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The Newsroom Script Ep...
 
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Aaron Sorkin
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The Newsroom Script Episode 1

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Aaron Benjamin Sorkin is an American screenwriter, producer and playwright, whose works include A Few Good Men, The American President, The West Wing, Sports Night and The Farnsworth Invention.

After graduating from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre in 1983, Sorkin spent much of the 1980s in New York as a struggling, largely unemployed actor. He found his pa...more
More about Aaron Sorkin...
A Few Good Men The West Wing Script Book The Social Network - screenplay The West Wing Seasons 3 & 4: The Shooting Scripts The Farnsworth Invention

Share This Book

“Can you say why America is the greatest country in the world?
It’s not the greatest country in the world. That’s my answer… [turns to a panelist] Sharon, the NEA is a loser. Yeah, it accounts for a penny out of our paycheck, but he gets to hit you with it anytime he wants. It doesn’t cost money, it costs votes. It costs airtime and column inches. You know why people don’t like liberals? Because they lose. If liberals are so fucking smart, how come they lose so goddamn always? [turns to another panelist] And with a straight face, you’re gonna tell students that America is so star-spangled awesome that we’re the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom. Japan has freedom. The UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium has freedom! So, 207 sovereign states in the world, like 180 of them have freedom. [turns to the student who asked the question] And yeah, you… sorority girl. Just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there’s some things you should know. One of them is: there’s 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 fuck you’re talking about! Yosemite?!
[Silence]
It sure used to be… We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reason. We passed laws, struck down laws, for moral reason. 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.”
26 likes
“Jennifer Johnson: Can you say why America is the greatest country in the world?

Sharon: Diversity and opportunity.

Moderator: Lewis?

Lewis: Freedom and freedom... so let's keep it that way.

Moderator: Will?

Will McAvoy: The New York Jets.

Moderator: No, I'm going to hold you to an answer on that. What makes America the greatest country in the world?

Will McAvoy: Well, Lewis and Sharon said it. Diversity and opportunity and freedom and freedom.

Moderator: I'm not letting you go back to the airport without answering the question.

Will McAvoy: Well, our Constitution is a masterpiece. James Madison was a genius. The Declaration of Independence is, for me, the single greatest piece of American writing...

[Professor keeps staring]

Will McAvoy: You don't look satisfied.

Moderator: One's a set of laws and the other's a declaration of war. I want a human moment from you... what about the people? Why is America...

Will McAvoy: It's not the greatest country in the world, professor. That's my answer.

Moderator: You're saying...

Will McAvoy: Yes.

Moderator: Let's talk about...

Will McAvoy: Fine.

[Turns to Sharon]

Will McAvoy: Sharon, the NEA is a loser. Yeah, it accounts for a penny out of our paycheck, but he

[gestures to Lewis]

Will McAvoy: gets to hit you with it anytime he wants. It doesn't cost money, it costs votes. It costs airtime and column inches. You know why people don't like liberals? Cause they lose. If liberals are so fucking smart, how come they lose so god damn always?

Sharon: Hey!

Will McAvoy: [Turns to Louis] And with a straight face, you're gonna tell students that America is so star-spangled awesome that we're the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom. Japan has freedom. The UK. France. Italy. Germany. Spain. Australia... Belgium! has freedom... 207 sovereign states in the world, like 180 of 'em have freedom.

Moderator: Alright...

Will McAvoy: [Looks at Jenny] And, yeah, you... sorority girl. 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 FUCK you're talking about!... Yosemite?

[Stunned silence]

Will McAvoy: ... 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 advanced, 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.”
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