Tonight marks the return of The Newsroom on HBO. It seems especially fitting that one day after George Zimmerman gets no jail time for stalking and eventually killing a 17-year-old who wandered into his neighborhood, we get the return of Will McAvoy. This speech feels more true than ever today.
As Will put it
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 Yosemite?The common good and common decency in this country has been replaced by fear and greed, and the Zimmerman trial and its result lays that truth bare.
We 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 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 advances, 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 our last election. And we didn't...we didn't scare so easy.
Zimmerman was able to get over largely due to the ALEC-approved "stand your ground" law, which gutless Florida politicians passed not because it was good policy for security, but because it curried favor with the NRA. Similar laws have sprouted up in other states as part of ALEC's "one size fits all" model of increasing the power of right-wing organizations in any fashion possible, including in Wisconsin's ALEC-infested Legislature, which passed a "Castle doctrine" law that later enabled a Washington County man to avoid being charged for fatally shooting another young black man last year.
The media circus surrounding Zimmerman's trial was fanned by race-baiting from right-wing media that cares much more about gaining money and ratings by stirring up the weak-minded white men that listen to their crap than informing those same men and improving the country they live in. And a treasonous Republican Party roots this divisive right-wing media on because they care more about accumulating money and power for themselves and their campaign contributors than they do in improving the quality of life for the state or the country they live in.
In fact, the GOPs and their puppetmasters seem to want to leave the rest of us outside that club as destitute as possible, so that we are at their mercy. They do it by limiting voting rights for certain individuals and taking advantage of one lucky 2010 election to rig electoral districts throughout the country. They want those of us so paralyzed by fear of the "other" than the justice can only properly be served at the end of guns like George Zimmerman's, so the outsiders "know their place." And they do it by demanding that we accept the menial crumbs of wages that our employers distribute to us, after they grab a large part of the profits for themselves and the politicians they pay off.
Once again, Will McAvoy summed up the situation well at the end of season 1 of The Newsroom, by going into detail on ALEC-approved voter suppression, and describing the 21st Century GOP as accurately as any real newscasters ever will (but won't dare to, in fear of losing access).
Welcome back Will. And keep making the "real journalists" tremble in fear, as they get exposed of allowing the spin and lies of political leaders to go unchallenged, which has allowed American society to deteriorate to the point where George Zimmerman can get off scot-free.