Studio 60's Not So Great Debate

Last night's Studio 60 was too far out in left field when it included a game of moral one-upmanship between Danny (Bradley Whitford) and Jordan (Amanda Peet) over whose illegal activities were more destructive. When Jordan tells Danny to make fun of her DUI arrest from eight years before which had just been leaked to the public, he goads her with, "What'd, they let you out for good behavior?" She points out that hers was drinking and driving years before, and his was "coke two weeks ago."

It could be light-hearted bantering, it could be tension between a boss and an employee. Either way, it's a few passing comments. But where the topic becomes a dubious sticking point is near the end of the episode. Danny gives Jordan the number of people who die each year because they didn't wear seatbelts, while the driver or passenger in their car lives because they did. He claims that it is relevant because she doesn't know if everyone else on the Long Island Expressway the night of her arrest was wearing their seatbelt.

You know what? I'm going to throw out the allusions to the Matt and Danny characters being Aaron Sorkin's alter-ego, and simply go with this: Why are they comparing drunk driving to cocaine usage?  Do we need to have a debate here? Don't drink and drive. Don't let cocaine take over your life. We get it–Danny's no saint, but neither are the people who may be looking down on him.

But to have a moral debate over which case of substance abuse harmed, or had the potential to harm, more innocent people?  Some things shouldn't be justified.

By Guest Blogger Liz McKeon