What Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama can learn from television

October 24, 2012

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Being the leader of the free world doesn't leave a lot of free time, but President's still manage to participate in the great American past time of plopping down in front of the television and being whisked away to a fantasy land.

Along those lines, "I think it's pretty funny that Barack Obama loves combating terror so much that even when he goes home at night, he watches a show about it," said New York magazine television critic Margaret Lyons at The Paper Machete, on the President's admitted love of Showtime's Homeland. However, Lyons thinks Mitt Romney might want to check out Parenthood to "examine his white privilege." And both candidates should reevaluate their love for Modern Family, because "I hope they don't think that's an average family."

Read an excerpt below or listen above:

Mitt Romney came under fire[last week] for co-opting the Friday Night Lights slogan "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose." If you've ever watched Friday Night Lights you know that it's completely antithetical to everything Mitt Romney represents. And another person who knows that that's true is Friday Night Lights' creator and executive producer Peter Berg, who came up with the motto "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose" and wrote a letter to Mitt Romney this week begging him to stop using it.

In the letter, Berg compared Mitt Romney to one and only one character in the show, Buddy Garrity, who is like the weird gregarious villain of the series; he's a car salesman who cheats on his wife and is horrible.

But it made me think a lot about what Friday Night Lights can teach us, and what lessons I wish Mitt Romney could have learned from watching Friday Night Lights. The whole show centers on coach and in the first few seasons, they live and teach in Dillon. The football team gets a huge fancy stadium and they have a jumbotron and they travel on luxurious buses, even though they're high school students. And all of that is supported by Buddy Garrity and his team of Panther boosters. It's all privately funded and great!

Mrs. Coach, in the first few seasons, is the school guidance counselor, and she's unable to provide services to a lot of her students who are poor because the school is publicly funded. So this tells us that when people get to donate their money to whoever they want, they might get to donate it to football jumbotrons; they probably will not donate it to drug counseling available to late literacy learners in high school.

Friday Night Lights focuses on the idea of group responsibility: no one of us is more important than the team. That's the message of Smash Williams, who is a great football player, but he's not better by himself, he needs everyone. That's the message of QB1 Matt Saracen, the hero of our show, who grows from nerd to quarterback with the help and guidance of those around him.

If anyone seems like Mitt Romney on Friday Night Lights, it's probably JD McCoy. He's the evil dad of the sad quarterback who's a jerk (because of his evil dad he becomes a jerk. I think that's how the world works, I'm pretty sure. Also he looks exactly like Mitt Romney).

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