Is 24 a "right wing" show?

Self-explanatory question, I think. Do you think the Fox drama “24” espouses or promotes a conservative and/or “right wing” perspective?

I think its generally unapologetic use of torture as (a) morally justifiable and (b) almost unilaterally effective makes the answer to your question YES.

Although it does have characters who are villains that take overly-hawkish and/or reactionary political positions, the fact that the hero Jack Bauer resorts to torture regularly swings the pendulum towards a more conservative perspective.

Or more towards what others perceive as a conservative perspective. Under the definition of conservative it doesn’t read “likes torture”. Actually it would more likely read “respects the rule of law”. I can’t comment on the show directly, I have season 1 & 2 on DVD and I’ll get around to watching it one of these days.

:eek: Did you honestly intend to paint a significant portion of the Straight Dope membership that way?

Apologies to genuine (“rule of law”) conservatives, since I was using the Bush-coopted definition of the word (which is, sadly, the more common usage right now).

I believe your incorrect in that also but you are entitled to your opinion.

It seems like Neocon SM porn to me.

Really? I don’t have a problem with the torture on the show so does that make me a conservative?
:frowning: j/k I know what you meant.

I know the writers/producers are conservative but I don’t get that vibe watching the show that it’s slanted in either direction. David Palmer seemed sort of like a democrat to me unless it’s just wishful thinking.

Palmer was a Democrat.

Joel Surnow, the producer of 24, is very vocal about his conservatism. In fact, he’s jokingly described himself as a “right-wing nut job.” He’s also the driving force behind that new conservative comedy show on Fox.

Here’s a profile of Surnow in The New Yorker.

It’s not explicitly right-wing, but Surnow’s politics definitely infuse the show.

Given the change of heart of the Conservative adviser who wanted to inter Arab Americans, I would say no.
I like the show, but hell, Bauer should be in a U.S. jail. :slight_smile:

I think it’s left-wing with lots of violence to draw and hold the male audience.

I don’t think you can read that New Yorker piece and come away from it thinking the show is “left-wing”.

Prove it. He was black, that’s it. I’ve seen almost every episode of every season, and I don’t recall any mention of the political party of ANY politician on that show.


I haven’t watched the show since the end of the second season, so maybe they’ve done a 180 since then.

But at the time, it seemed clear that Arabs were innocent, wonderful people being framed for terrorism by evil Big Business types, who were trying to start an unjust war.

So, it USED to be built on left-wing premises.

Well, look at it this way: In America today, nobody but conservatives (specifically neocons) is defending the use of torture by government agents.

The New Yorker article is shamelessly biased, ignoring the elements of the show (misguided use of military force in seasons 4 and 6) that don’t paint 24 as a right-wing show. Certainly 24 is “right-wing” in the sense that it recognizes a distinct good (America as a whole, minus moles and whacko politicians) and evil (terrorists). Left-wingers would prefer some mention of American actions that motivated the attacks, refraining from calling terrorists evil, or even terrorists. However, the producers of 24 are smart, and know better than to drive off a good portion of their viewership. Telling a quality, dramatic story (as much as that’s declined recently) is their first priority, not advocating a partisan agenda.

Actually, the left-wing criticism I’ve read of the show has pretty much just focused on the torture angle.

The loudest left-wing voices these days are perfectly comfortable calling the terrorists evil. Check out places like Daily Kos and you won’t find many apologists for Al Qaeda. Most left-wingers are all for fighting the war on terror. They’re just opposed to doing it (as they, and I see it) stupidly, by torturing, by conflating the Iraqi insurgency with Al Qaeda, or by surrendering civil liberties at home over a non-existential threat.

Well, there are Alan Dershowitz and Joe Lieberman but they both have been pretty roundly denounced by others on the left for that position.

IIRC, in the first season they were quite specific in saying it took place on the day of the California Democratic primary, in which Palmer was the leading candidate. No?