Author

Lexy Schuman

Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Department/Major

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Shane Nordyke

Second Advisor

Dr. Eric Jepsen

Third Advisor

Dr. Brandon Nutting

Keywords

Counterterrorism, Homeland Security, Patriot Act, Television

Subject Categories

Law | Television

Abstract

This paper looks at how the Patriot Act and the Fourth and Fifth Amendments are portrayed in the television shows 24 and Homeland and if these depictions can affect viewers’ perceptions on public policy and other topics. These perceptions may cause a viewer to have inaccurate views on other topics, but first it must be determined if the views drawn from these television shows are accurate or inaccurate. To examine these particular television shows, a study was conducted that coded the level of accuracy to which the actions that the television characters took abided by the enacted statute that their real-life counterparts would have to follow as well. These results were then examined to determine the level of accuracy to which the characters and their respective agencies follow the rules established by the Patriot Act and the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. To establish credibility, this paper examined other television shows’ effects on viewers and provided a discussion on specific sections of the Patriot Act to be analyzed. Overall, this paper hopes to contribute to a larger discussion on how the Patriot Act is portrayed in certain television shows and the possibility of a negative impact on its viewers.

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