Friday, February 09, 2007

I just read this article from The New Yorker about the politics of Joel Surnow, co-creator and executive producer of the hit TV series 24.

The article does say something about the man's politics, but it spends most of its energy criticizing the portrayal of torture in the show, which is always shown to be necessary and effective. And Jack Bauer uses real torture, not waterboarding, hypothermia, and sleep deprivation. He actually puts some serious hurt on whomever he needs information from.

I'm not going to debate the merits of torture here; what interested me was the explicit assertion that the portrayal of torture on 24 is detrimental to America's image abroad, that it makes torture acceptable to the viewing public and even that soldiers who watch 24 go ahead and try those same techniques on detainees.

To the author of that article, Jane Mayer, I can only say: sucks when the shoe is on the other foot, don't it?

Because I remember the outcry in the early 70s when the sitcoms began showing frank portrayals of behavior that most of the country considered immoral, and they were all told to sit down and shut up because it was "only a show" and that it wouldn't affect people. Except that it did. Radically. TV sitcoms have done more to change the way Americans think about sexual behavior than any other thing, including the university.

So if the Left is upset that conservatives are spewing their vile filth over the TV waves, maybe they should remember who it was that opened the door to that kind of thing in the first place.

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