More 24 and Torture

I wanted to keep Eric Laine's comments so I put them in an entry.


"24" will not change because its creator, Joel Surnow, is a radical right-wing torture enthisiast. He is capitalizing on Americans' fear of terrorism to make money AND advance a militaristic political agenda. Anyone who is "entertained" by watching a man torture his own brother to the sound of agonizing screams should seek counselling. "24" was good for about 6 hours in 2001; in 2007 its tired, predictable rhythms combined with its reactionary message make it suitable only for those who would slow down to ponder roadkill.

From the New Yorker:

"The series, Surnow told me, is “ripped out of the Zeitgeist of what people’s fears are—their paranoia that we’re going to be attacked,” and it “makes people look at what we’re dealing with” in terms of threats to national security. “There are not a lot of measures short of extreme measures that will get it done,” he said, adding, “America wants the war on terror fought by Jack Bauer. He’s a patriot.”

For all its fictional liberties, “24” depicts the fight against Islamist extremism much as the Bush Administration has defined it: as an all-consuming struggle for America’s survival that demands the toughest of tactics. Not long after September 11th, Vice-President Dick Cheney alluded vaguely to the fact that America must begin working through the “dark side” in countering terrorism. On “24,” the dark side is on full view. Surnow, who has jokingly called himself a “right-wing nut job,” shares his show’s hard-line perspective. Speaking of torture, he said, “Isn’t it obvious that if there was a nuke in New York City that was about to blow—or any other city in this country—that, even if you were going to go to jail, it would be the right thing to do?”

Eric Laine


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