November 15, 2007
Ronald Reagan's Jeep

Little Miss Attila on Ronnie's Jeep and the Reagan Ranch Center.

The coolest part of the evening was meeting three Marines at the event. Stacey McCain describes it a little bit here.

The Marines were on leave prior to their deployment to Iraq and were grabbing a picture outside the Center, since one of them was a big-time Ronald Reagan fan.

The good people at the Young America's Foundation invited them to the private banquet honoring former Attorney General John Ashcroft. They became the guests of honor, receiving a standing ovation. Since the next day was the Marine Corps anniversary, we all sang the Marine Corps hymn--led by John Ashcroft.

Shouts of 'hoorah' came from around the room from Marine veterans.

I couldn't help but wonder if the 'troop-supporters' on the Left would have treated the Marines so enthusiastically and so well? I'm told that at other events, organizers sometimes have to remind the audience to be nice and to applause. No joke.

Article published Nov 15, 2007
The Jack Bauer way

November 15, 2007

By Robert Stacy McCain - Can't never could, folks say down home, and that's true all over, even in Hollywood.

"If you write a great script, you could drop it off a freeway overpass in rush hour, and the movie would still get made," Joel Surnow said Saturday, as he sat sipping a vodka gimlet in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Hollywood is a place where dreams come true every day, where the accomplishment of the impossible is a full-time job and the producer of Fox's antiterrorism thriller "24" has no time for people telling him what can't be done.

If you're about excuses and whining, don't bother talking to Mr. Surnow. The value of time is what "24" is all about. Like Jack Bauer, the Emmy-winning producer doesn't have a second to waste.

Get the job done, whatever the obstacles — that's the Jack Bauer way. And his creator doesn't waste time listening to conservatives who complain about the insuperable power of liberal bias in Hollywood (or anywhere else).

"Our job is not to whine. That's their job," Mr. Surnow told a college kid at Saturday's student leadership conference sponsored by the Young America's Foundation. "Our job is to succeed despite the adversity." Success despite adversity: The American dream, boiled down to three words. It's also the Jack Bauer way, and it is no accident that some of the biggest fans of "24" are guys who achieved impossible dreams, like the guy from Pin Point, Ga., who sits on the Supreme Court and the guy from Cape Girardeau, Mo., who reaches an audience of 20 million listeners, thanks to "talent on loan from God."

Rush Limbaugh and Justice Clarence Thomas know a thing or two about "can't never could." They know what it's like to be smeared and attacked by liberals who will tell any lie necessary to their pursuit of "social justice." Like Jack Bauer, Mr. Limbaugh and Justice Thomas didn't simply survive the attacks; they triumphed over their attackers, and their enemies will never forgive them for it.

Ditto, as Rush's fans might say, for the man who made Jack Bauer a household name. Surely the liberals seethe with rage every time "24" comes on their plasma screen, knowing that Mr. Surnow — "A Republican? In Hollywood? How dare he!" — becomes richer and more powerful with every episode.

Nothing succeeds like success, and nothing fails like failure. Liberal movies are bombing in theaters, Hillary's poll numbers are dropping faster than the circulation of the New York Times and Joel Surnow — well, excuse me, ma'am, but I believe Mr. Surnow asked for his vodka gimlet on the rocks.

The waitress fetched the ice, as the sun sank low over the Pacific Ocean. The afternoon breeze wafted through the palms above the seaside terrace outside Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort, and American dreams were coming true all around us.

The Hollywood producer is the son of Ukrainian and Lithuanian immigrants, and YAF spokesman Jason Mattera, the 24-year-old who arranged this impromptu press conference, is the son of Puerto Rican immigrants.

The whole affair took place under the auspices of YAF's nearby Reagan Ranch Center. Even as Mr. Surnow sipped his gimlet beneath the palm trees, three young Marines on a weekend pass from Camp Pendleton were stopping by the Center to peek in the door.

The Marines found themselves invited to stick around for the evening's Torch of Freedom Awards banquet honoring former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Those three lance corporals got a fine meal and the biggest ovation of the night.

Dreams still come true every day in America, even in Hollywood, where a small-time Midwest radio announcer once turned up in the midst of the Great Depression and became a star.

Impossible? Yeah, like the idea that the same guy could be elected president of the United States.

Can't be done? Right. Like the dream that the mighty Soviet Union would fall into the "ash heap of history" just a couple of years after that same guy said "tear down this wall." Is the liberal dominance of Hollywood more permanent and intimidating than Soviet tyranny? Can it never be defeated? Is anything really so powerful and inevitable? "I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do," President Reagan declared in his 1981 inaugural address. "I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing."

Doing nothing is never an option for Jack Bauer, and Joel Surnow doesn't have time for whiners. The clock keeps ticking.