It's no surprise, then, that I slept a little on the premiere of Aaron Sorkin's new drama, The Newsroom. And then when I saw pictures of Kristin Davis macking on Sorkin, I remembered OH! This show! I am excited about it! So I took a break from Arya and Jon Snow to check it out.
And....oh. This face. :/
By now you've probably seen the opening speech that Jeff Daniels makes, where he talks about how America ISN'T the best country in the world:
It's wonderful and honest and informed and really great and exactly what I hoped this show would be. But then...he says this (italics mine):
"But [America] sure used to be [the best] (ed: REALLY? IT DID? SINCE WHEN???). We used to stand up for what's right (again: REALLY? SINCE WHEN???). We fought for moral reasons (like all those Native Americans we killed for 'moral reasons'?), we passed laws for moral reasons (like all those laws to keep black and white people from getting married?), we waged wars on poverty, not poor people (REALLY? Like all that help we've given poor people during the decades-long War On Drugs?). We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were and we never beat our chests (AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA). We built great big things (Congratulations, America, on building big things.), we made amazing technological advances, explored the universe, cured disease, we cultivated the world's greatest artists (okaaaaay) AND the world's greatest economy (ummmmmm). We reached for the STARS (vom). We acted like men (VOM). We aspired to intelligence, we didn't belittle it, it didn't make us feel inferior (If that is what you'd like to believe, Sorkin). We didn't identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election and we didn't...we didn't scare so easy. We were able to do all these things and be all these things because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered (Yup, W.R. Hearst was super great and kept us EXTRA informed). First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America isn't the greatest country in the world anymore."
So, as you can probably tell, I've got some problems with this speech. America isn't the greatest country in the world ANYMORE? So when was it? When we had slaves? When we shoved our immigrants into tenements to die of tuberculosis and starvation and factory fires? Was it during the Trail Of Tears? When we outlawed alcohol? When we lynched black people? When we put Japanese-Americans into internment camps? Was it when we put "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance or when we continually denied equal rights to women, and gays, and racial and ethnic and religious minorities? When we entered in to multiple wars and armed confrontations against small countries because we disagreed with their ultimately ineffective and self-defeating ideologies? When we watched our citizens ravaged by AIDS and did so little to help? When we freely armed horrible, genocidal people around the world? When we allowed the Supreme Court to elect a president? When we put our money where our mouth was and never beat our chests on Imaginary Island in Never Never Land? Tell me, Aaron Sorkin, precisely WHEN America was the greatest country in the world. Because by my count, that was NEVER.