrected. Question, I thought Uncle Mikey had final say on ABC scheduling. If he's so against the military, why did he let it on the schedule?

04-11-2003, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by YoHo
I humbly Stand corrected. Question, I thought Uncle Mikey had final say on ABC scheduling. If he's so against the military, why did he let it on the schedule?

easy...ABC = 4th place network right now.

Another Voice
04-11-2003, 03:20 PM
"why did he let it on the schedule?"

Becasue it was cheap, because it was oppoiste the highest rated shows on TV (and no one was watching ABC anyway) and to keep Jerry "I'm the only guy who will still work with Eisner" Bruckheimer happy.

Never let it be said the Eisner puts his own personal beleives ahead of making money.

04-11-2003, 03:22 PM
But, it would have been cheaper if he had made it himself.

04-12-2003, 12:14 AM
I saw an episode of this on AFN when I was in Okinawa, and it was actually pretty good (considering it was on the only channel that was in English).


04-14-2003, 10:34 AM
Not having seen the show, I'm forced to suspend judgement. From the article, it seemed like a way to exploit the men & women fighting for our country.


Another Voice
04-14-2003, 11:33 AM
Considering the latest editorial on the site where the article was posted is titled "Democracy: The Latest Fig Leaf of Imperialism", I think one has to consider the source of the original criticism.

04-14-2003, 05:18 PM
I've seen 2 or 3 episodes of this show.

I think it is respectful, non-exploitative & treats our armed forces with honor & diginity.

I don't think it is exploitative. One episode I saw dealt with the death of an American soldier in Afghanistan. It was pretty low-key & not sensationalistic at all.

I was in the military in the "anonymous" days of the 80' & 90's, where many people I met did not even know what an aircraft carrier WAS, let alone have any idea of the dangers our armed forces face every day, either in war OR peace.

Anything that informs our countrymen of what we do, as long as it is relatively straighforward and reasonably unbiased (I toss that in because I realize that having NO editorial content or comment is, well, impossible), regardless of the way it is presented, is ok by me.

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