A controversial clip from HBO's show The Newsroom became widely circulated on the Internet, drawing heated debate about its main character's assessment of America.
The clip, from the show's first episode, shows news anchor Will McAvoy, the main character, blasting a college student at a panel discussion for asking why America is the greatest country in the world.
McAvoy, played by actor Jeff Daniels, made two points.
One, America is not the greatest country in the world.
We're seventh in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, No. 4 in labor force, and No. 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, he said.
Two, the current young adults generation, or Generation Y, is without a doubt...the Worst. Generation. Ever. He reminisced that previous generations stood up for what was right, cared about [their] neighbors, put [their] money where [their] mouths were and never beat [their] chest.
Many people online agreed with McAvoy's first point.
BTW, Jeff Daniels response to America being the greatest country on #Newsroom? Brilliant, tweeted @shannynmoore.
Someone finally spoke this simple, but unspeakable, truth on national TV: America is not the greatest nation on the Earth, tweeted @JC_Christian.
However, many disagreed with McAvoy's second point.
Made it past the opening of 'The Newsroom,' where Jeff Daniels kisses his own generation's a-- and blames my generation for the state of America today...Essentially puts a 20-year-old's voice in a 50-year-old man and blames the products of a generation of idiocy, instead of the idiots themselves, tweeted @deffjunn.
Interestingly, some members of Generation Y actually think baby boomers, the generation of Daniels and the show's creator Aaron Sorkin, is the worst ever.
The Baby Boomers are the worst generation ever; not the Millennials, tweeted @AverageNetCreep.
I can't be the only young person that sincerely HATES the Baby Boomer generation am I? The way they whine and preach just drives me nut, wrote Redditor mudmaster.
As far as I'm concerned they are the ONLY generation that didn't have to work for everything they had...When they graduated [college] (or dropped out) the road practically rose up to meet them. College was cheap...The ones that didn't go to college had TONS of factory jobs to fill... I know more than one person that can't read, but he was worth $20-$30 an hour + benefits to GM or Ford. If that job isn't to your liking, just quit, plenty of other jobs.