More Security Porn!

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It’s Tuesday night, which means it’s almost time for another episode of “Homeland Security on ABC. As Jeff Rosen points out over at the New Republic, the over-the-top reality show rather hilariously–if unintentionally–highlights the fact that the good folks at the Department of Homeland Security spend very little of their time catching terrorists and most of it nabbing people for possession of illegal drugs or barbecued bats. That’s the problem with security theater: if your purpose is to make citizens feel better by simply existing, then allowing cameras “behind the scenes” is really just turning a big spotlight on how little your efforts can actually do to stop bad guys.

Even so, someone over at DHS clearly thought this would be a P.R. bonanza for the agency. The agency has an Office of Multimedia, which acts as a liaison with Hollywood and vets projects that might require DHS cooperation, and it is led by one Bobbie Faye Ferguson, a former actress who once played a hooker on “Designing Women.” (h/t: Ed Kilgore)

Of course, Ms. Ferguson’s entertainment instincts may be more finely-honed than mine. If the men and women of the Philadelphia Parking Authority can become a reality television hit, why should DHS employees toil outside the limelight?

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