TV portrayal of torture increasing

July 12, 2008 at 1:48 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 12 (UPI) -- The portrayal of torture on U.S. TV series is becoming increasingly popular and sending the wrong message to the military, human rights officials say.

Human Rights First official David Danzig, who is directing the group's Primetime Torture project, said popular series such as "24" have begun using scenes involving torture with such regularity that service members may be influenced, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.

Danzig said "24," which features lead character Jack Bauer attempting to stave off one disaster after another, is not a representation of a "real" situation.

"The problem with the ticking time-bomb situation is that it's not real," Danzig said. "The problem with '24,' when we're rooting for Jack Bauer torturing the bad guy or when Hollywood shows waterboarding producing the result of the bad guy giving up good information that saves the day, is that gathering good intelligence doesn't work that way."

The Tribune said Army officials have attempted to minimize such misrepresentations by contacting officials with the Fox series, which broadcast at least 89 torture acts in scenes during its first six seasons.

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