25
Sep
2005

Prime Time Propaganda

by Barbara Sumner Burstyn

Does anyone actually watch the TV shows they watch? Medical Investigation for example. On the surface this drama looks like just another mildly entertaining medical show. But watch closely and you begin to see the creepy undertones of neoconservative ideology, with its concomitant fundamentalist Christianity, embedded in the storylines and characters. In each episode the illnesses are caused (not necessarily in a direct way) by an anti-social behavior or as a consequence of some un-American activity. We see the lead character enter a church, cross him self and pray for guidance. A complex man, a top scientist, grappling with issues of faith and science? Not likely. The good doctor is not conflicted at all and there is no competition between his science and his faith. But perhaps more disturbing than the mainstreaming of fundamentalist religion is the way in which a conservative political agenda is implanted in the show. For example, a disease outbreak appears to be coming from an American factory known to be polluting water. Eventually the real culprit is revealed to be across the border in unhygienic Mexico where people don't wash their hands. The overarching sense of this show is that conservative orthodoxy is the only position to take. There is no dissent, no doubting Thomases, and no rebel bucking the system (unless they are on the path to realizing their mistakes). Instead Medical Investigation is a bunch of committed believers: in God, their government and the essential rightness of those beliefs....

//www.dissidentvoice.org/Sept05/Burstyn0924.htm
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