A guilty pleasure

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 3, 2006

As is usually the case on Monday nights at 9 n provided I get home in time n my wife and I were parked in front of the boob tube Monday night to watch the latest exploits of CTU agent Jack Bauer on Fox’s “24.”

I love the show and have been a fan for about two seasons now. I’m a late comer and picked up the first season on DVD but have yet to watch it. Nothing on TV matches it for action and the storyline is interesting, too.

But I’m conflicted on “24.” While there’s no denying it’s entertaining, I fear the impact it has on people in our country. I think it perpetuates a sense of fear and helplessness among our people that craven politicians exploit to strip us of every right they can get away with in the name of protection our security. In addition, it seemingly glorifies the use of torture and an ends-justify-the-means attitude toward the defense of our country.


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I think that’s among the reasons why nobody seems to care that the administration admittedly has violated the law in wiretapping American citizens, justifying it simply by saying “We have the right to do it in a war.” And why not many people care that we, America, the good guys, have violated Geneva conventions and common decency in the treatment of detainees in the war on terror. “Jack Bauer does it and he’s a hero, protecting America, so what’s wrong with it?”

I feel like I do when dealing with my teenage son when he’s watching “Jackass” or “Wildboys.”

“This is TV, fantasy,” I have to constantly remind him when he says he wants to ride shopping carts down the street or throw monkey feces at people because Steve-O and Chris Pontius do it. “Decent people don’t do this. These guys get paid lots of money to do this on television. People who emulate that behavior without being paid are simply retards and a menace to decent society.

It’s the same with “24,” folks. Watch it and enjoy, but it’s not real. Every second of every day the clock is not ticking down while terrorists are trying to put nerve gas into our natural gas lines or detonate nuclear weapons over our cities. Kiefer Sutherland earns a lot of money to do that on TV. Anybody who believes it without being paid to do so is a moron and a menace to the freedoms we should be cherishing.

I can’t wait until Monday.