Once again, a network TV show has used the technique of informing audiences that a character is crooked or evil by showing him standing next to George W. Bush or some other Republican politician.
This time, the convention was used on the somewhat fanciful Fox TV police procedural Bones. The show employs a CSI-like theme featuring an FBI agent (David Boreanaz) and his forensic pathologist wife (Emily Deschanel) who have assembled a team of scientists and doctors to solve some of the nation’s toughest murder cases.
In the April 21st episode entitled “The Nail in the Coffin,” the Bones team was tasked with looking into a decades-old series of murders tied to a super-rich, politically connected family.
As it happens, the team discovers that a cover-up of the murders had been taking place because the rich and powerful family had bribed several public officials. One of those covering it all up was a corrupt judge. That judge later became a congressman. And how did the TV show reveal that this corrupt official was, well, a corrupt official? Why, by showing him standing next to George W. Bush, of course.
Bones isn’t the only TV show that has employed this method of showing viewers that a character is corrupt. We’ve seen it several times in the last few years. In fact, a whole raft of other police procedural and spy shows have pulled this same trick of showing a bad guy or corrupt politician standing next to Bush or some other famous conservative leader.
Just to name a few examples, in the first week of March, the popular Navy cop show NCIS portrayed a character identified as a “reprobate” by showing him in a photo with George W. Bush.
Earlier, in a February episode of the NBC series The Blacklist, a similar stunt was pulled. A bad guy was in photos with Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
In 2011, NCIS spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles called another bad guy the “Karl Rove of Caracas.” NCIS: LA also once portrayed a terror outfit as Tea Party-types.
Even as far back as 2009, NCIS portrayed a terrorist band as members of the Tea Party.
This is just one more subtle way that liberal bias is ladled into our entertainment.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.