We’re not sure if Aaron Sorkin wrote this rant, too, but Jeff Daniels of HBO’s “The Newsroom” fame has reprised his Will McAvoy role with a wordy dump on Donald Trump.As AV Club noted: “In a new video posted to Bloomberg Politics’ YouTube channel, Daniels becomes more or less possessed by the spirit of McAvoy for about two minutes while talking about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with MSNBC’s John Heilemann and Mark Halperin on the set of ‘With All Due Respect.’
“A simple question is posed to Daniels: Why is Trump the best-case scenario for Clinton in the fall election? He tries to dodge the issue with a glib, jokey answer, but the hosts demand an honest, thoughtful response. And then, in true Newsroom fashion, Daniels launches into a very convincing McAvoy monologue, prompted by a simple prompt (‘He’s not.’) from off-camera.”
To refresh your memory, here’s Daniels doing the original “America’s not the greatest country” speech.
Will McAvoy: It’s not the greatest country in the world, professor. That’s my answer.
Moderator: You’re saying…
Will McAvoy: Yes.
Moderator: Let’s talk about…
Will McAvoy: Fine.[Turns to Sharon]
Will McAvoy: Sharon, the NEA is a loser. Yeah, it accounts for a penny out of our paycheck, but he[gestures to Lewis]
Will McAvoy: gets to hit you with it anytime he wants. It doesn’t cost money, it costs votes. It costs airtime and column inches. You know why people don’t like liberals? Cause they lose. If liberals are so f—-ng smart, how come they lose so god damn always?
Will McAvoy: [Turns to Louis] And with a straight face, you’re gonna tell students that America is so star-spangled awesome that we’re the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom. Japan has freedom. The UK. France. Italy. Germany. Spain. Australia… Belgium! has freedom… 207 sovereign states in the world, like 180 of ’em have freedom.
Will McAvoy: [Looks at Jenny] And, yeah, you… sorority girl. Just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there are some things you should know. One of them is: There is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number 4 in labor force and number 4 in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending – where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies. Now, none of this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student, but you, nonetheless, are without a doubt a member of the worst period generation period ever period, so when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the FUCK you’re talking about!… Yosemite?[Stunned silence]
Will McAvoy: … It sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws, struck down laws – for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not on poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were and we never beat our chest. We built great, big things, made ungodly technological advanced, explored the universe, cured diseases and we cultivated the world’s greatest artists AND the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it. It didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election and we didn’t scare so easy. We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed… by great men, men who were revered. First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.”
― Aaron Sorkin, The Newsroom Script Episode 1
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