I was once impressed by Joel Surnow. As writer and co-exec of the series Nowhere Man back in 1995, Surnow and his colleagues pwnzed me for an hour a week. When 24 came on in 2001, I watched the whole first season despite finding the writing, and especially the characterizations of pretty much anyone but Jack Bauer and Senator Palmer, to be boring. It was dependent on hourly cliffhangers and more violence than necessary. In short, I grokked the premise around 8am, still stuck around to see the whole Day 1 storyline, and then felt no need to lather, rinse, nor repeat.
Well, I'm not going to be invited to the White House, but maybe I'll get some appreciation at West Point. As Jane Mayer wrote in The New Yorker last week, West Point instructors have been appalled at the repetitive use of torture techniques which (a) go against the Army field manual and (b) work every time on the show even if they don't in real life. The West Point brass have had their hands full with cadets who love the show and can't understand why they can't turn the whole planet into Abu Gharib.
So, we're caught up with old business, now onto new business.
Surnow, now that he's poisoned the well for many discussions of civil rights, recently decided to become a more old-fashioned Hollywood political player. He's begun donating to Republican political campaigns. Two Republican political campaigns.
In June, he gave $2000 to Rick Santorum's failed re-election bid for the U.S. Senate. I really don't wanna know whether Surnow drank the Santorum-flavored Kool-Aid, but Santorum swallowed Surnow's. His was one of the September votes for the suspension of habeas corpus. (Hm, whole lotta sibilance back there. Is there a parselmouth in the house?)
Then, just before the ball dropped to usher in 2007 on Mayor Bloomberg's watch, he upped the ante by sending $2100 to Rudy Giuliani's presidential exploratory committee, joining foulmouthed NYPD retiree (and big 24 fan) Bo Dietl [vid] and Bush/Microsoft lawyer Ted Olson, whose wife died the day Rudy became world-famous. It was under Rudy's watch that Amadou Diallo was shot and Abner Louima was turned into a plunger-topper, so I'm not sure whether Surnow's donation was for future hopes or past performance. But it ain't for a kinder, gentler anything.