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ABC announced a new TV series "Homeland Security USA", premiering Jan. 6, which is supposed to be a reality show that is produced with the Giant Helping Hand of Homeland Security, which certainly wants and needs lots of entertainment-style propaganda. According to this NYT article:

In an announcement Thursday, ABC said the production "has been given unprecedented access to the agencies," including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration and the Coast Guard.

But this isn't about anti-terrorism efforts. This is about immigration.

The show will spotlight the work of border patrol officials who work on land, sea and air to keep the United States secure.

Secure from what, or whom?

Migrants, perhaps? Migrants from where, I wonder?

When news of the series emerged in May, the show was named "Border Security USA." Although the name has evolved, the show will still focus on the border patrol mission.

Although it's been compared to cable's "Ice Road Truckers" & "Deadliest Catch" as a sort of "spotlight this interesting job" thing, in reality it's propaganda for the most aggregious human-rights-violating branch of the Federal government. Sort of like Montsanto or Shell Oil saying: "we're people, too." That's always the PR plan of choice when polluting, human-rights-smashing, otherwise-slimy organizations want to "clean up" their "profile": just show the "human" side. Always, every company has "Real People" doing "positive" work for a "purpose".

The producers know what they're doing.

The executive producer, Arnold Shapiro, acknowledged at the time that the show was meant to portray Homeland Security in a good light.
"I love investigative journalism, but that's not what we're doing," he told The Reporter in May. "This show is heartening. It makes you feel good about these people who are doing their best to protect us."

And what could be wrong with that?

Well, it just happens that there are issues with what we are being "protected" against. Against migrants from Mexico? And what threats do they now pose? Are they "hurting" our economy? And if that's the reason, why don't we expel some of those nasty banks with their toxic assets that are doing much more to drag the economy into the tank?

Why don't some of these "people" try "doing their best" to get rid of the real threats to the United States? Like the law-breaking, torture-condoning, human-rights-degrading secret policies of the Cheney/Bush administration and their cronies. Like hiring a special prosecutor to make that administration, especially the Angler (Dick Cheney) face the consequences of their actions.

If the immigration "threats" were merely considered civil, then this would be a job-highlighting light-hearted adventure series. But when they are considered criminal, it makes this a propaganda series for the agency assigned the task of making migrant-type work as deadly, dangerous, and dead-end as humanly possible. Good luck, farms and factories, finding any employees with half the work ethic of most of your current, "threatening", but yet cooperative, Latino workers.

Btw, you're not gonna find anybody. Until then, though, this series needs to die a fast, scandalous death. First, Homeland Security is charged with too many contradicted tasks. Immigration should all be under one roof as it used to be, not the "enforcement arm" under the same wing as the anti-terror task forces and other 911-inspired bureaucracies-in-funding. Not to mention FEMA. Since when is disaster relief a "security issue". It implies the public itself poses some kind of threat. And if nature poses a threat, is the DHS then posed to "protect" us from "acts of God"?  Why don't we put the heads of several religions in charge then, if that's the case? The whole organization is wrong-headed, and needs an overhaul.

In the face of these issues, not to mention the issues of excessive force and excessive punishment against migrants from Mexico in particular, this show is in really bad taste at best, and encourages more anti-migrant public sentiment on the other.  All we need is more emotion to make a rational Immigration Bill all the more impossible to achieve.

All we need is more propaganda to vilify populations that already are practically under siege, right? Anyone who's sick of this, join this Facebook group and maybe we can show ABC there's more to entertainment than promoting borderphobia.

x-posted at thinkbridge

Originally posted to thinkbridge on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 03:00 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  we don't need more propaganda (24+ / 0-)

    to solve our border problems.

    The economy didn't tank from illegal immigrants, for sure.

    thinkbridge "A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    by thinkbridge on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 03:01:20 PM PST

    •  THANK YOU (6+ / 0-)

      I don't watch much network TV (thank god for TDS/TCR and a DVR), but I've seen the brief teasers for this, I assume a new series.  When I heard the tag lines ("the brave peope who keep us safe"), I just about puked.

      Hey, I got a suggestion for them.  How about a show about the TSA, the morons who (among other things) spend their time puffing up themselves and generally making flying the airlines miserable for no good reason.  "TSA Theater" could actually be a great show.  But this?  Propaganda.  Dangerous, delusional propaganda.

      This "show" sounds like a right-wing wet dream.  "24" without the Fox.

      Vomit.

  •  Is Efrem Zimbalist Jr going to star? (5+ / 0-)
  •  The network that brought you The Path to 9/11 (12+ / 0-)

    and the worst debate of the election...

  •  asdf (6+ / 0-)

    Anyone whose knowledge of historical events is based on ANY television series (save, perhaps, NOVA) deserves to wallow in ignorance.

    The LAST place anyone should be taking their political and social education from is any of the major networks.

    I don't have "issues". I have a full subscription!

    by GayIthacan on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 03:05:26 PM PST

  •  "Desperate Contractors"...eom (4+ / 0-)
  •  well look at 24? A right wing racist paranoia (7+ / 0-)

    filled diatribe and its ratings are huge!

    Who needs political enemies, when you have concerned friends?

    by HGM MA on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 03:16:19 PM PST

    •  That's why they're ripping it off (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moosely2006

      Duh.

      Rat bastids.

    •  Unfortunately, yes (4+ / 0-)

      One of the teachers in the department I am in is a Viet Nam veteran. He watches 24 religiously. He doesn't want to talk about the things he did in Nam, which I gather were rather, um, desperate.

      Yet he trusts the American government to identify terrorists and thinks we should torture those "terrorists" to "save lives". He cites 24 as a reason for his firm belief in torture... I'm almost at the point where I can't even talk to him any longer...

      But don't forget that most men without property would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich, than face the reality of being poor. (1776)

      by banjolele on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 03:37:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not really anything new... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, leftyboy666, chrome327

    As long as I can remember, television has been glorifying the police. COPS, Law and Order, NYPD Blue, CSI, etc... The list just goes on and on. Those shows always portray police in a positive light, like the police are always the good guys. Too bad real life isn't so simple...

    They do the same thing with the military.

    •  Threat Matrix! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phenry

      It's got Homeland Security!
      It's got the word "Matrix!"
      It can't possibly fail!
      Threat Matrix!

    •  And who do you expect to protect us (0+ / 0-)

      from violent criminals? I never understood the hostility toward the police that I sometimes see among a small minority of the left. Instead of realizing that the violent criminals are the bad guys some on the left make them the victims.

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        Look, police are not always the good guys. How are they protecting me when they arrest some college kid for growing pot? That person is being victimized by the police. The person will probably end up in prison where they will have a high chance of being beaten and raped, and the criminal record will follow them and hurt their chances for success for the rest of their life. How is that helping them, how is it making us safer?

        I don't think we should get rid of the police, and I don't think police are evil. They are clearly a necessary part of society. I'm just saying that things aren't black and white like the media makes them out to be. It's not as simple as "police are always good and criminals are always bad", it's a lot more complicated.

        •  Well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ppl can fly

          Look, police are not always the good guys. How are they protecting me when they arrest some college kid for growing pot?

          The "college kid growing pot" is violating the law. You may not agree with the current drug laws; but, as it stands, growing pot is illegal. Law enforcement has a duty to arrest the "college kid growing pot". They're just doing their job.

          I'm one who supports putting first-time offenders into diversionary/treatment programs that wipe out their record. But I don't fault the police here for enforcing the law. It's not their fault that we have the current drug laws. I'm sure that many police officers would rather have them changed, but that doesn't mean that they can "look the other way" when they see a crime like that occurring.

          You're right that they are bad police officers. But, to some on the left, again a small minority, they make it seem like all police are bad.

      •  this is not hostility to police! (0+ / 0-)

        on the contrary, I think the police should do the work that's farmed out to an overbloated "Homeland Security" - give police the funding, not a stupid bureaucracy that didn't need to exist in the first place.

        The Border Patrol is not a wrong thing in itself - the "first episode" blurb shows them helping find some would-be immigrants who got stuck in the desert crossing - but it's the whole HOmeland Security and prison-promotional thing, the whole human-rights-second, round-em-up-first thing.  

        Police and the Border Patrol and other law enforcement are absolutely essential to a successful democracy. But they deserve a half-decent government organization.

        thinkbridge "A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

        by thinkbridge on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 09:21:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fair enough (0+ / 0-)

          But I think that the real issue is that many of you have problems with US immigration policy. Attacking the Border Patrol, who has to carry out the current law, isn't the best way to do it. The fact is that they have no control over the law. It's Congress and the White House who design the law.

          Personally, though, I'm not supportive of illegal immigration. Maybe it is because I'm half Hispanic myself and my mother came here legally and had to "play the rules", but I just don't get the "progressive position" on illegal immigration. It seems to be that, just because an illegal/undocumented immigrant came here illegally and ICE didn't immediately catch him or her, he/she should be allowed to stay. That just violates my sense of fairness. It's not fair to the others who have to wait years to come here to have others jump ahead of them in the line because they came here illegally.

  •  Thank you. (5+ / 0-)

    When I saw the ads for this piece of tripe originally, I had to wonder why the series was made at all.  With Georgie and Dickie out of the White House, the primary threat to the US is neutered (I hope), and having a TV show like this serves only to scare people witless.  We already have enough witless idiots running around who are horribly gullible and liable to take propaganda seriously; we don't need any more who are hooked on stupid TV shows.

    I am not going to be watching this show, just as I didn't watch 24.  I also never watch scary movies full of special effects.  I don't get the whole thing about deliberately indulging in faux fear for the sake of entertainment.  The most it can do is make people paranoid and scared of their own shadows, and it's SO not necessary.

    Besides which, I believe "Homeland" Security should never have been created.  The most that was necessary was for the law enforcement agencies communicate with each other, which they hadn't done prior to 9/11.  Why FEMA was tossed into that morass is beyond me.  The whole Dept. of Homeland Security is a term straight out of Nazi Germany with the title and needs to be disbanded and federal law enforcement agencies need to go back to being autonomous - but communicating with each other when they're investigating the same criminals.

    (¯`*._(¯`*._(-IMPEACH-)_.*´¯)_.*´¯)

    by NonnyO on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 03:17:40 PM PST

    •  couldn't agree more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO

      your opinion:

      Besides which, I believe "Homeland" Security should never have been created.  The most that was necessary was for the law enforcement agencies communicate with each other, which they hadn't done prior to 9/11.  Why FEMA was tossed into that morass is beyond me.  The whole Dept. of Homeland Security is a term straight out of Nazi Germany with the title and needs to be disbanded and federal law enforcement agencies need to go back to being autonomous - but communicating with each other when they're investigating the same criminals.

      should become another diary, or better yet, a book. It needs to be widely disseminated.

      thinkbridge "A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

      by thinkbridge on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 08:38:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  OMIGOD! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moosely2006, ppl can fly, chrome327

    Please don't let any outsiders pick my grapes, or lettuce, clean my house! I want my neighbors to do that, and at the same rate of pay!

    Tonight I'm going to party like it's 1929.

    by Bensdad on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 03:52:48 PM PST

  •  most aggregious human-rights-violating branch... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moosely2006, ppl can fly, chrome327

    Sorry, that is the prison-industrial complex, but the clowns at Homeland Security come in at second.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 03:55:19 PM PST

  •  It's important (6+ / 0-)

    to maintain a steady drumbeat of fear-mongering against impoverished brown people, because we want to make sure they've all been thoroughly pre-dehumanized in case we want to bomb some of them.

    This sig line is in foreclosure. For details on acquiring a credit default swap on this sig line, contact H. Paulson, Dept of the Treasury, c/o Goldman, Sachs

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 03:55:24 PM PST

  •  And for THIS, I lost "Pushing Daisies"? n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moosely2006

    I am DONE listening to people who tell me we are "doomed" unless we do this, that, or the other. We voted fear out on Nov 4th. They need to get the memo.

    by Whimsical on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 03:58:37 PM PST

  •  ABC is dead to me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moosely2006

    And an infomercial on behalf of the Department of Homeland Propaganda isn't going to make them any more lively.

     Man, I hope Obama finds a recently paroled serial killer for one of the FCC commission seats ... the organization, it needs to grow a pair and start dealing with stuff like this.

  •  ABC is the same (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seabos84, moosely2006, chrome327

    bunch of assholes that brought us "The Road To 9/11". They are Fox Lite in a lot of ways.

    "All that serves labor serves the nation. All that harms labor is treason. -Abraham Lincoln

    by happy camper on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 03:59:47 PM PST

  •  Does anyone else see the irony (0+ / 0-)

    of a good Jewish boy...

    The executive producer, Arnold Shapiro, acknowledged at the time that the show was meant to portray Homeland Security in a good light.

    ...in charge of a show with a title right out of Hitler's playbook?

    Change the media ownership laws - break up the corporate media monopoly!

    by moosely2006 on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 04:07:16 PM PST

  •  Oh please (0+ / 0-)

    We need a border patrol and I don't have a problem with this TV show. We have immigration law. Those who come here illegally should face deportation. I don't get the self-entitlement complex that the apologists for illegal/undocumented immigrants. They are not here legally. Why should we allow them to stay when they have not followed proper procedure to come here?

    •  oooh, self-entitlement?? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ppl can fly

      I suppose the pro-auto worker people are full of self-entitlement delusions, too.

      In fact, why do we need workers at all? Why are all those nasty employers hiring folks from Mexico?

      And why have those folks

      not followed proper procedure to come here?

      Because the "Immigration Law" sucks, and doesn't deal with the issue of migrant labor in a reasonable, practical, and human-rights-accountable way. What is wrong is the DHS taking over the issue of immigration, and criminalizing it.

      For over 200 years, immigration was a civil issue, not a criminal one. The idea of criminalizing it is new with the post-911 mentality that all problems are to be solved by a)fear and b)loathing and c)prison, torture, or war.

      ICE has become a sort of power unto itself, with a mandate that has no place in the delicate issues we are dealing with. Migrant work is not a culture war, nor is it a criminal issue. It is an economic/labor issue, and it helps, not hurts, the US economy.

      Promoting the DHS and its twisted role only distorts the already distorted values of those who see all border disputes as a threat, as war, and as the cause of everything we happen not to like, per Lou Dobbs & Pat Robertson. It promotes racism and discrimination and human rights violation.

      The laws must change, and this fear-mongering will only hurt the possibility of that.

      thinkbridge "A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

      by thinkbridge on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 09:15:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Focus on changing immigration law then (0+ / 0-)

        But I don't understand someone coming here illegally should automatically be allowed to stay. I just don't get the "progressive" position on illegal immigration. I'm half Hispanic myself but my mother came here legally. I just resent the fact that other people come here illegally and then expect--no, demand--that they be allowed to stay.

  •  If the show is reality, rather than propaganda (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Duke1676, thinkbridge, chrome327

    Do you think this show will show the Department of Homeland Security as it really is?  I'm an ex-employee (US Customs Service) and I can tell you that EVERYONE I know who still works for them thinks that Homeland Security is one screwed up mess with all the managers fighting over turf.  Customs, Agriculture and Immigration Inspectors are being cross-trained so that they do three different jobs in a mediocre fashion, rather than doing one job well.  THe people I used to work with were proud of the job they did.  No longer.

    Do you think ABC will show that.  I don't.

    •  wow great comment! (0+ / 0-)

      couldn't agree more! the DHS is nothing more than an agenda and funding without a "cause" - I mean, without a realistic practical direction that helps society and the "common good."

      thinkbridge "A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

      by thinkbridge on Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 09:17:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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