TV | Tina Fey | 30 Rock: The Most Liberal Show on TV? | Overthinking It
Liz Lemon appears to be the liberal voice of reason but is neither liberal nor reasonable; likewise, Jack Donaghy appears to be her evil conservative foil but is not. Admittedly, in the first half of the first season, Jack Donaghy did play the role of the amoral, conservative corporate head that Liz needed to defeat in office combat. The show, however, dropped that type of satire very early on. While 30 Rock’s writers do make fun of Jack for his monomaniacal obsession with profits and prestige (as well as his unhealthy love of Ronald Reagan), I would argue that Jack, not Liz, has quickly become the show’s voice of reason and emotional center. In fact, if we look at 30 Rock as a whole, the main storyline has been one about Liz Lemon becoming more like Jack Donaghy than the other way around.
Let’s talk about Jack’s politics first. Unlike Liz Lemon, whose progressive credentials don’t hold up to close scrutiny, Jack is clearly a (somewhat exaggerated) neocon, through and through. He believes in profit and the market above all, hates taxes, does not appreciate unions, and believes in forcing his own beliefs on others, often by use of force. He goes to the New York stock exchange when he’s horny. When he screws up, he pretends it never happened and gives himself a huge bonus. He believes that people from the American South are undiscriminating but morally superior to “the north’s elitist, east coast, alternative, intellectual, left wing” Jews.