Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Homeland Insecurity.

I've been seeing commercials recently for a new show premiering tonight on ABC called H0meland Security U.S.A. The commercials really rub me the wrong way. The show is presumably a version of Cops that will follow Border Patrol, The Coast Guard and all the other agencies under D.H.S. And the commercials are heavy on all the things we need to fear and how these agencies are all going to protect us.

Frankly, I'm surprised someone in the Bush administration didn't get a show like this on the air years ago. In all fairness, I've only seen the commercials and the video I linked above, but the whole thing just screams propaganda at me. Tom Shales' review , however, makes me think D.H.S. might end up questioning their reasoning behind cooperating with the producers. Shales writes:

Armed officers surround a car trying to get through the San Ysidro checkpoint, forcing a woman inside to get out and kneel on the ground with her hands behind her head while agents shout threats at the male driver, still in the car (or, as the agents tend to say, the "veekle").

It turns out they had entirely the wrong man. Angrily, the wife tells the agents, "You always get my husband confused with someone else," indicating she has gone through similar humiliations before. The announcer finds a silver lining: "It doesn't take long for the officers to discover this is a case of mistaken identity!" he trumpets. Goody for them; it probably seemed very long to the driver and his wife.

He continues:

It's doubtful that very many viewers will feel more secure after witnessing that and other Keystone Kop-like operations; there's little about "Homeland Security USA" that's warmly reassuring in the post-9/11 world.

I have to admit that part of my distaste for this show I haven't even seen is The Department of Homeland Security and it's very existence irks me so much. First, I hate the name. Homeland Security sounds too much like something from the Third Reich. Second, I don't, for a minute, believe that the agencies within its purview are any better coordinated now than they were before they were all tossed into the same handbasket. And third, I hate that FEMA is in there, as if the weather is some malevolent being bent on America's destruction.

Guess what. NCIS is on at the same time. I think I'll watch that instead.


Steve Buchheit said...

Just heard a promo on this mornings NPR. I wonder if it'll still be around by April?

Well, good thing I don't watch much TV anymore.

Jeff Hentosz said...

::walking by...::

'sup, NG?

::...humming innocently::

Nathan said...

::waves back::

Not much JH, how 'bout you?

Janiece said...

Guess what. NCIS is on at the same time. I think I'll watch that instead.

I'm pretty sure that show would make me barf, too.

vince said...

Janiece, it's quite fun, in my opinion.

What, you want TV = reality? Puh-leeeease.

Michael Taylor said...

I agree -- on the real-life "Homeland Security Agency" at least. I never understood how -- in the post-9/11 panic -- the idea of cramming twenty-odd disparate agencies into one giant catch-all bureaucracy was going to help any one of them do their jobs better.
Bigger is not always better.

But this is America, where even to hint that less might be more is considered highly subversive. Call the Thought Police, now!

Yah, "Homeland Security" definitely has the steel-on-steel clang of the 4th Reich...

Tom said...

Yay, NCIS. I recently got Vera hooked on NCIS, and we record and watch at our leisure.

Homemade Insecurity? Not so much.