Jack Bauer Syndrome: Hollywood's Depiction of National Security Law
Lewis & Clark Law School
March 17, 2009
Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, Vol. 17, p. 279, 2008
U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-13
In this Article, which was presented at the Law & Humanities Section Panel at the 2008 Annual AALS Conference, I examine the way that the Fox television series "24" portrays two issues relevant to national security law: the use of torture to extract information in order to stop an imminent terrorist attack, and the depiction of Arabs as villains (and non-villains) with the concomitant impact on racial profiling and other stereotyping of Arab-Americans and Arabs. I conclude that the depiction of torture is narratively stacked in favor of government agent Jack Bauer. I also conclude that "24" attempts to balance its portrayal so that not all villains are Arabs, and not all Arabs are villains. However, I point out points of improvement in this area.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: Jack Bauer, 24, television, torture, racial profiling, terrorism
JEL Classification: Z00
Date posted: March 26, 2009
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