`24′: Jack is Back — McCain’s ‘Hero’

Actor Kiefer Sutherland and director and executive producer Jon Cassar speak during 24: Live Another Day World Premiere Event for Fox on Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on May 2, 2014 in New York City.

Photograph by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for FOX

Actor Kiefer Sutherland and director and executive producer Jon Cassar speak during 24: Live Another Day World Premiere Event for Fox on Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on May 2, 2014 in New York City.

Sen. John McCain is hot on the news.

It’s not Syria. It’s not Benghazi.

It’s Bauer.

The return of “24” — that Fox serial thriller about an exceptionally special agent who makes water-boarding look like an Arnold Palmer on the rocks — happily coincides with Cinco de Mayo today.

The 12-segmemt run making its debut at 8 pm EDT tonight has been heavily hyped — with a full-page color ad in the Sunday New York Times picturing a Glock-wielding Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) saving that sultry and savagely faithful-to-Jack agent Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub) from impending disaster.

In its heyday, “24” confronted the real-life dilemmas of “the war on terrorism” in a manner of drama that generally defied credulity. It also created a counter role-model for a nation attempting to come to grips with the limits of its own ethics in the face of unthinkable threats.

 

McCain is playing with a little bit of gunfire here, hailing Bauer as his hero (a new twist on Hogan’s Hero?) It was the Republican senator’s erstwhile 2008 presidential ticket running mate, Sarah Palin, who recently told the NRA that water-boarding is “baptism for terrorists.”

To his credit, McCain also did tweet about Syria today — passing along an editorial slap at the White House, which is hosting a Cinco de Mayo celebration on the South Lawn tonight.

The concept of “24” was unique in its opening years — a real-time drama playing out, hour by hour, around the clock.

The only thing they haven’t answered about Jack Bauer’s return to prime time following four years of occasional off-screen drinking problems is how they expect to run 24 hours in 12 shows. True to “24” fashion, though, time is likely to stand still, starting tonight at 8:

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