Pundits have come out swinging against Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan, a proposed reality show that G4 network is billing as a "real-life Hurt Locker." War as reality TV is seen as a sure sign of the further debasement of American culture. Rachel Maddow, for one, decried it as "packaging the war as entertainment." But such packaging, if done right, might be exactly what America needs to re-engage with this war, writes Sam Adams for Salon.
It's all too easy for Americans to tune it out, and "that goes double, at least, for G4's core audience of 18- to 34-year-old males," Adams writes. The idea of a Jersey Shore-style war show is indeed repugnant—but that's not what this would be. (Besides, hasn't modern journalism already turned battle coverage into a reality show of sorts?) "Without some fresh angle to renew the American public's interest in Afghanistan, it's just another war that has tragically outlived the nation's attention span. That's the reality, on TV and anywhere else."