License, Stupidity, or Politics?

It is nitpicking time for the bone pickers. Last night, the DVR recorded the pilot episode of “Bones,” which was telecast for no reason I can guess; it’s an old episode. I hadn’t seen the first, which shocked from the opening sequence. Anyone from Washington should know that the airport above couldn’t possibly be Dulles. The identified airport isn’t in Washington but Virginia—in, duh, Dulles—and absolutely nowhere close to the U.S. Capitol. About 30 miles distance separates runways and the domed government building.

The view above would fit for Reagan National Airport. No doubt it is that airport. So, why does “Bones” kick off with such a glaring mistake? I make a big deal out of this for two reasons: The show is all about brainiac forensic anthropologists who live and breathe minute details; the setting is Washington, D.C. For either or both reasons, “Bones” should get the airport right. 

I have three theories for the misidentification:

  • Creative license: International flights typically go to Dulles, but someone wanted to show a recognizable, DC landmark.
  • Sheer stupidity: Someone mistakenly misidentified the airport, which is a dumb mistake on a TV show specializing in making tough identifications from human remains.
  • Liberal politics: Somebody misidentified the location because he or she didn’t want to acknowledge the airport named after a major Republican figure.

The mistake occurs in the opening two seconds of the series’ first episode. From that point, how can any of the science or methods be trusted? I hadn’t been paying much attention to the science before, but I will now.