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The event has begun (stream here)…aside from the stellar panel of VIPs, there are a few in the crowd. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is in the front row, radio talk show host Laura Ingraham is here and NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd has been spotted…that should be an interesting column.
Today’s event is especially timely, as a real-life “24″ appears to have taken place over the night in Miami.
Pictures and updates to come…
UPDATE: Justice Thomas was announced as a distinguished guest by Secretary Chertoff, he received a rousing applause.
Chertoff made the point that the events of the last 24 hours in Miami and the foiled plot in Toronto reminds us of the fact that terrorism is an international problem that deserves great attention.
Regarding “24″ Chertoff finds particularly compelling the tough choices that the actors in the show must face. “They are always trying to make the best choice from a list of bad options.” That, says Chertoff, is what we sometimes have to do. The show makes you think about what you would do faced with a choice between a lot of unpalatable alternatives. When you are in the middle of an event with high consequences you have to be able to make a decision realizing that the consequences could be dire.
However, Chertoff admits there is an element of “24″ that is unrealistic, and that is that our problems can be solved in 24 hours.
UPDATE: A member of the audience asked Chertoff what aspects of 24 are most like the real world? Chertoff said, we do not have an operations center like CTU, things don’t get solved in 24 hours, and we don’t succeed in getting information by breaking the law.
What is like the real world is the work and dedication that the people in the show actually put into protecting the nation.
UPDATE: Question — “would it be unethical to clone Jack Baur?” Chertoff: “We are already doing that.” HA!
UPDATE: Rush was just introduced to a rock star’s welcome. He promptly poked fun at “Justice Thomas and his wife Clarence.”
Rush introduced the panel….
UPDATE: Rush asked one of the show’s producers if they knew where the show was going before the season began. The answer is no…”we are lucky if we know where the next episode is going!” Rush then asked what the most surprising thing about the show is, Joel Surnow said that it was surprising that “everybody from Rush to Barbara Streisand liked the show.”
UPDATE: Rush noted that “you never know about job security on this show. How many times have you guys been dead on the page and talked yourself out of it?” Carlos Bernard, aka Almeida admitted, “a couple…”
UPDATE: Rush suggests a guest cameo: “Jack Murtha as the head of the new KGB.”
UPDATE: Rush asked the producers if they were trying to teach people lessons with the show. Their short answer was “No, we are just trying to heat our pools.”
UPDATE: Question from the audience: “Do you ever worry about giving terrorists ideas with the terrorism tactics you portray on the show?” Producer Robert Cochran said they do worry about that. They try to only use information that “is already out there.”
Another question from the audience to Chloe, “Are you carrying Edgar or Jack Baur’s love child?” Chloe, “Whoever asked that question needs to think about something else for 24 hours…my baby is my business.” HA!
UPDATE: Question: “Why did you feel the need for Keifer to make a public service announcement about Islam in season 4?” The producers said they were asked to do so by CAIR and that they did not change the content of the show in any way so they saw no harm in doing the announcement.
UPDATE: For next season, the producers say there will be more action taking place in Washington, D.C. Also, everyone’s favorite Secret Service agent Aaron will be back in a larger role next season.The producers are working on a 24 movie right now in which “Jack Bauer will be the new James Bond.” The movie will not be in CTU Los Angeles, it will take place internationally and will be a big “epic action with Jack Bauer front and center.”