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How Pop Culture And American Cop Stories Shape Our View Of Police

Alyssa Rosenberg joins The Federalist Radio Hour to discuss the last 100 years of movies, books, and TV depicting the police.


Alyssa Rosenberg, culture opinion writer at The Washington Post, watched and read her way through the last 100 years of American cop stories. She describes how the depiction of police has evolved in television and movies on today’s Federalist Radio Hour.

“It struck me that the undercurrent of all conversations about policing and police-involved shootings…really depended on our expectations for the role of officers in a community,” Rosenberg said. “And one of the biggest sources of those expectations is mass culture.”

Eventually audiences became more interested in the superheroes than they did the cops. “The point of a superhero is that they operate outside the law in this gray area where they’re leaving the bad guys tied up for the cops, maybe,” Domenech said. “The whole storyline of almost every superhero story begins with a situation of the unjustified guy who is set free.”

Later in the hour, Rosenberg reviews the new HBO series “Westworld.”

Listen here: