Tuned In

New Series to Keep Homeland Security Secure from Bad Press

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According to the Hollywood Reporter, ABC has a deal to produce an 11-episode series about homeland security agents who patrol airports, shorelines and borders.

DHS has to be a little nervous about that, right? After all, the department hasn’t gotten the greatest press in the past few years, and there have been news investigations that have shown hazardous material can be snuck through the porous borders. You put a crack journalist on that with cameras and a big budget, and there’s no telling what they might turn up, right?

The producer, THR says, is Arnold Shapiro, of Big Brother.

Well, OK, but we shouldn’t judge in advance. He and ABC could surprise us. It’s not like they’re working arm in arm with DHS to produce feel-good PR for them, right?

“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.

Oh… OK. But, hey, just because the show is working in co-operation with DHS doesn’t mean they’re in cahoots, does it? The cameras will shoot what they see, and the show will tell it like it sees it, without caring whether it makes DHS look good or bad—isn’t that so, Mr. Shapiro?

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.”

Ah. I see. Well, I do fly on airplanes and live the U.S.’s prime terror target. I suppose it’ll make me feel good at least to see proof on camera that my tax dollars are at work catching actual terrorists!

“That’s (the agents’) No. 1 mission: to protect the country from terrorists and from terrorist materials, such as bombs,” Shapiro said. “We haven’t been there with a camera when an actual terrorist has been caught, but we’ve seen a few people not admitted because they’re on watch lists.”