Oh, no, not that old saw

Oh, no, not that old saw
: The Scotsman brings out the old argument that all this coverage of war on TV will desensitize us to the violence, will make us view war as just another reality TV show.


That is to say that we are all heartless, soulless, brainless lumps of entertainment consumer.

All it takes is one view of the carnage or one interview with the grieving mother of a dead soldier to remind us that this is real reality, this hurts.

I watched Vietnam on TV. It didn’t make me into a warmonger. It made me into a pacifist (a condition changed, as I wrote here long ago now, by September 11th because, to twist the old joke, a hawk is nothing but a dove in the foxhole).

You’ll hear this argument with numbing frequency:

Dr Jack Boyle, a psychologist, believes such television images will desensitise us to the “real” horrors of violent sudden death.

He said: “Television makes everything a piece of theatre, entertainment. We have a choice today