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Originally posted at Voices on the Square, a new blog in the sphere featuring News, Information, and Fun!
Welcome to You're Doing It Wrong!, a weekly column taking the Powers That Be (PTB), especially the media and talking heads, to task for poor information and poor framing.

This week I’m building on the narrative from last week on the state of journalism in this country. I’m doing it because last Sunday I finally had the time to watch all the episodes that I had DVRd of the new show The Newsroom, and I’m giddy about it.

It’s a show that is about a fictional newsroom at a cable network. Granted it’s a drama, so its characters are going to have their share of personal story lines, but when it comes to showcasing the news and a newsroom, what goes on and more importantly what should be going on – this show gets as close to right as I’ve seen anything get.

The main protagonists are a big time but unhappy anchor who gets a new Executive Producer who convinces him that news can be successful when done truthfully. So they decide to do the actual news the way it should be done, damn the PTB and the ad execs and the network CEO and other various newsroom associate producers and employees.

They set out to do news as it’s supposed to be done: screw ruffling the PTBs feathers, whether that PTB is in political office or corporate representative. Screw the whole ‘there are 2 legitimate sides to every story’ bullshit, cuz there are many cases where the opposition has as much legitimacy in their arguments as the flat-earthers did once upon a time. Screw covering the fluff simply because it is “good television”. Screw showing deference to someone simply because of that person’s status. Ask the hard questions, call them on lies and inconsistencies, press for answers. And it’s a beautiful thing that unfolds once they decide to do the actual news.

I had a debate last week with some friends of mine about The Newsroom. A few of them were disappointed at what they perceived as deference to the president, but that’s not how I viewed the program. My argument was this:

The problem with us in this country is we've become downright accustomed to our news having a political lean one way or the other, and the corporate owned news orgs have been more than happy to keep perpetuating it, and they get more brazen with every year that passes. We’ve lost, and many of us have never known or barely remember the days when the news was news and oped was oped and there was a definitive bright line between it. Throw in the tabloidesqueness of it today, and the manufactured controversy, and that's a great deal of why we've become some of the lowest info people on the planet.
The news is not supposed to care who you are or what your party is. The news is not supposed to cover certain people favorably and other unfavorably; we’re just used to that in this country cuz that’s how it’s been done for the past couple decades. The news is not supposed to give the PTB deferential treatment. The news is not supposed to gin up attacks. The news is not supposed to manufacture controversy. Any editorialization in a newscast is supposed to be clearly marked so the viewer can discern between news and oped. The news is supposed to give you the facts and the context and let the viewer form his own opinions. The news is supposed to give we the people the information we need to make informed decisions when we participate in our democracy (or a democracy considering I don’t really consider us a democracy anymore).

Now, as I said before, it is a drama, and it is done by Aaron Sorkin, so there will be some more idealistic portrayals and it will get preachy at times, as it did in The West Wing, but overall, I expect it to show what could be in this country if the journalists and news honchos did what they were supposed to be doing all these years.

Combined with Glenn Greenwald’s brilliant column last week about journalists being inept stenographers, this should be a wake up call to those who wish to follow in the footsteps of the greats: Brinkley, Murrow, Cronkite, et al… The Newsroom’s message is one that desperately needs to be heeded by the folks who bring us our news programming.

So to most of the journalists today: You’re Doing It Wrong! Want to know how to do it right? Watch The Newsroom. It’s certainly made my must see TV viewing list.

Originally posted to poli's pages on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Rebel Alliance, DKOMA, Progressive Hippie, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for daring to dream of having... (41+ / 0-)

    an actual working Fourth Estate again someday...

    The Newsroom Intro:

    A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

    by poligirl on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 12:58:33 PM PDT

    •  Intro is my favorite part of the show. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poligirl, RFK Lives, tommymet

      The one part I can count on to never let me down every week. >_> Everything else is a bit of a gamble.

      •  I know, I liked the Newsroom better (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poligirl

        when it was called "Sportsnight". Same characters, same romantic plot lines, and even dialog clipped from Sportsnight. Sorkin can't resist throwing jarring sitcom elements into his scripts. He pulled it off with Sportsnight, went down in flames with the late, unlamented Studio 66, and hasn't really found his footing with this one.

    •  I'm with you 100 percent (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RFK Lives, poligirl

      poligirl.  I wish we could have the Fairness Doctrine again too.

      But I gotta say, in all fairness, the Fairness Doctrine was a blip like the New Deal (which I also love!).

      For most of this nation's history, the "news" has been a bunch of vitriolic screeds hurled by competing factions against their competitors.

      Sad but true.

      I blame Reagan.  He took a wonderful bunch of policies and destroyed them.  

      To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

      by Youffraita on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 12:23:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It all started under St. Ronnie (3+ / 0-)

        It generally got worse since then.   Aoolishing fairness doctrine, Glass-Steagall, and limits on how many outlets one media company could acquire in one market were all pieces of the same puzzle.  As was exemplified by 2 of the biggest pieces of the old Standard Oil Trust (Exxon and Mobil) reuniting, antitrust barely exists anymore.

        It was a bipartisan effort.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 07:02:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  indeed it was a bipartisan effort... sigh.... nt (0+ / 0-)

          A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

          by poligirl on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 04:26:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  i don't know. though there was always... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Youffraita

        competition newswise, the producers, writers, and anchors had some fidelity to the truth, and they weren't afraid to figuratively hit the PTB. they did act as the Fourth Estate should have. but those days are long gone...

        but yeah, i blame Reagan and that era for it. but i do also put some blame on the journalists for buckling under and instead of lodging protest, going along to get along...   i say this as someone who did work in the field for 2 years (albeit at a very small local cable station)....

        A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

        by poligirl on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 04:31:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  poligirl, when I said "historically" I meant (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poligirl

          LONG before television.  Or even radio.  I'm going back to the original broadsides published in the years leading up to and after the American Revolution...and all the stuff that came later, through the 1800s...up to Joseph Pulitzer and his yellow journalism...

          AFAICT, it wasn't until about the New Deal that somebody decided journalists should be professionals instead of just mud-slingers.

          And we all grew up with that idea of journalism as a profession, supposedly unbiased.

          Hell, my degree is in print journalism!

          But when the Fairness Doctrine was eradicated, journalism returned to its roots in the sewer...and we are all paying the price.

          To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

          by Youffraita on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 11:56:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't suppose it's on Netflix yet? (10+ / 0-)

    Seeing those guys in the black and white portion of the intro makes me want to cry.

    It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.-Chris Hedges

    by Burned on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 01:12:50 PM PDT

  •  I disagree somewhat. (8+ / 0-)
    The news is supposed to give you the facts and the context and let the viewer form his own opinions.
    That's not enough.  Far too many people are far too stupid to know what to do with facts, even with context.  

    As Keith Olbermann once wrote and commented, the role of journalism is to report the truth.  Simply reporting

    Obama raised 42 gadzillion dollars from mixed small and large donors and Romney raised 72 gadzillion dollars from 16 white dudes
    doesn't tell people how dangerous a post Citizens United model is for our democracy.  People sometimes need to be held by the hand to reach obvious conclusions upon which to form their opinions.
  •  The continued media problem (9+ / 0-)

    is so distressing and frustrating. The internet was supposed to fix it. Or at least help counteract it to a good extent.

    War news in traditional media today is every bit as awful as it was back in 2003.

    The media problem is often discussed in partisan or ideological terms: the media is conservative. Or, even, somehow, too liberal.

    But it's really a systematic problem. The rot is right down in how they operate.

    •  exactly... and the PTB are more than (6+ / 0-)

      happy to perpetuate the myths: conservative, liberal... it feeds their purpose which is total information control.

      what happened to aspiring to be Edward Murrow? if this show can inspire any journalism students to stand up and practice actual journalism in the face of all that is there to impede it, it will have accomplished a good thing...

      A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

      by poligirl on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 02:10:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thinking about that BP web cam (3+ / 0-)

        When the first Newsroom episode was aired, many people here got choked up from the emotional power of it, with memory of the Gulf disaster time.

        The thing is, the show had no relation to reality. The internet was where the good coverage was; traditional media mostly sucked.

        An internet web cam, under the sea, was central.

        BP was hoping to show that they had the situation under control. We saw instead, 24 hours a day, constant billowing plums of toxic oil. The web cam had a message, for sure.

        Is the internet sometimes at it's best at times of disaster? The specific place cable news would like to own?

        Katrina coverage, here at Daily Kos, was also very good.

        •  yeah, the show definitely won't have much (4+ / 0-)

          relation to reality, cuz there was no major media covering it like it should've been covered. instead, there was some deference given to the PTB, on both the political and business side. related issues that should've garnered more delving into and more questions asked about weren't, they were either lightly touched on, and then passed by for the more PTB friendly offshoot stories.

          the internet was where the best reporting was done, but in a sea of millions of choices, even those sites get drowned out somewhat or are hard to find.

          even the local coverage fell a bit victim to the PTB, though the local coverage was much better in a critical thinking news way. (i live down in SE Louisiana).

          A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

          by poligirl on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 04:04:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  American journalists have been schooled in how (8+ / 0-)

    to do their jobs this week by the British press, that makes me happy, as does the Newsroom. Good show.

    "nothing strengthens authority so much as silence"~Leonardo da Vinci

    by temptxan on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 02:54:23 PM PDT

  •  I don't have any trouble with a partisan press (6+ / 0-)

    as long as the partisanship is recognized as part of the landscape (as it was before the rise of the industrial, commercial press).

    In fact, I'd say that a truly, truly partisan press system where a vast array of partisan positions are both recognized and the news reported from those perspectives so people could see what the same story looks like through all those positions, would be a good thing for democracy.

    Its this pretense of "objectivity" hamstrung by a very narrow political range that gets continually narrower and farther and farther to the right, yet standing in for the whole of a "partisan system" that's the problem.

    er...imvho that is.

    sorry for the rant.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 02:55:07 PM PDT

    •  i hear you! and yeah, and while ideally there.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Killer of Sacred Cows

      should be room for partisan press, but that should be limited to the pundit shows.

      the problem with turning this into a contemporary reality is that unfortunately, the populace has been dumbed down so much in general, that they've accepted the labels they are told to wear and tend to only pay attention to those stations favorable to that one viewpoint, so much so they don't really even get any differing viewpoints.

      ideally, we'd have the news be the news - actual news and not spending time on a lot of the fluff either, and then we'd have the pundit shows. but everyone who partook of the news would be getting the actual news that gives them the information before they partook of the pundit shows...

      A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

      by poligirl on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 04:11:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I feel alone in liking the show surpisingly (5+ / 0-)

    So many people nitpick it as the worst show ever but it's not, but it really does get the media issue you speak of correct. The only thing that bothers me is Mcavoy's mythical moderate Republican party which died a long time ago, but that's not that big of deal. The Romance(or wannabe romance) between some of you younger members of the Newsroom is annoying, but not too bad.

    Olivia Munn's character is pretty cool and gets the economics right so far as far as I can tell. I love Emily Mortimer's character. She is my favorite. She drives Will crazy and it's a love/hate relationship.

    ‎A) "Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." - George Carlin B) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12

    by priceman on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 02:58:08 PM PDT

    •  you're not alone. i think the show is a pretty... (3+ / 0-)

      decent portrayal of what should be done in a news production sense. sure the characters are going to have their story lines, and that's where Sorkin will be able to inject a bit of his own personal beliefs, but if he stays true to the news as real news, the actual newscast done on the show will not have that bias...

      of course, reality does have a liberal bias though... ;>

      A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

      by poligirl on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 04:13:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't get into online discussions... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      priceman, poligirl

      of tv shows much, so this is actually the first time i'v heard about anyone not liking it. I LOVE the newsroom. I'm a huge fan of Aaron Sorkin and his particular sense of humor and writing style. I'm one of those guys who thought Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was brilliant. Ok, maybe the only guy who thought that.

      I enjoy the drama, but I think the Newsroom does a great job with the issues  too, much like the West Wing, they give both sides good arguments (when there are two legitimate sides to an issue). More than anything, i think it's wish fulfillment. I wish Will Mcavoy was a real person and that there was a show on, no, a whole 4th estate that broadcasts the news, presents facts in real context without spin, that speaks truth to idiots and doesn't invent nonsense to pretend every issue has two equal sides.

      "Ruin comes when the trader, whose heart is lifted up by wealth, becomes ruler" - Plato, Republic

      by sixeight120bpm on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 04:51:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  rAmen! and i loved Studio 60 too... :D nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sixeight120bpm, priceman

        A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

        by poligirl on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 05:07:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I guess mostly online is where I hear it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poligirl, sixeight120bpm

        Self important online commenters I guess feel threatened by a fictional show. One positive review is Dan Rather likes the show, and he's had to deal with this type of shit for real.

        I never got to catch the West Wing or Studio 60. This is my first dose of Sorkin and I like it, even while recognizing some of the superficial stuff. For what it is, I think it's very promising  an accurate the themes I see in this show so far.

        Thanks for your input.

        ‎A) "Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." - George Carlin B) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12

        by priceman on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 05:16:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think it's a matter of self-importance. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poligirl, priceman, tommymet

          I think if anything, the show's a victim of its own hype. A lot of the critics blasting it now, especially online, grew up on SportsNight or w/e and West Wing and apparently are able to see Sorkin reusing character tropes and even phrases. They also expect a lot out of him. (There's a few videos going around showing phrases that get recycled through all of his shows.) I'm new to him, so he gets a pass on a lot of that stuff from me, but as much as I want to love this show - and as much as it has glimpses where it validates that love - I find a lot of critical problems in it, both as an effective informational piece and as entertainment.

          I've agreed with the Onion AV Club reviews of the episodes on most of the points they pick on, just not to the same degree - but the reviewer in that, even, makes a point of saying how much he wants to like the show but he finds it selling itself short a lot of times.

      •  you ARE the only one. I am a huge (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poligirl

        Sportsnight fan and Studio 66 was unwatchable for me. Too many absurd plot lines, cringe worthy preachy speeches, precious characters like Mark Mckinney's comedy writer who never laughs.

    •  Aaron Sorkin presents his scripts the way that the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poligirl

      world should be and not necessarily the way the world actually is.  The people who are the good guys are smart and prescient, President Bartlett operates in the way that we all wish a President would act, campaign contributions have nothing to do with political decisions.  I fear that  this new HBO program operates in the same fantasy world as did the West Wing where a guy who operates like Kieth Olbermann has staying power doing the right thing and is not immediately constrained by his small minded producers and corporate overlords.  Yes, a fantasy that has little to do with reality.

      It is worth seeing, but it will have little effect on the way that corporate news operates since money is the name of the game in corporate news, not reality or truth.  

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 09:49:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had to turn it off (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poligirl

    I just couldn't stand the dialog, despite having enjoyed some prior Sorkin productions. And frankly, some of the first episode seemed to be unnecessarily beating up on young people, who are not causing the majority of the world's problems at the moment.

  •  I like it, but it has problems. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poligirl, tommymet

    Going to repeat what I wrote in a comment on a dead diary:

    As someone who's never seen a Sorkin show before, I'm immune to the critique that it recycles too many lines and situations from his earlier works, but I can nonetheless see a number of issues in the show.

    - The politics aren't always accurate.
    Given that this is one of the show's basic premises, it's very embarrassing when it does things wrong like getting the basic nature of the Citizens United case incorrect, and misspellings and typos.

    - The romances are awkward.
    Really awkward. There's, frankly, too much time spent on them. I feel that for the most part, the Don-Maggie-Jim love triangle is executed fine if with no particular originality. I don't see why it even needs to be a love triangle; I'm more interested in watching Don grow from being irregularly an asshole. I like Jim a lot, but he's almost too perfect as a boyfriend for me to care about Unresolved Sexual Tension. His poor handling of his kind-of relationship with Maggie's roommate is not particularly factored into this because Jim has been repeatedly pushed into that relationship.

    The Mack-Will relationship is just ridiculous. Let me be clear - I think Emily Mortimer and Jeff Daniels are fantastic at expressing the range of their characters' emotions, and I'm in love with Ms. Mortimer as an actress - the way she smoothly transitions between emotions in rapid sequence is awe-inspiring. She was a very believable and lovable screwball in the first episode...

    The problem is that as the episodes continue on, it becomes more and more ridiculous that these two - who are at the top of their classes in the media world, apparently - are completely unable to enact any sort of professionalism or focus at the workplace. When these emotional outbursts happen constantly, they force the show to border on self-parody.

    - There's not enough focus on the news. Chris Matthews has voiced approval of the verisimilitude in the process of making news, and I find that part of their show very intriguing; the struggle to make something newsworthy into something that is also Nielsenworthy. Yet it gets sidelined constantly in most episodes for the somewhat clumsily executed romances that are filled with a lot of blank and awkward staring screentime.

    - Will McAvoy is not a Republican. I'm on board with the idea that Will is supposed to be a center-right person who has become disgusted with the state of his party, but aside from his objections raised in one meeting about illegal immigrants - that read more like him being in asshole mode than a serious viewpoint - he's come off as a Democrat. It doesn't read like a serious attempt to show a disgruntled Republican. He's a disgruntled liberal. This weakens the whole feel of the show if it's supposed to be anything more than cathartic preaching to the choir.

    - Sorkin's too obsessed with character quirks. The Neal Bigfoot obsession managed to go from cute to annoying halfway through one episode. That was really bad. Some people have attacked the show overall for weak women due to how much Mack and Maggie rely on quirks, but given the contrast in Sloan Sabbith, and the fact I really admire Mack's character and the growth of Maggie as a character in a short time, I don't think this is particularly fair. It's just that when a character has a quirk, Sorkin runs with it until he runs out of road, builds a shoddy bridge, and keeps running some more.

    - Sometimes, it's just too sappy: I like sappy, but that bit with the crew coming in one-by-one to give Will a check to pitch in at the end of the most recent episode? Entirely too textbook "heartwarming," and smug about how they've really come together. Especially less than halfway through the first season. The conceit could have been kept in but executed much less with a wink and a wave at the viewer.

    Despite all of that, the show has its merits - for starters, it's cathartic for progressives, and I've found that the first episode, the most recent episode, and the tea party episode are good "infotainment" propaganda pieces to get undecideds and moderate conservatives a bit more aware. The actors all do a great job portraying their characters.

    And I was very fond of this bit:

    •  i have to watch the Citizen's United ep again... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ConfusedSkyes

      i missed the misrepresentation and the typos...

      i agree somewhat about the romances. some are more forced than flowing, but i'm used to dramas having that personal story line stuff, so it doesn't bother me that much...

      i totally agree that it should spend more time on the news gathering, production, and broadcast portions.

      the disgruntled GOPer thing is a Sorkin thing for the most part. and it's just his perception on what that would look like, so it could use some work, cuz like you, i see Will as much more of a disgruntled Dem than GOPer...

      the character quirks are very much a Sorkin specialty. he loves his character to have quirks...

      and yeah, it's going to not only get preachy at times, it's going to be sappy. but there's something to be said for sap at times. everyone has different emotional thresholds and reactions and sometimes while something may be overly sappy to one person, it can serve to emotionally connect the show to another...

      and i absolutely LOVE Sam Waterston's character!  :D

      A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

      by poligirl on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 05:56:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The truth shall set you free (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poligirl, Ricochet67

    Said by Jeff Daniels, playing Will McAvoy in The Newsroom after clips by Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and Michele Bachmann just making bullshit up about Barack Obama.

    I think that people who will willingly, purposely an gleefully lie to the American people in order to damage someone's reputation should, like a registered sex offender, be required by law to come with a warning label for the rest of their lives.
    Here's another. After a not surprisingly totally false story in the New York Post about Jeff Daniels' character was read to him by Sam Waterson the first thing Jeff Daniels addressed was the claim that he is a liberal bloviator;
    First of all I'm not a liberal, I'm a registered Republican. I only seem liberal because I believe that hurricanes are caused by barometric pressure and not by gay marriage.
    •  excellent quotes Eddie! i love the show! :D nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eddie C

      A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

      by poligirl on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 08:17:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Loved those lines, too... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poligirl

      I find a lot of quotes I can pick out that I love on the Newsroom - and I wish I could get real people to hear them!  Especially those of us who grew up with Cronkite, Huntley, Brinkley, Reasoner, Rather.... and even Tim Russert, although he was more my son's generation of newsmen - I really miss Tim.  Don't even watch MTP anymore.  Miss KO, too... sigh...

      "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." - Barack Obama

      by Ricochet67 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 08:40:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i don't disagree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poligirl

    that the problem that Modern News has had

    is that

    it is NOT ENOUGH

    OPINIONATED.

    because it cannot possibly skew

    TOO FAR

    THE "WRONG" WAY.

    if "the wrong way" means

    SPENDING TOO MUCH ON MILITARY
    AND NOT ENOUGH HEALTHCARE.

    ANY third-world nation who has not broken this human law
    surely has never fallen into the hands of fascists.

    MILITARY MANU/NO-CHECKS ARMSALES ARE USA JOBS! WHAT'S LEFT AFTER OBSTRUCTIONIST REPUPS ON THE HILL, THEIR EMPLOYEES ON THE RADIO! OUR TAXES; THEIR MILITARY? NO HEALTHCARE? NO EDUCATION? ROMNEY'S PAID-FOR CROWDS? VOTE EVERYDAY WHEREEVER YOU SPEND MONEY!

    by theChild on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 07:49:09 PM PDT

  •  I just wish everyone cutting this show... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poligirl

    off at the knees could take a breath and have a little patience--we're only up to episode five, fergossakes!  Even the mighty "West Wing" took most of their first season to find their footing.  (Didja know that the show's original concept called for the President to remain forever unseen?  If they'd followed the original pitch Jed Bartlet, one of the all-time great TV characters, would never have existed!)  I have been a Sorkinite since "A Few Good Men," threw things when "SportsNight" was cancelled, stood proudly as one of the seven people in the known universe who thought "Studio 60" was MILES better than "30 Rock"--I am willing to give this new show all the time it needs to find its own voice.

    There seems to be one common thread running through most of the critical barbs being tossed at "The Newsroom"--whether they're citing character traits, plot development or just the overall feel of the series, people seem distressed that the program is not constructed as THEY think it should be.  The very idea that a successful TV producer might be a bit of a ditz in her personal life seems to offend them.  The notion that a moderate republican anchor might be just as offended by the sorry state of modern media as Keith Olbermann just does not ring true to them.  The thought of an office love triangle is, by their lights, completely out of the realm of possibility.  The concept of a blogger with a penchant for tinfoil-hat theories...well, we know from the time we all spend here how unrealistic THAT is.

    I think what may be going on here is the inevitable "take 'em down a peg" consensus.  Whenever someone in Hollywood gets a little too successful, the critical community can usually be counted on to savage their latest project in an attempt to bring them back to the pack a bit.  For a while there in the 80s, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a god--until "Last Action Hero" came out.  Sure, it wasn't a masterpiece, but it was nowhere near as bad as everyone made it out to be.  More recently Pixar's Andrew Stanton decided to branch out into live-action film, but those who didn't necessarily want to see the animation studio's winning streak cross over to mainstream filmmaking ensured that "John Carter" became a joke.  (Personally, my biggest problem with it was turning the Red Planet a kind of dirty yellow.)  Now they're out for Sorkin.  They slowed him down by using his pot bust to ease him out of "The West Wing" when he seemed on the verge of redefining quality TV; they stomped his attempted return with "Studio 60" by counterprogramming with "30 Rock" (can you recall the last time a major network greenlit two shows with such similar premises in the SAME SEASON?) but then, instead of taking his whippin' like a good boy, he had to go and win an Oscar for that "Social Network" thing instead of going back to script-doctoring in a properly chastened manner.

    For those of you unhappy with the product so far, the news that HBO has already renewed "The Newsroom" for a second season must be like a dagger in the heart.  But despair not, for it has also been announced that half the writing staff has been let go, so you can still hold out hope for that Very Special Sam-Waterson-knocks-up-Jane-Fonda episode next year.  For those of you who, like me, would gladly follow Aaron wherever he chooses to take us, cheer up--he does most of the writing anyway.  Sure, the transition from network TV to pay cable might be a bumpy one.  But based on past performance, I'm willing to bet Sorkin has as impressive a run on HBO as David Chase did.

    It ain't free speech if it takes cash money.

    by Uncle Igor on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 12:04:42 AM PDT

    •  "like a dagger in the heart" ?? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poligirl

      I think you're taking the criticism of the show a little personally.

    •  thank you. this is what i think too.... (0+ / 0-)

      i think this series has a lot of potential, and it's so rare that i get that feeling about any show anymore...

      and i think the premise of doing the news right is something everyone should at least be able to see, regardless of whether it's in an HBO drama or wherever. if just a handful of people start questioning what goes on in the news field or even just start being more aware of the difference between doing it right and what is done nowadays or if a few journalism students are inspired, well then, i think this series is well worth it... no show is going to move a culture overnight, but it can contribute to chipping away gradually; it can plant the seed if you will...  :D

      A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

      by poligirl on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 04:42:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love the show (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poligirl

    It makes my cringe for the same reason Fallen Skies does and I wish a few of the characters from Game of Thrones would lay waste to the cast occasionally ...
    However, it's how the news should be reported so I never miss it.

    Avoiding Theocracy at Home and Neo Cons Abroad

    by UniC on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 12:31:27 AM PDT

  •  First, someone above said they'd not seen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poligirl

    West Wing...get ye to Netflix or Youtube and watch a bit (LOL)

    Second...many of the criticisms about weak women seem valid to me...(I'm a woman)...

    But.

    In a swamp of niche market reality tv....(Cajun Pawnstars of Remodeling Hoarders of New Jersey)

    This is gold.

    If you want to compare Sorkin to Sorkin, or bring him down a peg fine.

    But even if The Newsroom was as bad as those who dislike it say it is...it's still light years above what I force my remote past at lightning speed every day,,,,

    My Schnauzer has more sense than the Republican field.

    by imfunnytoo on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 04:55:46 AM PDT

    •  I really do enjoy the show... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poligirl

      it might not seem that way because I have picked at it a little, but I also have not missed watching it yet.
      It's because I like it that I hope it's everything it can be(Also, I waited for about a year between starting to hear about it and seeing one...so much "SportsNight" deja vu in the pilot was both comforting and disappointing at once.)

      "...annoyingly ethical,"

      by chicating on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 11:52:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  rAmen to that! totally agree! :D nt (0+ / 0-)

      A) "The administration should be worried about the level of despair here." ~Markos Moulitsas at NN12 B) "Stoking the base’s enthusiasm is part of a campaign’s job, whether or not it thinks it should have to do it." ~Michelle Goldberg

      by poligirl on Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 04:43:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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