WASHINGTON (CBS WASHINGTON) — HBO’s politically-tinged television series “The Newsroom” drew the ire of right-wing commentators and politicians by describing the Tea Party movement as, “The American Taliban.”

The latest installment of the dramatic television series is from creator and writer Aaron Sorkin – the Emmy Award-winning creator of “The West Wing.”

In this installment, anchor Will McAvoy – played by actor Jeff Daniels – tears into the conservative group in a lengthy on-air rant:

“Ideological purity, compromise as weakness, a fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism, denying science, unmoved by facts, undeterred by new information, a hostile fear of progress…They can call themselves the Tea Party. They can call themselves conservatives and they can even call themselves Republicans, though Republicans certainly shouldn’t. But we should call them what they are. The American Taliban.”

Anchor McAvoy, who is labeled as a conflicted Republican on the show, has many conservative bloggers and politicians up in arms over the comparison to the former Afghan leadership group that the US is still fighting in the Middle East.

Christian Toto of Breitbart.com labeled it a “far-left series” using dialogue “…with a ferocity that would make even Chris ‘Race Card Dealer’ Matthews blush.”

Many websites describe the character as a misrepresentation of true Republican ideas and have called Jeff Daniels’ character a ‘RINO’ – Republican In Name Only.

This is not the first time in the program’s first season – which has been renewed for a second season in 2013 – that the lead character’s outbursts have made conservative leaders angry.

In a previous episode McAvoy declares, “I’m a registered Republican. I only seem liberal because I believe hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure and not by gay marriage.”

The second season is set to premiere in June 2013.


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