Lowry: How ‘Liberal Hollywood’ Carried Water For Torture
Brian Lowry at Variety writes about “The 24 Effect” and how so-called “liberal Hollywood” has been an ally of conservatives and the Bush administration when it comes to torture.
[su_thin_right_skyscraper_ad]Fox’s “24,” naturally, comes to mind, and the movie “Zero Dark Thirty,” which was criticized for its depiction of torture as a likely asset in locating Osama Bin Laden. Surprisingly, director Kathryn Bigelow seemed tongue-tied when Jon Stewart benignly asked her about the film during a recent appearance promoting another project in the wake the Torture Report’s conclusions.
The practice has been employed in other series as well – such as “Sons of Anarchy,” “Scandal” and “Homeland” – and countless movies, from the bad guys who use it (see various Quentin Tarantino films) to the ostensible good guys.
Indeed, torture is used by both heroes and villains, the main difference being that the former do so grudgingly, instead of sadistically, and, when the tables are turned, usually don’t give up information. “24’s” Jack Bauer, for example, took it as well as he dished it out, and James Bond was still cracking jokes while enduring a brutal beating in the most recent “Casino Royale.”
While the latest report called into question the efficacy of torture, as the Washington Post’s Terrence McCoy put it, “that’s not how it looks on TV. Harsh interrogation, as an effective means of eliciting crucial information, has become firmly entrenched in popular culture.”
Not only has torture become more frequent since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, but the acceptance of those depictions in entertainment has been cited as a point of reference – and even an endorsement of the tactics…
Since one of the more discussed enhanced interrogation techniques involved waterboarding, Hollywood was at least one of the constituencies that, wittingly or not, helped carry the CIA’s water.