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.

HBO Newsroom Video
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