Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The politics of torture on Fox TV's "24"

I believe I made a crack in lecture the other day about the way that that Fox's 24 , one of the currently most popular conspiracy-based entertainments, promotes the use of torture in the real world through conspiracy theory logic. Specifically, I was talking about the logic that paints a real or suspected enemy as a conspirator so sneaky, powerful, and monstrously evil that any means were justified in stopping them, immediately. It turns out I was more on target than I knew. Take a look at this article in the current New Yorker, where we discover that the creater of 24 is a Rush Limbaugh-type conservative ideologue who thinks that torture is a great idea and an effective technique even though technical advisors from the U.S. military have told him it isn't. And where do you think that most Americans, including people in politics and young military recruits, get their ideas about torture and the most effective means of fighting terrrorism? My money is on 24 rather than some dry Pentagon study.