A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

In our sights: crosshairs on the local news

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on April 3, 2008

I don’t watch television that often – H is the designated television watcher, and does a very fine job for both of us, I think.

But I do glance at the news in the morning, when I am at the gym, and for the past couple of weeks I have noticed a disturbing image making the rounds of the Lebanese news channels.

The gunsight/crosshairs of a sniper gun is currently appearing in promotional clips on two Lebanese channels: NBN and Future News.

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The one on NBN disturbs me more, because it is super-imposed over the head of a living politician, as part of a promotional clip that portrays the tension and uncertainty of Lebanon today.

The one on Future News is used as part of a larger promotion about the Civil War and specifically the use of the Barakat Building (whose name I now know thanks to Raed Rafei’s recent post) as a snipers’ tower. The gunsight is used to give viewers an idea of what they might have seen had they been Barakat snipers.

Whenever major “action” happens here, people ask about – and the media happily reports on – the rumored participation of snipers. The presence of snipers (and thus far there have been no confirmed reports of them, despite numerous breathless accounts) seems to have become a sign: snipers signal a serious intent to turn scuffling into war.

So while I understand that crosshairs provide a visual punch too tempting for NBN and Future News to resist, I wish they had resisted. Looking through gunsights during my morning workout somehow reduces my enthusiasm for the day ahead.

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