James Comey is no hero, and Showtime’s The Comey Rule won’t change that

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 24: Former FBI Director James Comey speaks at Harvard Kennedy School with Harvard's Eric Rosenbach on February 24, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 24: Former FBI Director James Comey speaks at Harvard Kennedy School with Harvard's Eric Rosenbach on February 24, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images) /

Exploitation at its finest, file Showtime’s The Comey Rule under television no one actually wants — except for middle-aged Libertarian dads, maybe.

Dear Jeff Daniels,

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

In this week’s biggest “TV No One Asked For” news, Showtime announced a new miniseries starring Daniels and Brendan Gleeson as James Comey and President Trump, respectively. The show will be based on Comey’s memoir, A Higher Loyalty.

As a recap (because it is incredibly difficult to keep up with everything that has happened in the last four years), Comey is the former Director of the FBI, and had been serving under the Obama administration.

During the 2016 election, he oversaw the investigation into government emails on a private server that then-candidate Hillary Clinton had sent while she was serving as Secretary of State.

Though previously announcing in July they had conducted the investigation and found nothing, Comey threw the Clinton campaign into a tailspin in October, two weeks before the election, when he announced he was reopening the case due to an ongoing investigation with Anthony Weiner, the husband of Clinton’s close advisor, Huma Abedin.

If it isn’t already clear, Comey created a lot of chaos under the guise of “law and order” during an already unprecedented and tumultuous election cycle, and he received bipartisan criticism over his public discourse in the election.

Of course, we know how it turned out. Trump came into office in January 2017. Within five months, Trump orchestrated Comey’s firing due to his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Regardless of the legality of any parties or whether what any one person did is “right or wrong,” since leaving public service, Comey has tried to portray himself as an unfailing public servant and outright hero.

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos in 2018, Comey explained his decision behind the Clinton letter as such:

"“I would hope both camps will read this and, I hope, see a deeply flawed human surrounded by other flawed humans trying to make decisions with an eye, not on politics, but on those higher values.”"

The thing is, Comey can say it was about “higher values” all he wants. For a man who worked that high in the federal government for as long as he did, Comey had to have known how to work politically and survive politically.

Which means it was at least, in part, a political decision. And the decisions that have followed in the three years since his firing — to release a memoir, give interviews, sell his rights to have a TV show made about him — all appear to be political as well.

Comey may have been among the first high-profile firings in the Trump administration. But he was by no means the last.

It would have been just as easy for him to become a consultant, teach, or slip away quietly as it would be for him to stay in the public eye, and insist on a widely consumed “hero” narrative. To do so means he needs us to believe his story, that what he did was right.

Which brings us back to Jeff Daniels. Sigh.

The Comey Rule marks the first high-profile dramatization of the Trump era. There will no doubt be dozens more to come. And while the Trump administration is rife with drama and begging to be narrativized (by the President’s design), this isn’t it.

Based on what we can see so far in the trailer, and what we know about the source material, The Comey Rule will be a simple political heroes and villains story with Comey as the hero and Trump as the villain, again reinforcing the narrative he’s been preaching at us since his firing in May of 2017.

Watch the trailer for The Comey Rule here:

But let’s be clear:  regardless of his previous (by all accounts) upstanding record of public service, when Comey put his thumb on the scale in 2016, wittingly or not, he threw our entire country into chaos for the next four years. We do not need to hear from him anymore.

Next. Hulu’s Hillary: A portrait of America’s most hated woman. dark

Will you be watching The Comey Rule? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!