24: Commie pinko leftist pro-terrorist show?

A thread in MPSIMS reminded me of this.

There are probably a lot of things in the last season of 24 that I could read things into, had I misplaced my tinfoil beanie. But a few things stick out to me.

For one, the real terrorists were in the White House, planting evidence of WMDs in order to secure military funding. For another, the Department of Homeland Security was shown to be made up of corrupt and bumbling morons. And third, when Henderson said that the whole plot was to preserve American honor, Jack stated that “This country has no honor.” At least twice.

Now, I realize that it’s nothing more that a very silly TV show, and should be taken about as seriously as That 70s Show. But do you think the writers/producers were taking a swipe at the Bush administration?

Sounds like a documentary to me.

Do you say that because certain people in the White House have manipulated evidence on WMDs to justify a war effort, the Department of Homeland Security is run by corrupt and bumbling morons, and this Administration has no honor (i.e. betraying intelligence operatives, lying about the effectiveness of defense systems, et cetera)? 'Cause otherwise I don’t know how you’d come to this conclusion. :dubious:


But to actually answer the question - I think that the show can be read either way. The creators are smart; they know that to create a purely conservative or purely liberal show will alienate a good part of their viewership, and they want those viewers. So, they have on one hand a first bumbling, then evil, then a pawn president who bears a non-negligible resemblance to our current President, as well as several successful terrorist attacks that kill Americans. On the other hand, they show terrorists getting killed left and right by an American operative, and CTU, while having constant management problems, is largely effective and are unmistakably the “good guys”. So, take your pick of ideologies. I doubt the creators of the show lose any sleep over it.

I seem to recall him saying “this country cannot have honor as long as Logan is president,” or some such–imputing the dishonorability (is that a word?) to President Evil rather than the nation.

Two of the show’s producers, Joel Surnow and another one (Howard Gordon, maybe?), were in the group of men that vacationed in the Dominican Republic with that bastion of liberalism Rush Limbaugh when he was detained in customs for carrying Viagra tablets without a prescription in his name.

Limbaugh was cleared of charges in the incident, but knowing those producers are buddies with Rush is enough to make me more confident than ever that deleting the show from my TiVo season pass list was a good idea.


Really? I guess that settles that.

But then again, do the producers do the writing? It could very well be that the writers had an agenda that they slipped past the producers. (Although I don’t see how much slippage could happen.)

Mostly because the show hasn’t been worth watching for the past two seasons, and we were entirely sick of how stupid it had gotten. I’m fine with suspension of disbelief and escapist entertainment, but when it no longer pays off to pay attention to the plot or try to figure out where the story is going (because the writers themselves gleefully admit they have no clue), there’s no point in watching. It’s devolved into self-parody, except without any sense of humor whatsoever. So we decided to quit watching. We took it off the TiVo list about one minute after the season finale ended.

Considering all that, the added info of knowing they party with Rush wasn’t exactly a point in their plus column for me.


So maybe this is all in furtherance of a plot to make “the media” in general (which includes not just news media) look more and more “liberal?” That serves “conservative” purposes.

Or maybe its in furtherance of a plot to undermine confidence in the democratic system, so that panic-mongering politicians (mostly “conservatives” as far as I’ve been able to tell) can move the country into an even more authoritarian direction, culturally speaking, than it is already?

Or both?



Well, Frylock, it could be argued that the main thesis of 24 is that torture and wiretapping (literally recording and scanning every conversation occurring anywhere, in the 24-verse) should be commonplace and are absolutely essential and effective tools in fighting terrorism. Even if most of that terrorism seems to be perpetrated by federal agents who are actually moles. Moles make up fully half the government workforce in 24 World. The other half are dangerous incompetents. And then there’s Jack, who is openly psychotic and is only on one side: his own.

[mixed metaphore]More fuel for my tinfoil fire. Thanks![/mixed metaphore]


I watched seasons 1 and 2 in the last couple months, and I’m most of the way through season 3.

While I think season 4 was uniquely bad, there’s no way that season 5 was any worse in that respect than any of the others. If it took you this long to figure out that the plotting is done by the seat of the writers’ pants, you ain’

I watched seasons 1 and 2 in the last couple months, and I’m most of the way through season 3.

While I think season 4 was uniquely bad, there’s no way that season 5 was any worse in that respect than any of the others. If it took you this long to figure out that the plotting is done by the seat of the writers’ pants, you ain’t been paying attention. I would agree that that’s one of the worse qualities of the show, but it hasn’t gotten significantly worse over the years. Look at Kim in Season 2 for God’s sake.

Anyway, the show has always snuck in at least some liberal sentiment. For one, you only have to look at the two presidents the show has depicted: the strong, confident, eminently capable, and moral-to-a-fault David Palmer, a Democrat, and the weak, whiny, incapable, and manipulable Charles Logan, a Republican.

I don’t know if you’ve seen all of season five, so I’ll spoiler it, but …

It turned out that Charles Logan was hardly manipulable, as he was the one doing all of the manipulating the entire season. Most of the weak, whiny thing pretty much turned out to be an act to deflect the fact that he more or less orchestrated the entire situation. So it’s even worse than you said, he’s not as much weak and whiny as he is evil.

I agree that Logan isn’t really manipulable, given that he

actually stood up to Jack’s intimidation and threatened torture, when the smart money had him cracking under the gaze of the Captain Dismember within fifteen seconds.

Of course I did. And what it seemed like to me is that he was honestly convinced that he was doing something good - convinced by the little group of illuminati he was working with. Remember? The ones who killed David Palmer?

He was an evil man, but he was also a very weak one who got convinced to do an incredibly stupid thing by people who were much smarter and more capable than he was.

Silly rabbit. I looked at Kim in all the seasons.

It didn’t take me that long, believe me. But Seasons 1 and 2 were decent, excluding the ridiculous Kim subplot in Season 2. She clearly was superfluous to the plot, and they shoehorned her in to up the hot babe quotient. Around Season 3, things got more ridiculous. We watched the first three seasons in quick succession on DVD, which made some of the lamer bits easier to stomach. We only slogged through 4 and 5 out of stubbornness, hoping it would suddenly get good again like Season 1 was. But it’s just become gradually stupider and more frustrating and nonsensical.

It’s not the first show to start out strong and then fall apart, and I won’t really miss it. Fortunately Season 1 is a self-contained story, from back when they had to have the first 13 episodes all planned out, and they stumbled a bit with the whole amnesia subplot when they got picked up for the full 24. If we ever decided to watch that again we can just pretend the other seasons never happened.

I simply don’t see how you can consider seasons 3 through 5 that bad, for the reasons you present, and not acknowledge that seasons 1 and 2 were just as bad. Season 1’s plot was every bit as ridiculous as all the others.

I think the writers just need to reencrypt a socket protocol.