Honestly, not having a TV, I kind of miss this stuff -really great fun!
May 27th 2010 Economist Magazine
The world according to “24”
Jack Bauer is a cartoon. Yet some people take him seriously
A GROUP of terrorists is planning to kill millions of Americans. Only
one man can stop them: Jack Bauer. Unfortunately, he has been imprisoned in a
secret facility. And tortured. Then decapitated and fed to boars.
“Fortunately,” says the president’s chief of staff, “he was trained for exactly
All this is harmless fantasy, of course. Or is it? A disconcerting number of Americans take “24” seriously. During a televised debate in 2007, Tom Tancredo, a Republican presidential candidate, was asked what methods he would authorise to extract information from a terrorist suspect in a “ticking bomb” scenario. “I’m looking for Jack Bauer at that time, let me tell you,” he said. Bauer routinely tortures terrorists in disgusting ways to save innocent lives. Being a fictional character, he never tortures the wrong guy or extracts false information. Real life is not like that. Yet a Pew poll last year found that half of Americans think that torturing terrorist suspects can “sometimes” or “often” be justified. Only a quarter said “never”.
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