On FX's 'Rescue Me,' Journalist Frets U.S. Failed to Heed France's Advice to Not Start Wars

Four weeks after FX's Rescue Me featured a New York City firefighter telling a French journalist how the 9/11 terrorist attacks were part of “a massive neo-conservative government effort” to enable “American global domination,” Tuesday night's episode gave the French character “Genevieve,” interviewing firefighters for a book on 9/11 first-responders, a platform to rail against how the U.S. failed to heed France's advice in starting “two new wars” in the name of “revenge.”

Discussing 9/11 with firefighter “Tommy Gavin,” played by show creator Denis Leary, “Genevieve” agreed “9/11 was a tragedy. To most of the world it was a tragedy,” but she fretted, “to Americans, it was the beginning of the end of the world.” As the two walked along a Manhattan street following a visit to Ground Zero, she lectured, presumably alluding to Iraq: “France warned the U.S. government because of their experience with Algeria. And then told them that maybe this was not a good idea and they didn't want to send their people to die.” As to why she wants to write about 9/11:

It's an amazing story, it's a story about how so many people in the world came to support America and its people, to say, “hey, you know what? You've done so much to help us and to support us, we want to give back to you.” But what did your government do with all that good will? Hell, you went right back to war. You started two new wars. In the name of what? Revenge?...Every goddamn war is about revenge -- and the French don't believe in guns.
To which, Gavin zinged: “Or soap.”

Audio: MP3 clip (2:20, 900 Kb)

My April 15 NewsBusters item, “FX's 'Rescue Me' Pushes 9/11 as 'Massive Neo-Conservative' Conspiracy,” recounted:
The 9/11 terrorist attacks were part of “a massive neo-conservative government effort” to enable “American global domination,” a character on FX's "Rescue Me" argued on Tuesday night's episode. In the drama about firefighters in New York City, firefighter “Franco Rivera,” played by actor Daniel Sunjata, a real-life 9/11 “truther,” laid out his theory for a French journalist interviewing firefighters for a book on 9/11 first-responders. As noted in a February NewsBusters post, in a New York Times story about the then-upcoming storyline, Brian Stelter reported the ludicrous theory “may represent the first fictional presentation of 9/11 conspiracy theories by a mainstream media company (FX is operated by the News Corporation).”

During the episode, “Franco” outlined the four-point plan by the Project for a New American Century, starting with how Bush-Cheney “came to power with plans already made to attack Afghanistan and Iraq.” Second, “we have to make huge technological advances with our armed forces, that for some reason include the capability to fight wars from outer space.” Third, “huge increases in military spending” to the neglect of “sick and dying first-responders, 9/11's heroes, who can't even pay their light bill let alone their medical bills.” Fourth, “we changed the definition of pre-emptive attack so we can unilaterally bomb the shit out of, invade and occupy countries even if they pose no credible threat or had nothing to do with 9/11.” Finally:
How you going to put it into action? I mean, the American people are never going to go for shit like that, right? You're damn straight. No, what you need is an event, an event that gets everyone's heads turned around the right way. What you need is a new Pearl Harbor.
In subsequent episodes, “Franco” has taken quite a bit of heat from other firefighters, and a widow, angry at him for tarring the department and the memory of their husband, by lending his name to the conspiracy theories.

From the May 12 episode, in what matches the video/audio, the exchange between “Gavin” and “Genevieve,” played by actress Karina Lombard:
GENEVIÉVE: You should open up about it, be vulnerable. It's attractive.

TOMMY GAVIN: It's not like a bartering chip I use to pick up chicks with. You know, that was like the beginning of World War III for us, so-

GENEVIÉVE: Yeah, okay. That is unattractive.

GAVIN: What?

GENEVIÉVE:  Well, the part where you go from how you feel to World War III.

GAVIN: But that is how I feel.

GENEVIÉVE: You know, 9/11 was a tragedy. To most of the world it was a tragedy, but to Americans, it was the beginning of the end of the world.

GAVIN: What's your point?

GENEVIÉVE: Well, you know, France warned the U.S. government because of their experience with Algeria. And then told them that maybe this was not a good idea and they didn't want to send their people to die.

GAVIN: Listen, I don't get why you want to do a book about 9/11 if this is your take on America.

GENEVIÉVE: Because it's an amazing story, it's a story about how so many people in the world came to support America and its people, to say, “hey, you know what? You've done so much to help us and to support us, we want to give back to you.” But what did your government do with all that good will? Hell, you went right back to war. You started two new wars. In the name of what? Revenge?

GAVIN: All right, hang on. First of all, I don't know shit about no Algerians, okay? Second of all, yeah I wanted revenge. I wanted revenge for my cousin. I wanted revenge for my country. I wanted revenge for the 50 other guys I knew that day that got buried under that shit. How am I supposed to feel? I wanted blood. I wanted it in like a week. So, I'll be honest with you, I basically feel the same right now. So, shoot me.

GENEVIÉVE:  Every goddamn war is about revenge -- and the French don't believe in guns.

GAVIN: Nah, or soap.

GENEVIÉVE: Uhh. Great cliche.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center