Literary editor of The Nation and television critic for New York Magazine John Leonard (and former Fresh Air book critic). His new book is a collection of essays, "Smoke and Mirrors: Violence, Television, and other American Cultures."
Critic John Leonard talks to Terry Gross about how television news shows are covering the war in Iraq. They conclude that networks are framing the conflict as a kind of entertainment program -- a strategy which may actually bring the war closer to home for many viewers.
Host Terry Gross continues her series of interviewers with Fresh Air contributors. Today she talks with John Leonard, whose criticism appears widely. As a college student he considered a life of political activism before deciding that writing was were his strengths lay. A recovering alcoholic, Leonard describes how, even while he bottomed out, he still delivered copy to his editors.