"The Newsroom" Opening Monologue

  • metta

    Posts: 39107

    Apr 15, 2013 3:29 AM GMT
    "The Newsroom" Opening Monologue

  • TDSmoove

    Posts: 131

    Apr 15, 2013 4:05 PM GMT
    As soon as I saw this opening I was hooked. The entire season is just as good. It's truly one of the most entertaining yet poignant series on TV. Made for the crowd that's sick of Snookie and Real Housewives of wherever. And the Jeff Daniels character "McAvoy" is actually a republican. Political junkies will love this show. I hope the second season will be better than the first.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Apr 15, 2013 4:18 PM GMT
    TDSmoove saidAs soon as I saw this opening I was hooked. The entire season is just as good. It's truly one of the most entertaining yet poignant series on TV. Made for the crowd that's sick of Snookie and Real Housewives of wherever. And the Jeff Daniels character "McAvoy" is actually a republican. Political junkies will love this show.


    Well, a self described Republican, but realistically he's closer to a true Libertarian (in contrast to the Paul's).
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    Apr 15, 2013 5:04 PM GMT
    The things he lists in which we aren't 1st are true based on the measurement used, whether or not they are the best measurements of those things is a matter of debate. It's an emotional speech and touches Americans who long for the days when we were young and we knew that we lived in the greatest country in the world.

    The problem is greatness is subjective. Why do we need to be first in every category to be great? Why do we need to be first in ANY category to be great? Maybe it's a combination of things. For sure we aren't the most moral nation by any definition of morality. We aren't the worst of course, but believing we once were is also naive. During all those "great" things Daniels' character said the U.S. used to do were terrible things such as Jim Crow Laws, Vietnam, and support of fascist dictatorships to oppose communist dictatorships. Even during WWII where we were supposed to be the noble good opposing the evil axis we interred our own citizens in camps based on nothing but race. We incinerated hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians to prevent a costly ground war in Japan.

    Yes, we did "great" things in terms of scale and historical significance, but morally the "greatness" of those things was ambiguous at best. The character succumbs to the very naiveté he is chastising by believing that there was some golden age to which we should wish to return. America isn't the greatest because there is no greatest on some singular scale. America does some things well and others not well, but especially as a gay man and a human in general I'm glad to be living here now more than any other time in history.
  • TDSmoove

    Posts: 131

    Apr 15, 2013 6:14 PM GMT
    Well, a self described Republican, but realistically he's closer to a true Libertarian (in contrast to the Paul's).[/quote]

    I would totally agree. It's too bad that the term, like many others, has been corrupted by those who don't really understand it.

    As far as the greatness thing goes... Honestly I think that is just American arrogance. There are many positive things that we as a people are great at, doesn't mean we're the only ones. As well as many thing we suck at and everything in between and that was the point of the monologue. So long as we tell ourselves that "We're the best" we can ignore what we aren't the best at or what we shouldn't be the best at. Many times as a country we really could be so great, if we could only get out of our own way. And I think that is in part the point that is stressed in the series.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Apr 15, 2013 6:22 PM GMT
    CaCO3 saidThe things he lists in which we aren't 1st are true based on the measurement used, whether or not they are the best measurements of those things is a matter of debate. It's an emotional speech and touches Americans who long for the days when we were young and we knew that we lived in the greatest country in the world.

    The problem is greatness is subjective. Why do we need to be first in every category to be great? Why do we need to be first in ANY category to be great? Maybe it's a combination of things. For sure we aren't the most moral nation by any definition of morality. We aren't the worst of course, but believing we once were is also naive. During all those "great" things Daniels' character said the U.S. used to do were terrible things such as Jim Crow Laws, Vietnam, and support of fascist dictatorships to oppose communist dictatorships. Even during WWII where we were supposed to be the noble good opposing the evil axis we interred our own citizens in camps based on nothing but race. We incinerated hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians to prevent a costly ground war in Japan.

    Yes, we did "great" things in terms of scale and historical significance, but morally the "greatness" of those things was ambiguous at best. The character succumbs to the very naiveté he is chastising by believing that there was some golden age to which we should wish to return. America isn't the greatest because there is no greatest on some singular scale. America does some things well and others not well, but especially as a gay man and a human in general I'm glad to be living here now more than any other time in history.


    I think, in a sense, he (and I) agree with you, and that's part of his irritation at the question. I believe his point is that we should not BE number one in those categories, but that we should be striving to be number one. (I agree whole hardheartedly on your metric complaint, btw.) That our news media and politicians are no longer striving to push us to improve, but conversely argue that improvement in our daily lives is either not their responsibility, nor is it what we want. Do we want to be entertained? Argue back and forth about meaningless issues? All while ignoring that instead of trying to be better we are slipping further behind.

    It's not being number one that makes a country and a person great, it's trying to be number one.

    This clip also ignores that the conflicts and bickering between political ideology is less a conflict about how to proceed with policies and programs, and more to do with differing visions of what an ideal society looks like.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Apr 15, 2013 6:32 PM GMT
    CaCO3 is right on the money about a lot of things. Hell, the Bush family made much of their money handling assets for the Third Reich and were later censured by Congress, but few today know that history.

    The reality is, though, we've gone beyond the age of nationalism and are now in a global 'new world order' (George Bush Sr.'s phrase). It is a global empire of banking, corporate and military interests that is trans-national, and potentially anti-national, in scope. In this context thinking nationalistically about the "greatest nation on earth" is rather antiquated. Its really more propaganda than anything real.

    We live in a global technological empire that, currently, is primarily fueled by non-renewable hydrocarbon resources. Even 40 years ago we knew this was a big mistake and policy makers knew it would inevitably lead to the kinds of global crises we see unfolding around us (social, economic and environmental). The reason why we've not made the transition to more sustainable energy over the past generation, however, is simple: Renewable energy and its markets are inherently decentralizing and, thus, more difficult to manipulate and control. That is, they can be a direct threat to the structures of wealth and power that currently rule this empire. (Imagine if every town, city, state or country could independently generate all the energy it needed without reliance on a global energy market.)

    True greatness has to do with the human spirit. It is no longer a question of which nation is "the greatest" on earth. The question is, will humanity recognize ITS true greatness as a whole -- as a planetary species on the cusp of global crisis and potential awakening? How will we as a species come to terms with the consequences of a global empire that has emerged out of a (predominantly western European) history of hierarchy, dominance, violence and oppression? What event or series of events, if any, can catalyze us to work toward a rejuvenated spirit of not national, but human greatness?
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    Apr 15, 2013 7:36 PM GMT
    How weird. I was just thinking this morning whether a UK network would pick this up or whether and here you guys are talking about it. Intro looks great, does the rest of it keep up that level? Is it worth hunting down on the internet? Also thinking that I need to try and find Sports Night at the same time.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Apr 15, 2013 8:32 PM GMT
    except his whole reflection of what america used to be is b.s. too. america has always been a country of great horrors and hypocrisy.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Apr 15, 2013 9:12 PM GMT
    calibro saidexcept his whole reflection of what america used to be is b.s. too. america has always been a country of great horrors and hypocrisy.

    This.

    But lets be clear, violence, bigotry, brutality and oppression is the legacy of human civilization. That doesn't excuse it but shows us how far we have yet to go.
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    Apr 16, 2013 3:09 AM GMT
    DCEric saidI think, in a sense, he (and I) agree with you, and that's part of his irritation at the question. I believe his point is that we should not BE number one in those categories, but that we should be striving to be number one. (I agree whole hardheartedly on your metric complaint, btw.) That our news media and politicians are no longer striving to push us to improve, but conversely argue that improvement in our daily lives is either not their responsibility, nor is it what we want. Do we want to be entertained? Argue back and forth about meaningless issues? All while ignoring that instead of trying to be better we are slipping further behind.

    It's not being number one that makes a country and a person great, it's trying to be number one.

    This clip also ignores that the conflicts and bickering between political ideology is less a conflict about how to proceed with policies and programs, and more to do with differing visions of what an ideal society looks like.


    But if we "strive" to be number one we are saying that we want to BE number one. Daniels' character places value in being number one, implicit in his assertions that in many metrics we aren't number one. He states we are number one in military spending (and power) but also makes the subjective assertion that being the greatest in this is not what matters. Well, depends on what you consider to be greatness.

    My point is that we shouldn't focus on such narrow national goals, we shouldn't assume our success is dependent on others doing worse, and we shouldn't opine for past "greatness" that is created in our own minds by selectively forgetting our failures. Daniels' character chastises the girl because he thinks that America isn't the greatest but also thinks that it WAS the greatest and that he knows what America should look like to be the greatest again. To me, he is guilty of the same flawed arrogance of American exceptionalism, the difference is just WHEN.
  • HorrorHound

    Posts: 1435

    Apr 16, 2013 3:46 AM GMT
    Mmmmm.....Dev Patel icon_cool.gificon_razz.gif
  • Adozark

    Posts: 299

    Apr 16, 2013 4:56 AM GMT
    In response to the message, I was happy when he said that, it surprised me, and it is something I questioned way before this show. I know people who blindly say "America is the greatest country on earth" as a response to me bringing up some differences in other countries that we might be able to learn from and possibly adopt. Some people seem to want to blinding trust that America has some innate greatness that trumps any shortcomings, and I don't understand why. (besides that ignorance is indeed bliss)



    I really liked this show, and that opening really got me intrigued, I just read that it was renewed for June 2013, I'm excited.

    I really like how they take actual events from the past and show a (most likely not accurate) way in which the news unfolded. For instance how the BP oil spill started as just a report of a fire on a oil drilling platform, and the news station had to decide if it was worth reporting on, or if it was nothing.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Apr 16, 2013 9:55 AM GMT
    CaCO3 said
    DCEric saidI think, in a sense, he (and I) agree with you, and that's part of his irritation at the question. I believe his point is that we should not BE number one in those categories, but that we should be striving to be number one. (I agree whole hardheartedly on your metric complaint, btw.) That our news media and politicians are no longer striving to push us to improve, but conversely argue that improvement in our daily lives is either not their responsibility, nor is it what we want. Do we want to be entertained? Argue back and forth about meaningless issues? All while ignoring that instead of trying to be better we are slipping further behind.

    It's not being number one that makes a country and a person great, it's trying to be number one.

    This clip also ignores that the conflicts and bickering between political ideology is less a conflict about how to proceed with policies and programs, and more to do with differing visions of what an ideal society looks like.


    But if we "strive" to be number one we are saying that we want to BE number one. Daniels' character places value in being number one, implicit in his assertions that in many metrics we aren't number one. He states we are number one in military spending (and power) but also makes the subjective assertion that being the greatest in this is not what matters. Well, depends on what you consider to be greatness.

    My point is that we shouldn't focus on such narrow national goals, we shouldn't assume our success is dependent on others doing worse, and we shouldn't opine for past "greatness" that is created in our own minds by selectively forgetting our failures. Daniels' character chastises the girl because he thinks that America isn't the greatest but also thinks that it WAS the greatest and that he knows what America should look like to be the greatest again. To me, he is guilty of the same flawed arrogance of American exceptionalism, the difference is just WHEN.


    Agreed. ...and having seen a few episodes of the show, his character is flawed.
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    Apr 16, 2013 7:27 PM GMT
    Shawnathan said
    welshmonkey saidHow weird. I was just thinking this morning whether a UK network would pick this up or whether and here you guys are talking about it. Intro looks great, does the rest of it keep up that level? Is it worth hunting down on the internet? Also thinking that I need to try and find Sports Night at the same time.

    I just googled it, and it airs on Sky Atlantic.


    Thanks, Shawnathan. Sky Atlantic is only available on sky and I point blank refuse to give the Murdochs anyof my hard earned cash - I'm looking forward to when I can get it on DVD though.