NYC Police Commissioner OKs Torture
October 27, 2012 by Bruce Wallace, 121Contact
Well, he didn’t really condone it. An officer’s life was in danger and he was held in an unknown location. If his location, known only to a suspect, wasn’t revealed he would die within the next hour! And the highest ranking of NYC’s finest didn’t exactly say, “Torture him.” He said that in order to get the location out of the prisoner his men should, “Do whatever it takes.” But the message was clear.
And it wasn’t Raymond Kelly. It was Tom Selleck, on CBS’s Blue Bloods “Risk and Reward “ episode, who gave the permission.
In spite of increasing evidence that torture is the least reliable method of getting the truth out of people, CBS and Selleck chose to disseminate and perpetuate the lie of torture’s efficacy. More troubling to us than that was the show’s quiet acceptance of the method and the ease with which he breaks the law.
Selleck is bothered most by his lack of sleep during the episode telling us that he’s “too old for all-nighters.” There’s only the slightest evidence of moral quandary here. Torture is seen as the logical ‘last choice,’ not to be confused with believing that torture is not an option. And it’s not the only time this show has shown torture to be a valuable police tool.
The power of shows like this to influence attitudes has been demonstrated. Repeated exposure desensitizes and torture creeps a bit deeper into the ‘it must be OK’ portion of our brains.
Selleck has script approval so we think he liked this one. Why he would be supportive of teaching viewers that torture is OK is another question.
Who is this guy, anyway? An NRA board member, he was a close friend of Charlton Heston. The bulk of his political contributions have been to Republicans, including: the BUSH-CHENEY '04, John McCain 08, Elton Gallegly, a veteran anti-pro-choice, pro Afghanistan war Republican member of Congress, BUCHANAN FOR PRESIDENT, and the REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE. There have been donations to Democrats and Independents sprinkled in.
Although he is listed among celebrity registered Republicans, others, including friends of Selleck, dispute this, claiming that Selleck is actually a registered Independent. He's a complex fellow.
Whatever his political/religious/moral self-definitions are, he is certainly contributing to the moral pollution of the times. He is a man in power, and he has chosen to distort truth, undermine moral sentiment, and propagate a lie. Too, bad. We kinda liked that show. I wonder if we’ll stop watching in mute protest.