With 24’s Eighth and final season taking place in New York City, it was perhaps inevitable that someone would make this comparison:
In an era when television is often ahead of reality, perhaps it was inevitable that the New York police commissioner measured the country’s success Tuesday in the attempted Times Square bombing against the fictional heroics of Jack Bauer on FOX’s “24.”
At a midday news conference, Ray Kelly praised the actions of law enforcement officials for capturing a suspect in the car bomb case a little more than two days after the incident.
“Now, by my calculation . . . it was 53 hours and 20 minutes,” Kelly said. “Now we know that Jack Bauer can do it in 24 minutes. But in the real world, 53 hours is a — is a pretty good number.”
Kelly meant 24 hours, of course, a reference to the TV series in which Bauer always manages to solve a major terrorist event in a single day. But Kelly’s comparison was clearly meant to draw the comparison between real-life agents and the Hollywood version.
In fact, the similarities are eerie between reality and the television version of the terrorist plot now playing out in New York City. The main difference? The video surveillance is far better in the show.
As Bauer tracks a terrorist bomb hidden in a van through the streets of Manhattan in this season’s “24,” he is aided by secret spy drones flying over the city, training their cameras on virtually every intersection. With just a phone call, Bauer directs a drone to the location he wants and up pop detailed images — license plates, even the face of a suspect.
What a contrast to the short, grainy video the New York Police Department released Monday of a “person of interest” in the botched Times Square bombing. Worse than most YouTube clips, the picture of a man removing his jacket is fuzzy, obscuring his face and any other identifying features.
Let’s hope the similarities end there, because otherwise we’d be dealing with a traitor inside law enforcement, the Russian mob, an assassinated foreign leader, and the sight of an idiotic President being turned into a corrupt fool by the most corrupt fictional President ever.