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Friday, June 27, 2008

24 Black

posted by on June 27 at 8:59 AM

Dennis Haysbert’s claim that the character he played on the popular TV show 24, a black president, “paved the way for presidential hopeful Barack Obama” is old news.
However, if this is true, if 24 prepared many American minds for the arrival of a black president, it means that the most popular piece of Bush-era entertainment (it was concocted by two staunch Republicans) completely/terribly/unbelievably backfired (even with the assassination of the fictional black president).

Aristotle was right: once you put something into the world (an act, an action, a drama), it becomes (and does) its own thing.

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"it was concocted by two staunch Republicans"

Really? Where did you get that? I'd never heard that before, and if you actually watched the show you would not get that impression.

Posted by Levislade | June 27, 2008 9:21 AM

Do you actually bet on 24 Black at the table? I'm partial to 23 Red aka Brentwood Slasher.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 27, 2008 9:21 AM

Excuse me, but Morgan Freeman was the first black President.

Deep Impact, 1998

Posted by monkey | June 27, 2008 9:24 AM

By Haysbert's and Aristotle's logic then, Geena Davis should have paved the way for a female President by portraying the Presidential character in the TV show "Commander-in-Chief". Not sure she said anything but it hasn't come to pass yet. For the record, we've had at least four presidential candidates with African-American heritage run since 1968(?). They are the late US Rep. Shirley Anita Chisholm, Lenora Fulani, an independent, Rev. Jesse Jackson (2X?) and Rev. Al Sharpton.

Posted by lark | June 27, 2008 9:24 AM

"However, if this is true..." It ain't.

Backfired? I'd guess the Republicans were as prepared for the arrival of a black president as the Democrats. I've no doubt they were sincere in their earlier admiration for Colin Powell (that guy mentioned as a potential candidate in days gone by), for example.

Posted by umvue | June 27, 2008 9:27 AM

Dear Slog,

Please do not post season-making spoilers to recent major TV series. Some of us have been saving up all that good content for the next time they get relly sick and and plow through 3 seasons of TV on DVD in a week.


Posted by Todd | June 27, 2008 9:28 AM

I thought the point of 24 was to make torture normal.

Posted by elenchos | June 27, 2008 9:35 AM

*BOOM* *pow* *zingzingzing* *WHOOSH* *terRor* *chuchuchuchu* *tick...tock...tick...tock...* *slAp* *GROIN* *kabloowie!!* *sliceeee*

sorry i just ruined season 7 for you :[

Posted by 24 SPOILER ALERT | June 27, 2008 9:36 AM

Where did Aristotle say that? Was it in the Poetics?

Posted by Ramdu | June 27, 2008 9:38 AM

@6--here are some other timely spoilers: the chick in The Crying Game has a dick, and the Bruce Willis character in The Sixth Sense is dead!

Posted by MyNameIsNobody | June 27, 2008 9:38 AM

@8-you forgot to mention that jack bauer chokes somebody or 10.

Posted by meerkat | June 27, 2008 9:40 AM

He only paved the way for a half-black president.

Posted by onion | June 27, 2008 9:42 AM

#1: Afraid so. Watch with the audio commentary on when the creators are talking. Bummed me out too because I enjoyed the first season, but it kinda makes sense when you consider the world-view it's based around. The "ticking time-bomb" justification for torture is pretty much the basis for the entire show.

Posted by flamingbanjo | June 27, 2008 9:44 AM

I'm looking forward to Obama's Allstate commercials.

Posted by Jason Josephes | June 27, 2008 9:46 AM

Are you trying to tell me that Jesus Christ can't hit a curve ball?

Posted by Fortuna Mandolin | June 27, 2008 9:52 AM

I thought that the last season of The West Wing was the Obama campaign/presidency...

Posted by demo kid | June 27, 2008 9:54 AM

Obama: you're in good hands.

Posted by Hernandez | June 27, 2008 10:07 AM

OK, I just read Joel Surnow's entry in wikipedia - bummer.

Still, though, anyone that watched the show (especially the first few seasons) would be hard-pressed to find any evidence of a conservative/republican agenda. I don't want to give away any more whoppers, but suffice it to say the 24 enemies are not Bush's enemies.

Maybe I'm being naive, but I think the creators' first priority was to create an entertaining, compelling show, and not a platform for the Republican agenda.

Posted by Levislade | June 27, 2008 10:16 AM
completely/terribly/unbelievably backfired

Or not.

As someone else pointed out, I think it's a mistake to assume that the Republican platform is racist; Republicans are classist. They hate poor people. Minorities are disproportionately poor, so it looks like Republicans are always out to fuck them, but I think the causality gets mixed up in people's minds -- especially liberals, who tend to be obsessed with identity politics.

Posted by Judah | June 27, 2008 10:27 AM

#18: Well, there's nothing that says you can't enjoy entertainment produced by assholes. Hell, I enjoy listening to Sinatra sometimes.

Posted by flamingbanjo | June 27, 2008 10:34 AM

I almost never, ever think of someone's political beliefs when watching a movie or TV show.

ANyhow, regardless of ideology, let's hope that the next season of 24 makes up for last season, which was beyond awful. The first and fourth seasons were the most entertaining.

Posted by Jason Josephes | June 27, 2008 10:55 AM

@9, yes, the poetics.

Posted by charles mudede | June 27, 2008 11:00 AM

George Bush's idiotic lunacy prepared American minds for the arrival of a black president.

Posted by DOUG. | June 27, 2008 11:56 AM

That all fits in well with a theory a friend of mine espouse: that the reason so many people were happy with the early years of the Bush presidency was because they were busy watching "West Wing" and thought -- on some level -- that Martin Sheen & Rob Lowe were the ones running the nation.

Posted by Timrrr | June 27, 2008 3:30 PM

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