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November 01, 2008

USA Cable TV Network Guilty in Polonium Poisoning Episode

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Detective Mike Logan (Chris Noth) and Captain Danny Ross (Eric Bogosian)

USA Network, an NBC affiliate, aired on Oct. 24, 2008 a “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” encore episode (entitled "30") which had been originally broadcast by NBC on Feb. 27, 2007. At that time, CAMERA’s Web site documented the problematic broadcast in a report entitled “NBC's ‘Law & Order’ Promotes Anti-Jewish, Anti-Israel Sentiment.”

In this segment's plot, Israel is a suspect in the fatal polonium poisoning of an American investigative journalist. The episode also portrayed fictional Israeli brutality towards Palestinians and depicted fictional New York police detective Mike Logan (played by Chris Noth) repeatedly hectoring his Jewish captain, Danny Ross (played by Eric Bogosian), with the dual-loyalty canard accusation (including covering up for Israel).

That CAMERA posting was cited as the source in a March 11, 2007 Jerusalem Post report by Michael Freund who wrote:

Contacted by The Jerusalem Post, NBC sent a statement via e-mail which said, “As you know, the program material on Law & Order: CI has traditionally addressed provocative, contemporary issues. Its 'ripped from the headlines' stories often spark debate on many controversial subjects. As noted on air, the program is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event.” An NBC spokesman declined to respond to questions concerning allegations of anti-Semitism in the show's dialogue and plot.

The “ripped from the headlines” story line for this L & O episode was presumably ripped from a headline story having absolutely nothing to do with Israel: A former Russian spy turned Russian dissident, Alexander Litvinenko, was poisoned by polonium 210 in London in 2006 and subsequently the British justice system charged a former officer of the Russian special services with the crime.

Such a defamatory, mean-spirited show that incites scorn for Jews and Israelis is hardly worthy of the Law and Order: CI series, or of USA Network, or NBC.

Posted by MK at November 1, 2008 11:29 AM

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