Joel Surnow, 24, Jack Bauer

Pointing the way out of the Liberal jungle with Conservative red meat

By —— Bio and Archives--November 13, 2007

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Phillip Klein’s special report in The American Spectator’s Pursuit of Liberty Series about Jack Bauer creator Joel Surnow shines like the light at the end of a very long dark tunnel.


In the politically correct-saturated world of television, there’s Joel Surnow, the executive producer of the hit television series 24, daring to raise his head above the herd and telling-it-like-it-is to hundreds of conservative students at last Saturday’s Young America’s Foundation West Coast Leadership conference.

  The Dems would have hung garlic on the doors of the conference hall, had only they not been so busy trying to demoralize the masses on the eve of Veteran’s Day.

  Kudos to Klein for portraying Surnow as the only upstart petunia in the somewhat insipid rose garden, and doing so with panache!

  “Conservatives who lament the ideological bias in Hollywood need to stop acting like liberals,” Surnow told the young whippersnappers.

  With the carafe of ice water on the podium as his only sustenance, Surnow told the Leadership conference: “Our job is not to whine, that’s their job.  Our job is to succeed despite the adversity.”

  Never has the clarion call to the dejected sounded so promising.

  In the mind’s eye of the imaginative, we can see Alex Baldwin and Robert Redford stampeding for the next jumbo jet to Ireland.

  When he got off the podium, Surnow repaired at the patio bar of Fesss Parker’s Double Tree hotel to elaborate further to a group of eager conservative bloggers.

  “He insisted that good material will see the light of day in Hollywood, no matter what the political bent, and pointed to productions such as 24, Path to 9/11, and the movie 300.” (Philip Klein, Nov. 13, 2007).

  “Surnow recalled that when he first entered the business 35 years ago, he was advised that, “if you write a great script, you could drop it off a freeway overpass during 5 o’clock traffic, and that movie will get made.”

  Aficionados of anything left conservative not RINO may be surprised to know that the real goal of developing the wildly popular 24 was not make an explicit conservative show, but merely to entertain the audience with a good storyline. 

  “However, in an age during which moral relativism dominates popular culture, the series stands out for embracing old-fashioned notions of right and wrong, and for portraying its protagonist Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) as a heroic figure for doing whatever it takes to protect his loved ones and his nation.  At a time when it has become culturally taboo to portray radical Islam in a bad light, the show does not hesitate to make Muslim terrorists the bad guys.”

  “Jack Bauer really represents justice,” Surnow said during his speech.  “This guy doesn’t care about the law, he doesn’t care about the courts, he doesn’t care about consequences.  He just cares about getting the bad guy and putting him down.”

  The real patriot in the eyes of people who would be like him, only given the chance, is Jack Bauer, not Benjamin Martin of Mel Gibson fame.  The British have come and gone, not so the bad guy of the present day.

  “Surnow continued, ‘I understand all the legal eggheads who say we can’t live in a society like that.  I tend to agree that you can’t have vigilantes running around, because eventually that could lead down to a very crazy place.

  ‘But in a world where there’s so much noise about what we’ve done wrong, why we’re such bad people, there’s so little support for just the real common sense idea, which is: they’re bad, we’re good, we’re going to get them.  Jack Bauer represents that.  I think the fact (is) that he’s as popular as he is encouraging.’”

  Nor was Surnow just painting the pretty part of the picture for his young crowd.

  “In a surprisingly candid admission, Surnow told students “From a creative standpoint, his story is close to over.  But from a business stand point, the show is in profit.  They picked us up for two more years, and we kind of have to find ways to keep his story going without repeating itself.  That’s what we struggle with every day.  Where does Jack Bauer go from here?”

  24 fans may be interested to know that in the upcoming season there will be a woman president played by Cherry Jones.

“If she’s a really good character, she may help Hillary, Surnow joked.  “So we may have to turn her into a bad character.”

  Surnow said he would probably be supporting Rudy Giuliani, and he asks, “Are we nuts thinking Hillary Clinton could be president of this country?”


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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com.

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