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blog #2

When thinking about a TV program that could show an
ideological bias in America, a show we discussed in class immediately came to
mind: 24. 24 was a television program that constantly came under fire from the
media for a number of reasons, the main one being racial stereotyping. Yet despite
the large amount of criticism from mainstream media, 24 was an immensely
popular show. I personally know people from all sides of the political and
social spectrum that absolutely loved the show while it was on the air. It is
interesting to me how the American population can find a show that can be
extreme at times so addicting, despite the media actively trying to discourage
people from watching it. I think that a central reason for this phenomenon is
the American people’s mood in a post 9/11 society. The show debuted November 6,
2001, just months after September 11th. People’s attention was attached
to all things relating to terrorism, and people undoubtedly wanted to watch a
show in which the protagonist single handedly dismantles a terrorist plot. It makes
sense that people would be interested in 24 at the time of its debut and even
the next few seasons. What is interesting is that it remained popular through
all 8 seasons. The media began to turn on the show around the third season if I
remember correctly. I believe the accusations of racism are unjustified and are
made by people who have never watched the show. It is easy to point out that
many of the villains in 24 are Muslim or Russian. But anyone who has ever
watched 24 knows that 95% of the characters end up being bad guys or were bad
guys gone good. The show also features a black and female president and
numerous people of color portrayed in a very positive light. Thus, any
accusation of racial bias is unfounded. The American people wanted to watch a
show where terrorism is defeated on a daily basis. To me, this shows an
ideology of patriotism and unity against the threat terrorism poses to the American
way of life. Even after the anti war sentiment popped up in our media and
culture, 24 remained a popular show. This means that while some people may
disagree with our involvement in the middle east, at heart the loved watching a
television show about a man who was willing to do whatever it takes to defend
his country and what he believed was right.
This is an encouraging thing to me, as it means patriotism is still
alive in our culture.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Wa8Iag2rOw

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  1. September 27, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Good points about 24. I think the program does seem to resolve a problem that we don’t find easily resolvable. We sort of wish one mostly-good guy could go out and defeat all the “bad guys” within 24 hours, and yet we’ve found ourselves mired in several wars that don’t make sense to people. I agree that it’s sort of an expression of patriotism, but I’d say it’s also one that’s laced in nostalgia for the way we used to think about how to fight those who are our enemies. Full credit.

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