Sunday night’s Emmy Awards contained a few major shockers. But none was bigger than Jeff Daniels winning Best Actor for his performance in Aaron Sorkin’s Newsroom over Kevin Spacey in House of Cards (Netflix), Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad (AMC), Jon Hamm in Mad Men (AMC), Hugh Bonneville in Downton Abbey (BBC), and Damian Lewis in Homeland (Showtime), all better shows with better leads. The win prompted groans of consternation even from the most liberal outlets. Amanda Dobbins and Margaret Lyons of Vulture.com lamented, “Jeff Daniels winning this category this year is completely baffling and totally wrong.” Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood wrote, “The fix was in for Jeff Daniels to win on a treacly show that few people watch and most of Hollywood hates. Either HBO paid off every final Emmy jurist. Or else Aaron Sorkin blew them.” Even Willa Paskin of Slate called Daniels’ win a “farce.”
So how did Daniels win? It surely had something to do with the anti-American diatribe he delivered in the pilot episode of Newsroom. Here’s some of that epically leftist speech:
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 f— you’re talking about!….
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 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 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.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).