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View Diary: The Despicable Acceptance of Torture in Our Culture (222 comments)

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  •  see, I don't necessarily agree (2+ / 0-)
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    corvo, cybersaur

    I'm not really a proponent of what I call the "violent video game" theory -- that is, that playing violent video games or watching violent TV shows and movies makes people more likely to accept things like violence and torture as being okay.  In fact, even Keifer Sutherland himself said he thought it was "ridiculous" that people cannot make the distinction between the show "24" and reality.

    While it is possible that "24" might desensitize people to atrocities like torture, I still think a bigger role is played by members of Congress and the establishment press.

    •  The producer of "24" (5+ / 0-)

      Admits he has an agenda with the show.   He's close friends with Rush Limbaugh.    And it's on Rupert Murdoch's network.  

      You should check out the creator of "24", he's most definitely a propagandist.

      I think you might be confusing the notion of "TV doesn't cause people to act violently" with what is simply and admittedly propaganda.

      "24" was propaganda.   There's just no getting around that.

    •  I do think it desensitizes people (1+ / 0-)
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      Of course, if they were sitting in a room while KSM or someone was being tortured, and they saw exactly what was going on, it would be different. However, that's not what happens. People watch 24 where Kiefer kicks terrorist ass then they hear Jonah Goldberg talk about how we need to kick terrorist ass and then we hear Dick Cheney say electrocuting groins and dumping water in their face is how we kick terrorist ass.

      If its all playing out on the TV screen, I dunno, it would be hard to convince me that something like 24 does not go through people's minds when they see torture debates on TV and hear pundits use scenarios straight out of 24 (which is intentional, I imagine). It all gets muddled together.

      There was a good essay about this in Chuck Klosterman's recent book. He didn't come up with this thought experiment but cited it: picture the Old West, or antebellum South, or something like that. Bet you dollars to donuts what pops in your head is straight out of TV.

      •  I agree that it's sad (2+ / 0-)
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        corvo, milkbone

        that pundits and even members of the Supreme Court defend torture on the basis of Jack Bauer kicking ass.

        However, I think there's more to people's approval of torture than desensitization through TV.  Case in point (if may personalize the issue), I watch shows like "24" and movies like "Casino Royale," and play video games where the object is to kick ass and take names, and I enjoy each of them for separate reasons -- yet I still understand and comprehend that torture is not and never should be considered acceptable.  Perhaps I'm not representative of the population at large, but I think there are bigger factors at play behind the results of this poll.

        •  well (2+ / 0-)
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          corvo, milkbone

          I think it's also the fear-based nature of it all, the way its presented: we need to torture or your family will die.

          Bush has gone on record many times saying torture "saved lives." Whether or not that's true (and based on all evidence... it's not) is not the issue. If it has the potential to be true, I imagine most people find that good enough to carve out a small "torture exemption": if it can "save lives" it should be done.

          Problem is, that's not how it was used and that's not how it's going to be used. But that's not part of the discussion.

        •  Of course you are right (1+ / 0-)
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          watching a TV show does not make people avid supporters of actual torture. It's the political aspect of the propaganda that is important. It creates political cover for torture. It smooths the perception that torture is what tough, red-blooded Americans do t protect the folks back home. As other posters have stated, if these tough guy torture supporters had to sit in a room and watch real torture they would be horrified. But 24 and the pundits create the political climate for the average citizen to support torture.

          "'Tubs of slaw' -- 'Gimme two!' -- 'Sorry, only one tub per family'"

          by Geotribe on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 12:06:38 PM PST

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    •  Our media perpetuated the Big Lie (3+ / 0-)
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      corvo, Geotribe, MightyMole

      I still think a bigger role is played by members of Congress and the establishment press.

      When the empty heads that pass for modern day "journalism" started using the torturer's preferred language of "enhanced interrogation techniques" with no reference whatsoever to the fact that torture is a war crime, all was lost. Our useless media enabled a war of aggression and the torture and murder of countless thousands. Good thing heir bush didn't want to put Muslims in ovens or we'd have yet another very disturbing polling point to be sick over.

      AG Holder is obstructing justice by actively refusing investigation of war crimes.

      by cybersaur on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 12:01:26 PM PST

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