Look out Real Housewives, Atlanta zombies, and awards shows that now only exist because Twitter does. Television’s got a new live-tweet sensation, and her name is Charleston Tucker. Or at least that’s one way NBC could spin a TMZ report highlighting a series of recent posts on the CIA’s official Twitter feed that mirror story beats in State Of Affairs, The Peacock’s new political thriller starring Katherine Heigl as Tucker, counterterrorist badass.
According to TMZ, a CIA spokesperson confirmed the agency is essentially live-tweeting Affairs and—as it recently did with the movie Argo—subtly pointing out its inaccuracies and bum notes in order to “counter popular myths and misconceptions about the agency.” In one super-catty tweet, the CIA posted a photo of President Obama glancing at an iPad, along with the fun fact that POTUS now receives the Presidential Daily Briefing—a CIA-compiled threat matrix—electronically, not as the binder full of paper Tucker presents on Affairs.
The agency also pointed out that its agents don’t meet in person to discuss sensitive matters, instead using the safer and more awesome “dead drop” to pass along information. The CIA’s tweets definitely burnish its image, clarifying that they’re beyond jogging reams of documents to the Oval Office like some kind of high-stakes Devil Wears Prada. But the sexy spy stuff? Oh, they totally do all that.
The feedback demonstrates the double-edged sword Affairs faces with its unusual and sort-of noble pursuit of authenticity. (For example, Monday’s episode featured a ripped-from-the-headlines Boko Haram plot.) On one hand, the CIA will eagerly quibble about the show’s mistakes, but at least Affairs can get the broad strokes right, rather than being one of those shows where someone’s always like, “Madam President, I have the exalted emperor of Zanzippistan on line one for you.”
No word yet on whether the name “Charleston Tucker” is so terrible because it’s actually the CIA’s signal to call home deactivated spies abroad, a service for which the CIA has secretly funded NBC for years. But obviously, they’re not going to admit that.