The Spectacle Blog
Paul and Jed: I don't agree that "24" is a soap opera prime time drama. One thing I like about the show is the lack of "romance." Nonetheless, the occasional "love" subplots are compelling because they force the characters to confront moral dilemmas. For example, "Do I save my (insert word) wife, daughter, girlfriend, other family member, or do I save (insert word) the president, millions of innocent civilians, or coworkers?" Makes for interesting choices and motives throughout the show -- keeping in mind very few "24" characters are not expendable. And although Jack may get involved with a coworker (or two), he is not so "into them" to not do his job, and in the end is not above being rid of them -- permanently, if need be.
"Forty years have passed since the majority of Americans adopted television as their principal source of information. Its dominance has become so extensive that virtually all significant political communication now takes place within the confines of flickering 30-second television advertisements."
I could have sworn he took the initiative in creating something to fix that. (He must have forgotten about the "digital Brown Shirts.")
Gore just mis-defined that unitary executive theory, unsurprisingly. The unitary executive theory does not say that executive power is unchecked by the other branches of government. It says that executive agencies should be answerable to the President. Does Gore not know the facts, or just not care about them?
Boy, did we dodge a bullet in 2000.
One more time: We don't know the technical details of the NSA program, and for good reason. Those technical details may, and probably do, make FISA inapplicable. James Risen's sources leaked information not because they were concerned about FISA, but because they thought the program was questionable under the Fourth Amendment. The caselaw isn't with them on this: A national security-related "border search" simply isn't an unreasonable search. If FISA is inapplicable, Article II warmaking powers, which certainly include spying on the enemy, are applicable.
All of Gore's screaming about "disrespect for the law" is entirely off point.
Lady G: I thought when you wrote "hell hath no fury" you might be alluding to these poor viewers in South Carolina, who missed the last 10 minutes of 24 due to the station switching to the local news at 10:00 (the NFL game that preceded 24 ran long).
Of course, it wouldn’t be modern
Jed: Along with the soap opera element, the other real stretch of credulity is all the inside jobs and moles, in every season. This season, we already we have a presidential chief of staff in on the scheme (whatever the scheme is), and past seasons have seen infiltrators galore, right up the chain of command.
There are plenty of bad guys in the outside world to do the trick just fine, thank you.
Paul and Lady G: Yes, "24" is off to a rocking start, and -- fortunately -- the soap opera aspects have yet to make their tiresome appearance. That's what turned me off to the show a year ago. For professional anti-terrorist operators and analysts to be so consumed by the who's sleeping with whom intra-office jealousies was too much for me. Maybe that's what makes good tv, but I'da fired the whole lot of 'em and replaced them with people who could keep their minds on their work. They could solve that with a name change. Instead of calling it "24," how about "As the World Burns?"
On the far left, there is often grumbling that we don't celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy in toto. King was a socialist, and stridently antiwar. This tends to get swept under the rug; if it didn't, it would be hard to countenance a national holiday. That part of King's legacy belongs only to the left.
What we celebrate is not what is divisive but what is unifying about King's legacy: his fight for equality against racism, his dream of a colorblind society -- what can be plausibly described as "King's Conservative Legacy," but which of course is bigger than that.