May 11, 2007, - 11:19 am
By Debbie Schlussel
For the last two seasons, “24″ has been dull, stale, and silly. And uninteresting, too. The show has jumped the shark. And that’s aside from its unwillingness to ever make Muslim terrorists the perpetrators. They’re always working for the White corporate man, the Russians, or some other divergent party.
But, now, ABC has something that’s far more exciting than “24.” Last night, the network debuted “Traveler,” about two 20-something friends who are framed for a terrorist attack by their former roommate, “Will Traveler”–who is not the guy they thought he was. The show is fresh and entertaining. And that’s not because the two stars are fairly good-looking (which is actually a diversion).
I like the show for now and will watch this ABC summer series when it officially debuts on May 30th. It’s unfortunate the show has been dumped in the summer schedule garbage can. But so, once, was “American Idol.” ABC has only ordered 8 episodes, according to USA Today, but I hope there are more based on what I’ve seen thus far.
I have one huge objection to the show. The two framed, wrongly-accused terrorists keep invoking “Guantanamo Bay” and “enemy combatant” disignations as reasons they won’t turn themselves in. But, as we all know, the men in Gitmo are not only hardened terrorists (like Bin Laden’s chauffeur, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, charged with terrorism yesterda), they are NOT American citizens.
That’s why they’re held there without full American Constitutional protections (but, despite “Traveler” depictions, they all have lawyers–most from some of America’s top law firms). The scriptwriters on the set of “Traveler” clearly didn’t do their homework, as the accused in this show are American citizens on American soil, not candidates for Gitmo.
Ditto for the “enemy combatant status” and denial of a lawyer, invoked on the show. As we all know, the only American citizen designated as an enemy combatant, Abdullah Al-Muhajir a/k/a Jose Padilla, is currently enjoying a full circus trial in Miami, complete with a jury and Ito-esque Judge (Bush appointee and liberal Marcia Cooke). The Bush Administration gave up on fighting for the right to bestow enemy combatant status on anyone.
On the contrary, Americans–who are real terrorists–are treated with kid gloves. Examples: Suleyman Al-Faris a/k/a Abdul Hamid a/k/a
John Philip Walker Lindh; and–even–Yaser Esam Hamdi, a hardened Saudi Arabian Al-Qaeda terrorist and anchor baby, who was born in America but has no other connection to the country (he was raised in Saudi Arabia).
Given these facts, as opposed to the phony propaganda exercised on “Traveler,” it makes the shows writers seem sadly out of touch.
Otherwise (aside from that huge caveat), I like the show . . . so far. I predict I will ultimately not like who is behind the blowing up of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) or why. There was even a gratuitous line by an Arab Muslim parking attendant, last night, about how “they’re looking for two terrorists, and they’re not looking for Muslims. Imagine that.”
But I still found the show entertaining, nonetheless–again . . . so far.
Tags: ABC, Abdullah Al-Muhajir, al-Qaeda, America, bin Laden, Bin Laden's chauffeur, Bush, Bush administration, chauffeur, David Lunde, Debbie Schlussel, hardened terrorist, Ito-esque Judge, law firms, lawyer, Marcia Cooke, Miami, New York Museum of Modern Art, parking attendant, Philip Walker Lindh, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Saudi Arabia, Suleyman Al-Faris, Traveler, USA Today, Yaser Esam Hamdi