In reality we get Navy SEALs going in and doing a job in “real time” as the President and his staff watched half a world away. In the fiction world we used to get Jack Bauer of 24 doing the same kind of thing. It used to take Jack about 24 hours of real time to get the job done; these guys did it all in 40 minutes. Score one for reality TV of the most surreal kind.
The pundits are all having a great time with this story. They have forgotten William and Kate’s wedding faster than you can say “Gary Condit after 9-11.” Of course, it is a fantastic story about a nearly perfectly executed mission into enemy territory to get the guy known for orchestrating some high-profile crimes against the United States at home and abroad. Even screenwriters usually don’t make it this smooth, so you know that there will be a film someday depicting this action that is probably the best of its kind since the Israeli raid on Entebbe.
Our President was also reminding me of a character in 24: President David Palmer. The coincidences are very striking as we have a composed, firm, and convincing Commander-in-Chief making a very tough call, and doing it on his own without any help from “coalition” buddies. That is what made the fictive Palmer seem like Presidential timber, and isn’t it comforting to know that the real guy in the White House can do it even better than on TV.
Sometimes life imitates art. In this case we have the Navy SEALs and the President of the United States doing it better than their TV counterparts. Still, I couldn’t help thinking that the guys who did this had to have a little Jack Bauer in them, just as Mr. Obama had a little David Palmer in him. The plan and execution of it seemed like something from a script, but in reality it played out better than anyone could imagine and they did it in “real time” too.