The Newsroom: Finally, a Show About Elitist American Nostalgia!

Aaron Sorkin wants Daddy Newsman to explain to all those stupid Americans what's right and wrong.

The eyerolls come quickly when watching Aaron Sorkin’s wretched new HBO news drama, The Newsroom. We’re introduced to mostly pointless, unthreatening cable news host Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) sitting on a college journalism and/or politics panel (they’re the same thing in Sorkin’s world anyway). A man and woman bicker in the typical talking point checklist familiar to cable news network viewers (of slight point of interest, the debate indicates a progressive/libertarian divide rather than a left/right one, but it’s just a meaningless framing device and not an indicator of anything to come).

A student asks an incredibly stupid question about what makes America the greatest country on earth, a question no actual student would ever ask. McAvoy, inexplicably pressed by the panel moderator for a real answer (rather than a joke about the New York Jets), blows up, slips into a paternalistic rant, insulting the student (who is of course a young blonde girl), and spitting out a list of improbably memorized context-free nation rankings as proof that America isn’t the bestest thing ever.

McAvoy’s rant ultimately leads to most of his staff abandoning him for a new show on the same network and his boss, Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston, engaged in a permanent "Who's a bigger blowhard?" fight with Daniels), bringing in McAvoy’s ex-girlfriend Mackenzie MacHale (Emily Mortimer as some sort of human blur) to get McAvoy’s show back on track.

The high-speed patter by MacHale, Skinner, and McAvoy takes up a good chunk of the pilot episode as they spar over what McAvoy’s show should be. Here Sorkin’s paternalistic, authoritarian-from-the-left attitude toward the world around him is put on naked, ugly display. News was so much better during those “golden days” when Edward R. Murrow vanquished Sen. Joseph McCarthy and Walter Cronkite personally ended the Vietnam War. Can’t we go back to that somehow? Where Daddy Newscaster told us what the world was like and we sat there and listened and didn’t have all these terrible polarizing arguments about what the truth is and what the facts actually are and noticing that everybody has agendas, not just evil corporations and Republican politicians?

Nobody questions whether they aren’t perhaps only remembering the high-points of the black-and-white era of evening news, nor do they acknowledge that the rise of a 24-hour newsroom and the Internet has changed consumer demand for information or even realizes that the average Joe has access to far more information now than he ever did in American history. No, for this crew (and for Sorkin) the dream of the perfect media is a family sitting in front of the television, small children on the floor, watching Murrow slay McCarthy every single night forever and ever. We must have the elites in the media telling us what is real, not just any guy with an opinion and a book to promote.

Sorkin’s deliberate disdain for new media is on display as McAvoy is surprised to discover his show has a blog. Later, as McAvoy’s newsroom is reporting the breaking Horizon Deepwater Oil Spill (this show is based far enough in the past so Sorkin can use the show as a pulpit for how he thinks real news should have been covered without having to face the risk of possibly being wrong), Skinner sarcastically tells one of the show’s staff to post on Twitter about how they’re doing all this work in real time as the show is airing. I would have given anything for her to spit back at him that they’ve been tweeting bits and pieces of the information they’ve gathered all afternoon in order to draw an audience for the show, but that wouldn’t have fit Sorkin’s narrative for how news is supposed to work.

The Newsroom ends up illustrating one of Sorkin’s bigger flaws (besides his creepy sexist paternalism): his tendency to want to write about important issues and say important things without having to take any sort of responsibility for getting anything right, an odd attitude for somebody who wants to write about news, not to mention somebody who worships at the altar of elite intellect. As he told Vulture before the show's premiere:

All of my training and experience and education has been in playwriting. I have no political sophistication or media sophistication, so if I was talking to Howard Kurtz or you, you could easily dismantle whatever argument I’m going to make. It is a layman’s amateur argument. Oftentimes, I write about people who are smarter than I am and know more than I do, and I am able to do that simply by being tutored almost phonetically, sometimes. I’m used to it. I grew up surrounded by people who are smarter than I am, and I like the sound of intelligence. I can imitate that sound, but it’s not organic. It’s not intelligence. It’s my phonetic ability to imitate the sound of intelligence.

Not always very well. At one point MacHale and McAvoy are half-arguing/half-pontificating about how polarized American opinion has become (treated as a fact without any consideration that Americans now have more avenues than ever to express their opinions). MacHale has put forth her idea of the two of them organizing a dream show trying to recreate the golden age of news, doing things right regardless of ratings or profits. Not long after they talk about opinion polarization, MacHale earnestly asks, “Is government an institute for good or is it every man for himself?” Those are the two options presented to us by our wannabe high priests of The Truth: the nanny state or complete anarchy. Make your choice!

In the face of this intellectual contradiction, Sorkin defensively describes himself as an entertainer or a storyteller to try to deflect any criticism:

Honestly, I’m a storyteller. I’m just as happy doing this as writing Sports Night or The Social Network or anything else. I don’t have a political agenda. I’m not trying to change your mind or teach you anything. I’m not able to teach you anything.

He did this during The West Wing as well. In one episode of that show, he even turned the U.S. poet laureate into his proxy, making her an anti-landmine activist who ultimately wimps out on her criticism of the Bartlett Administration and whines about how she’s just an entertainer and shouldn’t be listened to. It was awful. (Full disclosure: a subplot from that episode takes aim at a former friend of mine at a site I used to write for, so my view of the episode is a little jaundiced.)

What’s frustrating about Sorkin’s wheedling when talking about The Newsroom is that journalists aren’t really smarter than everybody else. They are not the elites. They never were. They are more curious and more well-read, because that’s part of the job, really. Most anybody can do the job of a journalist provided they have the capacity to learn new things very quickly and the internal drive to do so.

Sorkin lacks this type of curiosity, so The Newsroom was bound to fail. In the pilot, McAvoy’s staff gets its scoops about the leaking oil platform not through work, but by a pure coincidence of connections by one of the staffers. Sure it happens sometimes, but throwing it out in the very first episode invalidates the entire concept behind the show and turns it into a celebration of newsroom connections by D.C. media elites. At one point, a staffer spits out scientific information about why underwater oil drilling presents such a geological hazard. When asked how he knew this information, the answer is not, “I’ve been studying this for the past two hours while you dipshits have been arguing about ‘speaking truth to stupid’ and referencing Don Quixote.” Instead he says he built a volcano once for a school science fair, which is insulting to everybody involved.

Sorkin is interested in lecturing, but he’s not interested in learning himself, and it shows. Toward the end of the episode, Skinner, with his lifetime of experience in television news, tells McAvoy about the old days: “We did the news well. You know how? We just decided to.”

Sorkin does not recognize this witless, embarrassing tautology as an indicator of his lack of curiosity about how television news works. Instead he proudly uses the last four words as the title of the episode.

If you don’t have HBO, you can now judge the pilot for yourself. HBO has posted it for free online:

Scott Shackford is an associate editor of 24/7 News at Reason.com.

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  • CockGobbla||

    Seriously, fuck Sorkin.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Y'all f*ck him.. I'm picky about what I touch with that part.

  • BigT||

    Why would anyone watch an Aaron Sorkin show? You get what you deserve.

  • califernian||

    anyone who has watched anything created by Sorkin should have expected this. It's the same thing every time.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Wow - sounds like a giant, loser Douche Patrol of a show.

    Which is what I figured, but thanks for the warning and taking one for the Team, Scott, so I'm not personally exposed to the smug.

  • Bill||

    Sadly, that says nothing about whether it will be successful. As The West Wing and Big Bang Theory (and about a thousand other shows) illustrate, really shitty, ignorant shows can do quite well.

  • ||

    The West Wing, despite the d-bag kneejerk liberalism, was an interesting show in a "watching a train wreck happen" kind of way as the liberals portrayed did stupid shit, smugly oblivious to how stupid that shit appeared to non-liberals.

    Or something.

  • Killazontherun||

    Just because the leftward media critics haven't fallen for it doesn't mean the MSNBC crowd wont enjoy the ego stroking.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Cop Rock" was a train wreck, protefeed. It is the Plan 9 From Outer Space of TV shows.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Someone tries to do something different and squares like you hammer down the nail that sticks out. Same bullshit that happened to Firefly and Small Wonder, it's all the same.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Um, if you're talking to me... I like "different". But Cop Rock was a bowl of suck, and no amount of frosting will ever turn that shit-cake into something edible.

  • Killazontherun||

    Squares?

    Homer: Marge, someone squeezed all the life out of these kids. And unless movies and TV have lied to me, it's a crusty, bitter old Dean!
    Dean: Hi there! Hello, I'm Dean Peterson, but you can call me Bobby. I just want you to know if you ever feel stressed out from studying or whatever, I'm always up for some hackey sack. Or, hey! If you just want to come by and jam, I used to be the bass player for the Pretenders. [plays a riff]
    Homer: [bitterly] Boy, I can't wait to take some of the starch out of that stuffed shirt.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    . . . did you just compare Firefly to an 80's sitcom about a family who tries to conceal from their neighbors the secret that their daughter is a robot?

  • Cyto||

    Well, Summer Glau did go on to play a robot in "The Sara Connor Chronicles".

  • ||

    Thank god I wasn't the only one who experienced mental damage from that.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Cue TrollTard in five, four, three...

  • fish||

    Scott Shackford on Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom

    Scott Shackford on Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom being a douchebag!

    FTFY

  • Alex||

    Meh, I enjoyed it. Yes, the false dichotomy-filled rhetorical questions were annoying, but if you can suspend your political knee-jerk, as I also did with The West Wing, the show was as enjoyable. The best parts are the humor, not the hand-wringing.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    I despised The West Wing, so...it was just horrible and not fun and overly full of itself and unwatchable. This sounds identical.

    Other than that...

  • BakedPenguin||

    Even the late MNG admitted West Wing was mental masturbation for progressives. A fantasy world where their idiotic "programs" worked.

  • Derek||

    I'm not at all a "progressive" and West Wing is still one of my favorite programs of all time.

    Politics of the fictional president aside, it portrayed a White House that I want - people who actually care. People who while concerned about polling numbers, feel some honest to goodness pain when those polling numbers cause them to do something other than what they feel is "morally right".

    Whether I agree or not with what Jed Bartlet wanted to do as President on West Wing, he was everything that I wanted in a President, that no political party has shown in a sitting President in my lifetime.

  • Tulpa the White||

    I'd rather have a cynical weather vane watcher in the White House than a principled statist.

    God help us from those who want to help.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    it portrayed a White House that I want - people who actually care.

    If you want sympathy, talk to your buddies. "A president who cares" sounds like something out of a fucking Hallmark commercial.

  • Raven Nation||

    Someone at National Review quipped that WW was a liberal's dream: "The Clinton White House without Clinton."

  • Malvolio||

    I forget who wrote about Sorkin's The American President that the title character was Clinton as Clinton wishes he were: liberal, popular, and widowed.

  • CockGobbla||

    I could barely manage to enjoy The West Wing, and the only episode I really liked was the flag-burning episode with Penn Teller*.

    *Warning: The teleplay was written by Lawrence O'Donnell.

  • CockGobbla||

    Oops, forgot the ampersand, !

  • The Hammer||

    Squirrels ate it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Unpossible. O'Donnell has no talent. Maddow may have ghost-written it for him, though.

    Wait... SHE has no talent, either. Just damn.

  • Franklin Harris||

    Is that why Penn is friends with that ignorant jerk O'Donnell?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Really?

    My opinion of Penn just went down several notches.

  • Derek Balling||

    Yes, we should only socialize with people if they are politically like-minded, not because we find them pleasant company.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Who would find O'Donnell "pleasant company"?

  • Derek Balling||

    Maybe not you or I, but perhaps Penn sees something in him you or I haven't seen because we've never met him in person or something. Dunno.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I can't imagine there is anything about O'Donnell, besides him giving off waves of punchability.

    I'm still disappointed in Penn, though. I thought he'd have better taste in friends.

  • Derek Balling||

    Unless you've met him socially, I don't think any of us here are able to comment intelligently on this point.

    Just as I might completely disagree with the politics of Clinton, Bush, and Obama, they're all seemingly the sorts of people it might be a hoot to grill some burgers, watch a baseball/football game with, and just chill out.

    Political views and personal-likability are very rarely intertwined.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Sometimes, you can just tell.

    I've forced myself to watch O'Donnell. After five minutes, the urge to track him down and pummel him became almost too much for even my self-control levels.

    No, I couldn't hang out with him. Clinton, maybe. Bush, no. Obama... fuck, no.

  • Derek Balling||

    People play this role "in the public eye" that is often nothing like their day to day persona.

    Any of us who only views the soundbites and such and then claims to know or can "just tell" is kidding ourselves.

  • Paul.||

    Meh, I enjoyed it. Yes, the false dichotomy-filled rhetorical questions were annoying, but if you can suspend your political knee-jerk, as I also did with The West Wing, the show was as enjoyable. The best parts are the humor, not the hand-wringing

    Veep is a better show, and more realistic. No, I'm not joking.

  • A Serious Man||

    Veep is awesome. It's funny in the sense that it's probably not that far from the truth of how most political offices are: the politicians are self-absorbed narcissiscists while the staffers are a bunch of back-stabbing careerists with little personal loyalty.

  • Cowboy||

    Yeah, love veep. I hope it get's renewed. I get the feeling that liking Newsroom as much will be like trying to use a croissant as a fucking dildo. It doesn't work and IT MAKES A FUCKING MESS.

  • benji||

    It was already renewed for a second season.

  • ||

    The only thing worse than a condescending prick is a condescending prick who makes a TV show about condescending pricks saying and propagating stupid shit.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hell, Res, without that concept MSNBC would have several hours a day to fill with reruns of Stone Phillips catching child-pervs on camera.

  • ||

    Are you implying MSNBC isn't honest and good and knowledgeable?!

    How many African infants did Glenn Beck give you to spew these lies and Republian proxy-racism?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Wow, that was a good rant. Libertaridan won't need to come back for weeks!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    It's a Sorkin show. What were people expecting?

    The West Wing was just as smarmy and sanctimonious.

    The Right People in media will hail it as Great TV That The Masses Don't Understand, and people who don't watch TV will use it as their go-to example of a great, well-written TV show.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    It is as though you can see the future, and predict events with eerie accuracy...

  • ||

    "I finally get Aaron Sorkin's Sports Night! It's a show that's too good to be funny!"

  • Franklin Harris||

    Thank you for (slightly mis)quoting Family Guy.

  • Gladstone||

    The Right People in media will hail it as Great TV That The Masses Don't Understand, and people who don't watch TV will use it as their go-to example of a great, well-written TV show.

    Like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones?

  • Proprietist||

    Uh, can't speak for Game of Thrones as I haven't yet seen it, but the other two are actual good shows fully worthy of the praise they receive. Breaking Bad is probably rivalling The Sopranos for best TV drama of all time.

  • ||

    Breaking Bad is lacking in protagonists or upbeatness ... I mean, well-written, but personally unwatchable.

    Mad Men? I lived through the 50s during the 60s and 70s, so can't bear to watch such a show.

  • T o n y||

    The whole point is to see how far a protagonist can "break bad" before he stops being a protagonist completely. Some here seem to have reached that point already I guess, but I thoroughly enjoy the concept as maybe actually innovative, and the writing is brilliant. WW is a protagonist... and I guess the longer you see him as one the more depraved you are?

  • Ted S.||

    I didn't live through those decades, and am sick of the nostalgia for them subsuming our popular culture.

    And I say that as a blogger about old movies who actually likes many of the movies originally from that era. It's the Baby Boomers' attempts to relive the glory of their youth that nauseates me.

  • T o n y||

    About to finish the last published book after being awestruck by GoT the show. Very faithful to the books in a smart way and excellently produced as a show. It's gonna have to run for 20 years at 10 eps a season though to fit everything in.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Wow, Tony... an entire paragraph with zero wealth-envy or global-warming doom-sponge bullshit.

    I am impress.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Must be a spoof.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Kinda hard to tell. Every Tony post sucks, which IS a constant.

  • Nyarlathotep||

    CDN$

  • ||

    I don't watch Mad Men, and I find Breaking Bad to be too depressing, but if you're saying it and GoT aren't well written...well, you're retarded. Extremely retarded.

  • Gladstone||

    I wasn't saying that those shows have the same writing quality as the Newsroom but that sentence I quoted definitely applies to the praise that those shows receive.

    Interestingly the critics don't seem to be all that fond of the Newsroom. I suppose being told that they haven't been sucking enough Team Blue and Obama cock has got to be annoying.

  • ||

    GoT receives a ton of praise...because it's fucking good. Have you ever watched it?!?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I agree. It's well-written and well-cast.

  • ||

    Except for fucking Roz. Why did they invent that character?

  • ||

    I don't know. I can't see why, considering how many characters are in the books, they would invent a single one.

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    I heard that Game of Thrones went its entire first season without having a black character in a speaking role.

    Then, when an actor of color was finally allowed a line of dialogue in season 2, the first thing he did was express a desire to fuck a white woman with blonde hair.

    Then, when a second black character was introduced, he announced his intention to marry a different white woman. With even blonder hair.

    Is all this true? Because if so, I think this show is racist. Straight up.

  • Paul.||

    I heard that Game of Thrones went its entire first season without having a black character in a speaking role.

    It's basically true.

    Lord of the Rings had NO black people in it.

    Friday was totally about black people.

  • ||

    Tyler Perry movies are almost entirely devoid of white people.

    This is not necessarily a bad thing, just someone finding a market niche and filling it.

    Same with very white shows.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Lord of the Rings had NO black people in it.

    The Uruk Hai don't count?

  • Bobarian||

    As the LotR had some of its underpinnings based on WWI, I think the Uruk Hai were actually Ottoman Turks.

  • Killazontherun||

    There is more to white culture than that abomination Friends. Chain mail, broad swords, elemental sorcery, and elaborate torture devices are far more representative.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Gourmet mayonnaise, as well.

  • Killazontherun||

    Damn it. Now I have to make a run to the store.

  • Paul.||

    There is more to white culture than that abomination Friends.

    Oh yeah, that.

    While I was more of a Good Times man than a Friends man, Friends did produce Lisa Kudrow who is a top quality actress.

  • ||

    Is all this true? Because if so, I think this show is racist. Straight up.

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon didn't have any black people in it either..

    I have the funny feeling it might have to do with the fact that these stories are portraying a period of time when races were separated by vasts gulfs of language mountains oceans and culture.

    Also compared to the other characters in the show Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Syrio Forel and Salladhor Saan are portraits of sainthood.

    yes Xaro wants to get it on with Dany but he does not rape her. He tries to seduce her....plus he is the richest man of Qarth (hardly a black sterotype). Syrio is Arya's sword teacher and dies protecting her freedom. Salladhor is a pirate who joins an army to return the rightful king to his seat and he does it because he trusts his friend. Here is the gist of the conversation.

    davos: you will get rich and powerful if you help me...and pirates don't live very long.

    Salladhor: I like pirating. I will do it if you make me rich and powerful and give me the QUEEN!!

    Davos (being a serious idiot who did not get the joke): I can't give you the queen.

    Salladhor (without hesitation): OK i will do it, but know i am doing this for you and not your fucked up king.

    It was pretty Obvious Salladhor was doing it for Davos as a friend...the part about getting a queen was just him messing with his way to serious friend.

    Compared to the incest, rape, murder and infanticide, these guys are moral paragons.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "Also compared to the other characters in the show Xaro Xhoan (...) are portraits of sainthood.

    yes Xaro wants to get it on with Dany but he does not rape her. "

    Yeah, you're only feeling this way because he hasn't been given the same amount of exposition and backstory he has in the books, what with the screwing around with young child-slaves on his "pleasure barge".
    It's also made abundantly clear that his interest in Daenaerys begins and ends with the fact that she'd have to grant him one of her dragons as a wedding gift.

  • Bobarian||

    To be fair, my first line of dialog was to express a desire to fuck a white woman with blonde hair.

  • Tman||

    :Stands up to say: "I thought "Lost" was pretty well written."

    Runs. Hides.

  • Killazontherun||

    Particular episodes -- yep, there were standouts every season. As a whole, nope.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Great pilot. Pretty much downhill from there.

  • A Serious Man||

    I endured all 6 seasons and think it was the one of the best shows of the decade, BUT, most episodes were fairly meh.

    Of course the ones that were top-notch were masterpieces: Through the Looking Glass, The Constant, There's No Place Like Home, and Ab Aeterno. All of those could make a claim of being the greatest individual TV episdoes ever.

  • Tman||

    The opening montage to the final episode was kinda epic for me.

    LOST: Opening Montage - Intro (6x17 The end)

    All of us have our own preferences but that show -for me- was the best television I've ever seen, and I'm not really worried about whether or not people got it like I did.

    They still killed off Eko too early though. Dude was amazing.

  • General Butt Naked||

    ...and I find Breaking Bad to be too depressing...

    Around season two I thought while watching the show, "Damn if this show doesn't make me feel paranoid and depressed". I realized then that the people making the show were very good at what they do. I had totally given in and suspended disbelief without any conscious effort, which as an audience member is all you can ask for from an artist; to be drawn in completely. Not many shows can pull this off. Breaking Bad does, The Wire did, and MacGyver really showed us what teevee could be like in the hands of a master.

  • Bill||

    How does everyone feel about Sons of Anarchy? I've been quite impressed with it for the most part.

  • ||

    Enjoyable but stupid soap opera.

  • Bill||

    Exactly. I laugh at how often the bikers hug each other. Dozens of times per show. Somehow I don't see the real bikers doing it as often.

  • R C Dean||

    Typically for these kinds of shows, the first season or two were quite good (both MM and SoA), and then the quality ramps down.

    Plus, I found the whole biker/doctor love thing in SoA to be ridiculous. Sorry, I just couldn't buy it.

  • ||

    The relentless fucking up of their own lives just got to be too much for me. Jesse and Walt are too self-destructive, and it got to the point where I wasn't enjoying the show any more. So I stopped.

  • ||

    Took me one episode to realize that such fucking up of lives was not watchable for me.

  • Emperor Wears No Clothes||

    To quote the immortal Homer Simpson: "Look at me. Making the people happy!"
    You guys should check out Pixar movies. I hear they tell upbeat stories for children.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Concur. Great show; just not for me.

    Same goes for Mad Men, incidentally.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I go through it in fit and starts. I watch until it gets too depressing and quit, but eventually I'm compelled to start watching again.

  • ||

    Like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones?

    Those shows get good audience numbers. We will see how Newsroom does.

    Should note that Game of Thrones got signed for a second season after its first episode aired. Presumably because its ratings were off the chart.

    No news on Newsroom about that yet....

  • Paul.||

    I watched the first episode (I haven't read the full article for this thread, yet), and while the performances were good (I tend to like Jeff Daniels) you could definitely get the sense that the shows writers are vibrating to start preaching. I only expect it'll get more aggressive in subsequent shows.

    What's worse is that in and amongst the preaching, it still tries to sell itself as 'above the partisan fray' and is merely trying to talk straight facts and speak truth to power.

  • Raven Nation||

    Well, yeah, b/c if you're a true believer, then preaching isn't preaching it's telling the truth.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    All of those are shows that succeeded on their merits. None of those shows are for everyone (though I would say that GoT has a mass appeal that the other two don't), but they are very good shows that were not made with the intention of appealing to the biases of critics and The Right People. (Well, maybe Mad Men.)

    If anything, GoT and other fantasy offerings are typically derided and disliked by The Right People for not having enough gravitas and truthiness and so forth.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I think that Newsroom and the West Wing are more comparable to shows like Girls, where there were certain expectations and advertising efforts which went towards catering to a certain group of "moderns", whatwith the hype about Lena Dunham and whatnot.

    When people talk about shows and ministries like John Adams and GoT, they talk about the characters or the "holy shit" moments.

    When people talk about Aaron Sorkin's stuff, they talk about the "message", and how Very Very Important and Urgent the show is.

  • Killazontherun||

    "The Newsroom's" Emily Mortimer calls the Tea Party a "lunatic fringe," and says Americans fall too easily for lies

    I bet you voted for hope and change like every other vapid progressive moron, didn't you, Emily?

  • fish||

    But but but....he is the one!

  • ||

    "Our world is so affected by who’s in charge here that it feels like it’s massively important. The first 10 years of my being here there was a guy in charge who was just so terrifying and it made me feel so unsettled the whole time that this guy was making those decisions. And it’s such a nice feeling having this guy in charge now. But I feel like he’s standing on a sort of postage stamp in a sea full of sharks. Please just cling on to that postage stamp!"

    Thanks, Killaz. You made my night. This shit's funnier than a Keith Olbermann rant.

  • John||

    She didn't vote she is English. She has a lovely rack for a British Bird. Sadly, god gave her that rather than brains.

  • Killazontherun||

    She's a duel citizen.

  • ||

    She duels rationality and logic daily.

  • Killazontherun||

    Freudian slip. Jungian panty hose.

  • John||

    She is a duel citizen for tax reasons. Doesn't that figure?

  • Killazontherun||

    You could've double zinged me there. I went back again to see the name of her husband. Naturalized in 2010. I thought I read 2003 because the sentence ran together from previous info.

  • Killazontherun||

    Now I wished that I mentioned that earlier, given it occurred to me someone would bring it up, but then I put trust in the regulars to assume I already checked her status before hand.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Too bad, because her dad was a literary genius.

  • Sam Grove||

    Emily Mortimer...says Americans fall too easily for lies.

    Unintentional irony?

  • ||

    What's sad is, she says she got started in politics reading about Kropotkin and being interested in anarchism.

    Think what you will about anarchism, but it's infinately shitty that she went from there to authoritarian progressivism.

  • ||

    I'm still wondering why people claim to like that turd pile known as Sports Night

  • Killazontherun||

    Long winded, barely edited conversation after conversation until the audience is induced into a collective yawn, that is the makings of great drama in the opinion of the smart set.

  • Gladstone||

    Too Smart For Network TV, obviously.

  • Killazontherun||

    But not smart enough for me to waste my time on its meandering nowhere plotting.

  • Brandybuck||

    So is this like a new television series about a news show? Or just another news show? Perhaps the art is too closely imitating the life that art imagines.

  • Paul.||

    Think Broadcast News but much more idealistic.

    Where Broadcast News relegated itself to strictly the business of news, this show veers into the ideological and seems to be about the news reaching outside itself: to us poor, uninformed saps who are too busy twittering and blogging (Drink!) to know whats Actually Happening(tm).

  • ||

    "I can remember when Bush got in for the second time, just feeling like so much of the problem about the way that politics go here is that people are improperly informed. That they didn’t know that they had been lied to, or they didn’t understand exactly to what extent they had been, and they still thought that there were weapons of mass destruction. And that was just crazy to me that people could be so under-informed."

    So Obama's even more deserving of hatred than Bush, right? Glad we agree, Limey.

    "I do think that there’s a difference in America to where I’m from. There’s so much wrong with England, but I think people are informed in general. I’m going to make a huge sweeping statement, but you just get the news much more [in England]."

    You cannot write this shit. On to glory, British pinkos, on to glory!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "you just get the news much more [in England]"

    You got *that* right. Even on Hit 'n Run, people are constantly linking to an English publication, the *Daily Mail.* This shows that British journalism is head and shoulders above American.

  • ||

    Never mind that a developmentally retarded lemur could write better than the Daily Mail's staff, or half of everybody employed anywhere in British media. No, that matters not! What truly counts is the ideology, and being downright totalitarians, mainstream British journalists are just so much better! God save the Queen!

    *Puke*.

  • Killazontherun||

    She's talking about being force fed mandated radio BBC for the vitamins and the minerals while listening to music as a cultural positive. Sorry, but being able to recite the official line does not make you informed, but misinformed instead.

    Agree with you about the print journals. A lot of quality (and a fair share of crap as well) from Fleet Street.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Technically, I was making a joke about the stalker photos of models and actresses which commenters find in the DM.

  • Killazontherun||

    But that's the best part!

  • effinayright||

    Page 3!!! Page 3!!!! It defines English tabloid journalism!!

    Stay classy, UK media!

  • ||

    You got *that* right. Even on Hit 'n Run, people are constantly linking to an English publication, the *Daily Mail.*

    That's because they have cool stories about radio-controlled dead cats, slideshows of hideous Glamour Shots, and really funny stories about the silly shit people do when they ingest bath salts. And usually, their stories are accompanied by really good pictures. Those fuckers take their odd news very seriously.

  • Paul.||

    Side boob!

    Yeah, this is really sad. Now when I watch her character in the show, I'm realizing that she's just playing herself. Fuck I think I may be done with this show already.

    Enjoy your only season, Mr. Sorkin.

  • Trespassers W||

    Ironically, it was the Beeb that aired the world's only realistic TV series about politics. Hint: it wasn't the BBC news...

  • Xmas||

  • ||

    THAT'S The Daily FAIL!, Mr. vH! Get your memes and H n'R terminology right or pay the price!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I just noticed an ad for The Newsroom on HBO this weekend. It looked like the typical Hollywood liberal, populist crap. I never watched West Wing, and am not familiar with Sorkin. And now I know to avoid this turd as well.

  • ||

    I'm honestly surprised that HBO decided to greenlight this. They're usually much smarter about what shows they choose to run.

  • ||

    My faith in them would be restored if they'd cancel it after the first season.

  • The Hammer||

    They will, when nobody watches it. Did "Sportsnight" even make it a full season?

  • ||

    I don't know, but I honestly, truly couldn't stomach more than half a season of The West Wing. It was fantastically putrid bullshit, and it wasn't even done very well.

    I wonder what sort of crap Sorkin comes up with next.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I wonder what sort of crap Sorkin comes up with next.

    An half-hour long drama that takes place in the Governor of Minnesota's mansion. The Governor, newly widowed, lives in the mansion with his adolescent daughter. He is surrounded by his press secretary (love interest?), top political adviser, and butler. It is the butler, who is Black, who helps the Governor begin to reclaim his life, his family, and his political career.

  • Gladstone||

    Where does the "I'm As Mad As Hell" moment come in?

  • Paul.||

    Nice.

  • Killazontherun||

    Will there be a part for Billy Crystal? Or, maybe, he and William Kristol play twins.

  • ||

    Is the black butler British?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Casting

    James Cromwell as Governor Sternlee
    Ariel Winter as Gabby Sternlee
    Olivia Newton-John as Tamra Weston-Jones, Press Secretary
    Billy Crystal as Alan Parsons, Lead Counsel
    William Kristol as Otis Parsons, a small time crook
    Linda Purl as Helga Johansensensenn, Head of Household Affairs
    Mos Def as Benson DuBois, a British butler who pretends to be American

  • Killazontherun||

    Yes! Now we're cookin'!

  • Killazontherun||

    Also, your character naming is ahead of Sorkin by miles.

    I mean, Mackenzie MacHale? That's awful. Stan Lee like alliteration, and Mackenzie does that mean 'little miss perky nose' in Scottish?

    Jane Fonda is set to come in later to play Leona Lansing. Goddamn.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    It was called "Benson"

    ... Hobbit

  • Killazontherun||

    Yeah, that's the gag.

  • Gladstone||

    Is Jerry Seinfeld going to reprise his role?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Is the Butler's name Benson?

  • ||

    truly couldn't stomach more than half a season of The West Wing.

    In all honesty i really liked that show and give it at least partial credit for making me the libertarian that i am today.

    One thing that Sorkin does, and he does it unintentionally, is make the ideas and people he hates more attractive then they would otherwise be.

    A prime example is that facebook movie. I think the average movie goer went to that movie and ended up liking Mark Zuckerberg more then they did before they went in. This in no way was Sorkin's intent.

  • Paul.||

    A prime example is that facebook movie. I think the average movie goer went to that movie and ended up liking Mark Zuckerberg more then they did before they went in. This in no way was Sorkin's intent.

    This. I haven't seen the movie in toto yet, just flipped past it when it was on HBO, but I've probably seen about an hour of it, and the longer I watched, the more I liked Zuckerberg.

  • Killazontherun||

    Cred from The Social Network. I have no doubt the smarter suits wanted to ignore the knock on the door when Sorkin came around given they are the best at what they do, and if you and I can smell the stench, well, they are like bloodhounds compared to us. Unfortunately, there are political like considerations, if it proved to be a hit at Showtime, the one who nixed it had more to lose than to gain in terms of rep in overestimating Sorkin than underestimating him.

  • ||

    Yeah, I realize that. But still, every time some piece of shit gets on, there's another Boardwalk Empire or Game of Thrones that doesn't.

  • ||

    The same experimentation and risk taking that allowed Boardwalk empire and Game of Thrones to be made also allowed Sorkin to get his show.

    It is the nature of the beast.

    By the way "The Veep" is a way better show then Newsroom or The West Wing.

    Its greatest asset is that it shows the "smart people" being complete fucking idiots.

    It is the perfect anti-Sorkin show. The people talk fast and are great whits just like in a sorkin show but when all is said and done all that wind and bluster ends up making them worse off then before their attempts to fix things. Proto-libertarian at its core.

    By the way did reason ever do a review of that show?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I tried getting into The Veep. It didn't stick. Maybe I should try it again? I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

  • ||

    Not for everyone...but it is a perfect foil to Sorkin's bullshit.

    So much so I wonder if the writers don't secretly hate Sorkin and the West Wing.

  • A Serious Man||

    It kind of stumbled in the first three episdoes in establishing every character, but by episode 4 with the Veep's pregnancy scare that shit took off and each episode became hilarious from start to finish.

    I find it similar to Archer in the way it portrays the squabbling and back-stabbing of interoffice politics and actual government politics and the fact that these incredibly flawed people are in charge of our government.

  • Gladstone||

    Reminds of how The Front Page is about how newspapers are needed as watchdogs of a corrupt government. However the reporters are most certainly not treated as paragons of virtue.

  • Franklin Harris||

    And His Girl Friday is actually a fantastic movie.

  • Tulpa the White||

    How in the world can it be considered an "experiment" to give Aaron Sorkin a show at this point. It's like dropping poodles out a 5th story window as an experiment.

  • ||

    Social Network made money.

  • Juice||

    Um, hello. Real Time?

  • ||

    I'm talking about shows with plots, because that's what I watch. I don't think I've ever watched Maher's show.

  • Bill||

    The Maher show has a plot. Idiotic progressives make asinine, partisan political points. Maher nods sagely and makes supportive points.

    The one or two people with different viewpoints, always conservative or libertarian try to make a more sophisticated argument that takes more than 15 seconds to develop. Maher makes a series of "jokes", constantly interrupting the speaker and refusing to allow them to make a point. He rarely "jokes" when his team is speaking. Occasionally one is glad he interrupts the conservative because you know they are getting ready to quote the bible or say something ignorant.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You mean some conservative yammers about Creationism or how great the Iraq War was and THEN gets derided by Maher, etc.

    There are no "sophisticated" conservative points.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    There also are no sophisticated liberal points, shrike.

    That goes for your pal, Barry, too.

  • Brutus||

    He and his microcephalic audience walked all over Gillespie. Maybe he was just about to say something about creationism, eh?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Well, they did greenlight Girls.

  • XM||

    Why pay to watch Newsroom when you can watch Glee for free? It's a song and dance public awareness show about texting and driving, teen suicide, homophobia, bullying, domestic violence and other important issues that taking the nation by storm.

    It's set in this strange world where every jock is a monstrous bigot, people blast your face with slushee because you like to sing, cheerleading coaches get the attention of the media because she won a competition in Ohio, and a mechanic can become senator via write in campaign. And Kathy Griffin is a member of the tea party.

    I watch that show because it features one of like 3 Asians who get any kind of air time on TV. But the writers forgot about her for the whole season and made the season finale about the Tina Cohen Chang seeing her through the eyes of a white person.

    I tell ya, those liberals can really write.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Is that really a thing?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Tina Cohen Chang"

    This is when I regret registration, because at this point I would post as "A Racist" and say: "So she does your taxes while she sucks you off?"

    But I would never put such racist smut under my normal handle.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    That's mighty white of you, Eduard.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    OK, I shouldn't have been offensive; I should have said "does your taxes while giving you an erotic massage." Or "fixes your computer while..." oh, heck with it, being racist is hard.

  • Brutus||

    Who the fuck told Jeff Daniels he could act, anyway?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    His mommy.

  • fish||

    Lloyd Christmas

  • A Serious Man||

    Carrey and Daniels are actually going to be doing a Dumber and Dumber sequel with the Farelly Brothers (who I view as the antidote to the Coen Brothers).

  • Tulpa the White||

    All the idiots quoting Big Lebowski at the drop of a hat.

  • Trespassers W||

    Ouch. I get those two confused sometimes too, but you should have Googled before posting.

  • califernian||

    "careful man, there's a beverage here!"

  • Gladstone||

    The New Yorker called it a show for people who don't watch TV call it much better than anything else on TV. Like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones?

  • BakedPenguin||

    So you're saying Breaking Bad is not one of the best shows on TV right now?

  • Monkey's Uncle||

    Sounds like Sorkin has that 'Argument from an Ignorant' thing down.

  • ||

    Watched it.

    I am convinced that Sorkin is a fascist.

    Not the kill Jews kind of fascist but the faith in government will make our nation great kind of fascist.

  • Brutus||

    And who, when the promise of greatness is but a memory in a great sea of despond, still cling to their boundless statism because they're making a buck off it.

  • ||

    Sorkin also has a fascinatingly punchable face.

  • fish||

    A member of Team Brooks or Team Friedman?

  • ||

    The answer is C. the NYTs editorial staff kind of fascism.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You mean a Bushpig.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Are there no villains in Team Blue, shrike? Or are you just incapable of seeing them?

  • Brutus||

    Shriek is a libertarian that loves regulation, taxation and consolidation of power. He's just not one of us "purists," you see.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Any "libertarian" who only votes for Democrats... hell, that's not even a zero score in a purity test.

  • ||

    HBO has posted it for free online:

    Ratings are bad...HBO does not do this for a hit show.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Seems unlikely. GoT ain't free, I'm sure.

  • ||

    It depends on how free you're talking about. If you're already an HBO subscriber, all of their content is available free online, including through a nifty mobile app.

  • Killazontherun||

    It's pretty sweet. I can interface with HBO without even being reminded of the existence of CNNMSNBCFOXMTVVH1 while doing so.

  • ||

    Yup, and there's a fuckload more movies than HBO On Demand generally makes available.

  • Gladstone||

    Aaron Sorkin is certainly a man that mindlessly worships the Right People which is creepy. And it disturbing at what happened to all the "anti-authoritarianism" and "question authority" views liberals used to have.

    Also his new show again opens with a Howard Beale-esque rant? Can't think of any better ideas?

    Also I pointed out that the left already finds it insufferable. Where's my hattip?

    Interesting that the television news is much more highly regarded by Hollywood than say print journalists. I suppose it helps that many of those print jounarlists became screenwriters and they depicted their own cynicism about their old jobs.

  • nicole||

    I have to admit still being a fan of The West Wing, but only in the sense that I am a fan of Voyager...it got me at a vulnerable time and is still on my re-watching playlist (since my main form of video consumption is re-watching mediocre TV I have already seen a million times). I could watch it and get super annoyed at the politics, but I choose instead to watch it dreamily waiting for Josh and Donna to finally. Get. Together.

    But that's because it already snuck in; as soon as I saw the first ad for The Newsroom I knew without a doubt that (a) this was a news-version of TWW (still political, of course!) and (b) that it would be unspeakably awful and cause me to throw things at the television if I ever saw it.

    As an aside, someone mentioned Lawrence O'Donnell writing the Penn and Teller episode above; I was first knowingly introduced to O'Donnell on Penn's podcast several years ago, where he was a repeat guest and billed as a fairly libertarian Democrat (who had worked on TWW). When I first saw his MSNBC show, it was all very confusing. WTF Penn?

  • Brutus||

    O'Donnell is a self-professed socialist. He's as libertarian as Mussolini.

  • nicole||

    And it only took me like, two minutes of his show to find that out!

  • ||

    MSNBC has a way of making people worse then they were before.

    If you can go find episodes of Tucker Carlson's show on PBS which often had Maddow on it watch em.

    Seriously on that show she is a leftist who is actually somewhat honest and not a complete hack....then she got on MSNBC and became a monster.

  • Bill||

    And what's his face that got fired. Seriously don't remember his name right this second.

    MSNBC must tell all their talent that they have to develop an "unforgettable" TV persona or something like that. So they all become assholes.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Olbermann?

  • T o n y||

    Meaning you've watched her show, or just relied on third-party character assassination? She's as rigorous as ever. Hardly a hack or monster.

  • ||

    "She's as rigorous as ever."

    Good to know. How much meat is she packing?

  • ||

    I have watched her show and/or segments of it more then i saw her on Tucker's show.

    Plus her dismissal of Fast and Furious and Holder's culpability in it as a racist fantasy on Real Time was so hacky hack hackolicious that calling her a monster is a tame description.

    Seriously. oh so the ATF sold guns to Mexican drug cartels and people died from those guns including a US boarder patrol officer. Congress then asked for some papers on the subject from the Justice department and Holder refused and when pressed Obama claimed executive privileged....

    Meddow responds that it the whole thing is republican hand waving motivated by racism....

    WTF?!?!?!

    That is not the same girl I use to watch on Tucker's show and is pure TEAM BLUE hackadry at its absolute worse.

  • Joe R.||

    I have no opinion on Romneycare. That's not my job.

  • ||

    I choose instead to watch it dreamily waiting for Josh and Donna to finally. Get. Together.

    Watch "The Veep" instead.

  • TheBombDiggity||

    He certainly wasn't interested in learning what those statistics McAvoy spurts out in the ads I saw.

    Having a high infant mortality rate is bad. Afghanistan is not the best country in the world for infant mortality, even though they may be ranked number 1. 178 is actually pretty good, and that doesn't even take into account discrepancies in infant mortality reporting in different countries.

  • Killazontherun||

    You get the required sonogram in Cuba, and your baby shows something other than what the state finds desirable, sorry gal, that baby coming out pronto. Infant mortality is a matter of status amongst the socialist inclined.

  • JimDee||

    “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” -Groucho Marx

  • ||

    At the end of the fifth book of Game of Thorns Jon Snow gets killed.

  • ||

    Are you autistic or something? I'm being completely serious here. I've been watching you for a long time and wondering just what kind of retard you are.

  • ||

    Just pointing out the flaw in books vs TV as a cultural meeting point.

    Books you can't even fucking talk about cuz of !!!OMG spoilers!!! but TV because of its throw away nature we can come together and talk about it.

    Also Jon Snow does not die in the last book...but the Imp does.

  • ||

    I hope Sansa dies. She's a major asshole.

  • Xmas||

    Dying is certainly not the worst thing that can happen to female (or even some male characters) in The Song of Ice and Fire books...

    I'm still trying to figure out how Hodor is half-giant...

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Um, no.

    Most people consider it inappropriate to blurt out spoilers for any storytelling medium. Someone probably got shit on back in the day for spoiling the ending to Macbeth for his friends.

    As well he should have been.

  • ||

    So the ending of yesterdays network episode it is reveled that the lady producer and the anchor probably had an affair in the past and that the lady producer had in fact held up cards prompting the anchor (who had thought he only imagined it) at the beginning of the show to say that 'the US is not the best county in the world.' at the college forum.

    You do not give a shit that I told you this.

    Also if I talk about Game of Thrones the TV show no one gives a shit.

    They are different.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The Imp learns to joust.

  • ||

    I've been watching you for a long time

    Also quit watching me, perv.

  • ||

    That was mean.

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    "Game of Thorns"?

    Is that the one about seven noble families fighting for control of Jesus' crown?

  • Ice Nine||

    You asshole.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Not cool.

    Also, *SPOILERS*

    (probably) not true.

  • Joe R.||

    I hope you catch herpes. Again. In your asshole.

  • T o n y||

    There was nothing subtle about The West Wing but it often did present political arguments in challenging ways. There is not a single public conservative today who could articulate conservative arguments as cogently as Sorkin's conservative characters did. Their arguments were rarely deferred to, but in the end conservatism is mostly wrong and liberalism is mostly right.

  • ||

    Does anything serve to refresh the tree of liberty quite so effectively as the putrid blood of a progressive slavemaker?

  • T o n y||

    Yes, the tears of grief from libertarians who finally realize life isn't just how they thought it was when they were 14.

  • ||

    Try harder, beanstalk.

    Does anything serve to refresh the tree of liberty quite so effectively as the putrid blood of a progressive slavemaker?

  • T o n y||

    Try harder, beanstalk.

    Have you been talking to any of my former sexual partners?

    "Progressive slavemaker" is an oxymoron. You however (just morons) would enslave populations without even realize what you're doing, calling every capitalist exploitation "freedom," monstrosities of law and behavior dreamed up by people who honestly can't believe how far they've been able to take things, thinking (all the way to the bank) just as much as I do how stupid you ideological schlubs must be to offer your life to them so enthusiastically.

    Almost any extremism is doomed to be folly. Unthinking, unequivocal hatred of government is an extremism. Hatred of progressivism is just ignorance of the trajectory of history, though it's not progressivism, but the ooh scary bogeyman Glenn Beck has turned the word into that you react to with such lizard-brain reflexiveness.

    Outside the US, would you rather choose to be in a "progressive" country or a "religious conservative" country (there's no other kind of conservative)? Think hard. I'm presuming you'd avoid the secular communist holdouts, which are neither, as I'm sure your rigorous political history education will tell you.

  • ||

    Our world is so affected by who’s in charge here that it feels like it’s massively important. The first 10 years of my being here there was a guy in charge who was just so terrifying and it made me feel so unsettled the whole time that this guy was making those decisions. And it’s such a nice feeling having this guy in charge now. But I feel like he’s standing on a sort of postage stamp in a sea full of sharks. Please just cling on to that postage stamp!

  • ||

    Try harder, beanstalk. You're getting worse.

    Does anything serve to refresh the tree of liberty quite so effectively as the putrid blood of a progressive slavemaker?

  • NotSure||

    You are such an ignorant American moron. If you knew even the tiniest thing about the world you know that "conservative" in mainstream language used in all the scenarios :
    When the Soviet Union fell, the conservatives were the ones that wanted to keep the USSR.
    In China its the ones who do not favour the growing free market in society.
    In UK its the ones who DO favour the the free markets.
    In Japan its the ones who favour nationalistic tendencies.
    In Germany it is the combination of religious and pro business.
    Do I want me to go on ?

  • T o n y||

    I see at most two definitions in your list: pro-status-quo conservative and pro-business conservative. You can assess a country on many criteria. I prefer for most purposes the scale of religious to secular, though officially atheistic authoritarian states do muddle the issue (but not really--worship of the state is not importantly different from other types of worship). Anyway, there's a definite continuum: more religious, less educated, more resistant to progress, shittier place to live. More atheistic, more progressive, more educated, increasingly better places to live, though I'm not suggesting a causal chain and it would be good to figure out what quality needs to come first.

    You're right that conservative is a broad term and often names specific parties with provincial concerns. In the current decade I've yet to see one that wasn't useless compared to alternatives, though.

  • ||

    Does Aunt Victor's fleshlight count as a sexual companion/partner? That would bring the grand total on your list to three, Castro!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Not really.

    Botswana has a significantly less education populace than, say, Kenya and a much better economy.

    As far as "more atheistic" goes, define your terms (same goes for "progress") -- given a certain definition, Japan is either the most religious or most atheistic country on earth. Estonia is a great place to live. Belarus? Not so much.

  • NotSure||

    Estonia has been on the recent progressive hit list in America, no doubt Tony will agree with them. The fact remains despite Spain having a head start of decades over Estonia, Spain is in deep shit, Estonia is not. It must have been those darn Spanish conservatives running the place for the last 10 years, oh wait...

  • NotSure||

    Numbskull, first you claimed there was only one kind of conservative, now you say there is more than one. A Chinese conservative is an atheist, a British conservative is wealthier than the average labour member, German conservative states are wealthier than the progressive ones, these all contradict your nice little theory. There is a reason California loses people and Texas gains them, its not because Texas is the paragon of progressive politics, its because California is shittier, despite being the most progressive place in the world.

  • T o n y||

    California is in no way shittier than Texas. I know that having only been to Texas.

    Race-to-the-bottom economics does tend to shift employment in a predictable way. Pity it's unsustainable and guarantees an increasingly lower standard of living.

  • T o n y||

    Not to mention conservative states are net recipients of federal loot and Texas like Saudi Arabia just happens to have been founded on a lot of oil.

  • NotSure||

    Well then we agree, having one place looted to pay for other places is something we don't support.

    Resources clearly are an economic factor, but then again you are assuming California got rich because the place never had any resources, but because of progressive politician. California is no Japan, the place has tons of resources, yet still managed to build up huge debt problems and other economic malaise.

  • NotSure||

    Unless all these California stories are lies, when more people leave a place (especially the wealthier ones) than come in, its a sign that there are better alternatives.

    South Africa is said to have the most progressive constitution in the world, that still does not stop the country from having its workers leaving preferring to work in very unprogressive places like Saudi Arabia or Singapore. You see its not a race to the bottom, its that disgusting thing called the desire for money, wealth is real progress, aristocratic disdain you have for the lesser minded people is not.

  • T o n y||

    People will desire wealth all on their own. It's not government's job to reward the already wealthy for their virtuous success. It's government's job to take care of public welfare. To a certain extent that entails encouraging the virtues of capitalism. It entails other things too, though.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    California is weird because there are almost two states. One state, the "good state" is populated by amazingly creative and energetic people who want to be productive and expansive. They get inspired by the natural beauty, accumulated wealth, and diversity of cultural influences in California. These are people who have great ideas, and get together with rich people (VC) and create the future of technology, entertainment, and cultural trends.

    Then there is another state, populated by people who think government is central to the process of the "good state". They want government to restrict access to natural beauty, in the name of protecting it. They want government to commandeer accumulated wealth to pay for The State's bloated pensions and social programs. They push identity politics to maintain political boundaries, resulting in political and cultural segregation.

    It's a tough battle out here, but I sure as shit am determined to win.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "It's government's job to take care of public welfare."

    Where is this job description outlined?

    And don't say "in the Preamble". That doesn't count, and it was bastardized into meaning something else anyway.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tony, when *I* was 14, I was farther to the left than YOU will ever be.

    I, however, grew out of it.

  • Brutus||

    The couple of times I managed to watch it, the right-of-center characters were little more than cardboard cutouts wheeled in to offer up straw men for the rapier-witted southpaws to then steamroll. It was laughable and shallow.

  • Bill||

    Once you're at the Wall, you might as well be dead.

  • ||

    I just read Jane Fonda is going to be on the show....

    Three months after the series was picked up, Jane Fonda signed on to play the CEO of the fictional network's parent company, Leona Lansing

  • ||

    I'm waiting for Adam Baldwin to sign on as the irritated, overly rational guy with a gun who walks into the newsroom and just shoots all the fuckers in it, thus ending the show.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I don't think they're going to hand the show over to Joss Whedon, no matter how bad it does.

    I would watch that episode, though.

  • ||

    And you know what? He'd shoot them with an (a) illegally purchased and (b) illegally automatic gun, too. And it would be with armor-piercing ammo. And he'd have unregistered explosives on him. And he'd be an IRS-evader. That would be cool.

  • ||

    Ha! Thanks for outing yourself, Scott; I knew your name was familiar. I recall with great nostalgia the Mighty Big TV boards, back when Television Without Pity was just the tag line.

  • Scott S.||

    Thanks!

  • Voros McCracken||

    I made it through 50 seconds of the above.

    OTOH, the Lifetime Movie Network may consistently be the most entertaining network on television.

  • ||

    Just watched it. Is it just me, or does the dialogue blow really, really badly?

  • Derek||

    I'm going to have to take umbrage with some of your positions here....

    "the average Joe has access to far more information now than he ever did in American history" .... well, the average Joe has access to far more information, but there's no real "qualification" to that information. Yes, there is a metaphorical firehouse of content available (I struggle to call it "information" since the Internet is far more full of DISinformation than actual information). People will post the most ridiculous content, and it will take on a life of its own, and the mindless sheeple will repeat it as authoritative fact, the next person will repeat it as such, and so on and so on.

    The Internet Age isn't all "sunshine, rainbows and unicorns" when it comes to people getting their hands on actual, legitimate, facts.

    "I would have given anything for her to spit back at him that they’ve been tweeting bits and pieces of the information they’ve gathered all afternoon in order to draw an audience for the show, but that wouldn’t have fit Sorkin’s narrative for how news is supposed to work."

    It also wouldn't have been very period-accurate for 2010. For 2012, sure? For 2010, still something of a nascent technology not entirely mainstream yet.

  • NotSure||

    This argument is the same that was made when the first books were printed in Europe, the peasants cannot fathom all these things, therefore its better for the information to be done by the right people.

    I for one prefer having the choice of reading even the most ridiculous content over only the pontificating news reader, claiming his own biases as the truth.

  • Derek||

    Nobody's implying you shouldn't have the right or the choice.

    But I don't necessarily agree that what we've ended up with is "better".

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Compared to what we had in the 50s, it's a veritable cornucopia.

  • Paul.||

    .... well, the average Joe has access to far more information, but there's no real "qualification" to that information. Yes, there is a metaphorical firehouse of content available (I struggle to call it "information" since the Internet is far more full of DISinformation than actual information). People will post the most ridiculous content, and it will take on a life of its own, and the mindless sheeple will repeat it as authoritative fact, the next person will repeat it as such, and so on and so on.

    You're getting dangerously close to repeating the canard that "America was much better off when we had one news show (Walter Cronkite) who spoon fed us the news and we were forced into one grand communal experience."

  • Derek Balling||

    I'm not saying "better", but I'm saying that I'm not sure honestly which is worse: "one true voice" or a multitude of voices, 3/4 of which are morons repeating crap that I have to keep linking to snopes.com to refute.

  • crazyfingers||

    lol snopes.com

  • ||

    the mindless sheeple

    yes that is what the problem is. We only need the cold rational hand of anonymous left wingers on blogs comments to inform us about how dumb everyone else is.

    Stick it up your ass.

  • Derek Balling||

    "anonymous left winger". Heh, that's funny.

    Let me make something clear: For me, Libertarians are anarchists who are too wimpy to pull the trigger. However small you think you want your government to be, I almost guarantee you it's two sizes larger than *I* want.

    I understand that you don't know me, and so I get why you'd assume that, but please don't preume to know my politics because of my TV viewing preferences. That's just presumptive.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    If it comes down to it, I'll fuck-well pull the trigger. It will be my last great act of defiance, in fact.

  • Derek Balling||

    Don't get me wrong, Libertarianism is a GREAT compromise between "what we've got" and "where I want to be", but the moral principles of libertarianism, if extended to their logical conclusions, demand anarcho-capitalism.

    But this verges off-topic at this point. :-)

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Moral? Sorry, I view politics as amoral.

  • Derek Balling||

    The belief that no person has the authority to tell someone else what they can/can-not do, so long as that action isn't harming someone (ie, the non-aggression principle) is a moral stance.

    Libertarianism may take that moral stance and make it political, but at the end of the day, that's a moral principle, and if you extend that to its logical conclusion, Libertarianism is just a stop-gap measure towards anarcho-capitalism (which I'm completely fine with, by the way, but just pointing it out).

  • ||

    I quoted "mindless sheeple" because i find it is left wingers use it more then any other crowd.

    Plus your claims that greater numbers of information sources for people to consume as being a bad thing seems to follow a more authoritarian type of thinking then your typical anarchist or libertarian.

    Maybe you are some sort of mutant anarchist. Whatever.
    You are still wrong. The threat of one "true" source of information is far worse then a bunch of conflicting sources that the "sheeple" must reason through.

  • Derek Balling||

    It's odd that you see it that way, because "sheeple" tends to be used derisively of people who FAVOR gov't intrusion and regulation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheeple

    Your position assumes that the sheep WILL "reason through" them. Here's a hint for you in case you haven't been looking at the internet for the past decade: they don't "reason" through shit. They'll still mindlessly repeat nonsense that some pseudoscientist has given false credence to, spout it as fact, convince their friends, and then all of a sudden "vaccinations cause autism", or "no amount of salt is good for you", or any of the various bullshit I find on my co-workers' facebook walls that I try futilely to refute with actual scientific knowledge.

    I'm not saying "one true source is better", at all. I'm saying that "one true source" and "the cacophony we have now" are equally useless towards actual communication amongst society.

  • Derek||

    (continuing, damned limits on comment sizes)

    "At one point MacHale and McAvoy are half-arguing/half-pontificating about how polarized American opinion has become (treated as a fact without any consideration that Americans now have more avenues than ever to express their opinions)"

    If you can't see that Americans have become polarized, then perhaps you need to re-examine the culture you live in. Yes, there are far more opinions out there, and avenues to learn about the state of the world from, but the VAST majority of Americans still come down on one of the two sides of the polarized spectrum. And we can wish it weren't so, or that those of us off to one side of that polarization were more numerous than we are, but we're not. And mocking someone for pointing it out doesn't get us anywhere.

  • ||

    I don't think he's mocking Sorkin for pointing out the polarization. He is mocking him for being a fucwit who thinks polarization is bad, since it's an indicator of people thinking for themselves.

  • Derek||

    Well, he says "treated as fact" as though to imply that the polarization of American opinion ISN'T fact, so the sentence as written attacks the truth of the statement.

  • ||

    Well, yeah, because "polarization" isn't just bad, it's concern junkie talk for "refusing to take direction from the NYT editorial board."

  • T o n y||

    Polarization is the opposite of consensus-building which is how modern democratic societies must operate. It's a bit of a misleading term, but not inaccurate. One side has become evermore extreme (with the same feedback mechanism any cult has--more and purer must always be better), and thus they have grown into a threat, forcing thoughtful people on the other side to entrench--to forgive their own politicians for things they'd flame at the other side for, because the greatest threat of all is from the extremists gaining power. It's not just polarization, it's ideological civil war, and there's a reason participants in wars tend not to be wishy-washy about whether their side wins. There are undecideds, but I think it's been demonstrated that those are just the least politically aware people. Which, I suppose, is better than being very aware of a bunch of lies.

  • ||

    When you compile a list of your sexual partners, Tony, and you place "right hand" and "left hand" on it, does it gratify you to see a grand total of two items on the list?

  • T o n y||

    Pretty exclusively a lefty. Amazing how the internet will do that. I used to keep a list... but my bf kept breaking in to my computer to find it and get updates.

  • ||

    It was fake, obviously, since it listed fictional people instead of the various quadrupedal farm animals people with any knowledge of you would expect.

  • T o n y||

    None I would describe as such. I'm very picky. My type is "just shy of unobtainable."

    But you called me beanstalk and I have a huge dick so I was just wondering.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    One side has become evermore extreme (with the same feedback mechanism any cult has--more and purer must always be better), and thus they have grown into a threat,

    That's definitely true of progressives.

  • ||

    Polarization is the opposite of consensus-building which is how modern democratic societies must operate.

    I think I would prefer a post-modern democratic society. The left use to think (or pretended to think) the same thing.

    Diversity and all that shit.

    Perhaps by 'Polarization' you are simply meaning the dwindling left rushing to authoritarianism.

  • Dan Bongard||

    "American opinion is polarized" is a reasonable statement. "American opinion has become polarized", on the other hand, simply reveals that the speaker has never picked up a history book.

    Wake me when Congressmen go back to clubbing each other with walking sticks.

  • ||

    Pretty much what I picture, too, when thinking about polarization in American politics. Like negative campaign ads, or money in politics, it's not a recent development.

  • ||

    If you can't see that Americans have become polarized, then perhaps you need to re-examine the culture you live in.

    I think Declaration of Independents is required reading for any Reason Writer. You might consider reading it. It says that there are more independents then in a long fucking time.

    Democrats and republicans are probably more polarized then before...of course this does not make the country more polarized...in fact it is probably a reaction by the two parties having to cover more ground because the electorate have become more diverse in their politics...plus dying animals tend to let out shrill screams.

    Sorkin is full of shit and does not know what is going on in the county. He is just one of those dying animals screaming.

  • Derek Balling||

    Yes, there are more.

    And we're still, in case you've been missing the polling numbers, a shocking goddamned minority.

    If Democrats and Republicans are polarized, and they make up even 80% of the population, it's fair to say "American opinion is polarized".

  • ||

    80% of the population

    You are wrong:

    http://www.people-press.org/files/legacy/517-1.gif

    Both the poles have shrunk and the largest group is the independents.

    I should also point out that the graph is of voters. You can't even get 80% of the population to vote let alone identify with a political party.

  • Derek Balling||

    But my statement "we are a minority" still stands. We are.

    We may represent the plurality (but, we'll see ... I'll be you good chunks of those "independents" vote with a Major Party come October), but we still represent a minority stake.

    We may be ~40%, but 60% (ie, a majority) is polarized.

  • RCR||

    Holy hell. Shocked--another journalist that hates The Newsroom. In fact, reception to the show has been overwhelmingly positive, except, of course, among journalists.

    I disagreed with 90% of the ideology in the West Wing. But, for Christ's sake, can't we just watch a show and just enjoy it?

    I didn't agree with torture and bending the rules, but I loved 24. I don't believe in a higher power or our souls moving on, but I loved Lost's finale. I often don't agree with Jon Stewart, but the Daily Show is funny. Gregory House was a jerk and no doctor I'd want, but the show was a lot of fun. The characters on Community are idiots that I wouldn't want as friends, but it's a fantastic show. The Office US/UK is full of unlikable people--and hilarious. I don't believe in vigilante justice, nor the death penalty, but Dexter is one of the best shows on TV. Vampire's and Werewolf's are ridiculous, but True Blood is entertaining. Person of Interest is a scary portrayal of big brother, but it's a kick. Boss has NO ONE to root for, yet it's great. No one on Girls is likable, yet I enjoy it.

    I wish people would just shut up with their critiques of Sorkin. Any show on TV could be picked apart. Do these people enjoy anything?

  • ||

    It sounds like you enjoy everything.

  • RCR||

    I think there's more good television out there now than good films. I go to the movies less and watch more TV.

    My point was that I don't necessarily agree with the setting or ideas of the material that I enjoy, yet with Sorkin that seems to be only how he is judged.

    Did Shackford like 24? Or did he dislike it because it glorified torture and breaking the law--even good ones.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Is Boss good? I saw an ad for it recently, and it looks kinda' cool. I'll set the DVR right now.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I've been watching the first season and I enjoy it.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I think we found Sorkin's audience.

    Kidding (sort of), but you understand that some people will be turned off by shows that have very little in the way of likeable or relatable characters, right? That some people don't enjoy ideological morality plays wrapped up as drama?

    IMO, this transcends politics. I didn't enjoy Atlas Shrugged for that very reason.

  • RCR||

    I do, and that's why the tone of, say, The Office (US) changed so much in Season 2. US audiences are much more interested in likability than British audiences. But I think Sorkin does have some valid things to say, and I don't know that it's inherently bad that there's a group of people that are influential and want to do their job well--even if there's an ideological divide between the characters and the viewer. If you don't like being preached at and you don't think it's good, then fine. But a majority of the bad I have been reading has been from those being critiqued (journalists) and those who don't like Sorkin's POV (non liberals)

  • Zuul mothafucka Zuul||

    How can anyone enjoy girls?

  • ||

    ^^^This!!!

    The only thing that kept me going back week after week was the hope that any of the three somewhat attractive main characters (Shoshanna, Marnie, British chick) would get naked, only to be horribly disgusted when it was Hannah going topless week in, week out.

  • Voros McCracken||

    "I disagreed with 90% of the ideology in the West Wing. But, for Christ's sake, can't we just watch a show and just enjoy it?"

    Yes. Hell, one of my favorite Album's all time is Entertainment!, and that bad boy was a full on Marxist screed.

    This? Not so much.

    What really bothers me is that stuff like this is called "intelligent" and stuff like the Crank movies are called "brainless," when the reality is that it takes far more intellectual creativity to make the latter work than it is to make "smart people talking smart" shows.

    If you can give me art, give me art. If you can give me entertainment, give me that. If you can't give me either, give me the remote.

  • ||

    Hi five on Entertainment!

  • ||

    I loved 24

    I loved Lost's finale

    Community [is] a fantastic show

    But all those shows sucked. And not because of politics or religion.

  • RCR||

    The point of West Wing wasn't that we should all be liberals and be in favor of liberal polices and politicians. It was that people in important positions should want to be exceptional at their job and do good.

    They also say to write what you know. Sorkin's a liberal. That he'd write a show about liberals is no surprise. (It's more of a surprise that Lawrence O'Donnell had Arnold Vinick winning the Season 7 election until John Spencer died, and he didn't want two straight bummers to end the series--Leo's death and Josh losing.)

    I know PLENTY of people ideologically opposed to Aaron Sorkin who have loved all of his works.

    The bigger question is how many liberals would enjoy his work if Sorkin were conservative or libertarian? My guess--not many. In fact, I'd bet the show wouldn't even get greelighted.

  • T o n y||

    Could be a liberal cabal keeping conservative and libertarian artists out of work, or it could be that there are no talented conservatives and libertarians. The good thing about being a liberal is that it is actively nondoctrinaire, laughable as most here probably think of that claim. Liberals, if not always successful, hold a pragmatic assessment of policy results as a part and parcel of their political belief system. In other words, they are open to new ideas more than other groups--and research has confirmed this. Thus more likely to be writers and artists. I'd be fascinated to see another version of the West Wing about a Republican administration written by a Republican. The idea is not conceptually absurd at all, only realistically so.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "In other words, they are open to new ideas as long as those ideas involve higher taxes, more government control, and double helpings of both at regular intervals.

    FIFY'd, no charge.

  • T o n y||

    When you're cleaning up the carnage and waste left behind from the last guy whose main policy goals were to lower taxes and ease regulations, what the fuck do you think liberals would be focused on?

    Not that there's any point in talking to you. You are utterly incapable of seeing anything as more nuanced than its most extreme caricature.

  • ||

    If I hand you a realistic doll, will you be able to show me which orifice the evil capitalist inserted the monocle?

  • Dan Bongard||

    You think George Bush eased regulations? That's so cute!

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have mandatory Sarbanes-Oxley training scheduled for this afternoon...

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Ugh. Have fun.

  • T o n y||

    Clinton did too, probably more directly contributing to the financial crisis. Bush mostly lacked the will to enforce. There was a general zeitgeist since Reagan. But incremental steps--no matter how large--don't count in libertaria. The free market only works once everything is perfectly set up from the ground up--I get it. Such a productive use of time thinking about it.

  • ||

    Clinton did too, probably more directly contributing to the financial crisis.

    Weird how this statement can be considered an improvement for you Tony and yet moves you further away from libertarians.

    You openly admit a Democrat did wrong...and yet the wrong is easing regulations....

    Were Carter's deregulations bad as well?

    Nixon ended the draft. Was that bad?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Who is going to fix the carnage and waste after Obama leaves office?

    Not that there's any point talking to you.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    BTW... I've met literally dozens of people like you, Tony, and it's no "caricature" - they ALL sound like you, and none of them were ever in favor of anything even remotely libertarianish.

    Also, they were all dour, humorless, nasty-tempered fuckheads. Again, just like you.

    So, if you don't like the caricature... either change your outlook, or move along to another comment board.

    Seriously, at this point in my life, if I had to choose between a liberal politician and a far-right politician, and was not allowed to vote third-party or a write-in... I'd just fucking shoot myself. Really, I would. I see no difference in how much liberty my eventual grandchild will have (yes, my son and his lady are filthy breeders), and I didn't have the heart to tell him he's made a horrible mistake bringing a child into the fucked-up future world (thanks to the Teams)... I'm seriously wondering if I want to live past fifty, myself.

  • Brutus||

    Insane.

  • Tejicano||

    "In other words, they are open to new ideas more than other groups..."

    I was raised a Unitarian and understand the liberal mindset from the inside. Through contact with friends/family who are still with that mindset I can tell you that there has been very little change in the 30 some odd years since I broke away.

    You are freaking deluded.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    He has been for years.

    Me, at least I grew out of it... by high school, I had given up my desire to learn Russian and move to the Soviet Union.

  • Killazontherun||

    A lefty friend of mine, who happens to be a super nice guy who has never condescended to anyone in his life, the anti-T o n y if you will, liked to make this quip, 'I use to be a socialist when I was younger but I've grown conservative with age, now I'm a democrat.' I hated to inform him of this, but that was my exact line, when I was sixteen.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So, in his mind, "grow[ing] 'conservative'" from socialism... is to become a Democrat?

    A mere pubic-hair width of difference between.

    Cue Tony in 3...2...

  • Tejicano||

    Yeah. I would have said he is out of his mind if he had ever given evidence that he possesed one to begin with.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It IS possible to go from being a socialist (or a far-right fuckbag), to a sensible human being.

    Some people, however, are lost causes.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I watched the pilot episode. It's watchable if you actively root against Jeff Daniels' character.

    The premise is ludicrous. They're rehashing old news? The Gulf oil spill is a terrible place to start. The premise of the pilot is they're rushing to get the story out on the first night as though it's life or death.

    A) You're reporting the news not doing open heart surgery. Calm the fuck down.

    2) We know that it actually turns out to be a months-long story so no one gives a shit what they heard about the spill that first night.

    III) You made the character a Republican but gave him no reason to be a Republican. He either has to be small government or a social conservative (if not try to be both). As far as I can tell, he's neither. It's a cheap ploy to give cover to spouting leftist positions.

    If I wanted to watch someone jerk off for an hour, I can find internet sites, thanks.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    If I wanted to watch someone jerk off for an hour, I can find internet sites, thanks.

    Like this one?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I shan't be clicking that.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Come on. Do it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    IT'S A TRAP!!!!

    /Admiral Ackbar

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Pssh! Not even.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Son of a diddly, I clicked it.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Gojira burned me with this a couple of months ago. I've been waiting to get someone else. I feel... satisfied. ;)

  • ||

    Frack you!

  • ||

    Good call. It's not Lemon Party or 2 Girls 1 Cup, man -- it's much worse than that.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Shit. I'd never heard of "lemon party", so I just *had* to Urban Dictionary it... thanks shitloads, Res.

    *barf*

  • Tulpa the White||

    He either has to be small government or a social conservative

    Neocons aren't Republicans?

  • DGH||

    Perfect:
    "Where Daddy Newscaster told us what the world was like and we sat there and listened and didn’t have all these terrible polarizing arguments about what the truth is and what the facts actually are and noticing that everybody has agendas, not just evil corporations and Republican politicians?"

  • ant1sthenes||

    (this show is based far enough in the past so Sorkin can use the show as a pulpit for how he thinks real news should have been covered without having to face the risk of possibly being wrong

    Cool, will his fictional show be covering Fast and Furious the whole time it was being investigated by Congress, or just when President Obama decided to stick his dick into it?

  • Brutus||

    They'll cover the details of the Fast and Furious 6 production before they'll cover Holder's gun-running operation.

  • Finchster||

    Seven minutes of recycled Sorkin dialogue:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/bfeld/.....n-dialogue

  • Killazontherun||

    Checked the numbers on the show, for a debut it falls smack in the middle. Some successful series like TrueBlood had far more dismal starts.

    http://www.deadline.com/2012/0.....on-sorkin/

    For your entertainment via a delusional leftist prining for an elitist utopia of a workplace, I give you Red from the comments:

    Thanks so much to everyone involved in bringing intelligent, scripted drama back to the tube. Loved the writing, the performances, the fact this was set around the oil spill and reminded us just what a travesty that still is….everything.

    Felt they undermined the Mackenzie character in the final scene by the elevator – she’s been in a war zone so would imagine she has balls of steel and wouldn’t become teary when discussing the past. Apart from that, I just loved it.

    Thanks particularly to Aaron Sorkin for incredibly smart dialogue and thought provoking subjects. And particular thanks to Jeff Daniels and Sam Waterston for outstanding performances.
    Comment by Red — Monday June 25, 2012 @ 1:03pm PDT


  • Killazontherun||

    a delusional leftist prining for an elitist utopia of a workplace, I give you Red from the comments

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Red sounds like Tony.

  • Brutus||

    They're all open-minded and tolerant, you know, particularly of those that are in lockstep with them. But if you want a 20oz Mt. Dew with your unfiltered Camel, welllll...externalities, mister.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "My body, my choice" only applies to activities approved of by liberals.

  • ||

    she’s been in a war zone so would imagine she has balls of steel

    Wasn't she also described as "exhausted" from doing that for 3 years? I am pretty sure she is described that way two or three times in the episode.

    Don't war zones have a tendency of making people into emotional wreaks?

    Maybe this comment is a farce?

  • BarryD||

    Does anyone with an IQ over 80 watch TV any more?

  • Trespassers W||

    Yes. They do show old movies and reruns of Cheers, after all.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    So HBO cuts Bored to Death and makes this?

  • ||

    McAvoy’s rant ultimately leads to most of his staff abandoning him for a new show on the same network and his boss, Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston, engaged in a permanent "Who's a http://www.ceinturesfr.com/cei.....-c-27.html bigger blowhard?" fight with Daniels), bringing in McAvoy’s ex-girlfriend Mackenzie MacHale (Emily Mortimer as some sort of human blur) to get McAvoy’s show back on track.

  • Lewis H||

    Sorkin is a fricken genius.

  • josh||

    it's amazing to see how much a show can be so incredibly miscontrued and dissected to the point that it loses all its finer points. it might turn out to be a bad show, but the first episode was fantastic. sorkin has his flaws, but i've rarely seen reviewers choose to focus almost exclusively on them rather even attempt objectivity.

    i'm beginning to think one of the problems is no one wants to hear just how bad things have become, and they'll crucify anyone who decides to point it out.....especially those who dare to be entertaining too.

  • A Serious Man||

    Right, kind of like how I can objectively say that Leni Riefenstahl was one of the greatest directors ever based on the artistic merits of her documentaries.

  • triclops||

    being preachy or predictable is boring. being preachy and predictable is a death sentence.
    everyone knows sorkin's game this time, so the shine is off.
    the show will die, sux if you like it.

  • Derek Balling||

    A death sentence, really?

    West Wing, it could be argued, was both preachy and mostly predictable, but it ran seven seasons (the holy grail of television broadcasting is to get seven full seasons, as it's the syndication sweet-spot).

    So, just saying, your poignant analysis of "what works on TV" might not in fact be all that spot-on.

  • Killazontherun||

    Bostonian sports fans pissed. Point goes to Obama on this one.

    http://boston.cbslocal.com/201.....-youkilis/

    Being booed was probably the last thing President Barack Obama expected from the crowd at a Symphony Hall fundraiser Monday night, but that happened when the president “thanked” Boston for Kevin Youkilis, who was just traded to the Chicago White Sox.

    “I’m just saying, he’s going to have to change the color of his socks,” the president said laughing.

    Why I'm up? The kid loves to wake up around this time crying for a diaper change. So lucky.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "“I’m just saying, he’s going to have to change the color of his socks,” "

    :O OMG RACIST

    "the president said laughing."

    . . . OH, nevermind.

  • jason||

    This is the story of whole american news channels they are crying for no cause,

  • yantodant||

    SOunds like a plan to me dude. Wow.

    www.Dot-Anon.tk

  • nike air max mens||

    It is a layman’s amateur argument. Oftentimes, I write about people who are smarter than I am and know more than I do, and I am able to do that simply by being tutored almost phonetically, sometimes. I’m used to it. I grew up surrounded by people who are smarter than I am, and I like the sound of intelligence. I can imitate that sound, but it’s not organic. It’s not intelligence. It’s my phonetic ability to imitate the sound of intelligence.

  • Finchster||

  • Sordid Business||

    " .... well, the average Joe has access to far more information, but there's no real "qualification" to that information. Yes, there is a metaphorical firehouse of content available (I struggle to call it "information" since the Internet is far more full of DISinformation than actual information). People will post the most ridiculous content, and it will take on a life of its own, and the mindless sheeple will repeat it as authoritative fact, the next person will repeat it as such, and so on and so on.

    The Internet Age isn't all "sunshine, rainbows and unicorns" when it comes to people getting their hands on actual, legitimate, facts."

    There are as many legitimate, old fashioned books on the internet as there are in any but the largest library. There are millions of them, available legitimately, for free. And I'm just talking about the ones that are easily accounted for: Google Books, archive.org, Project Gutenberg and so on.

    In fact, most of the world's knowledge up to 1923 is available if you have the inclination to look for it. And the only reason the later stuff isn't available is because copyright prevents it.

    I realize that no one likes to talk about these boring facts. Why do that when you can bitch about Twitter being shallow, right? But they are facts nonetheless.

    Your problem isn't that the knowledge isn't available. It's that it isn't being spoon-fed to the masses by the right people.

  • maq580||

    So I don't get what the point is of this revue? What is the writer's alternatives for a perfect information media?? Seems like the media is filled with fools who make shit up and we're fools to believe it unless it reflects the Libertarian view of everyone lies and therefore everything we know is wrong. Old approaches to news reporting is bad. New informational gathering from the Internet is good? Really??? All Blogs and Everything on Wikipedia that appears out of thin air on the computer machine is pure truth??? -- Sorry Scott Shackford. Typically Libertarian, you don't think things through.

  • Knoss||

    A media that investigates one dead end after another. Watch 'All the President's Men' they could spend a whole season on one issue.

  • LucidThought||

    Obnoxious sermonizing aside, the thing that makes Sorkin's work so unwatchable is the "spitting out... improbably memorized" dialogue style in which he writes. Nowhere in the real world do people speak as in an Aaron Sorkin script. Everything he does plays like Neil Simon on crack, which, given Sorkin's history, might not be far from the truth.

  • deneicy||

    Sorkin asks, “Is government an institute for good or is it every man for himself?" Question of the day, answered by Shackford in his REASON bio. He's a libertarian who probably hated the show before he saw a single frame.

    And I'm a bleeding heart liberal who likes WHAT the characters say but not HOW they say it in "THE NEWSROOM." The machine-gun banter seems contrived, the over-stylish speeches, not even close to realistic, and some supporting actors border on caricature.

    The show needs to breeeathe or in print parlance, a little white space on the page, please.

  • D.K Wilson||

    Q: What is the missing element in Scott Shackford's "what it takes to be a journalist" description? A: Many people "learn very quickly" and possess "internal drive," but very few can write in a way that stirs the minds and/or hearts of readers.

  • GlenchristLaw||

    So many comments and no one -- no one? -- reminisces about how Alan Alda so thoroughly cleaned Jimmy Smits' clock in the gimmicky "live debate" that Sorkin had to literally insert a nuclear disaster to obtain the obligatory Dem victory?

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