During his second term in office, as President George W. Bush struggled to maintain a grip on two runaway wars and a devastated New Orleans, the country's most powerful person was preoccupied with a pressing question: Is 24 character Tony Almeida really going to come out of his coma?
Bush is evidently a big fan of the hit Fox network show that follows counter-terrorism agents in "real time" -- so big, in fact, that when ran into 24 co-star Carlos Bernard, he immediately wanted to know if Bernard's character really was going to be resurrected from the dead, as a recent season finale had indicated.
According to the UK's Daily Express:
The actor [said], "He grabbed me at a baseball game in the US. A big guy came up to me and said, 'Excuse me, the President would like to speak with you.' I went over, and it was George W. Bush, and he said 'Hey Carlos, when are you coming out of that coma? All I can do is watch that show of yours. Are you coming back?' I was like, 'You don't have anything better to do?"
Fox's 24 has taken some hits from observers who say the show has promoted torture. The Parents' Television Council counted no less than 67 torture scenes in the show's first five seasons.
But other observers have pointed out the show takes a balanced view towards the controversial practice. Kevin Drum at Washington Monthly argued that, while the show's premise may be conservative, its politics are liberal.