Friday, May 27, 2005

Iraq's New "Reality TV"

My TiVo and I are spending a quiet Friday night catching up on juicy stuff like Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria. (If you don't know who Fareed Zakaria is, you haven't been watching enough of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.) Episode 6, which aired on PBS two weeks ago, included a brief mention of something fascinating that I haven't heard about anywhere else in the American media. (Well, actually USC's Daily Trojan covered it way back on Hitler's Birthday.)

It seems that democracy and purple fingers aren't the only American exports to Iraq lately. The Iraqis have their own reality TV series on al-Iraqiya now, called Terror in the Grip of Justice. On the show, acccused members of the insurgency are given the opportunity to confess their crimes. The aim is to show the insurgents in an incredibly unflattering light: not as glorious freedom fighters, but as cowards, mercenaries, or even blasphemers. On the other hand, how confident can we be that the pre-show prep for the confessors is limited to make-up and diction?

I would hope that the American legacy of justice in Iraq doesn't amount to Judge Judy and the Abu Ghraib peanut gallery.

(But on to other things: Degrassi is on the N!)