National Geographic Channel

Reality TV discovers fresh turf with "American Gypsies"

Reality-TV has its best moments when it nudges us into worlds we've never known. Now cable does that twice this week.

On Thursday (July 19) will be "Great Lakes Warriors," visiting blunt, blue-collar guy working the tugboats of Lake Michigan. Before that, however, is "American Gypsies" tonight (Tuesday, July 17); it's chaotic, combative and, at times, kind of interesting. Here's the story I sent to papers:



"Restrepo:" A strong, final project for Hetherington

Regular reporters (people like me) are in awe of war correspondents like Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger.

These guys plunge into the world's most dangerous places, emerging with results that are balanced, solid and deeply human. Their "Restrepo," following one unit in Afghanistan, was beautifully done.

Hetherington was killed last Wednesday in Libya. Tonight (Monday), the National Geographic Channel reruns "Restrepo," adding a tribute to him. Here's the story I sent to papers, from interviews last August: