Last night's episode of Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom was hilariously titled, "Bullies." Unfortunately for HBO, the humor was due to the program's seemingly endless hypocrisy and not because there was anything remotely funny in the dialogue of the episode itself.
Lauded as a ground-breaking show by much of the liberal media, The Newsroom really jumped the shark this week by trying to paint Republicans as bullies all while portraying liberal character Will MacAvoy (Jeff Daniels) and his network's executives belittled women and demonized African-Americans who dared to support conservative candidates rather than back liberal Democrats as the Left expects them to.
When a female guest came on his show to protest the building of a Muslim community center on the site of Ground Zero out of respect for the victim's families, MacAvoy accuses her of implying that Islamic leaders were trying to indoctrinate American citizens and impose Sharia law. He then launched into a bizarre tirade against Christians, saying that organizations like the KKK "raped women and murdered children" in the name of their religion.
MacAvoy continued to impose his views on other program guests when a Temple University professor who happened to be both African-American and gay, came on the show to talk about his role as an advisor for Rick Santorum's campaign. MacAvoy asked his guest if it bothers him "that Mr.. Santorum thinks that there is something wrong with you that should be fixed" and that the candidate, "thinks you're a sick deviant who's threatening the fabric of society." When his guest countered, "Mr. Santorum has never treated me with anything but the utmost respect," MacAvoy says that Santorum finds him "disgusting" and "think's you're less then a man."
While it's impossible to know for certain, this character may be based on Robert Traynham of the Comcast Network. Traynham appears with some regularity on MSNBC programs as a contributor, but he used to work for then-Senator Santorum. Back in January of this year, MSNBC's Chris Matthews got into a heated exchange with Traynham about the senator's socially-conservative views.
Later on in the program, MacAvoy encouraged a young attractive female reporter to recant some of her statements on the air to prevent conflict between the subject of her interview and the network, even though what she stated on air was factually correct. The reporter obviously felt uncomfortable doing so, but MacAvoy insisted that she should lie because he, "will always be standing next to you, but in front." How is that not condescending and paternalistic, if not misogynistic?
In short, Sorkin's latest attempt to paint conservatives as unsympathetic, regressive bullies failed miserably. Instead, he inadvertently managed to make his beloved protagonists both racist and sexist through his degrading displays of behavior towards women and African-Americans who hold views different from that which the Left believes they, as women and blacks, should hold.