President George Bush and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge are giving the government’s seal of approval to a new TV show about terrorism, according to an entertainment news story.
“D.H.S.—The Series,” which refers to the year-old Department of Homeland Security headed by Ridge, was introduced to industry honchos and prospective networks last Thursday evening, read an E! Online article.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
“DHS,” an episodic series being produced by Steeple Productions in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Los Angeles, will showcase the Department of Homeland Security and detail how various agencies, including the FBI, CIA and NSA, work together to prevent terrorism.
The E! Online story quoted the show’s producers as saying that both Bush and Ridge “endorse and contribute sound bites to the introductions of the series.”
“Though the series’ theme relates to the President’s agenda on national security and international terrorism, it is virtually unprecedented for the White House to endorse such a fictional representation,” the article continued. “It is unclear what input or relation if any the President or the real DHS would have with the show in the future.”
Steeple Productions did not return a call from EthicsDaily.com seeking comment. The company told E! Online, when asked to elaborate on Bush and Ridge’s involvement, “They love it. They think it is fantastic.”
Web sites for the Department of Homeland Security and the White House say nothing about the show.
Steeple Productions describes itself as “a global entertainment company that produces, finances and distributes feature films, 3-D animated movies and retail entertainment facilities.”
Several promotional posters for the series are available on the company’s Web site. One poster features this quote from President Bush:
“Our enemy is smart and resolute. We are smarter and more resolute. We will prevail against all who believe they can stand in the way of America’s commitment to freedom, liberty, and our way of life.”
The words come from the closing of a letter Bush included with the “National Strategy for Homeland Security” he proposed in July 2002.
Another poster uses as its backdrop a photo of Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and others apparently in a moment of prayer.
E! Online quoted the show’s producers as saying that no other TV show has been given the access and support from real-life counter-terrorism agencies that “DHS” has been given.
The production claims “the series will educate, inform, and inspire the average citizens around the world about America’s front-line defense/offense against those who have declared war on the U.S. and our democratic allies,” according to the E! Online story.
The show’s main characters, played by Timothy Cavanaugh and Alison Heruth Waterbury, will move between Washington and terrorist hot-spots around the globe as they attempt to defend the homeland.
Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com.