Stephen King shares his wife’s ‘Copaganda’ criticism of ‘Law & Order’

Busy Twitter beaver StephenKing has an absolute field day full of smashing tweets, with his latest goal being near-perpetual airplay law & order.

For over 30 years, law & order has become an integral part of television. With almost never-ending episodes and spin-offs, it’s possibly the most successful police investigation ever filmed in the United States. The best known and most successful of these was special unit which has exploited our societal esteem to give predators their comeuppance and brings an odd amount of joy to police violence.

However, King doesn’t seem to be the series’ biggest fan, at least assuming he shares his wife Tabitha King’s criticism. Stephen tweeted Tabitha’s apparent criticism of the franchise as “copaganda,” a relatively new expression that’s entered the media criticism canon.

Copaganda (portmanteau of cop and propaganda) is used to describe shows that cast an overwhelmingly positive light on police and law enforcement without pointing out the actual flaws. After the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and an ongoing debate to disappoint the police, the phrase has been a key vocabulary point.

law & order, without much doubt, definitely falls into the copaganda category. The police are rarely portrayed as flawed and violations of basic civil rights are not really questioned in the series and its many offshoots. Cops or detectives were often involved in King’s work, although most of his police characters are shown to be flawed or actively opposed to the systems in place.

The biggest flaw in many police procedural shows today really comes down to “not all cops” rhetoric or not challenging the systems in place. law & order tends not to discuss why people commit crimes or what socioeconomic circumstances lead to crime, but instead focuses on the often violent justice system.

Stephen, who shares Tabitha’s criticism, is fascinating as they are both writers and the latter’s works do not feature police as the main characters. Instead, they have focused heavily on downtrodden people caught in dire scenarios.

The nice thing is that this little discussion means Stephen is using his Twitter for something other than digging in on Trump, which is arguably less interesting as a debate starter. Stephen King shares his wife’s ‘Copaganda’ criticism of ‘Law & Order’

Lindsay Lowe

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