Tweeting as President Bartlet, Aaron Sorkin Defends “Right to Assembly” and Condemns Rioters, Looters

(Neglects to Mention Black People)

SUNSET STRIP — In a series of unthreaded tweets posted on his verified Twitter account, liberal screenwriter Aaron Sorkin wrote in the voice of The West Wing’s President Josiah Bartlet on Wednesday evening. The timing of Sorkin’s tweets coincided with former President Barack Obama’s speech to the nation.

Explaining his motivation for the tweets, Sorkin emailed an unsolicited statement to several dozen pop culture writers and critics: “I felt that as one of the great liberal American leaders of the twenty-first century, it was President Bartlet’s duty to join his fellow former Democratic president in speaking to the nation during these trying times.”

The twenty-some individual tweets written in Bartlet’s voice, although strong in conviction, were vague and sometimes incomplete:

“It is our obligation as American citizens to make ourselves heard, both as individuals and as one voice. (1/?) Our legacy — passed down to us from the Founding Fathers —is one of rebellion, of a refusal to accept the status quo. (2/?) Our fight against tyranny spans centuries; this moment is our Boston Tea Party, and our tea, too, will (3/?)”

(Author’s note: This sentence was left incomplete, and Sorkin has not responded to my query of what our tea will do.)

Unintentionally interrupting Bartlet’s statement, Sorkin broke character in a tweet to Uber Eats, complaining that his delivery order was taking too long:

“@UberEats , I ordered my dinner from Del Taco over an hour ago & it still hasn’t arrived. Tried to text & call the driver to no avail. Abysmal service !”

(Upon further investigation, it was determined that Sorkin’s delivery driver was forcibly removed from his vehicle mid-delivery and jailed overnight for “breaking curfew,” despite his status as an essential worker.)

In following tweets, Sorkin-as-Bartlet used the phrase “our better angels” nine times and referenced “our higher duty as Americans” in fourteen tweets. He reminded us of our First Amendment rights to assembly and free speech twice, but cautioned readers not to abuse those rights:

“Rioting is not free speech. Looting is not free speech. Generalizing any group of people as ‘bastards’ — while free speech — (13/?) is undignified and beneath the morality driving this movement.”

Notably missing from all of the tweets was any mention of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, or #BlackLivesMatter. He did use the word ‘black’ exactly once; however, it was presumably a misspelling of the word ‘back’ in a tweet that read:

“Now more than ever in these troubling times, we must push forward. We must refuse to go black to the way things were and instead ask ourselves how things should be.”

writer, shitposter, & comic creator. never not tired. would happily break my vegetarianism to eat the rich. follow me on twitter @angryangryalice

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