Aaron Sorkin's Fictional Republican: Why Must We Hate Gays, Science and the Poor?

The HBO series Newsroom on Sunday continued its clumsy examination of liberal media bias. In the Aaron Sorkin-created series, "Will McAvoy" (played by Jeff Daniels) is a "Republican" anchor at the fictional ACN network. Yet, he constantly bashes members of the GOP in the harshest terms. In the September 15 episode, McAvoy, who in a previous episode referred to the Tea Party as the "American Taliban," huffed, "I call myself a Republican because I am one."

In the episode, which was set on election night 2012, McAvoy then proceeded to denounce the party he claims to be a member of: "...Now I have to be homophobic. I have to count the number of times people go to church. I have to deny facts and think scientific research is a long con." Talking on-air with a fictional Republican operative, Daniels's character lectured, "And I have to have such a stunning inferiority complex that I fear education and intellect in the 21st century. But most of all, the biggest new requirement, really the only requirement, is that I have to hate Democrats." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Earlier in the episode, McAvoy ridiculously suggested that Democrats don't nominate extreme candidates: "Who's Allen West on the left? Who's Joe Walsh or Michele Bachmann?"

Perhaps Mr. Sorkin, who writes and produces the show (and is a well known Hollywood liberal) is unaware of Alan Grayson, a Democratic Congressman who said the Republicans want people to "die quickly" and warned of the "blood that drips from [Dick Cheney's] teeth."

Or perhaps he's forgotten about ex-Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, a 9/11 Truther whose campaign railed against the Jews.

On the September 8 episode of Newsroom, Daniels mocked the concept of liberal media bias.

A partial transcript of the September 15 episode is below:


"WILL MCAVOY" (Jeff Daniels): What media are you talking about when you say media? ACN?

"TAYLOR WARREN" (Constance Zimmer): Yes.

MCAVOY: Well, continue.

WARREN: I worked in the Romney press shop and I can tell you that on average over the last six months, "News Night" did 14 negative stories about Republicans to every one... Hey, Molly. It's New York. - Copy. - Coming to you shortly. Stand by. If Republicans do 14 crazy things in a month, does that mean the unbiased thing to do would be for us to concoct 13 additional crazy Democrat stories?

...

 MCAVOY: Who's Allen West on the left? Who's Joe Walsh or Michele Bachmann? A 14-1 ratio of negative stories and your takeaway is is that there's a problem with the storyteller.

...

WARREN: Who did you vote for today?

MCAVOY: You know I'm not answering that.

WARREN: I thought you might because you revealed your party affiliation on the air last year.

MCAVOY: I did. I identified myself as a Republican because I thought it was fair to give to the viewer given the commentary I was delivering.

WARREN: A commentary that ended with you calling the Tea Party the American Taliban.

MCAVOY: Yes.

WARREN: And in the body of the commentary - was a blistering indictment of Republicans.

MCAVOY: Exactly the opposite. It was a blistering indictment of people who aren't Republicans.

WARREN: Well, who's to say who is and who isn't?

MCAVOY: On that night, I did.

WARREN: I want to remind you you asked me to pursue this area.

MCAVOY: I understand.

WARREN: And I'm wondering, with all respect, do you call yourself a Republican so you can make a claim to credibility when you attack the GOP?

MCAVOY: No, I call myself a Republican because I am one. I believe in market solutions and I believe in common sense realities and the necessity to defend ourselves against a dangerous world and that's about it. The problem is now I have to be homophobic. I have to count the number of times people go to church. I have to deny facts and think scientific research is a long con. I have to think poor people are getting a sweet ride. And I have to have such a stunning inferiority complex that I fear education and intellect in the 21st century. But most of all, the biggest new requirement, really the only requirement, is that I have to hate Democrats. And I have to hate Chris Christie for not spitting on the president when he got off Air Force One.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org