On 24

Simulating Terror

By Aaron Thomas Nelson

Why do 24 fans range from liberal to conservative? Since the show revolves around such pro-Bush issues as the War on Terror and the use of extreme measures to defeat terrorists, one might wonder why 24 garners fans from across the political spectrum.

The writers of the show are from mixed political backgrounds. Joel Surnow is a Republican who considers Rush Limbaugh a personal friend, while Howard Gordon is a self-described moderate Democrat (Heritage Foundation). But we must be careful in discussing this matter, since knowing someone is a “Republican” or a “Democrat” is not enough to understand his or her reason for supporting or protesting the War on Terror. Some of the Bush’s biggest critics, after all, are his father’s friends from his father’s administration, as well as traditional conservatives (Reagan Republicans) who shun the notion of nation-building and interventionism (a notion George W. Bush himself shunned in his 2000 campaign.) The War on Terror is a decidedly “neoconservative” policy that breaks from sixty years of foreign policy steadily agreed upon by both parties. And yet, 24, a show that supports the War on Terror, is still loved by those who criticize it.

The reason why the show is widely loved by many (ranging from Barbra Streisand to Judge Clarence Thomas) is because the show critiques Bush’s War on Terror while at the same time lending credence to it. The critique lies in one of the most praised features of 24, the plot twist at the end of the season that  …

More from Aaron Thomas Nelson

Stay Updated

on our daily essay, giveaways, and other special deals

Our Books

Subscribe via RSS