From The New Yorker: Whatever it Takes, The politics of the man behind 24.
From the article: “This past November, U.S. Army Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan, the dean of the United States Military Academy at West Point, flew to Southern California to meet with the creative team behind 24. Finnegan, who was accompanied by three of the most experienced military and F.B.I. interrogators in the country, arrived on the set as the crew was filming…Finnegan and the others had come to voice their concern that the show’s central political premise – that the letter of American law must be sacrificed for the country’s security – was having a toxic effect. In their view, the show promoted unethical and illegal behavior and had adversely affected the training and performance of real American soldiers. ‘I’d like them to stop,’ Finnegan said of the show’s producers. ‘They should do a show where torture backfires.'”
Ooook…so lemme see if I get this straight; the Brigadier General in charge of West Point visits Hollywood to tell them that the plebes are emulating 24. According to Finnegan, “The kids see it, and say, ‘If torture is wrong, what about ’24’?'” He continued, “The disturbing thing is that although torture may cause Jack Bauer some angst, it is always the patriotic thing to do.”
Maybe Gen. Finnegan should spend more time telling the kids that it’s a television show. Sheesh, what’s next – they jump off the gym roof because they watched Heroes?