Ready for War at Clear Channel

From Jason (the Jason who is actually called Jason, as distinct from the plethora of Jasons called something else), comes this cool memo from Clearchannel Preparing for War. I realize these folks are just doing their jobs, and am not surprised that this type of preparation is going on, but still, there’s something about this that feels horribly wrong. It’s like that story about how the Academy has their contingency plans all ready so the Oscars go off without a hitch even if the war has the bad manners to start in the 24 hours preceding the ceremony. There’s a willingness to view the war as inevitable, as something more or less routine, to be scheduled around trips to the lake and picking up Jimmy at soccer practice and setting the VCR to record the finale of Joe Millionaire. I keep thinking back to September 11, and how there was such a feeling of momentousness in this country afterwards. People were shocked that such a thing could have happened. Someone had coldly reached out and destroyed those high-rises, reducing them to rubble and snuffing out the lives of thousands of innocent people. There was this collective sense of incredulity; you wanted to grab strangers by the shoulders and shake them, make them understand. Forget all those petty details of your life; they don’t matter; this is huge; this is different; we’ve got to stop and look, all of us; my God, what’s going on here? And now here we are, about to unleash precisely the same sort of inhumanity on a few million of our fellow humans over on the other side of the world. And it’s no big deal; just another opportunity for us to do our jobs, working on our bottom line, padding our resumes. February, 2003: Led preparations for Iraq war coverage at KBFK and KSTE; set up interviews with terrorism experts, military recruiting centers, and anti-war types; achieved 23% ratings increase during the February sweeps; received local Emmy for public-affairs programming. Ho hum. Just another war.

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