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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Homeland 7.4: Fake News!

A stunning Homeland 7.4 tonight, which plays right into the mix of dangerous truth and paranoia which besets our world today - in a phrase, fake news.

Here's how it happened on Homeland:  a teenager's dog in the compound - surrounded by FBI, Waco and Ruby Ridge style - goes running the woods, eventually towards the FBI, who shoot the dog.  The boy, running after his dog, sees what the FBI has done, and raises his gun at them, likely to shoot.  But before he shoots, an agent shoots him.

He's badly wounded, and after a whole bunch of harrowing turns in the story, he's in the hospital, being treated, doing well.  At this point, a mysterious man who has entered the hospital puts on medical garb and takes some pictures of the boy on the operating table - bleeding, though the docs says he's doing ok.

But the photo he takes and puts on the web doesn't say that or show that.  To the contrary, it says the FBI have let the boy bleed out and die.  This results in the boy's father on the compound killing the FBI agent they took hostage, which in results in the FBI storming the compound and killing lots of people.

Saul tried to stop this, and got assaulted by the FBI commander for his troubles.  And so, despite Saul's efforts, another Waco has happened.

Yes, O'Keefe was in one sense to blame for starting this, but the worst known villain is the FBI commander who lost his temper and ordered the assault.  He's been portrayed as having a short fuse all along, and should have been fired a long time ago.  (I have to hope that in our reality, no FBI agent in command would have ordered the raid.)

But the deepest villain is the guy who created and disseminated the phony photo.  Fake news in action.  Who was he?  A Russian agent?  We'll find out soon enough.

But as it is, this episode of Homeland is about the best parable on the dangers of fake news I've seen so far on a television drama.

For more about news, see Fake News in Real Context.

And see also  Homeland on Showtime ... Homeland 1.8: Surprises ... Homeland Concludes First Season: Exceptional

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