Among the many era-specific elements of 1996’s Independence Day is a brief cameo by news commentator John McLaughlin on his TV program The McLaughlin Group, the both-sides-of-the-political-aisle talk show featuring a panel comprised of talking heads like Eleanor Clift and Pat Buchanan. And now, in an exclusive deleted scene from the film’s sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence, we learn that McLaughlin and company remain ready, 20 years later, to discuss the planet’s new post-alien invasion world order. Watch it above.
In the two-minute scene, McLaughlin, Clift, Buchanan, Tom Rogan and Clarence Page debate whether the United States should continue to be a member of the Earth Space Defense (ESD), the multinational defense program created in the wake of the first attack and designed to alert humanity to any incoming threats. The show’s liberal commentators remain firmly committed to the system, while its conservative voices express isolationist viewpoints — and such stances are further reinforced by follow-up talk about whether the potential for an outer-space attack makes urban living a more or less dangerous prospect. (We also learn that the assembled panel survived the devastating attacks in the first movie by escaping a doomed DC.)
While McLaughlin himself is less boisterous than he was in his ‘90s heyday — when he was routinely parodied by Saturday Night Live — this Resurgence clip is nonetheless a sturdy fan-service shout-out to the 1996 original’s brief scene featuring the TV personality, during which he railed against Bill Pullman’s President Whitmore for being a wimpy commander-in-chief.
Independence Day: Resurgence is in theaters beginning Friday.