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September 2, 2014

24 and torture. Yes, again.

by Meredith O'Brien, posted Mar 1st 2007 2:41PM

Jack Bauer on 24It's the issue that will not die.

Torture and 24.

Newsweek is the latest to weigh in on the never-ending controversy about 24's portrayal of torture and its impact on real-life interrogators in the field. Even though the show's producers have said they're going to scale back on such scenes (you could've fooled me with the promos for next week with Jack Bauer threatening to remove a Russian official's fingers) the issue continues to be hotly debated.

The Newsweek piece includes an interview with a former U.S. Army specialist about interrogation tactics, as well as a quote from an unnamed Pentagon official saying that he (or she) hasn't heard of allegations regarding U.S. soldiers pretending to be Jack Bauer in interrogation rooms.

Yes, you read that correctly. A Pentagon official is issuing statements about a fictional TV show. Saying that it's not real. Maybe the American Medical Association will soon issue a statement about the real impact of hypothermia to combat the miraculous recovery of Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy last week.

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Megavoltz

Benny isn't the moron here Icheb...

I guess you never watch any commercials and completely avoid all promos, eh Icheb?

Because I know I have probably seen the promo for next week's 24 at least 10 times this week during commercial breaks...

I mean jeeze, if you are THAT obessed about it your best bet is to lock yourself in a closet till next week...or at least avoid reading articles on TVSquad.

March 03 2007 at 7:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Icheb

Hey Benny, get a clue. There might be people out there who don't want to know anything about upcoming episodes. This includes watching promos and anything like that. Why don't you get a brain first and then go to websites to bash people. And clean up your pitiful act. Moron.

March 02 2007 at 8:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Benny

Hey Icheb, get a clue. The only thing mentioned about next week's show was from the promo. THE PROMO. You know, THE AD FOR THE NEXT SHOW THAT WAS AIRED THREE DAYS BEFORE. Why don't you watch the show first and then go to websites to read about them. And clean up your pitiful act. Moron.

March 02 2007 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
VSJ

As I have said before, it's AMAZING how tolerant people are of violence and torture - but as soon as a covered nipple flashes for 20 seconds the world goes insane and the FCC jumps in to fine the network $500,000 (By the way, where exactly does the money go when it's paid to the FCC?)...WAKE UP, PEOPLE!

March 02 2007 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Icheb

STOP WITH THE FUCKING SPOILERS YOU DUMBASS.

March 01 2007 at 10:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alice

In the Feb. 19&26 issue of The New Yorker, there was article about Joel Surnow that described a meeting of a military delegation with some folks from the show (minus Surnow who supposedly double-booked himself.) The military guys requested the meeting in order to express their concerns with the way "24" depicts torture as being a successful way to get information. To the best of my memory, the article said that meeting took place last fall. It was an interesting read, and presented both the delegation's concerns (along with some anecdotal evidence of soldiers using ideas they got from "24" on prisoners in Iraq) and the show's take on the whole deal. I was hoping to link to the article, but unfortunately The New Yorker doesn't have it posted on their website. Has anyone else read it?

March 01 2007 at 6:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob

CC,.. Hated Braveheart & Gladiator?!?!

What a shame.

March 01 2007 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

With all the crap that's going on in the world these days the focus on the FICTIONAL AND TOTALLY UNREALISTIC torture scenes on 24 is just asinine. It's the stuff presidents dream of when they want attentiond focused away from their mistakes. I'm a proud liberal and while I find some of Conserevatiove clap-trap espoused by this show grating I get that it's escapism. If our soldiers are using a show like 24 as an example of how to act in a time of war that's a much deeper problem them what 24 depicts. I for one have a little more faith in our men and women of the armed services and believe they can tell fact from fiction. God, people just need to get over themselves!

March 01 2007 at 6:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vanlandw

24 spoiler in the first paragraph of your article....as somebody who doesn't watch the teasers and tries not hear what is going to happen in the programming this is the third time this season of I've been burned by TV squad with spoilers of upcoming episodes. I'm no longer going to read this site.

On topic thought CC sumed up my feelings exactly.

March 01 2007 at 6:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C C

Oh man, here we go again.

I am a female liberal who abhors violence. Hate most action movies. Hated Braveheart and Gladiator. But I adore 24, and I'm not understanding this controversy at all. Yes, there's SOME brutality, but it's not like Jack Bauer is some sadist who gets kicks from beating up suspects. Jack is a modern day Arthurian knight, who uses a pistol and a stun gun instead of a sword and a lance. He has a code of honor, and a set of morals. He has soul. And he and his fellow knights wrestle with the conflict between the rules of knighthood and the world of courtly love that lies outside.

I'm getting the feeling that the powers that be on both sides of spectrum want a scapegoat for the fallout of the Iraq War. Instead of looking in the mirror, let's attack a fictional TV show! The anti-violence peacenik progressives who haven't watched an episode want to blame it for the degeneration of American Culture. The conservatives, whose military wet dream has turned into an all too real nightmare, can't face the music about their own blood lust. It can't be their mentality! It must come from an external source! In this case, my fellow liberals are just as bad as my enemy republicans.

It saddens me when I see people I really respect, like Keith Olbermann and James Wolcott, trash 24 as being lightweight proto-fascist pulp. It isn't. I consider it the greatest piece of political allegory that has ever hit the airwaves. Yes, co-creator Joel Surnow is a Republican. But the other main writer of 24 is Howard Gordon, who has been connected with some of the finest fantasy TV shows (X-files, Buffy, Beauty and the Beast), and who is a Democrat. And I think that lends to what I consider to be 24's greatest strength: they don't espouse a particular political viewpoint. There are baddies on both right and left. And the primary evildoers are not terrorists, but corporatists.

Needless to say, I'm getting really sick of this.

March 01 2007 at 5:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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