Fiction Used to Justify Real Torture


Jack Bauer, that torturing hunk of manliness whose bad days involve more nuclear weapons and sexy double agents than hangovers and parking tickets is back for 24’s seventh season. The debut episode aired on Fox this past Sunday, with Keither Sutherland’s uber-violent character testifying before a senate committee and unabashedly defending his tortuous interrogation methods. Unfortunately, “Bauer’s fictional defense of torture and his fictional claims of its effectiveness are having very real consequences.”

Isaac Fitzgerald has been a firefighter, worked on a boat, and was once given a sword by a king, thereby accomplishing three out of five of his childhood goals. Formerly of The Rumpus and McSweeney’s and most recently the founding editor of BuzzFeed Books, Isaac is now the co-host of BuzzFeed News’ Twitter Morning Show, #AMtoDM. He also appears frequently on The Today Show to talk books, and is co-author of Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them and Knives & Ink: Chefs and the Stories Behind Their Tattoos (with Recipes) (winner of an IACP award), and the author of a YA novel and picture book forthcoming from Bloomsbury. He uses Twitter. More from this author →