Well, the Middle East crisis continues with more fighting today.
Today I got fed up watching the dismal TV offerings on the weekend TV dial. Weekend TV around here is absolutely the worst, especially when it isn't football season; it's the usual infomercials with the likes of Julie Moran and Daisy Fuentes, crappy movies and boring poker games, and of course, this is the day that OMNI and Citytv and SUN TV show all their boring ethnic programming. So I decided to tune in to channel 10 from Israel on the Internet and watch their live streaming World War III coverage. Check it out at www.10.tv.
They showed some of the damage from some rocket that hit an apartment building in Haifa, and there had been more attacks on Lebanon. They showed all the smoke billowing from where the bombs rained down. Channel 10 had their reporters based in Haifa right near where all the action was. I noticed this week that many of these bigshot North American TV anchors were nowhere near Haifa. Instead, they were doing standups and live hits in places like Jerusalem, doing their best to look like they were in the center of things when they really weren't.
In fact I have a lot of gripes about the North American coverage. One thing that bugs me about the coverage has been the constant downbeat tone of it. I read Connie Woodcock's rants in the Toronto Sun about the "apocalyptic" tone of the CBC's coverage and how they made it seem the world was going to end. I look at these CBC reporters on the scene over there, and get really agitated at the self-important way they carry themselves when they report these stories. They report in their best "voice of doom" voices and make it seem as if Israel and Lebanon are total hellholes, the absolute ends of the earth. They make it seem as if everyone who lives there must be crazy! It's as if we all ought to be glad to be living in a civilized place like Canada, where life is so much better! Hooray for us.
In fact, on Israeli TV they showed a story about a bunch of people having fun beating the heat at the beach! I'm sure they suffered a lot. I also noticed that Channel 10 was still planning to run the latest episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire- Israel edition. I suppose they figured this was more important than the war coverage, to show a popular game show on TV! You never get the sense from the TV news here in Canada that there are people in Israel or Lebanon who are still attempting to lead normal lives over there. In fact, in Lebanon, life there was pretty normal until a week or so ago. You never get the sense from these international correspondents that people in parts of the world like the Middle East could go to movies and shopping malls, or eat at fast-food joints like the rest of us. Instead, these countries are treated like they are absolute boondock third-world dumps all the time. It's always gloom and doom from the CBC, the BBC, and these international reporters about these places.
Personally, I'd rather tune in to the "local" coverage from Israel or Lebanon, because you don't get any of this self-important "attitude" from all these local reporters! Instead, the locals concentrate on covering the story and trying to make sense of what is happening without going all apocalyptic on you. They were covering this fighting the way that folks in Miami cover hurricanes! They were showing live pictures from where the damage happened in Haifa and were interviewing emergency personnel and other people! I could tell they weren't doing the "voice of doom" routine or giving you over-prepared reports. They dropped all that and just talked to the camera as if they were normal people! They were making sense of the situation and telling you what was going down, without pretense. Frankly, it was live coverage, and it was refreshing.
So that's why I like watching local coverage of these wars overseas. I don't want to see a bunch of swaggering correspondents tell us their opinions about how Israel is going to drag Iran into World War III, or tell us how badly the evacuations are going, or any of that bull. Just give me the freaking facts, darnet, and treat what is happening in these foreign countries as if this is your own back yard! I'm sick and tired of seeing Israel and Lebanon portrayed as places no sane individual would ever set foot in!! One thing I've learned is that the world is increasingly a small place, thanks largely to technology. And what happens in the Middle East is pretty darned relevant to us here. I simply think it's really behind the times to keep treating some of these countries as if they aren't a part of the neighbourhood, that's all.
Stay tuned for my Miss Universe rant next.