Radio Sizzle: Jeff Daniels Tells Frank Beckmann His Audience Won't Listen To Reason
Actor and Chelsea resident Jeff Daniels was a guest on Frank Beckmann's show on WJR-AM Monday morning, and the two had a friendly chat about Daniel's latest project, "The Newsroom," the HBO drama written by Aaron Sorkin on which Daniels plays a TV anchorman.
But Beckmann and Daniels also had a pointed -- yet still amicable -- exchange about Beckmann's audience, which Daniels suggested is composed of closed-minded Tea Party militants who don't want to engage in an honest debate.
WJR is home to a slate of conservatives voices, including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. Unlike them, Beckmann opens his show to a wide array of voices, but he leans hard to the right, frequently criticizing unions, Democrats and those who believe global warming is caused by human behavior.
Daniels' character on "The Newsroom," Will McAvoy, is nominally a moderate Republican, but he and the show's scripts have targeted GOP positions and such conservative stars as Michelle Bachmann and the wealthy Koch brothers, and the show has been criticized for what some critics perceive as its partisanship. McAvoy also smokes marijuana.
Beckmann noted Daniels has been apolitical during his long and successful Hollywod career. Daniels, who was on the phone, agreed.
"I'm one of those guys in the middle," he said. "You know, I got my foot mostly on one side of it, but there are other things where I'm, 'No, I can see that.'"
Beckmann, who said he is a fan of "The Newsroom," noted the show mainly challenges Republicans and their positions.
Responded Daniels: "It challenges the Tea Party, Frank."
Beckmann then asked if "The Newsroom" will take on "the other side," or "is it simply going to be aimed at the Tea Party?"
Said Daniels: "At the risk of riling some of your listeners, that's where most of the craziness is coming from, is the Tea Party, and what they're doing to the government and they're yanking John Boehner back by the collar, going, 'Get out of the White House; stop trying to to work out a grand bargain with Obama.'"
Daniels told Beckmann that Sorkin would not shy away from taking on the left. Daniels added: "The Tea Party seems to be hijacking the Republican Party, and that's where his focus is now."
Beckmann invited Daniels to sit in for him one day and "talk to some of these Tea party people." He assured him it would make for "interesting radio."
Daniels said: "Yeah...well...I've got to talk to people who want to listen, Frank."
Beckmann: "No, they do want to listen."
Daniels; "No, they don't."
Beckmann: "Oh, sure they do."
Daniels: "No, they don't."
Beckmann: "They're just taxed enough already, that's all..."
Daniels: "That's not just what it's about."
Beckmann: "What's it about?"
Daniels: "Watch the show."