Last week, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann of Bloomberg Politics interviewed actor Jeff Daniels and had him recreate his infamous scene from HBO's "The Newsroom."
The 25-episode show, which aired for three seasons, showed a behind-the-scenes view of the happenings at Atlantis Cable News, a fictitious news channel. Daniels' character, Will McAvoy, is the anchor of "News Night," a segment which could be compared to the likes of "NBC Nightly News" or "ABC World News Tonight." In the pilot episode, McAvoy is asked to answer a seemingly simple question, "Can you say why America is the greatest country in the world?" His response was this:
"It’s not the greatest country in the world. That’s my answer… 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! So, 207 sovereign states in the world, like 180 of them have freedom... There’s 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."
Though his response was far less positive and patriotic than his fellow panelists, Will McAvoy tried to make the point that America is not the greatest country in the world anymore, "but it used to be." Here, in a few short minutes, "The Newsroom" captured the world as a political drama. In Jeff Daniels' recent interview, shown below, he channeled his inner McAvoy and once again went on a rant about American politics. This time, however, he discussed Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Jeff Daniels' real interview, found here, blames the American political system for the situation we are currently in. He originally stated that "we branded a Clinton and we branded a Bush" and that helped shaped Hillary and Jeb's political situations. In a sense, that's true. Career politicians have led many to judge a book by its cover. Jeb didn't even have a chance to prove himself before people began to doubt him and ignore his platform. As for Hillary, however, voters are less inclined to focus on her husband's campaign and are more interested in her gender, her attitude, and her lies.
In terms of Trump, Daniels is not impressed, calling him a manipulator. He then refers back to the current system, stating that "he's done a masterful job of taking how we market a president." This refers to what Americans love most about Trump — he's thrown political correctness out the window! But in its place, he seems to be filling the gaps with buzzwords, grandiose statements, and a lack of platform. He's appealing to the fear in America, thriving via social media, and preaching to, as Daniels calls it, the "Kardashian world."
As for Bernie Sanders, Daniels finds him to be great, saying, "I love the ideas that he's got. To me, it's like somebody who went to Woodstock now is running for president." He continues to praise Sanders' great ideas and tenacity, but reminds his hosts that there is a thing called Congress... Maybe the Sanders' campaign, and its followers, need to be realistic. Who knows?
All in all, it's clear that Jeff Daniels favors Hillary Clinton. He doesn't want the American people to allow Trump in office because "he's not the best-case scenario." But the spoof interview, which has received over 300,000 views since it was published on May 11, proves that though Trump is a problematic candidate, Clinton has many electability and favorability issues of her own. So at this point, who really is the best-case scenario for president?