‘The Newsroom’ Is The Inverse of ‘Network’

False Catharsis In HBO’s ‘Newsroom’*

'The Newsroom' Is The Inverse of 'Network'

from avclub.com: Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO series The Newsroom begins with what many will call a Network moment, when a news anchor, finally unshackled by the chains of bland neutrality, comes out and says what he really thinks. In this case, it’s Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), a man so determined not to alienate viewers of any political persuasion that he’s been dubbed “the Jay Leno of news anchors.” When asked during a panel discussion, “What makes America the greatest country in the world?,” Will finally comes to a point when the standard bromides from the left (Diversity!) and the right (Freedom!) are intolerable, and it’s time for everyone to acknowledge that, in fact, we’re a nation in decline. And that we only lead the world in incarcerated citizens. And that the Millennials are the “worst—period—generation—period—ever—period.” And that we once “reached for the stars” and were “informed by great men” and blah blah blah fuckity blah.

But really, this is not a Network moment, but an “Aaron Sorkin moment,” those oft-occurring rants when a hardened cynic is revealed as a bruised idealist. In Network, Peter Finch’s “mad as hell” speech lands him at the center of a three-ring media circus, surrounded by fortune-tellers, gossips, and a rabid studio audience. The Newsroom may pivot on a similar breakdown, but it’s the inverse of Network: Telling the unvarnished truth brings Will to the more dignified and righteous place of being his real self, a modern-day Cronkite or Murrow who can drop the fair-and-balanced pose and “speak truth to stupid” when the occasion warrants it. For Sorkin skeptics, this is very dangerous territory.
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Updates: Thanks to Red Ice Creations!*
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6 responses to “‘The Newsroom’ Is The Inverse of ‘Network’”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    I'm confused… do you hate it or like it?

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    I am a huge Sorkin fan; yet I can't help but realize Sorkin is writing about a world that doesn't exist. Sorkin would have us believe the mainstream media needs to channel its saintly founders like Murrow, but we now know the media was never a free press, but only an organ of vested interests. Sorkin is too "Establishment" too be able to write a morlly crusading television show. He is guilty that he is a soft televiion writer and still believes it is the Republicans that are the only problem. Sorkin should realize the cowardly left-gatekeepers are the problem. Tackle 911 Sorkin, and then you mght be edgy.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    There's no mention of the New World Order in his rant; 9/11 being an inside job; 7/7 being an inside job; the 2012 Olympics false flag; Satanic Ritual Abuse, MK-Ultra & Project Monarch; UFO's, JFK, RFK, freemasons and secret societies and an occult agenda…
    So fuck that show. Fuck Jeff Daniels & fuck, as usual, douchedy-douchbag-douche-sucker Sorkin.

  4. Max Green Avatar

    I am not the most affluent with Sorkin and his work, but I do think “The Newsroom” is a unique and intellectually written series so far. Whether or not you agree with the argument presented by Sorkin, at least he has created controversy that has spurred conversation from the highest reaches of our Media to small discussions around my office at Dish and the dinner table; to me, that is a sign of great TV! Everyone keeps comparing it “Network” and “The West Wing”. If those shows maintain the same level ferocious insights featured in The Newsroom, then it might be worth my time to give them a shot. I saw those shows among the many titles available from the Blockbuster@Home service I get through my Dish account, so I will have to rent them and see what all the talk is about! Based on The Newsroom alone however, I am a big fan of Sorkin!

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    I agree that Sorkin writes about a world that as far as I can tell doesn't exist, but if he took issues like the 9/11 cover-up and any number of things the power brokerage really really doesn't want us to be discussing, do you really think the show would have ever been released? How do you eat an elephant sandwich? One bite at a time. This show may very well be too "establishment" but nonetheless it will get people talking about at least some of the things they need to be talking about.

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    Max Green, the word affluent means wealthy or well off. So you said "I'm not the most wealthy with Sorkin's work. Did you mean something like "I'm not that familiar with Sorkin's work"

    I'm not judging you or your statement, I'm just being a vocabulary nazi. There probably are several spelling and grammar errors in this reply as well.

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