A Great Speech About Why America Isn’t Great Anymore (But Can Be Again)

What makes a country great?

Watch the clip from the series “The Newsroom” and read the article below. Comment on the statement and explain what you think is important in making a country great.

An article from the Huffington post:

America is in deep trouble — economic, political, cultural, moral. Yet few public figures are speaking honestly to us about our fallen state, much less pointing the way upward.

Leave it to a fictional character to do the job — brilliantly.

In the opening sequence of the new HBO series The Newsroom, a world-beaten (as opposed to world-beating) TV news anchor finds himself on a journalism panel, seated between — in a reflection of today’s stark partisan divide — a bleeding-heart liberal and a bombastic conservative.

What’s inspiring to me is that this series, at least in its opening episodes, comes with serious purpose: It both acknowledges America’s fallen state, and the fallen state of the news media, and it seeks to work on repair — moral repair — rather than traffic in more irony, decadence, or (a current “fave” theme) vampires. Moreover, it’s notable that this repair operation comes out of “ultra-liberal,” “America-hating” Hollywood. (First step toward redemption is recognizing your own excess.) It’s all trademark Aaron Sorkin: intelligent argument about the rightness and wrongness of things, the kind of argument that propelled his excellent earlier series, The West Wing.

Retrieving America’s greatness: Finally, a fit dramatic subject. Irony, decadence, and vampires haven’t gotten us there, let’s see what intelligence and moral fire can do. I will stay tuned to the “romantic idealist”: In truth he’s a sober and penetrating realist who understands that America is itself founded on ideals and that their repair could not only make compelling drama but, more importantly, save the nation.


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