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Fifty thousand members of RootsAction.org signed a petition at http://StarsEarnStripes.org protesting NBC’s war-is-fun “reality” show co-hosted by former general Wesley Clark. Activists in New York have held a weekly protest and delivered the petitions. The final protest is at 5 p.m. this evening (Sept. 3) on the north side of W. 49th St. between 5th and 6th Avenues in New York City.
The bad press has been voluminous, while the viewership has plummeted. It’s safe to say there’s no immediate future for “Stars Earn Stripes.” It ends tonight.
TV viewers may be spared Wesley Clark for a while as he’s been dropped by both NBC and DNC. Turned down in his offer to speak at the Democratic National Convention, Clark will speak at another event in Charlotte tonight.
“The messages from ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ are all wrong,” said Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction.org and an author who has written widely on war and media. “The line between war news and entertainment has disappeared. Our society has become numbed to basic realities of what war is all about.”
Solomon added: “The role of Wesley Clark is a symbol of the warfare state that combines war, politics, media profits and show biz. While killing some people, wounding others and causing untold damage to countless lives, we continue to enable what Martin Luther King Jr. called ‘the madness of militarism’ — a widespread affliction that top political leaders of both parties celebrate.”
Joan Wile, founder-coordinator of Grandmothers Against the War, and an organizer of the weekly protest in New York, said “Our successful protests of NBC’s short-lived reality show ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ indicate, hopefully, a tide of citizen outrage at media collusion with the military to seduce our young people into joining the armed forces to engage in our nation’s criminal and unjustified wars.”
Participating in the protests are Veterans for Peace; Military Families Speak Out; Code Pink; the Granny Peace Brigade; Brooklyn for Peace; Gray Panthers; United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ); Grandmothers Against the War; U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW); Occupy Wall Street Anti-War; Peace Action New York State (PANYS); World Can’t Wait; War Resisters League, and the Raging Grannies, among others.
The words “War Is Fun!” were added by RootsAction.org into a promotional photo sent out by NBC. The show’s participants referred to their competition as “fun.”
RootsAction.org is an online initiative dedicated to galvanizing Americans who are committed to economic fairness, equal rights, civil liberties, environmental protection — and defunding endless wars. http://rootsaction.org