How to Join Member's Area Private Library Search Today's Topics p Login
Main Forums Discussion Tech Talk Mature Content Archives
   Nav Win
 Discussion
 The Alley
 "24": Fair-Minded Television Or "Neocons
 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Follow us on Facebook

 Moderated by: Ron   (Admins )

 
User Options
Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Admin Print Send ECard
Passions in Poetry

"24": Fair-Minded Television Or "Neoconservative Sex Fantasy"?

 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
Mistletoe Angel
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Empyrean
since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


0 posted 01-17-2007 06:58 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

First of all, I am a big fan of the TV program "24", and started watching it through Netflix late 2005 and now am all caught up and this season is the first season I'm watching on television through season's end.

Anyway, on the January 16, 2007 edition of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann", the program's #4 story set up the debate: "Is 24 just entertainment or is it propaganda designed to keep people thinking about domestic terrorism to keep us scared?" Whether the program is: "Gripping drama or thinly veiled propaganda?"

Olbermann also suggested that the intent of "24" is to deliberately blue the lines between reality and television, and thus serves as a form of "naked brainwashing" comparable to the likes of the Bush Administration and the Fox News Channel.

He then went on to interview documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald for additional insight (who directed "Outfoxed", a film exploring alleged media bias on Fox News.) Here's the full transcript of the segment:

*

*

MSNBC: January 17, 2007: Countdown With Keith Olbermann Transcript

OLBERMANN: It‘s a familiar tactic for grabbing and holding the public‘s attention, beloved by both the Bush administration and, just as another example, Fox News Channel.Step one, fear, and if step one does not work, step two, more fear.

In our fourth story on the COUNTDOWN, it is also evidently how the producers of the Fox series "24" plan to keep viewers during the show‘s sixth year, as evidenced in the first 30 seconds of the season premiere.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "24")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:America has been victimized again.Last night‘s terrorist attack in San Antonio is now the latest in this series of bombings that began 11 weeks ago in 10 different cities.Over 900 people have been killed thus far.And while no one is claiming responsibility for this wave of death, evidence points to Islamic militants.

Here in Los Angeles, the mood can only be described as tense and fearful, and the Department of Homeland Security is urging all citizens to report without delay any suspicious persons or activities.

We spoke with a department spokesperson who says, quote, "We don‘t want to start a witch hunt, but we would rather err on the side of caution than become the next target."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OLBERMANN:If that wasn‘t enough to scare or outrage you, the rest of the four-hour, two-night show opener featured a mall attack, a would-be suicide bomber on a subway, and a successful suicide bombing on a passenger bus, not in places where these things have already happened, but in a country called the United States of America.

In case you missed the point, the show finished up with a nuclear weapon detonating in a major American (INAUDIBLE) city, literally conjuring up the administration‘s imagery for the war in Iraq, the good old mushroom cloud, right-wing Web sites leaving no doubt as to what they think viewers should take away from this fictional attack, case in point, Newsbusters.org says this scene, quote, "should be required viewing for all media members who question what‘s at risk and whether there really is a war on terror" and accuses the media of undermining the Bush administration and, quote, "downplaying the seriousness of terrorism."


At least the rest of us didn‘t make it into a sitcom.

And by that logic, of course, somewhere in this country there really is a cheerleader who will never die, there‘s at least one real-life talking dog, and a mother and a daughter who patter back and forth like the "Gilmore Girls."

Is "24" propaganda?Is it fear-mongering?Or is it a program-length commercial for one political party?

I‘m joined now by Robert Greenwald, who made the documentary film "Outfoxed."

Thanks again for your time tonight, sir.

ROBERT GREENWALD, DIRECTOR, "OUTFOXED":Thank you.Nice to be with you.

OLBERMANN:Most people obviously recognize the show‘s fictional, but how well does the fictionalizing of seemingly actual terror events, like subway and bus bombings, and (INAUDIBLE), sort of templating them over the United States‘ landscape, work as a fear tactic?

GREENWALD:Well, we know how susceptible people are to fear, some of it with good reason.The tragedy, as we know, has been how this administration has played on people‘s fears, and how Fox News and Fox in general has used it over and over and over again.

As you say, people can tell the difference.This is fiction.What we‘re dealing with in the world at times is fact.You know, of course, the question is, can this administration tell the difference, given that every day we get a different reason about who we should be afraid of, why we should be afraid, and why we went to war.

OLBERMANN:And the old line, of course, seems to apply here, about people insisting TV does not impact the public‘s perceptions, and then you point out, Well, gee whiz, all those advertisers must have wasted every dollar they ever spent on television.

But if the irrational right can claim that the news is fixed to try to alter people‘s minds, or that networks should be boycotted for nudity or for immorality, shouldn‘t those same groups be saying "24" should be taken off TV because it‘s naked brainwashing?


GREENWALD:Yes, well, I don‘t think those groups have ever talked about brainwashing.But it‘s a very good point, because I think one of the most devastating things that has happened with that show has been the narrative that torture works, where over and over again, they show that there‘s this ticking-bomb scenario, which is a false idea to begin with, right, that you have one second to get X information to save all these people lives.And the only way to solve it is by torturing somebody.

We‘ve seen the results of torture.It doesn‘t work, and you get false information.And that‘s where the show and other shows like it really do a disservice, because they affect the kind of narrative and a way that people throughout the country start to believe.Yes, well, I really don‘t like torture, but I better use it because it‘s the only way to save my country.

OLBERMANN:John McCain did a cameo in the series and joked about torture afterwards.Senator Cornyn has now done a promo on Fox News about this series.And, of course, there was a lovefest at the Heritage Foundation last year starring the producers, some of the actors, Secretary Chertoff from Homeland Security, and comedian Rush Limbaugh.I mean, we‘ve had lines between reality and TV blurred before.(INAUDIBLE) the whole (INAUDIBLE) -- alternate universe quality to "The West Wing."

But does this not begin to look at this point like the blurring of the lines here is deliberate?


GREENWALD:Well, it certainly seems to be that way.And, of course, when you have the vice president and the former secretary of defense saying this is their favorite show, it does give you pause to wonder about what really is going on here.Now, I‘m not a conspiracy theorist.But, of course, the fact that the show is on Fox raises all of our eyebrows.

Now, having said that, you know, there‘s some very good execution in this show, and that‘s what makes the sort of moral questions that you‘re asking even more important.And more important that people tell the difference, and that we raise hell when they cross a line that shouldn‘t be crossed, blurring the fact with the fiction.

OLBERMANN:Is there some tangible way that this could actually help a president who has relied, who has campaigned on, you know, our party will protect you, and the other guys, well, you‘re on your own?

GREENWALD:Well, I don‘t know what‘s going to help this president, given where his ratings are.I don‘t know that an angel coming down would save him right now.But I think any time that one is using fear to create a concern among the electorate, to create a concern in our country, and to motivate and push people and say, you better be afraid, you better be very afraid, the more we keep hearing that message, I think the more we need to push back against it and ask the hard questions.

OLBERMANN:Maybe "Touched by an Angel" can make a comeback, as you just suggested it.Robert Greenwald, maker of the documentary "Outfoxed."Thank you for joining us tonight, sir.

GREENWALD:Pleasure.


*

*

It gets even more ridiculous by the way. Newsweek columnist Devin Gordon composed a scathing review of the new season of "24" last week, who writes the following on the second page of this two-page review:

*

Newsweek: January 12, 2007

"It’s also, at its best, bracingly topical. Depending on your perspective, “24” is either a neocon sex fantasy or the collective id of our nation unleashed. The show debuted just a few months after 9/11, and its watchful, paranoid visual language was forged in that moment. The very first episode featured a terrorist blowing a plane full of passengers out of the sky. Subsequent story lines about Islamic fundamentalism, the torturing of innocents, biochemical attacks and atrocities broadcast over the Internet felt like they were ripped from the front page of The New York Times. The writers of “24” have always proven willing to brush aside an audience’s natural desire for relief so they can explore the murky, anxious territory of postdisaster scenarios. What happens after the nerve gas gets out? What happens after the president’s jet gets shot down?"

*

Generally, though I don't always agree with Olbermann in that his tone can be unsettling and that he resorts to the same sort of name-calling on his "Worst person In The World" segment, I admire Olbermann for speaking his mind even when his voice shakes as he does earnestly and feelingly on his "Special Comments", treats his guests on his program with utmost respect in allowing them to say all they want to say without butting it or interrupting, will show the footage of White House press conferences and interviews among other things in their whole, uncut form rather than just showing excerpts as other news programs do, and finally for his special blend of humor and pop culture that makes his program attractive to younger demographics in particular.

But the first thought that came to my mind after that segment last night was I felt Olbermann must not have seen a single episode of "24" in its entirety yet (and more importantly, a season of "24" in its entirety) thus he already discredits himself heavily with a deep misunderstanding of the program, and I also felt perhaps the only reason he criticized the program passionately on last night's "Countdown" was because Cheney and Limbaugh happen to be fans of the program or because it's a program aired on Fox (so is "The Simpsons" by the way) who of course Olbermann routinely criticizes these personalities.

Secondly, I happen to believe the writing team for "24" is quite fair-minded. Look, I recall one season a one-liner being blurted out by Secretary of Defense Keller to his rebellious son that read, "Spare me your sixth-grade Michael Moore logic." that seems to suggest the anti-war extreme is naive. Yet, there's also writing that suggests the neoconservative "long war" extreme is insane too, examining closely constitutional issues, especially when last season President Logan was undermining civil liberties while also privately backing the attempt to set up a Gulf of Tonkin II in Central Asia with the Sentax nerve gas (not to mention in Season 2 Bauer tries to prevent a war with three countries in the Middle East, with the effort led by Vice President Prescott and oil company executives, where Prescott attempts to have his way by invoking the 25th Amendment against President Palmer, accusing him of being too weak against the terrorists)

Show star Kiefer Sutherland has even come out on several occasions at the end of a "24" episode, making statements of concern including this one during the controversial fourth season, defending the American Muslim community:

*

"Hi. My name is Kiefer Sutherland, and I play counterterrorist agent Jack Bauer on Fox’s ’24.’ I would like to take a moment to talk to you about something that I think is very important. Now while terrorism is obviously one of the most critical challenges facing our nation and the world, it is important to recognize that the American Muslim community stands firmly beside their fellow Americans in denouncing and resisting all forms of terrorism. So in watching ’24,’ please, bear that in mind."

*

Also, during the fourth season, on the episode 7:00 P.M-8:00 P.M, for those of you who watch "24" also, you might recall the scene where Bauer is on the line defending himself against the McLennan-Forster army, and finds a sporting goods store at 7:18 P.M where he meets two Arab-American brothers named Naji and Safa, where Bauer asks the to flee in explaining he's fighting the terrorists responsible for setting off the EMP bomb. Yet, the brothers decide to stay with Jack and help him fight the terrorists, using all the ammunition and weapons they have to defend him, adding they want to do this because they want to fight the negative stereotypes they've endured their whole lives. Later in that same episode, at 7:37 P.M, the brothers tell Jack their father handed down the business to them after he died, and believe their father would have approved of what they were doing now helping fight the terrorists. Finally, after succeeding in the fight against the McLennan-Forster army, Bauer offers his thanks to the brothers by promising to get them help in putting their store back together.

Kiefer Sutherland has also regularly expressed his opinions condemning torture on programs, including "The Charlie Rose Show", saying: "Do I personally believe that the police or any of these other legal agencies that are working for this government should be entitled to interrogate people and do the things that I do on the show? No, I do not."

*

*

I just don't get the furor over "24" here. It's absolutely childish in my opinion. I think it's just as insane and childish as the furor some like Dan Quayle were making regarding "Murphy Brown" tearing apart American families and encouraging feminism among other things. When you really watch the show and get down to the crux of each season, it's clear to see the neoconservative notion of "long war" is depicted as equally as naive than those with "sixth-grade Michael Moore logic." We saw Bauer going after not only suspected terrorists, but American oil interests who were trying to twist Palmer's government into three wars at once in Season 2. We saw Bauer going after President Logan in Season 5 for conspiring to set up a smoking gun in Central Asia to justify a war there, and Bauer being projected as the voice of reason and truth that season. And already this season we've seen how far the federal government could go in trying to collect personal information just because everyone at an organization happens to be Muslim.

I think there's much evidence on the program that, on the contrary to what Gordon argues in his column, points to both the pacifist and neoconservative extremes being delusional in some sense at least.

But all politics and analyzing aside, "24" is ultimately just a TV show. A frickin' fictional TV show which I happen to be a big fan of and enjoy especially because Jack Bauer is a hero who is also just like all the rest of us; a hero who is yet as human as you can get, who copes with the loss of his murdered ex-wife, missing his daughter Kim and watching her grow up so fast, the emotional and psychological trauma he now bears after being incarcerated for 20 months in a Chinese prison camp and all the torture he had to bear in there, watching many of his close friends die in action (sometimes forced to kill himself under pressure from terrorists), and especially in a sensitive post-911 climate we all are looking for some hero out there who can leave us assured we're safe and sound, and I believe the reason why "24" has become so immensely popular is because Jack Bauer is a most convincing hero, who epitomizes the heart and mind of an ordinary American just trying to protect his country and his loved ones, unabashedly and honestly.

What are your thoughts here on "24"?

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Christopher
Moderator
Member Rara Avis
since 08-02-99
Posts 9130
Purgatorial Incarceration


1 posted 01-17-2007 08:22 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

I didn't come anywhere near reading even a small amount of the text you posted, but here are my thoughts based on your intro:

24 isn't propoganda, it's capitalism. It's capitalizing on concerns that are more impactive today than they would have been 7 years ago. It's no more than shrewd marketing (if perhaps a bit callous in the strictest sense of the word), but far from the dreaded "P" word. It's a means of making large amounts of money, nothing more.

You want propoganda? Watch Gilmore Girls. I caught part of it while my wife was watching it the other night... SINISTER.
iliana
Member Patricius
since 12-05-2003
Posts 13488
USA


2 posted 01-17-2007 08:24 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Noah, 24 is a ritual in our home.  We never miss a show.  I totally agree with you.  The way I see it, is that it presents both sides of the story.  Wasn't it last year where a neocon coup was actually behind the terrorism?  If anything, I think 24 attempts to warn us about what power can do when in the wrong hands; e.g., the new President's sister is fighting for civil liberties.  As for Obermann, I happen to like the fact he is not afraid to address topics which the other news services are afraid to do; I just disagree with him on the subject of 24.  I don't think it is propoganda and agree it is about the buck.  But, at least, it's more entertainment in one night than paying $10 to see something at the movies.  

I've not been around much lately and am still pretty tied up, but I'm going to try to slip in here as often as possible to watch this thread.  
scorpio
Member Ascendant
since 10-02-2002
Posts 5709
right...there


3 posted 01-17-2007 08:43 PM       View Profile for scorpio   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for scorpio

Noah...I've watched every episode of "24".  Much like the character in the "Perils of Pauline" Jack Bauer goes from one life threatening event to another. The action is fast-pace and at times very intensive.  I like the show.  I'm an adventure/suspense fanatic. Do I feel that the show stereo-types Middle Eastern people?  Yes I think so on some levels.
But then it wasn't the Irish who flew planes into the World Trade Centre.  And I think the show raises questions about the use of torture in the real world.  Recently a Canadian of Middle Eastern ethnicity was arrested by American intelligence personal.     The RCMP of Canada supplied false information that identified him as a terrorist.  The Americans didn't torture him. They shipped him to Syria where the Syrians did the torture for them.  A contracted out torture if you will.  But I digress.  Let me just say that while "24" is pure fiction it does raise questions about the state of terrorism in the world and our vulnerability to it.  And "24"  gives us a brief glimpse into the highly volitile game being played out under our noses between the security forces of our countries and those who would bring their Jihads to our neighbourhoods.  
Mistletoe Angel
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Empyrean
since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


4 posted 01-17-2007 11:01 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Yeah, y'all bring up some interesting points here.

Jo, though action and suspense are not my most favorite Hollywood genres, "24" has indeed become a ritual in my family's house as well, where we got all caught up on the show and now intend to be there at 8:00 every Monday night until May to not miss a single episode. My parents often like to consider themselves "libertarian Democrats" who condemn torture but also can see that "24" is just a show and though they find some of the torture on the show graphic, they also recognize there are moments where the wrong guy gets tortured and thus the show brings about awareness to that as well. Also, though my parents are very frustrated with how this administration has handled the war on terror like I am, they also believe it is most important we fight these terrorists, and literally cheer Bauer on when he goes after them and say, "C'mon c'mom C'MON, you can do it Bauer!" when he's in trouble.

If someone is going to criticize the show simply because Rush Limbaugh likes it, then consider me an independent who happens to love a program Limbaugh also likes. It saddens me that ego so often gets in the way or whether you like or dislike something else entirely, and regardless of my unfavorable views of Limbaugh generally in that I believe he treats many of his guests who he disagress with with great disrespect and bullies people around, I happen to like "24" just as he does and that shouldn't even be an issue to begin with, as millions of Americans of all different views watch the program.

Christopher's certainly right that the show is about the money, in that the show aired just two weeks after September 11th happened and thus many thought the varying emotions 9/11 conjured up in the hearts of all Americans could be mirrored back to Americans and analyzed through this action/suspense program. It took me four seasons to finally hear just how much buzz was surrounding the show, and I also believe it's no mistake why the ratings keep going up each season; perhaps though millions thought "24" was well-intended to begin with, they also were still coping with 9/11 fatigue and just wanted to escape from the 9/11 stress and images for a while. Then, as each year goes by, more and more finally have the heart to face the images again and see where we must go to see to it 9/11 doesn't repeat itself. Perhaps the whole debate on the war in Iraq and balancing civil liberties in times of national security concerns also has turned many to this show in interest.

At any rate, "24" is must-see TV in my opinion, and is truly thought-provoking as well.

Now that I have expressed myself here, and have seen the first four episodes of this new season, I want to make my prediction for the seasons end. Of course I hope this doesn't happen, but I think either Bill Buchanan or Karen Hayes will be kidnapped, and will be killed by season's end. I think that because the camera revealed that Buchanan and Hayes were wearing wedding rings, and while of course you get the "Yay, I knew they'd get married, I'm soooooooo happy for them!" feeling, I think the wedding ring also is projected as some sort of theatrical device, representing a premonition that something might try to come between them in an unsettling sort of way. I think that's coming and I certainly hope I'm proven wrong, but I think the signs are there it's inevitable.

I hear many predicting Chloe will be killed off this season, but I just don't see any hints or clues that that's happening in at least the immediate future. I know anything's possible on this show, and the writers will NOT hesitate to kill off any of their characters, even if it's the second most popular character on the program currently behind only Jack Bauer himself, but I think Chloe will live on for at least a while longer.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
iliana
Member Patricius
since 12-05-2003
Posts 13488
USA


5 posted 01-17-2007 11:57 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Noah, I think you're right that one of our favorite characters will get killed.  It might even be Jack....I say this because on his interview with Larry King, King asked him if the show would survive if Jack got killed.  His response was, something like...Oh, most definitely, it will!  Something like that anyway...don't quote me on those each words though.  Perhaps, they will introduce a new hero this season...maybe some apprentice?  Who knows?  That's part of what makes it an intriguing show.  Noah, maybe we should have a thread started in the Lounge for 24 where we can chat about the show every Monday night....lol!
Mistletoe Angel
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Empyrean
since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


6 posted 01-18-2007 12:33 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



I just opened a new thread for this season of "24" in pipTalk Lounge, Jo, yay!



Love,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
LeeJ
Member Patricius
since 06-19-2003
Posts 13093
SE PA


7 posted 01-18-2007 07:47 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Hi Noah

Thank you for bringing this to our attention...

Yanno, Everyone has a right to their personal views...but what scares me about all of this is how far the Olbermann's of this country will go to take away our rights and freedoms.  

Whatever anyone's opinion is of this show, like it or not, it is about freedom, freedom of press, religion, literature, art, speech, books, and a person being able to write and express themselves as they wish...and be who they are....

I'm going to leave it at that, with a few quotes that I find excessively important to this thread of yours Noah...and thanks so much for this...people like this Noah, really scare me...they really do...

Quotes:

"I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written.”
Ronald Reagan

“The Constitution is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”  
Thomas Jefferson

If you have a right to respect, that means other people don't have a right to their own opinions.
Thomas Sowell

If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will Lose its freedom: and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that, too."
William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), British writer
Many thanks for this thread.
Mistletoe Angel
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Empyrean
since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


8 posted 01-18-2007 04:05 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Yet another liberal outlet is scathing "24".

*

The Nation: January 15, 2007

BLOG | Posted 01/15/2007 @ 12:35am
"24": Torture on TV
Jon Wiener


"24" is back on Fox TV. The hit show starring Kiefer Sutherland, which premiered Sunday night, once again features at least one big torture scene in every episode – the kind of torture the Bush White House says is necessary to protect us from you-know-who.

The show is much more successful than the White House at making the case for torture. Its ratings have gone steadily up over the last five years, while Bush's ratings have gone steadily down.


In "24," Sutherland plays special agent Jack Bauer, head of the Counter Terrorism Unit. He fights some of his biggest battles not with the dark-skinned enemies trying to nuke L.A., but rather with the light-skinned do-gooders who think the head of the Counter Terrorism Unit should follow the rules.

Back in season four, for example, the bumbling bureaucrats released a captured terrorist before he could be tortured, because a lawyer for "Amnesty Global" showed up whining about the Geneva Conventions. Jack had to quit the Counter Terrorist Unit and become a private citizen in order to break the suspect's fingers.

It's especially unfortunate to see Kiefer Sutherland play the world's most popular torturer, because his father, Donald Sutherland, has been a prominent antiwar activist since Vietnam days and starred in some great films critiquing fascist politics, including "MASH" and Bertolucci's "1900." It's unfortunate also because Kiefer's grandfather, Tommy Douglas, was Canada's first socialist premier, and was recently voted "the greatest Canadian of all time" -- because he introduced universal public health care to Canada.

The grandson meanwhile is being paid $10 million a season by Rupert Murdoch to shoot kneecaps, chop off hands, and bite his enemies to death (Sunday's special thrill).

The show's connection to the Bush White House and the conservative establishment became explicit last June, when Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff appeared alongside the show's producers and three cast members at an event sponsored by the Heritage Foundation to discuss "The public image of US terrorism policy." The discussion was moderated by Rush Limbaugh. The C-SPAN store sells a DVD of the event--price reduced from $60 to $29.95.


Sunday night's two-hour premiere again argued not just that torture is necessary but also that it works. And it's also really exciting to watch. The show as usual made the "ticking time bomb" case for torture: we need to torture a suspect, or else thousands, or millions, will die in the next hour.

It's the same case made by Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who proposed that judges ought to issue torture warrants in the "rare 'ticking bomb' case," and by University of Chicago law professor and federal judge Richard Posner, who has written, "If torture is the only means of obtaining the information necessary to prevent the detonation of a nuclear bomb in Times Square, torture should be used." He added that "no one who doubts that this is the case should be in a position of responsibility."

Thanks to "24," tens of millions of TV viewers know exactly what Dershowitz and Posner are talking about. As Richard Kim pointed out in The Nation in 2005, those are the cases where "the stakes are dire, the information perfect and the authorities omniscient." Of course that's a fantasy of total knowledge and power, and of course the US has never had a real "ticking time bomb" case--but Jack Bauer faces one every Sunday night on Fox."


*

They just can't put their Bush Administration ego aside and judge the show on its own merit, can they?

As an aide, it may interest the columnist to know that Kiefer Sutherland has regularly expressed his personal beliefs outside the program, and he is actually just as opposed to torture as I am, as well as regularly denouncing Islamophobia.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Balladeer
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


9 posted 01-18-2007 04:09 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I think the hubbub around 24 being a conservative plot to keep scaring the American people, led by certain Democrats and liberal talk show hosts is a riot!

Such transparency on display..........
Mistletoe Angel
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Empyrean
since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


10 posted 01-18-2007 04:20 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I absolutely agree, Balladeer.

Of course you know I am no fan of Bush's leadership myself, and I myself am not the conservative stereotype as well, and am simply a person who is polka-dotted and striped with a mix of ideals that lean conservative in some areas (including supporting prayer in public schools, state rights, fiscal responsibility and the right to bear arms) and lean liberal in others (including gay rights, universal health care and supporting a living wage) But this is downright ridiculous, equally as embarrassing as when some like Dan Quayle kept complaining about a sitcom named "Murphy Brown" and how it was deliberately tearing American families apart and encouraging feminism among other accusations.

By the way, here's yet another whining editorial:

*
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=552931

'24' gives Bush crowd the man of the hour

Posted: Jan. 15, 2007
Eugene Kane



"Some dramatic TV shows become popular because they reflect a world we wish we lived in.

In regards to a TV show like "24," that's hard to imagine. But some political types apparently would have no problem with it.


I'm not a regular watcher of "24," the TV series that purports to follow the superhuman Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) in real time as he saves the country from terrorist attacks on a constant basis. To fully invest in the mythology of "24," you have to accept that Bauer has saved the nation at least five times so far. Each time he did it, everything happened in the course of a single day.

Busy guy, that Jack.

Of course, it is fiction. And it's well-produced fiction, making use of split screens, crackling dialog and tightly plotted scripts that maintain continuity over the course of the season. It's also Rush Limbaugh's and Dick Cheney's favorite show, which suggests there may be something more than just television going on here.

After I watched Sunday's season premiere - it concluded Monday night - it was apparent to me the appeal of "24" is similar to that of another top-rated series that became the favorite of political types.

Essentially, "24" is to conservatives what "The West Wing" was to liberals.

"The West Wing" was often considered a fantasy version of the Clinton presidency, as faux president Jed Bartlett (Martin Sheen) represented the best of Clinton's intellectual optimism without the nagging intern problem.

"24" is an alternate version of President Bush's America, a place besieged by imminent attacks but ultimately saved by the existence of a crack homeland security operative like Bauer who is unencumbered by rules or regulations.

Basically, "24" imagines an America so anxious about the next terrorist attack that ordinary citizens don't have to be manipulated by disingenuous color alerts or presidential warnings of doom and gloom. It's in their faces, all the time.

The show's popularity with some political types was highlighted last June during a forum on terrorism in Washington, D.C., by the conservative Heritage Foundation that featured Limbaugh as moderator.

The forum, called "24 and America's Image in Fighting Terrorism: Fact, Fiction or Does It Matter?" included Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and various think-tank experts. According to Entertainment Weekly magazine, radio host Laura Ingraham and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas also attended.

Some speculate one reason "24" is such a favorite of the Bush crowd is that Bauer is presented as a guy with no qualms about torturing his prisoners in order to get information as quickly as possible. In light of criticism the Bush administration gets for its torture policies, it doesn't take a think-tank expert to see why some hail the show as a breath of clean air.


It seems to me living in the world of "24" would be a depressing and paranoid existence. To be fair, if New Jersey were really populated by some of the cretins in "The Sopranos" - my favorite TV drama - I wouldn't want to live there, either.

With the loss of Congress, conservatives need something to hold onto these days. By ramping up the terrorism threat to excruciating levels, shows like "24" serve a purpose for those who never want the rest of us to forget how close we may remain to disaster.

Except, of course, instead of Jack Bauer we've got that other guy.


*



Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Balladeer
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


11 posted 01-19-2007 01:23 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thanks, Noah. Wonder if that writer ever wrote anything about West Wing or Michael Moore
Mistletoe Angel
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 5 Tours
Member Empyrean
since 12-17-2000
Posts 34089
City of Roses


12 posted 01-20-2007 03:45 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

*

In The News UK: January 19, 2007

Muslims slam TV show 24

Friday, 19 Jan 2007 07:46

TV show 24 has come under fire for their portrayal of Muslim groups in the latest series.



"The series follows a day in the life of special agent Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland, as the US faces a different terrorist threat throughout each series. The new season premiered in the US this week with 33 million tuning in to the show.

But the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was less than pleased with the premiere of the Fox show in which Islamic terrorists detonated a nuclear bomb in heavily populated Los Angeles. It claims the show makes repeated links between Muslims and terrorism.

"The raw emotional impact of fictional scenes that include widespread death and destruction in America may adversely affect the public's attitude toward civil liberties, religious freedom and interfaith relations,'' said a statement from the group.

"The program's repeated association of acts of terrorism with Islam will only serve to increase anti-Muslim prejudice in our society.''

Fox has hit back over the claims, saying that it has not singled out ethnic groups in the popular show. Previous villains have included Anglo businessmen, Europeans, Germans, Russians, Islamic fundamentalists and the president of the United States.

"The show has made a concerted effort to show ethnic, religious and political groups as multidimensional, and political issues are debated from multiple viewpoints," the network wrote in a statement."


*

*

In contrast to the ridiculous accusations some personalities from liberal sources are making toward the program, I do sympathize wholeheartedly with the Muslim community, even while I feel there's a misunderstanding toward the program.

Again, I can sympathize with how the American Muslim community may feel as though they're being negatively stereotyped when they see images on the commericals and promos that show terrorists that happen to be Muslims setting off nuclear bombs and attempting to launch a nuclear warhead at Los Angeles like Marwan did in Season 4.

My response would be simply to encourage some officials at CAIR to watch a whole season of "24" from beginning to end (I would recommend Season 4 especially to them where there are Muslims shown in a very positive light), and then address their concerns. Though I believe they do make legitimate concerns, it feels as though they're gauging their emotions on excerpts rather than from the whole of the show, and I believe that in itself generates unnecessary misunderstanding of sorts.

Look, I think a vast majority of those who watch "24" on a weekly basis are loyalists to the show, who watch the whole season rather than merely individual episodes like you do a sitcom. I caught up on the show via Netflix and this is the first season in which I'm tuning in with everyone else on TV. And if you have not seen the previous seasons and just decide to see an individual episode now, or worse yet an excerpt, you're obviously not going to be sure what the whole story is, and inevitably be confused.

I feel most strongly for the American Muslim community with all my heart, as I do believe there are unfortunate streaks of Islamophobia across certain American communities right now, as well as on a lot of AM talk radio and some Fox News programming, where polls show you nearly half believing Islam encourages more violence than other faiths and many Americans disapproving of Islam in result, and believing the Quran advocates violence against Christians among other things. I happen to believe that's heartbreaking, and though I certainly plead general ignorance of Islam and the Quran, I've researched a little about the Quran and it seems to me that though it has contradictions, most holy scriptures have contradictions too, thus it requires a thorough, well-focused and close reading rather than merely intrepreting small lines and excerpts and making hasty generalizations and talking points based on them.

But I don't believe "24" is an Islamophobic program, and just like how I'd encourage Christian religious leaders to study the Quran and the Islamic faith in greater detail before they go making conclusions or loose accusations, I'd encourage the Council on American-Islamic Relations to watch and consider "24" in greater detail before they speak what are otherwise understandable concerns, as I believe there's more ambiguity in the show than they credit currently.

Unlike those liberal personalities going after the show just because it's a program tha's on Fox or something Limbaugh and Cheney enjoys, I believe American Muslims have a right to be very concerned here, and I would politely recommend they watch Season 4 of "24".

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
 
 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
All times are ET (US) Top
  User Options
>> Discussion >> The Alley >> "24": Fair-Minded Television Or "Neocons Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Print Send ECard

 

pipTalk Home Page | Main Poetry Forums

How to Join | Member's Area / Help | Private Library | Search | Contact Us | Today's Topics | Login
Discussion | Tech Talk | Archives | Sanctuary



© Passions in Poetry and netpoets.com 1998-2013
All Poetry and Prose is copyrighted by the individual authors