After being brought nearly to tears last night at the conclusion of the season finale of HBO's "The Newsroom", I remembered that not everybody has HBO. As such, they can't see the show. So I thought I'd transcribe it for you.
All season long, the show has been highlighting what we here at DailyKos know: that there is an "American Taliban" in these United States. And they're called the Tea Party.
The transcript below is not the complete episode. For that, you'll have to subscribe to HBO and watch it on demand or get the DVDs of the first season when they're available. It is however -- as complete as I could make it -- the news "broadcast" on last night's show. It really was something to behold. It was our dream broadcast. I hope this transcript is valuable to you, in whole or in part. I don't have the time to embed video right now (as I'm WAY late for work). I'll try and do updates if I can. Feel free to put any links in the comments and I'll elevate them to the body.
August 24, 2012: "The Newsroom" -- The Greater Fool -- the news transcript as broadcast by Will McAvoy.
Good Evening, I’m Will McAvoy. Today is Monday, August 8 .
And this past Friday, for the first time ever, Standard and Poor’s downgraded the credit rating of the US Treasury. You would think that would be tonight’s top story. Or you might think it would be the Dow closing down 634 points on its worst day of trading in 3 years. Or the austerity riots in Europe. Or any statements of the Republican candidates running for president. Or the President himself. But it’s not.
Tonight’s top story is a woman named Dorothy Cooper.
Dorothy Cooper is a 96 year old resident of Chattanooga Tennessee and has been voting for the last 75 years. This year, she has been told she can’t. A new law in Tennessee requires residents to show a government issued photo ID in order to vote. Dorothy Cooper doesn’t have a driver’s license, because Dorothy Cooper doesn’t have a car. Dorothy Cooper doesn’t have a passport; a vacation abroad was never in her future.
Tennessee isn’t alone. At this moment, 33 states have proposed or already adopted the same voter id laws that have disqualified Dorothy Cooper from the one fundamental thing that we all do as Americans. It’s estimated that 11% or roughly 20 million people don’t have government issued voter ids and will be disenfranchised this November. Why? To crack down on the terrible problem of voter fraud. Governor Rick Perry of Texas, who is about to enter the presidential primary race, is serious about cracking down on the problem:
>Video of Perry: “Making sure that there is not fraud, making sure that someone is not manipulating that process makes all the sense in the world to me.”<
Me too. Because voter fraud is such a huge problem that during a five year period in the Bush Administration, when 196 million votes were cast, the number of cases of voter fraud reached…86. Not 86,000. 86. Here’s what that number looks like as a percentage of votes cast. .00004%. Four one hundred thousandths of a percent. This would be called a solution without a problem, but it’s not. It’s just a solution to a different problem.
Republican’s have a hard time getting certain people to vote for them. So life would be a lot easier if certain people just weren’t allowed to vote at all. I’m ashamed to say that 32 out of the 33 voter id laws were proposed by Republican legislators, and passed by Republican controlled statehouses. And signed into law by Republican governors. I am not ashamed to say that I, however, am a Republican. And that brings us to tonight’s second story.
I’m what the leaders of the Tea Party would call a RINO: Republican in Name Only. And that’s ironic because that’s exactly what I think about the leaders of the Tea Party. Because the most conservative Republicans today…aren’t Republicans.
Republicans believe in a prohibitive military. We believe in a common sense government. And that there are social programs enacted in the last half century that work but that there are way too many costing way too much, that don’t. We believe in the rule of law and order and free market capitalism. The Tea Party believes in loving America but hating Americans. Tea Party Congressman Allen West of Florida.
>Video of West: I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama bumper sticker, I recogonize them as a threat to the gene pool. <
They believe in loving America, but hating its government. Conservative activist, Grover Norquist.
>Video of Norquist: I don’t want to abolish government, I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub. <
And they believe that anybody who disagrees with the Tea Party has sinister anti-American motives.
>Video of Herman Cain: The objective of the liberals is to destroy this country. The objective of the liberals is to make America mediocre. <
Most of all, you must never, under any circumstance, seek to reach a compromise with your opponent. Or do any of what Democrats and genuine Republicans both call ‘governing.’ Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:
>Vidieo of McConnell: Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term.<
And one other plank in the Tea Party platform. If you are poor, it means that you are either too lazy or too stupid to be rich. Here’s Andre Bauer, Tea Party Leader and the Lt. Governor of South Carolina [McAvoy read’s Bauer’s words] : My grandmother was not a highly educated woman but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed.”
It’s almost hard to believe that Republicans can’t get Dorothy Cooper to vote for them.
During Tea Party rallys and in campaign speeches, we’ve been told that America has been founded as a Christian nation and if the founding fathers were here today, they’d tell us so. Here’s John Adams in the treaty of Tripoli: “As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” And here’s Thomas Jefferson: “…that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions.” And here’s the first amendment to the US Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
What’s more frightening than the perversion of our great history is that sensible strong smart Republicans, the very men and women who should be standing up to radical fundamentalism, are so frightened in losing primary battles to religious zealots that they’ve thrown in the towel on sanity. So we get this:
>Video of John McCain: Yes, that the constitution established the United States as a Christian nation.<
It’s ironic because the biggest enemy of the phony Republican isn’t Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid or Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama. It’s this man. [image of Jesus Christ]. He said ‘Heal the sick. Feed the hungry. Care for the weakest among us. And always pray in private. ‘
On screen behind McAvoy while he reads:
- Ideological purity
- Compromise as weakness
- A fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism
- Denying science
- Unmoved by facts
- Undeterred by new information
- A hostile fear of progress
- A demonization of education
- A need to control women’s bodies
- Severe xenophobia
- Tribal mentality
- Intolerance of dissent
- A pathological hatred of the US government
They can call themselves the Tea Party. They can call themselves Conservatives. And they can even call themselves Republicans. Though Republican’s certainly shouldn’t. But we should call them what they are: The American Taliban. And the American Taliban cannot survive if Dorothy Cooper is allowed to vote.