What Makes America the Greatest Country in the World?
It’s not. But…
Jeff Daniels’ character, news anchor Will McAvoy, comes off as something of a pompous jerk and a sellout to lucrative journalistic mediocrity in the pilot episode of The Newsroom. And his response to this question from a college student isn’t perfect: it’s profanity-ridden and blunt to the point of rudeness, and when he suddenly waxes nostalgic about a golden age when we purportedly were the greatest country in the world, it’s outright naive. But for all that, with the way he summarily nails the left and the right before proceeding to explode the exceptionalist myth with a barrage of statistics, this tirade is pretty priceless.
I’ll stop raining on everybody’s Fourth of July parade now, really. Just remember to keep things in perspective while you’re enjoying the fireworks.