Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Want to See the Outtakes

It seems ABC has managed to combine two things I can't stand: "reality" TV and misguided federal law enforcement:

A new ABC unscripted series will take an unprecedented look behind the scenes at the government's fight against terrorism.

The network has ordered 11 hours of "Border Security USA" from executive producer Arnold Shapiro ("Big Brother"). Shot on location throughout the United States, the series will focus on the efforts of border protection agencies to halt illegal smuggling and immigration.


"Border" is billed as the first multiepisode television series to be shot in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, as well as several other government agencies.

Indeed, we need border security. I don't question that. But I don't need to see some glitzed-up pro-drug war propaganda on my television--and that is exactly what it is:

"They want people to know how diligent they are," Shapiro said. "You hear about every problem that the Department of Homeland Security is having; you never hear about what they're doing that's good."

Such security problems in recent years have ranged from media reports of border agents taking bribes, to ongoing concerns that cargo inspections at airports and shipping ports remain dangerously lax.

Shapiro said "Border" will tell "the other side of the story."

"I love investigative journalism, but that's not what we're doing," he said. "This show is heartening. It makes you feel good about these people who are doing their best to protect us."
A genuine reality show would include the good, the bad, and the ugly. This, however, will just be DHS PR campaign against the evils of drugs--probably brought to you by Budweiser.

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