24: fearmongering?

We took lengthy looks at the nascent presidential hopes of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, on World News and Nightline and Good Morning America this ayem, and here's THE FREE VIDEO of it.On Fox's action-packed drama 24 Monday night, terrorists detonated a suitcase nuke. Now some liberal commentators, such as MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, are questioning whether this is part of a larger plan of some sort. The conservative Newsbusters.org NOTES THAT Olbermann last night asked "Is 24 propaganda? Is it fearmongering? Or is it a program-length commercial for one political party?" His argument seemed to imply that the show is "propaganda designed to keep people thinking about domestic terrorism to keep us scared?"He also added that Vice President "Al Gore makes a movie about global warming and gets smeared as a fearmonger. Fox portrays a fictionalized America riddled with terrorists, which helps keep part of the real America convinced we might really be riddled with terrorists. And it wins five Emmies and two Golden Globes."Um...well, 24 as you may know, details the life of counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer. This is a show planned and shot before 9/11 though obviously it has more resonance today. That speaks more to the fact that show creator Joel Surnow was paying attention to the fatwas of Osama bin Laden and the pre-9/11 terrorist attacks -- far more so than the rest of us were -- than anything else.That's not to say the show doesn't have a certain conservative appeal -- as we discussed on NIGHTLINE last June.  (FREE VIDEO HERE).But if you ask anyone in the field of terrorism, they will tell you their greatest fear is that terrorists sneak a suitcase nuke into the U.S.  I remember attending a pre-9/11 briefing by Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., who said it was his greatest concern (he was decrying the administration's lack of attention to terrorism and its focus on a missile shield.) Why wouldn't a show focused on terrorism discuss this threat? After all, 24 has to constantly up the ante to keep its viewers coming back...Personally, my biggest issue with the new season of 24 is the fact that KAL PENN (Kumar from "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle") plays an Islamic terrorist, and that WEIRD GUY from Ally McBeal plays one of the President's key aides. - jt

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