After the first two episodes of 24
on Seven, you get the feeling that it’s been brought to you by the
Republican Party and is really a thin attempt to justify torture. Well,
it’s a Fox production from the same stable as Fox News and the Murdoch
media empire, who have been strident supporters of the Bush
Administration.

In
the first episode, which aired in Australia last Monday, Jack Bauer
(Kiefer Sutherland) shot a suspected terrorist in the thigh for no
apparent reason, except to obtain information. He rushed into the room,
produced the gun and bang. That was after assaulting one of his own
side.

The message seems to be that breaking the law, using a
gun, illegally assaulting a prisoner and torture are all permissible to
achieve his aims. Inflicting pain on someone in captivity to try to
obtain information is torture, no matter what some might call it. In 24
the US Defence Secretary is kidnapped and Jack Bauer has fallen in
lurve with his daughter, who is also kidnapped. So his angst is sort of
explainable in human emotional terms.

But in terms of Guantanamo
Bay, detainees and US prisons in Iraq, there seems to be another
agenda: justifying the present American approach to dealing with the
terrorist threat. No finesse or trying to understand why attacks
happen. 24 legitimises terrorists, turning them into “military” opponents, when they are actually law breakers or murderers.

The
show is escapist fiction, two dimensional at best. The naughty chaps
are unshaven and have a Mediterranean appearance. Their nationality
isn’t stated, but implied.

But you’ll have to wait until 9:40pm tonight for the next “thrilling” instalment of 24, because Seven has brought back Desperate Housewives.

Peter Fray

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