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October 13, 2015

Ted Kennedy enjoyed Bond and Bauer

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 27th 2009 11:36AM
Ted_Kennedy_US_senatorUnlike his three older brothers who all died suddenly – and tragically – the late Massachusetts senator Edward M. Kennedy knew that his final days were upon him. In the time he had left, Teddy, as he was known by friends and family, took the time to enjoy his life. That included still getting out on his boat to sail despite being wheelchair bound, as well as viewing all the James Bond movies, as well as 24 action hero Jack Bauer.

What's really fascinating about the latter two facts is that Kennedy was clearly entertained by both Bond and Bauer, men of action who didn't – and don't follow the rules. Bond, for instance, is in the service of her majesty's secret service, but he's a spy with a license to kill.

Bond -- like Bauer -- has been known to be a maverick and go to extremes while on an assignment. In License to Kill, for instance, James went rogue in defiance of his superiors after his CIA friend Felix Leiter was savagely attacked by the villain Sanchez.

Perhaps Ted liked Bond because his brother did. JFK was one of the most famous fans of James Bond, and when he mentioned that fact in the early 1960's that he had enjoyed reading From Russia with Love, he helped promote the Ian Fleming novels, even before Sean Connery became Bond on the big screen.

24's Jack Bauer is even more of a wild card. For a liberal like Ted Kennedy, you have to wonder what he thought of some of Jack's methods. Did Ted approve of Jack's torturing a suspect to get the vital information to find a nuclear device after Valencia, California had been obliterated by a similar explosive? Also, what was Kennedy thinking when he saw President David Palmer murdered by an assassin's bullet and his brother nearly killed by an attack in the White House.

I have to believe that for the senator, he had an appreciation of the entertainment value of 24 without necessarily buying into the extreme ethics of Bauer's desire to get the job done at any cost. Kennedy wouldn't be the first liberal to admire Jack Bauer, despite his anti-ACLU stance. Barbra Streisand, a very vocal – and proud – liberal, also listed 24 as one of her favorite TV shows.

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