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Jun 27th 2007

human rights first: ’24’ should be nicer

back in february, news broke that people were upset the show ’24’ depicts aggressive interrogation techniques. this is what i wrote at the time. — travis

Human Rights First recently brought a West Point commander and retired military interrogators to Hollywood for meetings with producers of [fox’s] “24” and ABC’s “Lost” to talk about their concerns about life imitating art.

this is what they say to support their claim that people are following them:

[Tony Lagouranis, a former U.S. Army specialist] said he saw instances of mock executions like that in “24.” Once, some fellow interrogators asked an Iraqi translator to pretend he was being tortured to strike fear in a prisoner, after they had just watched a similar scene on a DVD.

this is all you can come up with? it would be difficult to find a weaker or more insignificant case of “life imitates art.”

[retired U.S. Army Colonel Stu Herrington, invitee of HRF] said that his tactics were quite different, using respect rather that disdain in dealing with his prisoners, which he referred to as his “guests.” He saluted military officers and allowed prisoners to have a shower, a meal, and medical treament. Building a relationship with the prisoner was far more successful than torture.

i think i speak for the entire 18 – 54 demographic when i say: “replace those dull action scenes with scenes of happy terrorists showering.”

cripes, you’d think that a human rights organization (which is, presumably, chock full of former drama and theatre majors) would have some grasp of what makes good television.

herrington added:

“When the good guys are doing something evil and win, that bothers me.”

there’s the irony! human rights first seems to have no qualms about the bad guys doing evil and/or winning. case in point: why don’t they talk to the terrorists who put out the real beheading videos? why don’t they see if they can reduce the number of actual humans beheaded in filming, and help the evildoers see how their propaganda home videos have no artistic value (but which incite copycats and inspire followers all over the place)?

then, when the organization has solved this actual problem, come back and tackle the show that allegedly, according to one guy, once, temporarily, caused a suspected terrorist to suffer from hurt feelings.

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