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  • Robert Farago

The Truth About Hawaii Five-O

And Why Democrats are Biden Their Time

Back in the day, there were three TV networks: NBC, CBS and ABC. It’s hard to fathom the fame bestowed upon a lead actor in a hit show. Shows like Hawaii Five-O. The 1968 series, before the himbo remake.

The OG Five-O centered on Hawaii State Police Detective Captain Steve McGarrett, played by Jack Lord. From 1968 to 1980, the Brooklyn-born actor starred in 281 episodes over 12 seasons.

The show was famous its catch phrase denouement. McGarrett confronted the bad guy, turned to his number one and said “Book ‘Em Dan-O.”

Jack Lord was Steve McGarrett. True for both for his fans and Mr. Lord. At some point in the show’s epic run, Mr. Lord began interacting with people as McGarrett, both on and off set.

I don’t know if there were drugs involved, or if Mr. Lord thought he was pursuing cases and directing detectives in the real world. But unimaginable fame had turned him from an actor playing a detective into a man who believed he was a detective.

A descent into delusion that reminds us of Kurt Vonnegut’s admonition in his book Mother Night: “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

When I worked at CNN, I heard whispers about Mr. Lord’s mental issues. I fact-checked the rumor with a friend who worked for CBS.

True story. In fact, the New York network paid handlers to cater to/feed Mr. Lord’s delusion and run off-set interference.

I don’t think it wasn’t a difficult job. How many people saw Jack Lord in the wild and called out “Hey McGarret!” I’m thinking all of them. How many were bothered when Mr. Lord interacted with them in character? I’m thinking none of them.

I’m sure the “detectives” accompanying Mr. Lord were practiced at explaining the Lord-as-McGarret situation. “He’s staying in character for a show. Don’t forget to watch next Thursday!”

And there you have it: why Joe Biden is running for reelection (he thinks he’s President) and how and why the 81-year-old President’s handlers are enabling his run for a second term (they want him to continue working for them).

It’s also a glimpse of Joe Biden’s probable fate. To wit:

When Five-O’s popularity waned, when the show looked like a loser compared to the competition, CBS replaced Hawaii Five-O with a new some thing (see what I did there?), a program that had been in development for some time.

\NB: I mean no disrespect to Jack Lord. I was a fan. In 1998, at the age of 77, the actor died of Alzheimer’s complications, leaving his entire $40m estate to Hawaiian charities. R.I.P. Steve.

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