U.S. military restrictions on the media are partly to blame for making Afghanistan and Iraq seem like bloodless wars to most Americans. But the media — especially the TV networks — are not blameless. Editorial decisions have contributed to the antiseptic view of the wars that most of us have, at least those of us who haven’t fought there or who haven’t had friends or family killed or wounded.
If you want to see the wars as they are actually happening, or as close to it as the military will allow, you have to turn to al Jazeera or other foreign press. Case in point: this video report from the British Guardian chronicling the grisly work of a special forces helicopter rescue team in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Really worth your time (probably NSFW due to the language):
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.