Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


He has the balls to torture
February 3, 2006 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Jack Bauer isn't afraid to cut the eyes out of any (deliberative) body; or, Rupert Murdoch demonstrates the 17th Amendment's fatal flaw.
posted by orthogonality (37 comments total)

 
.
posted by matteo at 8:46 AM on February 3, 2006


I think Jack Bauer is far out, man.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:46 AM on February 3, 2006


Blech! While this commercial pushes the envelope, the idea of "product placement" of political views, as mentioned in the article, is revolting. At that point you're really just buying votes.
posted by SirOmega at 8:50 AM on February 3, 2006


Speaking about cutting out eyes.
It 'looks' like you can get away with it.
posted by Balisong at 8:51 AM on February 3, 2006


I love 24. I was actually wondering when Jack was going to get down to torturing someone because we're already on the 6th (?) hour. I'm sure The Administration gets some collective wood when Jack Bauer does his thing.
posted by clearlynuts at 8:53 AM on February 3, 2006


If Donald had known his son would end up as a tool of the uber right agenda, he'd have pulled out.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:04 AM on February 3, 2006


I'm sure The Administration gets some collective wood when Jack Bauer does his thing.

If any of those flaccid, impotent jackasses in the administration could get any wood at all, we'd probably have our military involved in a lot fewer places around the world.
posted by psmealey at 9:07 AM on February 3, 2006


"The producers of this ad are playing off fictional fears to create pressure for their point of view on legislative reality," said Peter Hart, a Democratic-leaning pollster. "I think it's unique."

I'd say deviously clever, but no suprise. Republicans seem to have endless supplies of cash to invest towards staying in power.

But the "fatal flaw" of the 17th amendment? I think it would be far easier to influeunce state legislatures with earmarks, than voters with advertising - no matter how cleverly designed.
posted by three blind mice at 9:10 AM on February 3, 2006


the article fails to mention that the "turncoat" character (being tortured) is portrayed as a naive neocon, handing nerve gas to terrorists...
posted by cgs at 9:18 AM on February 3, 2006


What is the deal with "24" anyway? I'm only peripherally aware of it's existence, but I've been perpetually shocked that a Sutherland would be involved...

Is Kiefer a long ways to the right of the old man, or is it just a paycheck?

Inquiring minds want to know...
posted by stenseng at 9:21 AM on February 3, 2006


Things became complex once we elected Jack Bauer president. Sure, we'd had actors for President before - some even professionals. But we'd never elected a fictional character.

Intense and even confusing as it was for those of us watching, it was infinitely worse for those involved. Kiefer Sutherland has since gone on record saying he'd never have accepted the part if he'd known how difficult it would be. The Tunisian Missile Crises of 2010 truly was real time, and he really did have to stay up all night with no commercial breaks. And having 3 first ladies and 2 daughters kidnapped, even if you were able to get most of them back and they were't actually real family members, can't be any fun for even the most rugged of actors playing a TV hero playing the president playing poker with the most evil men on the planet with the lives of millions as the stakes.

I'm excitedly waiting to see how the 2014 elections turn out. Palpatine is clearly a master of the game, but Max Headroom gives the Democrats undeniable cool factor. Politics never used to be so exciting!
posted by freebird at 9:21 AM on February 3, 2006


This lovely site has the ad available for download.
posted by Espy Gillespie at 9:24 AM on February 3, 2006


I'm sure The Administration gets some collective wood when Jack Bauer does his thing.

well, duh!

Jack Bauer does his thing
posted by quonsar at 9:26 AM on February 3, 2006


Along with what cgs said, the episode in question was all about a plan to plant evidence of chemical weapons of mass destruction in a foreign country so that the U.S. could safely invade and take over their oil supply.

Right there, out in the open.

Did this conservative group actually know what this episode would reveal when they placed that ad?
posted by MsVader at 9:32 AM on February 3, 2006


It's pure manipulation and playing on plausible fears...but who's going to control the controller ? What if the democrats are republican and the republican are democrats ?

Instead of playing the fear game, I'd rather expose them. These Senator must have ties with Al Quada or some important in spreading fear, otherwise why should they suggest terror in TV ads ? Don't they know terrorist want people to be in fear ..sure they know, but it's an useful political tool and republicans aren't knew to these terror strategies (see the communist Red Scare)

Therefore these senator don't fit into definition of terrorist, but certainly don't do anything to stop them...on the contrary they indirectly help them.
posted by elpapacito at 9:41 AM on February 3, 2006


Did this conservative group actually know what this episode would reveal when they placed that ad?
It would be safe to assume so. Ad/show coordination is nothing new. Plus, with a show like 24, just about any episode would work.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:50 AM on February 3, 2006


Still, a "turncoat White House aide who has been helping the terrorists" is the guy who is about to have his eyes removed. That sounds like it could easily be... Karl Rove. In which case the use of torture would be completely justifiable.
posted by zaelic at 10:03 AM on February 3, 2006


Ah. America loves a fascist.
posted by klangklangston at 10:05 AM on February 3, 2006


You see, even a Republican could be tortured! It's really just a necessity of our times! We aren't hypocrites! Torturing is a difficult decision made under duress, not a pathetically Freudian fantasy!

It could even be me! An abstract theory of security is what's important, not basic human decency!
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:09 AM on February 3, 2006


If any of those flaccid, impotent jackasses in the administration could get any wood at all, we'd probably have our military involved in a lot fewer places around the world.

Let me recommend to you the Rude Pundit.
posted by Aknaton at 10:11 AM on February 3, 2006


Tsk. They could have found a way to embed the message in the plot, just like it's been so far. Would have been a lot more effective.
posted by funambulist at 10:25 AM on February 3, 2006


I think the whole existence of the Patriot Act is based on people not knowing the difference between 24 and reality.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:37 AM on February 3, 2006


I think the whole existence of the Patriot Act is based on people not knowing the difference between 24 and reality.

Amen, brother! That sums up my thoughts on it perfectly.
posted by psmealey at 10:44 AM on February 3, 2006


Right on, Dances.
posted by klangklangston at 10:52 AM on February 3, 2006


so, am I right in understanding that the entire reason for 24 to exist is so that it can convince the impressionable audience that torture is a necessary evil in the fight against terrorism?
posted by shmegegge at 11:11 AM on February 3, 2006


By the way, I like 24. I own the first four seasons on DVD. But Back To The Future was closer to reality.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:12 AM on February 3, 2006


*inches closer to armed insurrection*
posted by Smedleyman at 11:27 AM on February 3, 2006


It's Raining Florence Henderson's link has a minor spoiler for next week's episode! (Either that or a cruel joke plus a pretty picture.)
posted by chrominance at 12:33 PM on February 3, 2006


Also, 24's history has been very interesting; you might remember that the pilot episode almost never made it to air, because it was scheduled to air shortly after September 11th (obviously a scheduling decision made before the attacks). The pilot episode, of course, involved an airliner exploding in mid air.

While 24's handling of torture last year was especially horrible, it hasn't always been this way; the second season featured instances where torture didn't really work and a President who a) considered the decision to torture a great deal and b) paid the consequences. Also, when Jack basically threatened to kill a terrorist's family in order to get information, his decision isn't looked at in an entirely sympathetic light by those around him. Say what you will about whether it condoned or disapproved of torture back then, but it was definitely a more nuanced examination than season 4's constant refrain of "WE DON'T HAVE TIME! I NEED TO TORTURE HIM!"
posted by chrominance at 12:43 PM on February 3, 2006


Sorry about that. I was too distracted to read that section carefully, for some reason.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:47 PM on February 3, 2006


Interesting article and, in the end, not terribly surprising.

I have watched 24 since Season Two, and I really felt conflicted about watching this season, precisely because of the torture elements of the show. In the end, I caved, and got hooked right away. It's a great show. But, by watching, am I tacitly supporting the portrayal of torture as an effective information gathering tool?

I just feel dirty, is what I'm saying here.

I suppose you could say it's a logical extension of any cop/spy show where the hero wails on the suspect until he gets the information or the tip he needs.
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:55 PM on February 3, 2006


The one thing that I have wondered is what would impel a real terrorist who is being tortured to give truthful information in the ticking time bomb scenario? It seems that the terrorist's goal is two fold in that case: (1) to foiling the investigation at least until after the proverbial time bomb has exploded and (2) to stop the torture. So, wouldn't the terrorist achieve both goals by deliberately giving false information?

I would argue that the ticking time bomb scenario doesn't exist, and that you will only get truthful information from an captive if he or she is trying to curry favor with the inquisitors. Providing information just to stop physical or mental torment will not, by definition, be reliable. Adding torture to the mix basically throws a wrench into any hope of getting reliable information.

Having said, this. I am curious as to what type of research has been done on this subject. The KGB were experts on extracting information under torture, but I'd be very curious as to what sorts of information could be gotten ("tell me who your associates are!") under torture, or merely if they did it out of pure sadism, to punish enemies of the state, or merely "pour encourager les autres".
posted by psmealey at 1:32 PM on February 3, 2006


psmealey writes "The KGB were experts on extracting information under torture, but I'd be very curious as to what sorts of information could be gotten ('tell me who your associates are!') under torture, or merely if they did it out of pure sadism, to punish enemies of the state, or merely 'pour encourager les autres'."

They did it to get confessions. The confessions didn't have to be accurate, and were generally written by the KGB anyway. Indeed, many of the confessions were -- to any objective observer -- nonsensical. The goal was to get the victim to denounce the KGB's next target.

In this, the KGB's use of torture and confession has strong similarities to various witch trials in Europe and colonial America, and -- less the physical torture -- to Joe McCarthy's Red-hunting.


posted by orthogonality at 3:44 PM on February 3, 2006


How real is "24"?
posted by homunculus at 5:37 PM on February 3, 2006


Wait... this aired during a commercial break?

Who watches commericals anymore in the age of the DVR? I mean, technically, yeah, I must have *seen* the ad, but it probably flew by in less than 5 seconds on FF.
posted by JParker at 9:17 PM on February 3, 2006


That's the point. They want me to go back and watch ONLY the commercials this time.
posted by faceonmars at 9:31 PM on February 3, 2006


Commercials? 24? You watch that from TV? I couldn't deal with that. I watch it on DVD, so I get to choose how long I wait between episodes.

As for Keifer, I think it's nice to see him in a role where he isn't blatantly the bad guy. He's matured nicely.

The political commercial is no surprise. But honestly, I've thought, at times, the entire show was advertising for the neocons.
posted by Goofyy at 6:12 AM on February 5, 2006


« Older Abandoned Memories is short on text but thick with...   |   The Obakemono Project... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments