NBC ‘Reality’ Show: War For Fun and Profit

I’ve seen the promos, and wondered out loud if this is an actual show or just a clever satire of corporate-sponsored “reality” TV. Turns out that NBC is truly going to air “Stars Earn Stripes,” an incredibly stupid faux-war celebrity contest co-hosted by retired U.S. general Wesley Clark. Bear in mind that NBC is owned by defense contractor GE, which profits from the normalization of permanent war.

Dean Cain, Dolvett Quince, Eve Torres, Laila Ali, Nick Lachey, Picabo Street, Terry Crews, and Todd Palin will compete in allegedly dangerous warlike activities — in which no one gets hurt. None of them have ever served in the real military.

RootsAction.org and Just Foreign Policy have set up a petition at StarsEarnStripes.org challenging NBC to tell the truth about war.

Dear NBC,
Your entertainment show “Stars Earn Stripes” treats war as sport. This does us all a disservice. We ask that you air an in-depth segment showing the reality of civilian victims of recent U.S. wars, on any program, any time in the coming months. (StarsEarnStripes.org has provided a few resources to help you with your research.)

It’s not a revelation that American corporate media don’t tell the truth about war. However, this is ridiculous. “Reality” TV has never departed this much from actual reality. General Clark ought to be ashamed of himself — being a tool of the military-industrial complex is bad enough, but he’s gone too far now.

More info: NBC Invents War-o-tainment

UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald weighs in:

It’s actually necessary that America have a network reality show that pairs big, muscular soldiers with adoring D-list celebrities — hosted by a former Army General along with someone who used to be on Dancing with the Stars – as they play sanitized war games for the amusement of viewers, all in between commercials from the nation’s largest corporations. That’s way too perfect of a symbol of American culture and politics for us not to have.

UPDATE: ‘Stars Earn Stripes,’ NBC Reality Show, Criticized By Veterans And Military Reporter

  1. #1 by Larry Bergan on August 1, 2012 - 8:51 pm

    Not General Clark! I thought he was an intelligent guy.

    Not a good move for him.

  2. #2 by cav on August 2, 2012 - 8:30 am

    ‘They’re’ going to ‘entertain’ us – one way or the other.

    Meanwhile…

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/217882_406179129441073_925187529_n.jpg

  3. #3 by Richard Warnick on August 11, 2012 - 12:20 pm

    Mark Lambert writes:

    Richard W., Will you help us stop this show by signing my petition to tell NBC that war is NOT entertainment. go to change.org and sign at this link http://www.change.org/petitions/nbc-television-stop-the-production-and-airing-of-the-new-reality-show-stars-earn-stripes Please use your influence to retweet, share, post this invitation far and wide. It is different from the Roots petition, because it tells NBC to cancel the show, not just offer “equal time.” Thanks. Mark

  4. #4 by brewski on August 12, 2012 - 11:13 pm

    The explanation for Gen Clark can be found in the following movie:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064622/

  5. #5 by cav on August 13, 2012 - 7:26 am

    Shock, awe, glitter…and profit.

  6. #6 by Richard Warnick on August 13, 2012 - 3:00 pm

    Glenn Greenwald weighs in:

    It’s actually necessary that America have a network reality show that pairs big, muscular soldiers with adoring D-list celebrities — hosted by a former Army General along with someone who used to be on Dancing with the Stars – as they play sanitized war games for the amusement of viewers, all in between commercials from the nation’s largest corporations. That’s way too perfect of a symbol of American culture and politics for us not to have.

  7. #7 by brewski on August 13, 2012 - 3:18 pm

    It’s not that the left doesn’t love America. It’s that they don’t like Americans.

  8. #8 by cav on August 13, 2012 - 4:36 pm

    You wouldn’t be conflating ‘the left’ with yer run of the mill freedom seeker in the Middle East who themselves are having a hard time swallowing the Exceptional America mythology, or Americans with trigger-pulling freaks, plutarchs and ‘low-information’ potatoes who’ll easily bond with this new TV show.

    It just sounds like it.

  9. #9 by brewski on August 13, 2012 - 8:33 pm

    Yer run of the mill freedom seeker in the middle east doesn’t want freedom for everyone. That is why ethic and religious minorities in places such as Egypt, Syria, Iran, and Yugoslavia did much better during dictatorships before their revolutions. The revolutions usually put extremists in charge who want to drive everyone not like them out despite 4000 years of history of them living side by side.

  10. #11 by brewski on August 13, 2012 - 9:34 pm

    You’ve got to be kidding. Op ed pieces by people who are describing their feelings and wishes and not those of the people who are actually living and dying there. These are some faulty lounge crapola that has nothing to do with the people who actually live there.
    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8660
    According so someone who doesn’t live in Cambridge, the supporters of Assad include liberated professional women, Kurds, Druze and various Christian sects, among others, who all fear what their country will do to them if the rebels win.

    So much for au contraire.

  11. #12 by cav on August 14, 2012 - 7:48 am

    Well, it says Real News, so I gues there’s no arguing with that. Any reflection of Wesley Clarks contention that Bush proclaimed he be taking out 7 countries in 5 years. Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.

    I’m reminded of the old line…the punishment will continue till morale experiences an up-swing. And, of course, we have no other choice.

  12. #13 by cav on August 14, 2012 - 8:08 am

    Comment in moderation. (#12)

    And ‘Blow-back’ is just some quaint notion…It’s our freedom they hate.

  13. #14 by Richard Warnick on August 14, 2012 - 9:06 am

    brewski–

    You are starting to sound like Glenn Beck.

    As you may be aware, one of the unintended consequences of Mideast dictatorships was to advantage religious opposition compared to secular opposition. Islam was the one organizing principle the dictators couldn’t outlaw.

    In the wake of the Arab Spring, groups like the Muslim Brotherhood will have disproportionate influence in politics. However, (1) these guys are not al-Qaeda, and (2) over the long term they won’t be able to stifle democracy any more than the dictators could.

  14. #15 by brewski on August 14, 2012 - 10:14 am

    How would you know what Glenn Beck sounds like? I don’t.

  15. #16 by Richard Warnick on August 14, 2012 - 10:28 am

    This is Beck’s caliphate theory. Sound familiar?

  16. #17 by brewski on August 14, 2012 - 11:43 am

    If Beck repeats what the Islamists themselves say, and repeats what many Middle Eastern scholars says, does that make them all wrong just because Beck repeats them? Or does it make Chomsky right by comparing Madison WI teachers to the Muslim Brotherhood?

  17. #18 by Richard Warnick on August 14, 2012 - 12:08 pm

    Beck is an idiot peddling Islamophobia. He knows nothing about Islam.

  18. #19 by brewski on August 14, 2012 - 12:40 pm

    Who cares? I didn’t quote him. You keep quoting him. I linked an actual Middle Eastern Middle East scholar and you quote Beck. Who is more nutty, you or Beck?

  19. #20 by Richard Warnick on August 14, 2012 - 1:01 pm

    brewski–

    I just made a comment that you are starting to sound like Glenn Beck. I assumed you were aware of Beck’s crazy theory about the Arab Spring – but since it turned out you didn’t know, I gave you the video.

    According to the link you put in #11, Israel and the CIA are allegedly helping to arm the Islamists in Syria. They are apparently more realistic about the situation than the neocon right and Beck.

  20. #21 by brewski on August 14, 2012 - 1:17 pm

    I made a comment which paraphrased what the MIddle Eastern Middle East scholar said. I was and unaware of anything Beck ever said on this or any other topic.

    If Beck said that Salt Lake City is in Utah, does that make it untrue?

  21. #22 by cav on August 14, 2012 - 1:35 pm

    Chomsky is right for WAAA-A-AY more reasons than you begrudgingly allow.

    And Beck’s declaration that SLC is in Utah was taken out of context.

  22. #24 by cav on August 14, 2012 - 2:35 pm

    Your links speak to the difficulties met during and after revolutions. Nowhere among any of them is there a refutation of the scenario set forth by Chomsky.

    One does not need to be a neocon apologist to accept there are broader pictures apprehensible from different perspectives. I doubt Noam would discount the reporting you cite. It’s just that our foreign policy with its mandate to continue imperial ambitions and foment wars for the sake of the industry, will inevitably result in more of the same. That much is entirely predictable.

  23. #25 by Richard Warnick on August 14, 2012 - 3:13 pm

    I finally read cav’s link, and can’t figure out what Chomsky’s point was.

    My point is that Islamophobia is not a good basis for foreign policy decisions. Can we agree on that?

  24. #26 by cav on August 14, 2012 - 4:02 pm

    Chomsky does present a challenge for the nut-sheller. But neither pointless nor a hack are particularly appropriate. My opinion.

  25. #27 by Richard Warnick on August 14, 2012 - 4:19 pm

    I suppose Chomsky did have a point, however I couldn’t figure out what it was with a quick read. Maybe if I were familiar with his worldview it would make more sense to me.

  26. #28 by brewski on August 14, 2012 - 4:51 pm

    Chomsky said that the Muslim Brotherhood types are fighting for freedom. That is juvenile bullshit. They want to kick out one dictator and impose their own brand of dictatorship.

    Chomsky also said the Muslim Brotherhood is like the rioters in Madison. That I will agree with.

  27. #29 by Richard Warnick on August 14, 2012 - 5:39 pm

    brewski–

    Nobody rioted in Madison. People peacefully demonstrated against a tyrannical government. Faux News Channel showed some old video of a scuffle from L.A. (with palm trees in the background, to everyone’s amusement) and claimed it was Wisconsin.

    The truth about the Muslim Brotherhood is somewhere between Chomsky and Beck, IMHO. I stand by my prediction that the development of other political parties will eventually overcome the anti-democratic tendencies of the Islamists – who are only as well-organized as they are because the dictators didn’t go after religious parties as much as they did the secular ones.

    Iran is already trending toward democracy, and their Islamic revolution was far more extreme than the Muslim Brotherhood.

  28. #30 by cav on August 14, 2012 - 6:25 pm

    brewski – we here are all familiar with juvenile bullshit. Thanks for the commentary.

  29. #31 by brewski on August 14, 2012 - 6:44 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4CQ2FFQZ_0
    No palm trees.

    Your apologies for murderers and fascists is disconcerting for someone who takes such an annoying moral tone.

  30. #32 by cav on August 14, 2012 - 7:03 pm

    ya think?

  31. #33 by Larry Bergan on August 14, 2012 - 7:32 pm

    Did that video upset the moral man called brewski?

    I didn’t see any palm trees or violence there even though the baby faced Governor was going after peoples livelihoods.

    You should have seen us protest in the Grand America Hotel last week. We were at least as loud and infringed on private property because we had to be heard. The police only detained one man and took away his bullhorn before releasing him. Nobody was murdered.

    The police in Salt Lake are trained well to deal with peaceful “threats” for the most part.

    What’s YOUR mission, brewski?

  32. #34 by cav on August 14, 2012 - 7:57 pm

    Being on the wrong side of history can be quite disconcerting – even anger inducing. Oh well.

  33. #35 by brewski on August 14, 2012 - 8:15 pm

    Tyrannical government? Name one thing the government did which was tyrannical.

  34. #36 by Richard Warnick on August 15, 2012 - 8:58 am

    The Wisconsin State Senate Republicans passed their anti-union bill without the presence of a quorum, and in violation of the state’s open meetings law.

    Matt Miller, leader of the Senate Democrats:

    In thirty minutes, 18 State Senators undid fifty years of civil rights in Wisconsin. Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will never be forgotten. Tonight, 18 Senate Republicans conspired to take government away from the people. Tomorrow we will join the people of Wisconsin in taking back their government.

    What did the union-busting law do? It took away collective bargaining rights, forced public sector unions to hold annual votes by members to remain in existence, cut pay and pensions, and stopped withholding for union dues. The last two provisions were ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.

  35. #37 by cav on August 15, 2012 - 9:21 am

    Come on Richard. ‘Tyrannical’…now doesn’t that have to do with dinosaurs?

  36. #38 by brewski on August 15, 2012 - 5:00 pm

    The only thing tyrannical were the mobs storming the capitol, the cowardly stinky corrupt weasel Democrats who fled the state rather than do what they were elected to do, and the cartel/extortion practices by unions who hold taxpayers hostage by sitting on both sides of the table. As for the legislative tactics, I assume you are joking since this is the same shit the Dems passed PPACA. So you have zero ground to stand on.

    None of that fits the English use of the word tyrannical.

    You still need to ask yourself the question, how did this all happen? What created the situation for the Dems and the unions to lose by so much?

    The answer is the 2010 election which was caused by the tyrannical and corrupt three-headed monster called Obama/Pelosi/Reid who passed the worst law in American history against the protests of their own constituents.

  37. #39 by cav on August 15, 2012 - 5:43 pm

    That’s nice dear.

  38. #40 by cav on August 15, 2012 - 6:11 pm

    It’s all going off outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where wickileaks founder is seeking asylum. British govt are threatening to storm building sighting some law that they can revoke diplomatic immunity from a piece of land or building.

    Vans of police arriving. But this is about a rape case in Sweden, so nothing to see here, move along.

  39. #41 by Larry Bergan on August 15, 2012 - 10:48 pm

    cav:

    I’m thinking this what you’re talking about, but although I had no idea about this until you mentioned it, I have to surmise that bloggers have more clout then any American media outlet.

    Have to hand it to the BBC for reporting on things that are actually happening in their own country. We have no well financed news organization in this “free” country that compares.

    Blog away!

  40. #42 by cav on August 15, 2012 - 11:13 pm

    That’s it Larry.

    Now, I just finished an article at Brad Delong’s (sorry, my links as departed), about the ongoing Wisconsin vote recount being hampered by Washuka County’s finest – threatening to destroy the ballots.

    The pooch is being actively screwed.

  41. #43 by Larry Bergan on August 15, 2012 - 11:46 pm

    Rolling along, with the blogity blogishere.

    Best performed by Ken Curtis ON FOREIGN SOIL:

    Sorry, but I think it’s funny and I actually love Festus’s rendition.

  42. #44 by Larry Bergan on August 16, 2012 - 1:27 am

    Did I just compare bloggers with tumbling tumbleweeds?

    How dare I.

  43. #45 by cav on August 16, 2012 - 8:18 am

    They more than likely counted Ken’s vote. And he portrayed a like-able law enforcement personality, as opposed to the qualities reflected in the War ‘reality’ show of the posting.

    Nothing is off topic.

  44. #46 by Larry Bergan on August 16, 2012 - 9:12 am

    Who was that other guy who had to exist in the long shadow cast by James Arness in “Gunsmoke”.

    Oh, that’s right, Dennis Weaver; green activist before they were labeled as terrorists. Yes, there was a time…

    “Mr. Dillon, Oh, Mr. Dillon”!

    cav said nothing is off topic, so I’m cashing in my chips,

  45. #47 by Richard Warnick on August 16, 2012 - 9:13 am

    brewski–

    Scott Walker, like all Republicans who won in 2010, lied his way into office with the “jobs-jobs-jobs” mantra. But his real agenda was to do the bidding of the Koch brothers and destroy what’s left of the unions.

    Since 2010, Wisconsin employment statistics have ranked among the worst of any state in the country.

    You’re correct in saying that the Dems are incompetent when it comes to political messaging. But that is not a reason to vote Republican, because unlike the GOP the Dems are actually interested in governing. Republicans are a wrecking crew that only represents the interests of the 1 Percent.

  46. #48 by brewski on August 16, 2012 - 10:07 am

    Walker turned a $3.6B deficit left by his predecessor into a $89.5M surplus.
    Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is well below the national average, so of course if you skinny it down to the job growth statistic then WI looks worse since it is starting from a higher point.

    It is easier to gain height by standing when you are lying down than it is to gain height by jumping when you are already standing.

  47. #49 by brewski on August 16, 2012 - 10:21 am

    I never said the Dems were incompetent at messaging. I said they were incompetent at substance. The substance of the Obamacare is what killed them in 2010. If they had passed some other Obamacare which did just 2 things, 1) covered everyone, 2) lowered costs, then Obama would be ahead by 40 points in the polls. But instead be passed a bill which leaves 60,000,000 uninsured and raises costs and makes more money for his bundlers. That is not messaging, that is abject failure.

  48. #50 by Richard Warnick on August 16, 2012 - 10:31 am

    Walker came into office with a projected $137 million budget shortfall (not $3.6 billion), and the first thing he did was cut taxes for the rich.

    But Walker didn’t run for office on “tax cuts for the rich,” or “austerity-austerity-austerity.” He didn’t threaten to destroy the unions. He never said, “I work for the Koch brothers.”

  49. #51 by Richard Warnick on August 16, 2012 - 10:35 am

    brewski–

    The reason there is no Republican alternative to the ACA is because the ACA was the Republican alternative. If Obama hadn’t been so afraid that corporate donors would flock to Republicans (which they did anyway), he might have pushed for a public option. He campaigned AGAINST the individual mandate and FOR the public option, and delivered the opposite. So Obama supporters were demoralized and the corporate PTB not appeased.

  50. #52 by brewski on August 16, 2012 - 12:41 pm

    You are rewriting history again:
    http://www.salon.com/2009/08/10/pharma/

  51. #53 by Richard Warnick on August 16, 2012 - 12:57 pm

    Obama’s agreement with Big Pharma is the same deal the Bush administration made, which is exactly my point. Republicans claim to be outraged by “Obamacare,” but it’s their own proposals for health care “reform” that got passed.

  52. #54 by brewski on August 16, 2012 - 3:27 pm

    Obama’s agreement with Big Pharma is the same deal the Bush administration made, which is exactly my point. The Democrats claim to be outraged by everything W did, but Obama’s own proposals for health care, Iraq and Afghanistan are exactly what Bush did.

  53. #55 by Larry Bergan on August 16, 2012 - 4:04 pm

    So the fact that real Democrats have been replaced with fake Democrats who have no buoyancy makes you glad for your country?

    You don’t live here, do you?

  54. #56 by brewski on August 16, 2012 - 4:41 pm

    There are two groups. Corporatists in blue ties and corporatists in red ties. Having an election where the corporatists in blue ties win, and then they tell you to give them more power and money so that they can save you for the corporatists in red ties doesn’t seem like much of a change.

  55. #57 by Larry Bergan on August 16, 2012 - 5:40 pm

    brewski”

    I think I asked where you lived.

    Where do you live?

  56. #58 by brewski on August 16, 2012 - 5:54 pm

    Utah

  57. #59 by Larry Bergan on August 16, 2012 - 7:09 pm

    How can I know that, brewski?

  58. #60 by brewski on August 16, 2012 - 9:49 pm

    Why did you ask then?

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