Zazzle Shop

Screen printing

Monday, January 12, 2009

Barack Obama 'kidnaps' 24 hero Jack Bauer

US conservatives claim that the 24 character Jack Bauer has been 'kidnapped' by the new liberal agenda of President-Elect Barack Obama.

Jack Bauer: Barack Obama 'kidnaps' 24 hero Jack Bauer
US conservatives say Jack Bauer from 24 has been 'kidnapped' by the new liberal agenda of President-Elect Barack Obama.

As the hero of the television action series, Bauer became a modern icon of rugged American values and a fictional flag waver for the Bush administration's determination to defeat terrorists.

The intelligence agent, played by Keifer Sutherland, has never been afraid to torture or shoot to kill while tackling villainous foreigners intent on waging war on the American homeland.

But now US conservatives are up in arms that the election of President-Elect Barack Obama has led the show's producers to pander to the liberal consensus in Hollywood, which they claim has led to the blacklisting of those who disagree with their anti-war views.

When the series returns for its seventh season on Sunday night, Bauer will mouth the views of Mr Obama, who has vowed to end "enhanced interrogation", also known as torture, and close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

And in an apparent bid to get in tune with the new president, the new season opens with Bauer facing a congressional investigation probing his use of torture and summary executions in previous series. "It's better that everything comes out in the open," Bauer says, echoing Democrat demands for greater transparency over US counter-terrorist tactics.

"We've done so many things in the name of protecting this country, we've created two worlds. Ours and the people's we've promised to protect. They deserve to hear the truth and decide how far they want to let us go."

The transformation of Bauer has left the American Right fuming.

"It's clearly a sign the producers are trying to adapt to a new political reality," said the conservative commentator Christian Toto.

"That approach might generate a few new fans, but it could turn off those who saw 24 as that rare Hollywood product that took the threat of terrorism seriously - and didn't feel the need to rationalise taking extreme measures to protect the innocent."

The capture of Bauer by the Hollywood's liberal elite comes as conservatives in the entertainment industry are complaining that their support for the war in Iraq has made them victims of a Left-wing witch hunt.

A new book by an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, published later this month, claims that those with conservative views are victims of an informal blacklist, like the McCarthy-era ban on communist sympathisers in Hollywood during the 1950s.

Roger Simon, who penned the scripts to Enemies: A Love Story and Scenes From a Mall, said that those who oppose the liberal anti-war consensus in Hollywood have been ostracised by the major studios and television networks.

In his book Blacklisting Myself: Memoir of a Hollywood Apostate in the Age of Terror, Simon writes: "I am sure this new form of the blacklist exists, but not nearly to the formalised extent of the original list of the Forties and Fifties with its dramatic hearings in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee."

He says the new blacklist "operates through an almost invisible thought control" in which writers, actors and directors who refuse to join in the chorus of condemnation against President George W. Bush and his wars faced career death over the last eight years.

He claims anyone voicing support for the war "would be dismissed as a fool, a warmonger, or a right-wing nut (all three, probably) and therefore have had little or no chance at the writing or directing job that brought you there."

Conservative actors are few and far between. Only the Die Hard star Bruce Willis, Kelsey Grammer of Frasier fame and the Oscar winners Jon Voight and Robert Duvall have any real clout.

When the novelist and film director Michael Crichton, the creator of Jurassic Park, died on the day Mr Obama was elected, his passing received little publicity, conservatives claim, because he wrote a thriller questioning the liberal consensus on global warming.

Even Arnold Schwarznegger, the former film star and Republican Governor of California is seen as a captive of the Left because of his liberal environmental policies.

But some conservatives are fighting back. Last week activists in the entertainment industry launched a new website to rally support from conservative voters for films and television programmes that reflect their values.

They believe that the recent glut of anti-war films that bombed at the box office - including Rendition, which starred Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal; In the Valley of Elah, featuring Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron and Lambs for Lions, Robert Redford's political drama with Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep - are proof that Hollywood is out of touch with the American public.

Andrew Breitbart, the founder of the new Hollywood site, issued a call to arms: "Until conservatives, libertarians and Republicans - who will be the lion's share of Big Hollywood's contributors - recognise that (pop) culture is the big prize and that politics is secondary, there will be no victory in this important battle."

Michael Wilson, director of the documentary Michael Moore Hates America, said Hollywood and grassroots conservatives need to fight harder to "impart their ideas into pop culture" by putting up the money for films that hide a conservative message in a popular format.

He said: "Hollywood doesn't like us. They don't like our pro-American, pro-liberty, self-interested way of life, and they certainly don't think our ideas would work on film.

"The trick to transforming the very real liberal bias in Hollywood is to change the formula that Hollywood uses by finding and financing films and television projects that engage people emotionally first and speak to ideology second."