Is G4’s ‘Real-Life Hurt Locker’ Series Journalism or Exploitation?

By Alex Weprin 

G4, the Comcast-owned cable network that targets young men, is launching a new reality series following a real-life Navy explosive ordinance disposal unit.

On her show last Wednesday, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow took the series to task for marketing “war as entertainment.”

But B&C‘s Marisa Guthrie spoke to G4 president Neal Tiles, who makes the show sound much more serious than it is being portrayed in the media:

Neal Tiles, president of G4, said the greater public’s anecdotal disinterest in the war was not a factor in whether or not to green-light Bomb Patrol.

“Regardless of whether or not [the public] believes we should or shouldn’t be [in Afghanistan], there are still Americans over there” says Tiles. “And I think this project will help shed some light on the work our men and women are doing over there and keep that front and center.”

The series will follow a unit from their training through their deployment, though it will not air until the unit returns from Afghanistan. The Navy will also get to screen episodes before they air.

What do you think, does the new series exploit our armed forces for entertainment’s sake?