Skip to comments.Just Asking… Cherry Jones (On Violence and Torture, First Female President on "24", McCain Cameo)
Posted on 11/21/2008 7:23:35 AM PST by fight_truth_decay
Cherry Jones has over 30 years of theater experience, Tony Award-winning performances in "Doubt" and "The Heiress." A self-described "newbie" when it comes to television, the 51-year-old actress is taking on the role of U.S. president Allison Taylor on Fox's action-drama "24" debuts this Sunday with "24: Redemption," setting the stage for the show's two-night premiere Jan. 11-12.
Jones spoke to The WSJ about the politics behind "24," ..
WSJ: How did you land this role?
Jones: I got a call from my agent that the boys at "24" wanted to meet me. Because I work in the theater predominantly at night, I had never seen the show and quickly watched some episodes. I was instantly intrigued, although quite honestly, violence and torture has never exactly been my favorite form of entertainment. But I grew up on "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.", "Mission: Impossible", "I've always loved espionage thrillers and the moment I was introduced to Jack Bauer, I became his..."
WSJ: During the past season of "24," the show came under attack for its heavy use of torture. Was that a consideration when debating the offer?
Jones: It absolutely was -- I didn't have any guarantees. But I certainly got a sense from the fellows I met with that this was something that they were going to be addressing. I also know that it's an hour-long espionage thriller and the producers have gone on record saying that Kiefer needed to go do a PSA at West Point, because a lot of cadets coming in were using his [character's] techniques as examples of what they would do under pressure to get information. So I think it's very difficult for the writers; I think they want to do the right thing, but it's also a boy espionage thriller.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Jack's back: The clock ticks for 24's antihero..
"Fans of 24's unique blend of violence, tension and breakneck action can rejoice; a TV special is about to hit our screens, and 'day seven' follows. But is the world turning against a show whose questionable ethics appear to condone torture?
By Robert Hanks, UK The Independent Friday, 21 November 2008
24 has made Kiefer Sutherland a megastar; he's paid a reported $10m a year, has been nominated for an Emmy for every season, and has taken home a dozen other awards, from Teen Choice and MTV to the Screen Actors' Guild and a Golden Globe."
"On Monday night, after a long delay occasioned by the screenwriters' (SAG) strike in America, Bauer returns in a two-hour special, 24: Redemption, setting the scene for a fully fledged series that begins in January. That's redemption for Jack Bauer, now exiled in Africa, atoning for some of the sins committed in previous series by helping an old comrade who now runs a school for former child-soldiers; but redemption too, maybe, for a television show that has started to lose (?) some of its shine, with complaints from fans and critics about repetitive, convoluted and unconvincing story-lines and a swelling growl of discontent at the viciousness of the show's underlying morality."
"In November 2006, the dean of West Point military academy and a team of experts on interrogation visited the set of the programme to air their concern that the show was promoting unethical behaviour, making it more difficult for them to train soldiers and law-enforcement officers in legal and, just as much to the point, effective interrogation techniques. They were convinced that the popularity of the show among the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq had contributed to a readiness to abuse prisoners; from CTU to Abu Ghraib isn't, after all, such a long journey."
"The show's makers defend it as pure and obvious fantasy, but the notion that its influence is wider than that has some high-level support. Laura Ingraham, another influential right-wing radio host, said that Jack Bauer's popularity was "as close to a national referendum that it's OK to use tough tactics against high-level al-Qa'ida operatives as we're going to get". The lawyer John Yoo, involved in drafting the so-called "torture memos" used by the Bush administration, has mentioned 24 and the threat of an imminent nuclear blast in the course of an argument about torture. At a 2006 conference held by the conservative Heritage Foundation under the title "24 and America's Image in Fighting Terrorism: Fact, Fiction, or Does It Matter?", the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, said that perseverance like Jack Bauer's would help America defeat terrorism."
"Jack also has time for killing people. According to the website www.bauercount.com, Jack's death toll stands at 185 people killed in six, very busy, days. Jack's somewhat cavalier attitude towards killing (writes The Independent) can be traced to former 24 producer and show runner Joel Surnow, a self-described "right-wing nutjob", who quit the show early this year."
"If Surnow was unashamedly right-wing in his beliefs, his co-producer and chief writer Howard Gordon prefers to call himself "a left-leaning centrist". It is perhaps no surprise to learn that, with Gordon in sole charge, both 24: Redemption and the new, seventh series will focus on whether or not Jack has to answer for his "torture first, answer questions later" attitude."
"McCain might not have been elected Commander in Chief earlier this month, but the Republican candidate had a blink-and-you'll-miss it cameo in series five. The senator for Arizona pops up to hand a folder to Audrey."
The Question being.."Will we now be witness to a More Sennnsitive & Sannnatized Jack Bauer?
Is this true? First I've heard of it.....
What an outstanding play.
The movie version is coming out soon. I am sure it won't do it justice, though.
“...If Surnow was unashamedly right-wing in his beliefs...”
As if being right-wing is, by definition, something to be ashamed of.
The left has certainly perfected the subtle misuse of our language to reinforce their idiotic ideology.
Jack Bauer is going to start questioning his sexuality by mid-season, during intimate and emotional scenes with Powers Boothe.
Was he anticipating a Hillary presidency?
She is an excellent actress. You won’t see her on tv but she is highly regarded in the theatre. BTW she is also gay.
Jack will learn that diplomacy works far better than being mean and that America, like himself, must answer to the United Nations for its wicked past.
NewYorker.com back in February 19, 2007.
.....The office desk of Joel Surnowthe co-creator and executive producer of 24, Whatever It Takes The politics of the man behind 24.
This past November, U.S. Army Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan, the dean of the United States Military Academy at West Point, flew to Southern California to meet with the creative team behind 24. Finnegan, who was accompanied by three of the most experienced military and F.B.I. interrogators in the country, arrived on the set as the crew was filming. At first, Finneganwearing an immaculate Army uniform, his chest covered in ribbons and medalsaroused confusion: he was taken for an actor and was asked by someone what time his call was.
In fact, Finnegan and the others had come to voice their concern that the shows central political premisethat the letter of American law must be sacrificed for the countrys securitywas having a toxic effect. In their view, the show promoted unethical and illegal behavior and had adversely affected the training and performance of real American soldiers. Id like them to stop, Finnegan said of the shows producers. They should do a show where torture backfires.
The meeting, which lasted a couple of hours, had been arranged by David Danzig, the Human Rights First official. Several top producers of 24 were present, but Surnow was conspicuously absent. Surnow explained to me, I just cant sit in a room that long. Im too A.D.D.I cant sit still. He told the group that the meeting conflicted with a planned conference call with Roger Ailes, the chairman of the Fox News Channel. (Another participant in the conference call attended the meeting.) Ailes wanted to discuss a project that Surnow has been planning for months: the début, on February 18th, of The Half Hour News Hour, a conservative satirical treatment of the weeks news; Surnow sees the show as offering a counterpoint to the liberal slant of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Howard Gordon, who is the series show runner, or lead writer, told me that he concocts many of the torture scenes himself. Honest to God, Id call them improvisations in sadism, he said. Several copies of the C.I.A.s 1963 KUBARK interrogation manual can be found at the 24 offices, but Gordon said that, for the most part, our imaginations are the source. Sometimes these ideas are inspired by a scenes location or come from propswhats on the set. He explained that much of the horror is conjured by the viewer. To see a scalpel and see it move below the frame of the screen is a lot scarier than watching the whole thing. When you get a camera moving fast, and someone screaming, it really works. In recent years, he said, weve resorted a lot to a pharmacological sort of thing. A character named Burkea federal employee of the C.T.U. who carries a briefcase filled with elephantine hypodermic needleshas proved indispensable. Hell inject chemicals that cause horrible pain that can knock down your defensesa sort of sodium pentothal plus, Gordon said. When were stuck, we say, Call Burke! He added, The truth is, theres a certain amount of fatigue. Its getting hard not to repeat the same torture techniques over and over.
Gordon, who is a moderate Democrat, said that it worries him when critics say that weve enabled and reflected the publics appetite for torture. Nobody wants to be the handmaid to a relaxed policy that accepts torture as a legitimate means of interrogation. He went on, But the premise of 24 is the ticking time bomb. It takes an unusual situation and turns it into the meat and potatoes of the show. He paused.
I think people can differentiate between a television show and reality.
Propaganda of the Police State: Torture TV Endorsed by Mainstream Media, Amnesty International:
Outsiders have drawn connections between the real world and the fictional 24. The Council on American-Islamic Relations criticized the depiction of Muslim terrorists; a New York Times column compared 24's focus on domestic terror threats to the Bush administration's focus on Iraq; and Karen Greenberg, co-editor of The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib, mentioned the series in a Baltimore Sun column about U.S. torture policy.
Alistair Hodgett of Amnesty International credits 24 and A&E's MI-5, which follows the British security service, with realistic depictions that provide a clearer idea of what torture involves. They do more to educate than desensitize.
Jack Bauer is a tragic character. He doesn't get away with it clean. He's got blood on his hands, Gordon says. In some ways, he is a necessary evil.
The movie Sunday night looks like it “for the children”.....