Jack Bauer Syndrome: Hollywood's Depiction of National Security Law
Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, Vol. 17, p. 279, 2008
23 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2009
Date Written: March 17, 2009
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.
Keywords: Jack Bauer, 24, television, torture, racial profiling, terrorism
JEL Classification: Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation