Wednesday, January 14, 2009

So stupid it hurts

Glenn Beck: (Via Atrios)

During the January 13 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade falsely suggested that only "people at the U.N. [United Nations]" want to close the U.S. military-run detention facility at Guantánamo Bay. Discussing torture in Fox Broadcasting Co.'s TV drama 24, Kilmeade asked Fox News' Glenn Beck: "Do you think anybody talks about Gitmo except these people at the U.N., who think it's the worst thing that's ever happened?" While Kilmeade was speaking, Beck answered, "No." In fact, Sen. John McCain, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, James Baker, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, and Colin Powell are among those who have said that Guantánamo should be closed.

Beck and the Fox & Friends hosts also invoked 24 as a justification for the use of torture. Referring to the show's recent season premiere, in which protagonist Jack Bauer, a former member of the fictional "Counter Terrorist Unit," defends his use of torture during a hearing before Congress, Beck said: "[I]t's going to take somebody who sits in front of Congress who is not afraid of them anymore and does what Jack Bauer did. And that is, 'Yes, I did torture, and I'm proud of it.' And it's time for these things to come out of the closet." Introducing an excerpt from 24, in which Bauer is seen answering questions from a congressional committee about torture, Kilmeade stated: "Let's listen to what happened in the fictional series 24 and see if this helps build your argument."

After the clip, co-host Steve Doocy said: "In particular, in that clip, you know, the guy [fictional Sen. Blaine Mayer] goes, 'You tortured them.' And he [Bauer] goes, 'Well, it probably was torture under your definition. But ask the people whose lives I saved whether or not it was worth me going over the edge' -- they would probably -- you ask the average person, 'Is it OK to do something, rough somebody up, to save lives?' You ask the person on the street, they'd say, 'Yeah, why not?' "

During the segment, on-screen text read: "What Americans Need to Hear; Beck Applauds Jack Bauer's Honesty"
Sweet Jesus. While it may be clear to 99.9% of the people watching the show, I guess Glenn Beck can't wrap his mind around the fact that Jack Bauer IS NOT REAL. His name is Keiffer Southerland, and he is not a special agent. He is a talented actor who has a drinking problem. Funnily enough, he has spoken out against REAL LIFE torture, but then again none of this matters because 24 IS A FICTIONAL TV SHOW.

I (and I'm assuming the other 99.9% of people who manage live their lives while distinguishing fiction from reality) watch 24 because it's entertaining. There are tons of twists, cliffhanger endings, explosions, and most importantly, lots of Jack Bauer running around and singlehandedly fucking shit up Rambo style.

The first episode contains, a person surviving two M16 shots to the chest and a secret conspiracy within the US Government to help a genocide involving multiple traitors within the president's cabinet and FBI. Jack Bauer drives through a concrete barrier out the second story of a parking garage while pinned underneath the driver's seat, only to easily run away from the scene afterwards. The season opened with one of the main characters coming back from the dead... so we're talking about soap opera levels suspended disbelief.

And that's ok, because I'm pretty sure realism wasn't the goal here, whether it relates to torture or people being able to run through machine gun fire.

So before he gets carried away, somebody better keep Beck's hands off of a Robocop DVD, or we'd have calls for a privatized robotic police force before you know it. Yeah, I know it's Glenn Beck and I shouldn't be surprised, but this close to livestock levels of intelligence.

And when the front page of today's post IN THE REAL WORLD reads "9/11 Suspect Tortured, Says Trial Overseer", there are probably more important things to discuss than what happened on a TV show.


  1. Wait till Glenn sees the end of the series, when Bauer inevitably puts justice first and turns himself in or 'pays' for his actions...

    Your first point, which I believe is VERY IMPORTANT: