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Friday, March 28, 2003

Rabbit Ears-I just canceled my cable TV; we weren't getting $45/month worth of utility out of it. We just haven't watched much cable stuff. As a single person, I'd watch a bit of cable, including the science channels, the History Channel, the C-SPANs, the news channels and a lot of ESPN and Fox Sports Detroit. As a married man, I don't have as much free time in the evenings and being married to a non-sports fan, I don't get anywhere near as much sports in on the weekends. I might miss some of the college football games this fall, but news now comes better on-line. Lileks has this keeper on the war coverage
TV is useful for pictures - I get the feeling sometimes this should be called Operation Stock Footage - and it’s useful for seeing retired military people draw lines on maps. I am heartened by the maps that show where our troops are located - if the pictures are indeed drawn to scale, we have three soldiers on the ground, and each is about 135 miles tall; they have at their disposal four tanks, each of which is the size of Rhode Island. According to the tube tonight, things are heating up; lots of jerky pixelated interviews with the lads in the field. A reporter on the Constellation is making an impassioned speech about the tempo of operations, the point of which was undercut by a potbellied man in a yellow shirt walking leisurely across the hangar behind him. Much bad juju is predicted for today; equally harsh juju supposedly happened last night. The details never seem to filter into the TV reports - for all the embeddedness of the reportorial faction, I’ve yet to see a big smashing battle. The more you watch the more you realize how little you’re seeing.
We've been hearing about the bad juju, but if you follow the coverage, the juju seems to be pointing our way with sneak attacks from the Fedayeen Saddam. The embedded reporters don't tell you anything useful and the ex-generals have a firm mastery of the obvious. Somehow, I feel like we're covering the war with football-like coverage, including ex-coaches as studio analyst and embedded sideline reporters.

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