Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Changing political winds on 24 noticed by columnist

From columnist Kevin McDonough:
What's up with Jack?

Previously on "24" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14, V), we discovered that an incompetent president has been snookered by an internal cabal of hardliners bent on planting weapons of mass destruction in a foreign terror base. They want to create a phony pretext for a U.S. invasion and the establishment of military bases that will guarantee the flow of oil for the next generation.

You don't need a magnifying glass to find the metaphors and messages here. Michael Moore could not have written a more scathing and conspiracy-laden take on the current administration and its neo-conservative brain trust.

And this isn't just any show, this is "24," home to Jack Bauer, a man of action and a hero to many on the political right. Don't take my word for it. Pat Buchanan's Jan. 23 column, titled "What Would Jack Bauer Do?" was filled with praise for the show, its main character and unbridled glee at his "Dirty Harry" take on due process. I've heard guests and callers to Rush Limbaugh's radio show praise "24." Political blogs and TV sites are filled with laudatory comments about Bauer's kick-butt attitude.
So it should be interesting to see how this latest storyline changes the tone and story on "24," as well as the political perception of the show.

Yes, this is just a TV series and Bauer is a fictional character. But so was "Murphy Brown," and that didn't stop her from becoming one of the more memorable campaign issues of 1992.

In 1968, Lyndon Johnson was chagrined when Walter Cronkite turned against the Vietnam War on his nightly news broadcast. He reportedly told an aide, "If I've lost Walter Cronkite, I've lost Middle America."

I'm not sure whether President Bush watches "24," but it seems he may have just lost Jack Bauer.
Personally, I'd guess that aWol doesn't watch "24." It seems pretty clear to me that he doesn't know Jack. Besides, it's on after his bedtime.


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