The only reason I ordered HBO was to watch The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin’s second take on the world of broadcast news (the first being the too-short-lived and very, very good SportsNight, which aired for three seasons on ABC), so when the reviews came out and they were… uh… let’s just call it “less than glowing with praise,” I was disappointed.
I didn’t need to be.
Sure, the dialog is more like a series of monologues, and some of the characters are a bit overwrought with grief about the death of the teevee newses in this country, but some of that was legit; everyone who ever got a degree in journalism had some of that idealism when they started. And sure, the lead character Will McAvoy, played quite well by our old favorite Jeff Daniels, in the opening scene laments the death of an America that never was, to wit:
Overall, this is a good show. The casting is sublime and well-thought, though I feel Sam Waterston’s part could have been played a bit more effectively by someone else — not unlike how I felt about Robert Guillaume in SportsNight. And while pontificating in the news room or holding an anchor ransom over communications between the control room and the studio is not something that happened, ever, and certainly not with 20 seconds to air, the show delivers on its primary purpose, which is to give a bit of a “what it’s like” to folks who have never been in a newsroom.
I sincerely don’t understand the furor. It’s a television show. It’s there for entertainment, not to be a teevee news making simulator. Christ, just watch it and shut up, or don’t watch it and shut up.
Of course, Dan Rather wrote this better than I ever could have. He’s seen more newsrooms than those bloggers who spent the better part of next week ripping Aaron Sorkin and his new show.
On to the links:
CNN’s ratings dropped 40% from last year. That’s, uh, a lot. Rather predictably, the higher ups at the
Clinton Cable News Network invoked the spirit of Will McAvoy, the patron saint of heavy-handed pontificating about the importance of news that is non-partisan. And while they’re not wrong that pandering to an audience like the Right-wing, birther-believing mouth-breathers who watch Fox, or the one-issue hacktivist Libtards who watch MSNBC does make a news organization’s job easier by a matter of degrees, it’s not like CNN is completely even-handed, and if ratings keep falling like they did this time you can expect much more sensationalist coverage down the road.
The big news this week was that Facebook replaced all of our plebeian email addresses with @Facebook.com email addresses on our public profile, just another in a long line of Facebook taking liberties with our pages that we were not notified about. Who’s surprised? Facebook is the Honey Badger, and it just don’t give a fuck. Also, I hear Honey Badgers REALLY like Timeline.
It’s not a secret that the state of Colorado is currently burning; those of us in the front range smell the smoke every morning, lots of people have been evacuated from their homes, and people are losing everything they’ve ever owned. This is a tragedy. That’s why I got so fucking pissed off yesterday when I saw someone, who shall remain nameless, pleading on Facebook for Coloradans not to post anything about how the state is burning to the fucking ground because “it can hurt the tourism industry” in the mountains. Are you kidding me? The tourism industry in the mountains was already hopelessly fucked because of the shit snowfall we had last winter, which is informing this problem with the wildfires, so just fucking deal with it. You know some people are dealing with the loss of their HOMES. Maybe you could be a bit more sensitive to that fact.
A melancholy Happy Trails to Nora Ephron. A pioneer in writing and directing, the When Harry Met Sally screenwriter passed yesterday at the age of 71 after a prolonged battle with myelodysplasia, a blood disorder. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.
One final note: We had planned on having Daily Dickpunch – Vagina Edition next week, but due to circumstances beyond our control, that’s been tabled indefinitely. First, it was kind of a dick move to give the ladies a short week because of a holiday, which we didn’t even think about. Second, our ladywriters have various things going on with their own blogs and lives and couldn’t drop everything to help out a couple of fart joke enthusiasts.
The site will be mostly dark next week because FREEDUMB and LIBERTEEZ, plus most of you are going to be decidedly NOT reading shit online. There may be a post or two, but to avoid disappointment, don’t surf in expecting anything from us.
Enjoy Wednesday, folks.