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Feb 6 - TV’s War on Crime and on Terror (and a Football Game).pdf
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Department
Film
Course
FILM 2401
Professor
Joseph Kispal- Kovacs
Semester
Fall

Description
February 6
 TV’s War on Crime and on Terror (and a Football Game)
 Reading: The TV Reader (pp. 104-105, 108 - 109) - Cop/Crime Shows - police procedural is derived from early 20th cen hollywood cinema - ideological function to rehabilitate the largely negative attitude many people felt towards the police during that time - film genre turned into a tv genre but didnt become large part of prime time in 1970 - cops shows developed bc: the attempt by the US federal government, though the presidents commission on law enforcement and administration of justice report to make policing a profession rather than just a job; and the profound social and economic crisis of the 1970s (rising crime and extreme anxiety on the part of NAs) - 1970 - rise of neo liberalism - nation state should be guarantor of its citizens health and welfare and embrues the idea that the role of the state should be limited to serving the interests of business and providing internal and external security - welfare state replaced by police state - US has highest rate of incarceration - cop shows attempt to reaffirm public confidence in the state and its armed protectors even as the citizens who are targeted by the security apparatus increasing see the police as a hostile invading force - CSI —police procedural with scientific detective story - consequences of the neo conservative police state war on northAmericas poor, marginalized and ethnic communities - TV War - when war breaks out, two wars take place: the actual war, in which real people kill, suffer and die and the media war: the actualities of war are distanced from civilian audiences comfortably seated in front of various screens - viewers are regularly presented with an image of war that obscures its actuality - war is construct by tv networks as entertainment to attract a mass audience into the ad flow - commercial tv news has done a poor job of offering a critical perspective of why the attacks happened - 24 incorporates elements of conspiracy genre by representing sinister US business and state elite wiring hand in hand with terrorists behind the publics back to enrich themselves - TV Sports - Bettman and NHL and production of more american teams - lucrative broadcasting contract with amir can tv network Chapters 9 - oct 6 2000 CSI pilot premiered on CBS - science and policing - 9/11 made police lose some of the moral authority that is necessary for their legitimacy in a democratic society - certainty that science traditionally has been promised as a solution to problems caused by ignorance or disease is lacking today - how CSI combines the traditions of the crime genre with a new forensic realism to fuse the police and science with a convergent moral authority - television circulates the cultural images through which we understand aspects of our social world ranging from our own identities to our concepts of right and wrong - crime dramas provide interpretative perspectives that shape our thought about crime - crime dramas are morality plays which feature struggles between good and evil, between heroes who stand for moral authority and villains who challenge that authority - over the past 50 years television crime drama has shifted from story lines in which private detectives or criminal defence lawyers protected their innocent clients, to programs in which police officers apprehend the guilty - today the police are the heroes and lawyers are the villains who impede their quest for justice - because the producers of television crime dramas seek to attract a large audience they tend to offer promo grams that reflect the cultural beliefs and sentiments about crime shared by audience - crime genre plots are comfortably situated within dominant socio-political ideologies - crime dramas provide an understanding of crime and criminals that is consistent with the criminological thirties that are in vogue - the crime genre also circulars cultural images of gender conforming to cultural assumptions - cultural ideals about gender influence notions of heroism - earlier crime dramas, hero was a macho man and iconoclastic loner - gender identity, the nature of work and the heroes moral authority were stitched nicely into the narrative of television crime dramas - today women are featured more in crime dramas and notions of ideal cop focus less on macho displays of strength and more on technical competence —techno masculinity - hero is less likely to be a loner and more likely to be work in the police organization - these genres changes reflect larger cultural changes such as changes in the nature of masculinity, what it means to be a hero or the fact that there are more women in the criminal justice workplace - - the crime genre circulates shifting representations of race - before they were racist where black characters were colourful extras and portrayed as the other now when black characters appear, they are more likely to be depicted as members of a legitimate profession like police officers than criminal - stories that utilize these plot devices, for example personal involvement or police family, make characters seem like real people, attracting an audience but also reinforces the cultural meanings that are conveyed thought the characters - the factual and fictional depictions of crime are compelling because they offer mutually validating cultural images of crime and the police - murder serves as an emotional hook in the crime genre: it entails the loss of a life, which in itself is important, and symbolizes a threat to the social order - pain of loss to a victims family - emotional hooks are constructed around personal involvement narratives - crime as a threat to ourselves, to our families and to fundamental moral values and characters the audience can identify with - forensic science blends with policing to promote the legitimacy of both spheres - CSI circulates a set of cultural meanings about the police: they're competent, a moral authority that stands against social disorder - CSI reinforces stereotypes about who is and who isn't deserving of our moral sympathy - science stands for truth on CSI—proving who is criminal - visual marks of their status - the use of scientific jargon also makes the characters seem to be knowledgable forensic specialists - adds factually based dialogue to add authenticity to the programs forensic science claims by making it seem more news like - CSI suggests that police use science to set things right - CSI mantra—physical evidence cannot lie, evidence is a truth that science will reveal—suggests that the police have harnessed science - cases are solved in the crime lab which renders a jury unnecessary; there is no better judge than science - CSI has brought forensic science into the popular discourse - members believe they understand forensic science and they could be forensic detectives so they side with them - science united with police —- media construction Chapter 15 - shows being cancelled bc too violent - television industry lost an estimated 320 mil in ads revenue in the week following the attacks - even while the media industries initially positioned entertainment and commercials as being in bad taste, just one week after the attacks the tv networks discursively realigned commercial entertainment with patriotic goals of the nation - the industries post 9/11 parade to quality genres (historical documentaries) actually facilitated the return to the way things were - historical documentaries served a strategic role in the patriotic transition beck to normalcy (commercial entertainment and consumer culture) - logic of capitalism always means that public service and public relations are flips sides of the same coin - orientalism retains the racist histories of othering from the earlier european context but become increasingly less philological and more conceded with social scientific policy and demonstration that is formulated in federal agencies, think tanks and universities that want to know and thus police the middle east - the production of knowledge about the middle east is aimed at the maintenance of US hegemony and national secruity, and it winds up producing an image of the Arab as other—the antithesis of western humanity and progress - journalists tended to frame new stories in myths of gender and a reversal of the gendered nature of heroism and victimization - typically portrayed men as heroes and women as victims - suffering in media texts and politics more generally are often a stand in for actual social justice but importantly sentiment is not the same as justice - event tv flourished after 9/11 - cancelling the emmys would not just be an admissi
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