Aaron Sorkin: Palin is 'Idiot' and 'Mean Woman,' Republicans 'Have Moved into a Mental Institution'
Appearing as a guest in a pre-recorded interview on Wednesday's Parker-Spitzer on CNN to promote his film The Social Network, television and film producer Aaron Sorkin trashed Sarah Palin as an "idiot" and a "mean woman." Sorkin: "Sarah Palin's an idiot. Come on, this is a remarkably, this is a remarkably, stunningly, jaw-droppingly incompetent and mean woman."
After the former producer of the television series The West Wing complained that the religious right had attacked the show as "anti-God," he also went after the GOP as the segment neared its end. Sorkin: "But the Democrats may have moved into the center, but the Republicans have moved into a mental institution. Okay? So I'll take the Democrats."
As co-host Eliot Spitzer started the interview by asking Sorkin about his views about the Obama administration, the liberal producer seemed to admit to having gotten a "goose bump experience" from President Obama in the past as he evaluated Obama's current performance: "I think what a lot of people feel like they're missing is the goose bump experience that he gave us during the campaign."
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the segment with Sorkin from the Wednesday, December 29, Parker-Spitzer on CNN:
ELIOT SPITZER: You created in the West Wing, you know, I was a prosecutor, the godfather did for organized crime figures what the West Wing did for politicians. It taught us how we were supposed to act. What's wrong with the Obama White House? I mean, when you critique it, compare it to the mythology you created?
AARON SORKIN, THE SOCIAL NETWORK: First of all, remember, I had it easy. Not only do I get to decide what the President says, I get to decide how everybody is going to react to it. And so I think what a lot of people feel like they're missing is the goose bump experience that he gave us-
SORKIN: -during the campaign. And he's even, and this is something that the Republicans don't do, they tend not to eat their own. If you're a Democrat and you're not left enough for other Democrats, they will come at you just as hard as the Republicans do, which is an honorable thing. It's called sticking to your guns. It's just not good politics.
KATHLEEN PARKER: As a storyteller, what do you make of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party?
SORKIN: Again, I can't-
PARKER: You don't have to give sophisticated answers here.
SORKIN: Okay, I won't give sophisticated answers but-
SPITZER: And you're just a country lawyer, too. I've heard that line.
SORKIN: Let me make it clear, that the movie the Social Network has absolutely no politics in it at all.
PARKER: Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah, now we're here to promote your movie, but you have-
SORKIN: Nobody has to agree with anything that I'm saying in order to see this movie.
SORKIN: -Sarah Palin's an idiot. Come on, this is a remarkably-
PARKER: Pull your punches.
SORKIN: -this is a remarkably, stunningly, jaw-droppingly incompetent and mean woman.
PARKER: Wow, what do you base that on? The meanness part?
SORKIN: When she talks about real Americans versus not real Americans, that's a divisive thing.
PARKER: Well, you know-
SORKIN: I'm pretty sure I've fallen to the category of a not real American from her.
PARKER: Right, you're not real because you have those horn-rimmed glasses.
SORKIN: Because I have these glasses, because I'm from New York and because I work in Hollywood. Let's ignore the fact that my father fought in World War II, put himself through college on the GI Bill, that his parents were immigrants who came here, and my paternal grandfather was one of the founders of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union-
SPITZER: Can I make you feel good? From our perspective, you're American.
SORKIN: I appreciate that.
SPITZER: You're the real American. You're the real guy.
PARKER: We're going to give you a lapel pin.
SORKIN: Thanks, because I feel American, I feel very patriotic, and a lot of the juice behind the West Wing was redefining patriotism in a way that for me makes more sense. Not bumper sticker patriotism, but honest to God , I mean, some people would, might even say over romanticized or idealized patriotism. But that was the most patriotic show on television. Now, we began with flags waving-
PARKER: I've watched that show with people who wept during, I mean, just in a normal evening.
SORKIN: We would, you know, the show would be attacked by the religious right for being anti-God, yet we had a character in the President of the United States, Martin Sheen's character, who was a devout Catholic. There's a scene, he is praying on the floor of the Oval Office before he makes a decision. That show had more religion on it than, you know, than any episode of-
SPITZER: Can I make a suggestion? I think you need to make a sequel. And you know why? Because I think-
PARKER: To the West Wing?
SPITZER: To the West Wing because there was, you're absolutely right, when people watched it, there was patriotism. People believed in our government. There was a sense of purpose, and the government was living up to it. Now, we don't, we're lost to that.
SORKIN: Okay, well, I think you're selling me nicely.
SPITZER: Before we let you go-
SORKIN: I'm sorry, but the Democrats, since I've done it already, okay, since the cat's out of the bag and honestly-
SPITZER: Give it to us straight here.
SORKIN: -the senior people at Sony are just killing me right now for what I'm saying.
SPITZER: We'll protect you.
SORKIN: But the Democrats may have moved into the center, but the Republicans have moved into a mental institution. [SPITZER AND PARKER LAUGH] Okay? So I'll take the Democrats.
PARKER: Thank you.
SPITZER: Before we let you, we got to watch a clip from the movie.
SORKIN: Yes, please. Thanks, and before you show the clip, please, you can really disagree with my politics, this movie has nothing to do with it.
SPITZER: Everybody is going to see it, I promise, everybody is going to go see it.
PARKER: Is that clear? We got that clearly.
SORKIN: I actually went on TV and lost ticket buyers.
-Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center