Adapting Genre TV to The Modern Jihad!

Welcome to the Abu Zarqawi Hour

Fans of Paddy Chayefsky’s incredibly prophetic '70 satire Network may remember the The Mao Tse-tung Hour – the terrorist-of-the-week reality show produced by his fictional UBS news division:

[I][B]Diana:[/B] Look, we've got a bunch of hobgoblin radicals called the Ecumenical Liberation Army who go around taking home movies of themselves robbing banks. Maybe they'll take movies of themselves kidnapping heiresses, hijacking 747's, bombing bridges, assassinating ambassadors. We'd open each week's segment with that authentic footage, hire a couple of writers to write some story behind that footage, and we've got ourselves a series.

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Given that Paddy’s dark vision of the future of broadcast journalism has since become the programming bible for an entire generation of cable news executives, I guess it’s no great surprise that the Mao Tse Tung Hour has also reached the little screen – but in Iraq, not the U.S., and suitably updated to reflect both modern political realities and the rise of the Internet.

Adapting Genre TV to The Modern Jihad!