While the Bush Pentagon has become notorious for tough restrictions on news coverage, its door is wide open to entertainment TV. The latest example is this week's episode of JAG
, which dramatized the prosecution of an Al Qaeda terrorist for the suicide bombings of September 11. With the Pentagon press corps in the dark about the rules for military tribunals, the producers of the CBS drama got all the help they needed to build a fictional presentation. Is this new "militainment" entertainment, news or propaganda? We speak with, JAG
producer Donald Bellisario, the Pentagon's gatekeeper and a media critic from USC's Norman Lear Center.
(This program is an encore presentation of To the Point
, originally broadcast on May 1, 2002.)
- Newsmaker: LA County Prepares Draconian Healthcare Cuts
LA County health officials reportedly will recommend "draconian" cuts next month, including the loss of thousands of jobs and conversion of hospitals into clinics in an attempt to narrow a skyrocketing budget deficit. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky is also calling for restructuring of the system in order to reduce cost and increase efficiency while maintaining quality health care for the county's uninsured and indigent.
LA County Health Department
Annenberg School for Communication
Norman Lear Center
US Department of Defense