Nightline Broadcast – Iraq War Dead

May 1, 2004 at 10:24 am | Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

Last night, ABC’s Nightline program broadcast the name of those who had died in the Iraq war. Names and pictures of 721 people were shown. This particular show has been controversial, to the point that some media companies have resorted to political censorship, but Ted Koppel put it nicely at the end:

You are convinced that I’m opposed to the war … I’m not.
But that’s beside the point – I am opposed to sustaining
the illusion that war can be waged by the sacrifice of the few
without the burdening the rest of us in any way. I oppose the notion
that to be at war is to forfeit the right to question, criticize,
or debate our leaders’ policies, or for that matter the policies of those
who would like to become our leaders.

The extended has a list of those companies who actually had the gall to run commercials during the show…

I however, do have one issue with the show – it thought it was in bad taste to show commercials during the reading of the war dead. It’s like putting up a trade show booth in the middle of a memorial service. It’s not only tasteless, but shows how much influence money, in the form of advertising revenue, corrupts even those who try to practice real journalism.

Thus, not is only ABC to blame, but the following companies whose commercials interrupted an otherwise solemn half-hour:

  • Nissan (automobiles)
  • Ford / Land Rover (automobiles)
  • Toyota (automobiles)
  • Men’s Wearhouse (clothing)
  • Honda (automobiles)
  • Disney (entertainment) – parent company of ABC
  • Mitsubishi Motors (automobiles)

Most of the advertisers were car companies — maybe this war was about oil after all.

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  1. I feel that ABC should have done the commericals differently for this kind of broadcast. Below is the feedback I left on Nightline’s website:

    The sacrifice of America’s young men and women in our Iraq folly is in stark contrast with Disney/ABCs willingness to run automobile ads in the middle of reading the war dead.

    Other, less solemn, programs often either forego the commercials or show the program uninterrupted with commercials before and after the show. Nightline should have shown the same respect to its viewers as to The Fallen.


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