Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Must-see doc TV

Wanna see even-handed? I'll show you even-handed. Richard Armitage and Mohammad Jafari, among others, share more or less equal time on the same Frontline program, Showdown with Iran.

I agree with many of the comments-- never does the American press give the background on the CIA-orchestrated overthrow of Mossadegh in 1953 (it's called history, which actually goes go back farther than 1979), which, 50-plus years on, still looms in the memories of many Iranians and does much to explain the current regime's preoccupation with asserting its sovereignity. Nor do I care for the title, which reflects the standard narrow and flawed narrative of the U.S.-Iran relations story. But overall, far and away better than most. One hopes it's enough to give pause to all but the looniest of those beating war drums in the direction of Iran. (Disclaimer: a good friend worked on this program, but given our shared tendency to critique press coverage of Iran at any opportunity I don't think the relationship has done much to cloud my perspective here.)

The well-designed and very user-friendly Frontline website is a treasure trove of extras, from full transcripts of interviews to behind-the-scenes with the crew to the comments (which the producers respond to, at times). Does anyone else think that public broadcasters make some of the best use of the web for multimedia? (Therefore I will chalk up my inability to find the correct Watch Online link last week when the program premiered to my own crappy tech mojo.)

Jafari is slightly better looking than Armitage, which is the only reason he gets the pix, above.


nightgrapefruit said...

Ooh, I missed this. I wonder if they'll replay it!

kimberly kinchen said...

I just linked to the Watch Online link in the text...you can watch many times over.