The Newsroom's Will McAvoy vs. Anchorman's Ron Burgundy

The second season of HBO's "The Newsroom" is premiering on July 14th, and if it's anything like the first season, the scathing commentary on the state of journalism today will be unrelenting and painful. Here are five reasons why "The Newsroom" is an insult to journalism (trailer here):

1. New media should be celebrated, not treated with contempt.

The show vilifies new media. The anchor, Will McAvoy, is extremely reluctant to adapt to the times and is bitterly reverential about the good old days when you could only get three versions of the news.

2. Journalists are not the "intellectual elite".

Will and his team think that he is god’s greatest gift to mankind and that his viewpoint is beyond reproach, and he therefore doesn’t offer contending views.

3. Good journalists have to work hard and be committed to reporting.

The News Night team doesn’t see a need to go out and get stories. The reporters rely primarily on luck and pre-existing knowledge.

4. There is always bias in media, you just need to be upfront about it.

Will claims to be a Republican but his story choices indicate the opposite. He repeatedly claims that the tea party is taking over the world and that this is the most pressing story on the docket.

5. Journalists do make mistakes, and they should take responsibility for them.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    From what I've seen of it, The Newsroom has absolutely nothing to offer anyone other than the left. Their complaint about the state of journalism seems to be that it's not unabashedly left wing enough.

    I actually kind of liked The West Wing. Democrats are often more fun to watch, even if you disagree with virtually everything they do, which I do. And on that show they eventually brought on a character to offer opposing viewpoints that weren't complete caricature.

  • Tim||

    It's the sort of hard hitting news drama Michael Bay would produce...

    If news was read by giant robots.

  • ||

    If news was read by giant robots, I might take it more seriously.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Well, we're halfway there.

  • DontShootMe||

    Just need to make the robots bigger?

  • Mustakrakish||

    Pardon me, barkley03.

    Can you be classified as "giant?"

  • np||

    Introducing CITIZEN KOCH

    who wants to contribute to this Kickstarter project?
    C'mon people, don't let them hijack our democracy!

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    I got your Citizen Kock right here! *insert obscene gesture*

  • lap83||

    Why do liberals never see the irony in asking for money in order to tell the world about the evils of other people who provide things in exchange for money.

  • Hash Brown||

    Because PROFITS!

    Korporashuns are beholden to Stockholders. But We are beholden to Only Ourselves the Good of Society.

  • John||

    And remember, we can raise money to make movies to slander the Kochs, but the Kochs even thinking about buying a newspaper is horrible.

  • ||

    Those people are fucking retarded.

    PBS deciding not funding your art project is not them "censoring" you.

  • John||

    Of course it is. Just like anyone who says the NEA shouldn't have funded Piss Christ is just a censor who wants to set up a theocracy.

    If you have to pay for it yourself, you are not free to do it silly.

  • ||

    Damn, I always forget that. Back to the reeducation center for me I suppose.

  • Inigo M.||

    And don't forget that if you are reluctant to pay for the contraception or the abortion of a woman you don't know and have never even met, it means you are anti-women and that you also want to ban contraceptives, you hopelessly antiquated misogynist you!

  • ||

    It turns out that David Koch is a donor to PBS flagship stations WNET and WGBH and on their board of trustees. And without lifting a finger or even taking out his checkbook, Koch was able to influence funding and programming decisions at public television. And our film was effectively censored.

    So, IOW, the evil Koch brothers didn't even do anything, the bureaucrats at PBS did. Cool story bro.

  • dinkster||

    Why $75 for a download or DVD?

    That about sums it up. Their justification for the high price. They are evil capitalists.

  • dinkster||

    The filmmakers will personally deliver a collection of their favorite CITIZEN KOCH kickstarter rewards and screen the film with you in person in your home! They'll even cook!

    If only some wealthy libertarian would back them then have them come over and brow beat them with bastiat quote.

  • OneOut||

    I hope you didn't get any public money in the first place. Why should public money be used to fund your one sided political hit piece ?

    Why should people organized as a union enjoy political funding rights that are denied to other people who are organized as a corporation ? What's good for the goose is good for the gander. The real problem is the system of legalized bribery that politicians, especially Congress, have engineered for themselves.

    Methinks this might be the wrong web site to come to with hat in hand crying about losing public tax dollars to fund your political baby.

  • Daniel||

    If you watch MSNBC right now, you can get a preview of Newsroom season 3....

  • ||

    If we're talking about Will Ferrell...

  • John||

    Anchorman or How Ted Baxter moved to San Diego.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    At the Pew-Pew-Pew poll: no one likes journalists and they like them less than four years ago.
    Being the King's stenographer is always a thankless job.

  • ||

    It must be exhausting in Aaron Sorkin's fevered little brain, constantly fighting with the strawmen and fantasy conservatives that live there.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||


    Will McAvoy: What does winning look like to you?
    Mackenzie MacHale: Reclaiming the fourth estate. Reclaiming journalism as an honorable profession. A nightly newscast that informs a debate worthy of a great nation. Civility, respect and a return to what's important; the death of bitchiness; the death of gossip and voyeurism; speaking truth to stupid. No demographic sweet spot; a place where we can all come together.
    Will McAvoy: Okay. Here are some things done on American soil in the name of Christianity. The Ku Klux Klan burned down black churches, raped women, murdered civil rights workers, murdered children and terrorized communities for over a century. The Neo Nazis all acted and continue to act in the name of white Christian supremacy. The Army of God fatally attacks abortion clinics and doctors across the country. The Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord targets local police and federal agents. The federal building in Oklahoma City. The attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan and the successful assassinations of Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, John Lennon, and Abraham Lincoln, all perpetrated by Christians. Miss Greer, we weren't attacked by Muslims, we were attacked by sociopaths, and I for one would join you in protesting a community center for the criminally insane, but no one is suggesting building one.
  • John||

    Holy Shit. Forget for a moment how stupid all that is. Just because the ideas expressed are idiotic doesn't mean the dialog expressing them has to be. That reads like something an 8th grader would write to put on at the local Montesori school. What turgid, limp crap.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Turgid and limp? These don't go together.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    Sure they do. The dialogue hides weak arguments and beliefs behind excessively masturbatory language and grandstanding.

  • Hash Brown||


  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    You wish.


    Mackenzie: What's the difference between a corporation and a person?

    Sloan Sabbith: Have you ever held a door open for some one?

    Mackenzie: Yes.

    Sloan: Did you ask them for money first?

    Mackenzie: No.

    Sloan: That's the difference.
  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Will McAvoy: I only seem liberal because I believe that hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure and not gay marriage.

  • Scooby||

    Did he really say hurricanes were from HIGH barometric pressure? Yes, you seem liberal because you are scientifically illiterate.

  • Kevin47||

    That does seem to be an actual quote.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    now that's funny

  • MJGreen||

    Don't forget Sloan saying that every great achievement between WWII and the 90s was due to Glass-Steagal.

  • Knoss||

    Every HBO show makes reference to Glass-Steagal. I think they get their fact checkers from Bill Maher.

  • MJGreen||

    I also wonder what goes on in Sorkin's head when he hears about something like Walmart donating huge resources to relief efforts.

  • tarran||

    That the corporations are diabolically dissembling to make themselves appear less evilly corporationy.

  • StackOfCoins||

    THIS, a thousand times. To the untrained mind, no enemy can do any good, because there's always an agenda. When it's a powerfully rich enemy doing things with money, it's even more vile.

    Results don't matter, only intentions.

  • Knoss||

    What about non for profits, and in Mexico locals ask for tips if they open a door for you.

  • NL_||

    Except that holding doors open for people is actually a profession that humans engage in. So does this mean every doorman is really just a corporation disguised in a human suit? Or is it actually possible that the kind things we all do sporadically can be monetized by providers who perform them consistently and professionally?

  • ThatSkepticGuy||


  • Bryan C||

    Mackenzie: Knock knock.

    Sloan: Who's there?

    Mackenzie: Banana.

  • ||

    Was...was Lee Harvey Oswald a Christian? I thought he was a communist and actually lived in the Soviet Union for a time? Did Sorkin really write something that stupid?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    And Timothy McVeigh was a lapsed Catholic who said his religion was science.

  • John||

    And if I am not mistaken Eric Rudolph is an atheist. I don't think his objection to abortion or desire to blow shit up had anything to do with religion.

  • John||

    Yes, he was a communist who had defected to the USSR and was pissed about Kennedy's treatment of Castro. And yeah, Sorkin along with nearly every other liberal of his ilk is really that stupid. Rewriting the history of Oswald making him a rightwing Christian is part of the liberal prayer book.

  • ||

    I mean, I know they do this, but...holy shit. The ignorance--the willful, almost aggressive ignorance--is kind of scary. It's not like people can't check this stuff in a fraction of a second.

  • John||

    It is very scary. Facts don't matter. What matters is the narrative. The narrative says that Kennedy is a liberal saint and no communist or anyone on the left would murder a saint. So since Oswald killed Kennedy, he must have been a right wing Christian. He couldn't have been a communist.

    And they just repeat it to themselves over and over again. I can't tell you the number of times I seen casual references in newspapers and magazines to how "the rightwing killed Kennedy". If you and all of your friends believe it as the Gospel truth, it must be true.

    This is how people end up putting other people in ovens. It all starts with disbelieving reality when it conflicts with your ideology.

  • Killazontherun||

    They deny Kennedy was a cold warrior's cold warrior who pushed for confrontation in South East Asia, who was a personal friend of Joe McCarthy; they even concoct delusional conspiracy theories that JFK was assassinated because he was going up against the military industrial complex. What a fucking bunch of baloney to believe that! He was a product of that system and was their boy. He ran to the right of Nixon on nuclear armaments, for fucks sake!

    Sorkin lives in a bubble of smug condescension believing he is above the ignorant hoi polloi whereas he is nothing but a pig rutting in the mud himself.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "The narrative says that Kennedy is a liberal saint and no communist or anyone on the left would murder a saint. So since Oswald killed Kennedy, he must have been a right wing Christian. He couldn't have been a communist."

    Don't forget all the loons like Olly Stone who think Oswald was a hapless patsy of the EEEEEEVUL KKKORPRATIONZ and their cosnpiracy to eliminate JFK so they could start the Vietnam War.

  • Bryan C||

    Well put.

  • Knoss||

    Why do you think they hate the internet?

  • ||

    But c'mon. The Crusades. The...CRUSADES!

    /golf clap. Homer's monkey runs out of room in diapers.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    And of course most of those examples were done "in the name of" (since that's standard"McAvoy" uses) whiteness and/or nationalism, not Christianity.

    I have my own problems with Christianity and its vile morality, but"McAvoy" is just a retard.

  • ||

    What's so vile about the golden rule (the basic principle of Christianity)?

  • Acosmist||

    What vile morality?

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    Maybe he's referring all those parts in the holy text the entire religion is based off of that condone slavery, rape, stonings, dashing infants' heads ETC ETC ETC.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Hell, you could make a pretty solid case that the entire "love your enemies" and "turn the other cheek" is pretty morally vapid. In effect, it demands the victims sanction the aggressors.

  • grey||

    Sooo...we were not attacked by Muslims, but we have been under ceaseless Christian attack? I'm so confused.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Reclaiming the fourth estate

    Amusing that the character doesn't cite any commitment to liberty, or free exchange of information, but invokes the Ancien Regime as a defense of corporate media's stranglehold over journalism.

  • grey||

    "Amusing" or "Ass musings"?

  • XM||

    The assassins mentioned weren't trained, brainwashed and mandated by any church, a pastor, or a significant organization to assassinate people.

    Not a lot of people will be killed by thge KKK or some Neo Nazis. Or some militia types. The threat of these organizations must exist for the left so they can play the equivalency game.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I watched the first episode of Newsroom. Half of the episode wouldn't have happened if various people didn't mysteriously and inexplicably sell out their employers for no reason other than one was a producer's sister, another was the same producer's college roommate, and fuck if I could tell you the third.

    Sprinkle with a generous amount of "hurr-durr! Stupid internet people!" and you have Newsroom.

  • ||

    Mmmmmmmm! Tracy Oppenheimer! ;-)

    MOAR like this Reason!

  • John||


  • ||

    It worked for FOX.

  • John||

    Everyone loves a beautiful blond.

  • Free Society||

    Some blacks tend to resent such blondes for being so damn selfishly beautiful. Damn European conceptions of beauty, roaaar!

  • Idle Hands||

    So this is all the libertarian women I've been hearing about

  • ||

    There's like 3.

  • Idle Hands||

    I was attempting sarcasm and as I have yet to meet a woman in real life that harbors those sentiments besides the handful that comment here that number may be on the high side.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    My wife is slowly realizing her libertarian self. Last evening she discovered alcoholism was classified as a disease and is protected under the ADA. She started ranting about the govt and how stupid it was. Baby steps.

  • grey||

    Sometimes I think Mrs has almost arrived, then she says something like, "well if you don't have anything to hide, 'insert asnine spying program here'...".

  • ||

    Not sure about society at large, but yeah there are a number of female libertarians, especially among the young. I was at an IHS seminar last month, and the attendees were about 1/3 female. Not quite what I would like it to have been, but women weren't exactly scarce.

  • PH2050||

    You need to visit some college campuses. Not all of them are bastions of superior liberal thought and I've made quite a few libertarian friends.

  • Average Dude||

    "I'm not a baby, I am a man! I am an Anchorman!"

    - Ron Burgundy

  • timbo||

    Do reviews of leftist entertainment really need to be made?

    The news media smell their own farts for oxygen.

    "I want to be on you"

  • ChrisO||

    The difference between Will McAvoy and Ron Burgundy is that Burgundy says all that mindless blather with feeling.

  • Free Society||

    Tracy Oppenheimer, best tits at Reason magazine. I can't wait til she's a big time celebrity so that our noble popparazzi will stalk her in anticipation of bikini photos.

  • ||

    But you do realize that Anchorman made a final parting shot at Bush, right? For me, that was a low blow for such a good movie.

    "When in Rome..."

    "Yes, go on."

  • Libertarian Barbarian||

    I sure would like to fuck that Tracy Oppenheimer.

  • Finchster||

    This is the actual, honest to God trailer produced by HBO for season two of The Newsroom. Seriously. I'm not making this up. I have no words.

  • NL_||

    Aaron Sorkin makes entertaining stuff, but he can't possibly make anything that isn't self-righteous. If he wrote a chewing gum commercial you'd leave it thinking the guy buying gum sure is a pompous ass. It's a lot of posturing for its own sake, which is very appealing to a certain type of progressive who is desperate to make an impassioned lonely plea for some random principle.

    It gets old fast for somebody who isn't the self-aggrandizing bleeding heart type and who doesn't selfishly crave attention for being selfless.

  • NL_||

    And his disdain for others and their intelligence is pervasive. He thinks of people who disagree with him as stupid yokels easily distracted by mindless drivel - the voting public in American President, the anti-internet premise of Social Network, Bartlet's opponent in West Wing, and of course Sarah Palin in the imagined encounter of Bartlet and Obama. He just thinks people are idiots and so he frames a lot of his dialogue as either recitations of trivia (which does appeal to me, I admit) or lengthy self righteous diatribes against the mouth breathers.

  • Skip||

    I just read that stupid Bartlet and Obama thing.

    Acting like Palin is some religious right nutbag when she is more for decriminalization of pot than his hero Barry.....

    God what a tool.

  • ibanez165||

    I thought was a more Libertarian site? The Newsroom is a great show! They show you the hypocrisy and agendas of news. They all have financial backers and hidden agendas. That's why they threaten his job if he doesn't report exactly what the higher ups want. They also didn't report anything until they knew it was FACT. Great Show.

  • XM||

    A show in which the main character describes the Tea Party as the American Taliban won't gather much interest from the libertarian bunch.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "They show you the hypocrisy and agendas of news."

    Via replication, not satire.

  • Jason S.||

    That's why they threaten his job if he doesn't report exactly what the higher ups want.

    That was one of the only interesting pieces to the show.

    When the president of the news division confronts Jane Fonda and her son about the hacking of producer and editor cellphones -- that was pretty good.

    But the mock debate moderated by McAvoy was weirdly histrionic. The dick head "higher up" had a legit gripe about McAvoy's strategy.

  • Skip||

    I can't wait to see whose brother's cousin's girlfriend in the newsroom leaks the Romney 47% speech!

  • Flatulent Monkey||

    Against my better judgement I tried to watch an episode. I made it about as far as the apparently episodic references to Glass-Stegall. I could handle no more derp.

    I want to be a writer for this show, it seems that all you have to do is cut and paste progressive talking points from the NYT and HuffPo into something that resembles dialog and call it a day, easy money!

  • Finchster||

  • Jayburd||

    Thank-you Reaction Magazine for telling me what dogshit smells like. Normally when I get a glimpse of hot steamy poop I don't go anywhere near it. And I generally avoid places where it is found. Good thing we have people like Ms. O to poke at it, pick it up and examine it closely, sniff it and such, for us.

  • Jason S.||

    I love lamp.

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