There was something eery about this particular scene from Newsroom: the way the remarks of the pundits swirled around the theater, how the light magnified every person in the room. All the while, Will McAvoy sat isolated and alienated from a room full of people willing to latch onto every word he uttered with a type of dutiful zeal. As far as the audience is shown, this is the kind of arena that McAvoy loathes: a self-gratifying America love fest. As everyone knows, debates are the best when everyone gets to yell but everyone wins because America is the greatest country in the world; so nobody gets hurt by a few unbiased opinions. Yet for whatever reason that stoic McAvoy seems uninterested. How could he do that? How could he not love the seat he’s sitting in? To some viewers, the question is why does he hate America. But McAvoy actually represents an ever growing demographic: the fed up moderates.
In today’s patent polarized media, most every item of news is up for debate. Often times, debate takes priority over news (see CNN’s “Crossfire” for reference). Everything is one way or another, a good thing or a bad thing, liberal or conservative. McAvoy is the speaker of the unheard–or rather the un-hearable. His character gives the unique voice a catharsis of sorts. He shows the viewer how powerful being different can be. Instead of saying America is the greatest because of “freedom and freedom,” he states his own idea and betrays the norm. The shocked and silent crowd that answers his heated rant speaks louder than it sounds. The fact that everyone is so taken aback shows just how deep American politics has plunged into the cynical nether. Newsroom argues, through their depiction, that Americans have lost their ability to focus on issues just as they are. Diversity in political thought is missing. Duty is just another argument. People feel unable to truly speak any opinion that does not fall on one end of the political spectrum.
Personally, I enjoyed this scene. It felt relieving to see a program take the initiative to say what needed to be said. That is, to be truthful and honest in political ideology. Newsroom implies that if we as Americans can put an end to our competitive bureaucracy and admit our flaws and address, we can achieve that superior status. However, someone needs to acknowledge those flaws first. And that is the biggest step.