War As Entertainment/Reality TV

We watch war movies as entertainment in peacetime. But “with the new engagement in Iraq, however, the Pentagon and television news coverage are blurring the lines between movies and real life as never before, turning viewers into 24-hour couch voyeurs. The start of the war caused business at movie theaters to drop by 25 percent on Wednesday as people stayed home to watch the war, and snack-food sales and restaurant deliveries thrived. The opening salvos of the war had taken the place of prime-time entertainment, and television stations did their best to serve up gaudily produced coverage: the war in Iraq as the ultimate in reality television.”