’24’: Totally Sensitive

During tonight’s broadcast of “24,” Fox ran a short public-service announcement from Kiefer Sutherland. The message, in essence: ” ’24’ depicts a group of really evil Muslims. But you, Mr. and Mrs. American Television Connoisseur and your extended families, should bear in mind that not all Muslims are bad people. Please keep that in mind as you watch me, as agent Jack Bauer, kick some evil Muslim butt.”

In case you need a translation, that’s America being real sensitive to minority sensibilities. Actually, it should be noted that on tonight’s episode, Kiefer/Jack didn’t confront any evil Muslims directly. But just wait. Their hour of reckoning approaches.

Even more significantly, it should also be noted that Tony Almeida’s Chicago Cubs mug made another appearance on tonight’s show — the first time it has been seen since the first season of “24,” I believe. Unlike its first supporting role, when it likely contained a brewed hot caffeinated beverage, the Cubs mug tonight served as receptacle for a brewed cold alcoholic beverage. Yeah, the actor who plays Tony (Carlos Bernard, aka Carlos Bernard Papierski) is a Chicago-area native who apparently advertises his roots with his Cubs mug. From which he now drinks beer.

(January 15, 2006 update: Tony and the mug are back — check out the details — for the new season.)