The Fox show “24” certainly makes news. It’s been called a “neo-con sex fantasy” by Newsweek, and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann (no fan of anything Fox) calls it a “commercial for one political party”. Yet missing in the news is 24 can be used as far-right or far-left propaganda. (And besides, it’s really fiction, a point missed by all the hot-air commentators).
OLBERMANN: “24” is back. It dropped the bomb, literally. Al Gore makes a movie about global warming and gets smeared as a fearmonger. Fox portrays a fictionalized America riddled with terrorists, which helps keep part of the real America convinced we really might be riddled with terrorists, and it wins five Emmys and two Golden Globes. Gripping drama, or thinly veiled propaganda?
Is “24” propaganda? Is it fear-mongering? Or is it a program-length commercial for one political party?
And from Newsweek:
… “24” is either a neocon sex fantasy or the collective id of our nation unleashed.
If you have any idea what that means please leave a comment.
But missing in all the hot air, 24 really has two sides:
- For the far-right, it makes a case for more monitoring, wire-taps, security and anything else. What Olbermann might call “Mommy, there’s a terrorist under my bed”.
- It also demonstrates what can go wrong if the above is carried out: detention camps, torture, and unbridled security initiatives where anything goes, whether it’s constitutional or not.
As usual, reality is in the middle. Anyone who (perhaps like Mr. Olbermann or some in Congress) denies the existence of bad guys, and their desire to strike innocent civilians is hopelessly naive and unqualified for office. To deny what happens in most of the rest of the world can’t happen in the US is absurd, naive and ridiculous.
But in the effort for security, to make unconstitutional or other broad excesses of power is also wrong. Unfortunately, it appears very few either in the media or government understand the middle ground.
Note the words of Benjamin Franklin:
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.
Finally, what everyone seems to miss is it’s fiction. Do you think other shows on TV are real?
Perhaps that’s Mr. Olbermann’s problem. While some see a terrorist under the bed, Mr. Olbermann sees Karl Rove and White House conspiracies controlling TV shows.