The Ultimate Reality Show – Afghanistan?

US News and World Report had a piece on the ultimate political reality show: Sarah Palin and Rod Blagojevich.

It is an over-the-top “reality show” with a love story between the two thrown in. (Guess Sarah dumps husband Todd.) We find the two former governors to be more the political exceptions; two people with no interest in actually governing their states, as US News notes. But TV has hit some noteworthy lows, so it could register as entertaining for the reality series crowd. Or it could amount to a short-lived smash-and-grab. But isn’t that what it’s all about? (So how many of you out there are reality TV junkies?)

Clearly, the best reality show goin’ is in Afghanistan, and with Marine Gen. Jim “I like Brawlin’” Mattis probably soon at the U.S. Central Command helm, anything is possible. Sure documentaries have been done in theater and numerous stories for print and broadcast by “embeds” have graced TV screens, magazines and newspapers. The ultimate nod was Academy Award wonder, “The Hurt Locker.”

As tasteless as some reality bottom feeders can be, our Afghanistan reality show could be the low-brow “Big Brother” meets the tired, but reliable, “Amazing Race.”

Cameras would follow our boys and girls ‘round the clock. There is so much we don’t know. Do the doe-eyed and bleating argue? Fight each other? Read? Surf the Web? Make YouTube videos? Get sick? Laugh? Cry?

Do they talk about upcoming missions? (No WikiLeaks here.) We’d have the director work his way from the forward operating bases to force commander Army Gen. David “King David” Petraeus. He appears gracious, brilliant. But how miffed is he at his unexpected tour of duty? What does his wife think? We need the wife.

An episode or two with Afghan president Hamid Karzai could be a hoot. Who is that man’s tailor? Really. I want him or her on camera. Filming Karzai meeting with other elected officials (and his tailor) would be more reality than viewers could take.

Could we get the Taliban to appear regularly? Taliban leaders would love the exposure and it could help relations on all sides. If the show took off, the director could spend some quality time with the brawler himself, Jim Mattis. He’s a four-star and single. There must be some stories there. But is this man ready for prime time? No need for episodes at the Pentagon and White House. The uber-scripted are an uber buzz kill. Ratings would tank.

“Reality Afghanistan” could be compelling. Having worked with a couple of producers out of Los Angeles back when I was shillin’ for the Defense Department, these guys are looking for the next great thing. Could this be it or has it already been discussed – too many times?

Should we have a reality show of the Armed Forces? What is your vision for the ultimate showcase of US units in any service anywhere in the world? (Hey, our ship-bound Navy brethren could be interesting. All those people forced into close-quarters for long periods? Explosive!)

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