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