A Fair and Balanced "24"

It’s like the punchline of some Red State vs Blue State joke — Janeane Garofalo on “24.” Except it’s totally true. Yes, one of Hollywood’s most outspoken liberals (wait a minute is that redundant?) will play a government agent investigating whatever torture-porn storyline the “24” writers can come up with next season. Perhaps her character is meant to offer some psychological balance to Kiefer Sutherland’s Agent Jack Bauer. Maybe as Jack is biting the jugular vein out of a rival’s neck, Janeane’s character could point out a vegan alternative.

This is so not cool a move by Garofalo. I don’t care who’s producing a show for Fox TV, if you’re on the schedule you’re working for Rupert Murdoch. How can Garofalo possibly justify the move after railing against Murdoch and Roger Ailes and the Fox News Channel for years? The struggling actor excuse just isn’t going to cut it. Garofalo has the talent and name recognition to make a very decent living as a performer. She’ll make a boatload of dough working on “24” but at what cost? She’s now hit rock bottom on the integrity scale.

On the other hand Murdoch and Fox must be having themselves a giant laugh over all this. They could care less about the odd casting choice. Hell, they’d cast Michael Vick as a country vet in a series if they could. Money is the only consideration here. Fox will exploit anything and everything to make a buck — including themselves. One of the reason the network is so successful is they’ll throw just about anything on the screen — highbrow (“House”) lowbrow (“Cops”) middlebrow (“American Idol”), if the ratings and demos are right then game on.

I’m sure Janeane will try to turn this all into some “behind enemy lines” adventure, but I’m not buying it. We all have to make our own choices about what’s right and wrong in our personal and professional lives, and then live with the consequences. As the old knight in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” might have said, “Janeane, you have chosen poorly.”


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