Hollywood Delusion: New York Times Could Endorse GOP Presidential Candidate

October 10th, 2005 1:18 PM

Only on fantasy television would anyone predict the New York Times would endorse a Republican presidential candidate, but that's what occurred on Sunday's episode of NBC's drama, The West Wing. On the October 9 show, the GOP nominee, California Senator “Arnie Vinick” (played by Alan Alda), lays out a series of proposals on immigration (such as doubling the border patrol), aimed to put his Hispanic Democratic opponent, Congressman “Matt Santos” (played by Jimmy Smits), in a box. In one scene, “Vinick” campaign advisor “Bruno Gianelli” (played by Ron Silver), a former campaign adviser to Democrats including the show's “President Bartlet,” walks into a meeting and declares: “The New York Times loves your guest worker program. Think we might have a shot at an endorsement." At least another campaign staffer points out the naivete of the Democratic operative who has switched sides: "Kiss of death for a conservative." But another adds: "New York has 31 electoral votes."

Liberal commentator Lawrence O'Donnell serves as Executive Producer of the series and Sunday's episode also featured "Vinick," who is Hollywood's dream of a Republican who is “pro-choice,” pro-minimum wage, environmentalist and anti-religious right, going on a rant against the head of the "American Christian Assembly." Vinick asserts: "Tell that lying little creep the United States Senate gets to advise and consent on judges, not the clergy." More on that scene, and links to past NewsBusters and MRC CyberAlert items on the liberal advocacy in the series, follows.

Sunday's show had the head of the "American Christian Assembly" telling Drudge that Vinick promised to appoint only pro-life judges, a pledge “Vinick” had made. Explaining it to his upset staff, “Vinick” admits: "I lied to a liar. Miserable little," Vinick's voice trails off as he slams a folder down and stands up: "He's what's wrong with this party. He's the problem, not me! Tell that lying little creep the United States Senate gets to advise and consent on judges, not the clergy. If his gang wants to have a say in picking judges, tell him to run for the Senate."

Then again, that attitude would excite the New York Times.

A Friday NewsBusters item, “Chris Matthews Attacks Republican from Left on NBC's 'West Wing' Too,” recounted a small role for Matthews on Sunday's episode and featured an excerpt from an April 6 MRC CyberAlert article which detailed the liberal framework for the two presidential candidates on the show:

“Hollywood's ideal Republican President is 'pro-choice,' 'pro-environment,' will save the party from the 'right wing,' engineers a deal to raise the minimum wage and lectures about keeping religion out of politics. A Democratic consultant told Republican presidential candidate, 'Senator Arnold Vinick,' played by Alan Alda, that he can win in a landslide because he's 'moving the Republicans away from the right wing. You're not saying Democrats are not patriotic.' After a pro-life Republican, who is so intolerant that he rejects Vinick's offer of the vice presidency, invites Vinick to join him in church, Vinick lectures a gaggle of reporters: 'I don't see how we can have a separation of church and state in this government if you have to pass a religious test to get in this government.'

“The West Wing's ideal Democrat would also be more liberal. This season the show introduced 'Congressman Matt Santos,' played by Jimmy Smits, as a long-shot presidential candidate who soars ahead with the guidance of 'Josh Lyman,' a top aide to Democratic President 'Josiah Bartlet' who doesn't have the guts to take on the health care system. In the course of the campaign, Santos advocates the elimination of insurance companies in health care in a new 'single-payer' system.”