An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Anthony Vieira follows:
The original Trek series is still remembered for its relatively progressive nature – the first interracial kiss on American television was between William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols, after all – but the rebooted films basically play it safe (which is an ultimately defensible position, business-wise).
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
There’s nothing progressive about Star Trek. You are allowed to fool yourself into thinking there is, however. How can you know? Try this: Spend a couple of months just re-watching episode after episode of every Star Trek tv show made – not every waking moment of your days and nights, but frequently (the way I have done, leaving out the first show with William Shatner). And tune your sensors for the immorality hiding in the morals. You’ll be appalled. One example: An episode of DS9 (S6E “In The Pale Moonlight”) has Sisko going along with Garak’s plan to bring the Romulans into the Federation’s war with the Dominion. Garak’s principles are like those of Paul Bremer. He’s inhuman but is intelligent and can put on any face that’s needed. Hollywood’s tactic is to introduce such characters but not have them do things that will make you dislike them. They are tweaked. You can, if you look at them at a certain angle, support them. (See the ISR article titled “The Corporate Invasion Of Iraq” by Rania Masri – http://bit.ly/UONAg9)
Garak doesn’t expect the Romulans to go along with the deceit he employs, which Sisko participates in, willingly. Sisko knows in the back of his mind that Garak will do anything to achieve their aim, but decides to go along with Garak because he doesn’t want to think about what he’s getting into. He’s too moral. But, in the analogous reality that Hollywood/Pentagon/CIA is trying to convey and have us accept, that’s the ‘fiction’ part of Sisko. (That’s like suggesting that Obama is too moral to bomb Syria. Lost leftists might argue that, but they know better. As if the bombing and other atrocities he’s committed don’t matter. He happened, for whatever reasons, to decide against that particular action. So what?) Garak is made out to be a good guy, which is accomplished by having Sisko, a saint, accept him, before and after his evil deed of murdering Romulans in order to manipulate them into joining the Federation. Only Sisko knows about Garak’s mass murder. But the others know he’s smelly. But they’re okay with him too, So we should be. There’s even a story arc in which he’s in love with Gul Dukat’s daughter. And she loved him, prompting him to exclaim ‘But I don’t know why she would.’ Maybe Hollywood/Pentagon/CIA went to work on her first.