As “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin accepted an award named for Paddy Chayefsky on Sunday, he sounded like one of the “Network” screenwriter’s characters: He was mad as hell at President Donald Trump and not gonna take it any more.
He urged a room filled with Writers Guild of America writers — “old and young, black and white, gay and straight, wealthy and struggling, and yes, liberal and conservative,” he said — to write stories that will change the state of the country.
“The most powerful delivery system ever invented for an idea is a story,” he said.
Sorkin was introduced by Jeff Daniels, star of Sorkin’s “The Newsroom,” as he received the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement at the Writers Guild Awards on Sunday.
Chayefsky’s most famous line in “Network” comes when unhinged news anchor Howard Beale tells viewers to get mad at the country’s problems — to stand up and say, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more!”
Sorkin wasn’t very happy at the state of the nation, either. He said that since he often writes about politics, some people assumed he might have “something to say about the situation in which we currently find ourselves.”
“It’ll come as no surprise that I do,” he said. “So, in the spirit of Paddy Chayefsky, here goes.”
“We’ve been told that as coastal elites we’re something less than real Americans and that we’re out of touch,” the “Few Good Men” writer began.
“If you find it mind-boggling that living and working in the two largest cities in America makes you less than a real American, you are not the one who’s out of touch,” he said.
From there he defended war refugees, challenged climate-change deniers, and mocked Trump’s contention that more than 3 million people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election, saying that Trump, not the coastal elites he has railed against, was “out of touch.” (You can read the full text here.)
He also defended the news media — which Trump branded an “enemy” of the American people on Friday — and mocked the credibility of one of Trump’s favorite shows, “Fox & Friends.”
You can watch the full video above.