chapter  1
39 Pages

Airing

US Television’s Vertical Turns
ByLisa Parks

This chapter provides a critical analysis of US commercial TV news segments and live satellite broadcasts aired in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks. Focusing on commercial news networks' integration of satellite images, frontline reporting, and cartography, it explores how coverage worked to make the vertical field intelligible as a site of struggle and reinstate US "air power". The chapter shifts focus to televisual practices involving US military psychological operations (PSY-OPS) programs in Afghanistan and Iraq. It discusses the US military's more coercive efforts to control the vertical field, discussing its aerial assaults on facilities owned by the Arab-language television network, Al Jazeera. The chapter also explores how coverage including commercial TV news segments, live satellite programs, airplane broadcasting and leafleting, and bombings of commercial TV networks—articulated a vertical turn after 9/11 by drawing attention to aero-orbital space and US efforts to reassert its dominance over and through it.