01/08/2009 10:50 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Jack Bauer returns: I hate myself for loving 24

The son of a friend, a bright young man in his mid-20s, complained to my wife recently about the morally reprehensible nature of the show 24, which returns to the air with a four-hour premiere on Fox Sunday and Monday.

It's unconscionable, he told her, that a show should exploit the public's fear of terrorism. (Hey, someone's got to do it after the Bush administration skulks away.)

He didn't even mention the show's regular use of torture as an interrogation technique which, at least on 24, always produces actionable intelligence. There is, at a minimum, anecdotal evidence that American forces in Iraq and elsewhere use the show as a role model when questioning suspects. This, despite evidence that so-called heightened or aggressive questioning usually produces the opposite of useful information. But I'm sure he meant to.

So - right on, young brother! Fight the corporate media oligarchy.

Meanwhile, I'm afraid I'll have to feed my 24 jones.

I've seen those first four hours of the new season - it's been almost two years since the last season started, thanks to the writers' strike - and all I can say is: If they offer me the chance to watch the next 20 hours of the series in a single sitting, I'm so there. Hey - if the characters can go 24 hours without sleep, food, liquids or a bathroom break, who am I to wuss out?

Even before I read about the political leanings of the show's creators, it was obvious who they regarded as the good guys - and who the bad guys were.

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