In the latest episode of JAG (Justice Advocate General, not a sports car or anything), I saw the ordeal of a news reporter who actually received a court-martial for violating an order of the commanding officer of a group he was with. He was prohibited from sending out any transmissions, but he nonetheless spent three minutes on one, which he claimed was necessary for the broadcast (and claiming that there’s no way a shoestring group like the Taliban could have the technology to intercept it). Well, it turns out that he’s clean; the real guilty party was his assistant at the studio, an Iranian sympathizer. But…here’s the weird part…he pleads guilty anyway, claiming that his actions were totally, totally wrong, and that he was completely wrong in his assessment of the brave men and women of etc. etc.
Leaving aside the utter ridiculousness of this fall-on-his-sword ending, does anyone find it more than mildly unsettling how unabashedly pro-military JAG has gotten? They even mentioned a well-publicized atrocity of the American military, the overthrow of the democratically elected Mussadegh of Iran, and, like all the other times, glossed over it like it didn’t even matter. (I’ve seen the same done with supplying weapons to Iraq, the accidental killing of skiers by an American jet, and the sinking of the Ehime Maru; I’m sure there were others.) This reporter, I might add, saved the life of one of the soldiers involved in the attack, yet somehow the complete self-flagellation was still necessary.
I think CBS is doing a pretty big disservice by not only laughing off the many very real wrongs our military has done (not to mention the ones commanding them), but by systematically ridiculing anyone who refuses to do the same. Look, I know Harm’s always had outstanding character, and Mac has overcome tremendous adversity, and the JAG office in general has done a terrific job. That should not excuse the actions of the less honorable within the ranks. And the last thing I need is some TV drama trying to tell me what my opinion of the armed forces should be.
Why is this happening? When did CBS adopt such a pro-military stance? (Don’t forget AFP, too.) This outfit has never struck me as especially patriotic…well, at least not any more than the other two of the Big Three.