'Stripes' Protest

A news story yesterday said Nobel Peace Prize winner Bishop Desmond Tutu was leading a group of other peace prize winners in a protest of NBC's new reality series, "Stars Earn Stripes."

Tutu and the others accused the series of glorifying war and combat.

It's funny, but when I first heard about the series, which sends C-list stars into mock combat situations, I had mixed feelings about the concept, but for almost the opposite reason.

To me, it seemed to trivialize the sacrifices made by the men and women of the U.S. Armed Services by turning it into a pseudo-game show. But having the presence of Gen. Wesley Clark as the show's host alleviated that feeling for me, even if I personally wish Clark was doing better things than watching the likes of Todd Palin and Dean Cain re-enact "Blackhawk Down" or whatever it is the show does.

While I understand what Tutu and the others are trying to say, I think it's a non-issue, given that there are so many movies, TV shows, video games, etc. with war and combat as their theme that this one show isn't really doing anything to glorify it. Is "Stars Earn Stripes" worse than the game "Call of Duty," for example? I think not.

Even the Olympics wouldn't be immune if you apply the standard of the peace prize winners. I was reading a news story the other day about how Olympics founder Pierre De Coubertin created the modern pentathlon event specifically to honor the skills of a soldier.

As with anything, all protests of movies and TV shows do is tend to give those programs more attention than they might otherwise receive. You can check out tonight's "Stripes" (NBC, 10 p.m.) for yourself to decide.

TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: "Stars Earn Stripes" follows a new "America's Got Talent" from 8-10 p.m.

On cable, Neil goes after the killers of his dad's old partner on "White Collar" (USA, 9 p.m.) with the help of a beautiful thief (guest star Rebecca Mader of "Lost"), while Annie visits Israel to work with a Mossad agent on "Covert Affairs" at 10 p.m.

TNT has new episodes of "Rizzoli & Isles" at 9 p.m. and "Franklin & Bash" at 10 p.m. ABC Family airs "Pretty Little Liars" and "Beverly Hills Nannies" from 8-10 p.m.