NOTE: I’ve had a few journalist friends share their thoughts with me about HBO’s new drama The Newsroom. Frankly, I was too angry to write about it. I’ve cooled down sufficiently, I think. Maybe not. You be the judge.
Dan Rather, you senile bastard.
You recommended The Newsroom. Did you watch any of the show? I watched eight minutes, and I know what I saw wasn’t something I would recommend. Did you assume because the show was set in a TV newsroom it captured some greater truth about our dying industry, and as such you would co-sign on the project? Seriously. What. The. Fuck?!?!?
This is not an angry letter to Dan Rather via my blog. I promise.
It’s more a hate screed about The Newsroom, a show to which I devoted eight minutes of my life. Yes, one day I will write a memoir (that’s a definite maybe on the to-do list). When I do, I will devote at least one sentence to how incensed I became after watching eight minutes – or perhaps nine – of celeb screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s creme de la crap TV news drama about a Keith Olbermann-type character who attempts to shine light onto a nation of ignoramuses.
First off, let me make one thing clear: Fuck Keith Olbermann. People need to stop worshipping that assclown. That’s not a comment on his political ideology. I feel the same way about Bill O’Reilly too. Their type of “I’ve got all the answers and you are wrong” demagoguery is reprehensible, lowest common denominator shit. In the same manner I wanted to punch the screen when I stumbled across Olbermann or O’Reilly (when I had a TV) so too did I want to punch my computer screen when I watched The Newsroom.
Here’s my quickie recap/review:
I wanted to burn down The Newsroom after watching the first eight minutes of the show’s pilot episode. I don’t have a pyro bone in my body. I hated the show with a Jihadist’s fervor. Even tonight my hatred burns like an eternal flame that can only be soothed by the love of 72 virgins who have never stepped inside a TV studio, watched a TV newscast, or heard of Olbermann, O’Reilly, or similar swine who roll around in their own shit and call it wisdom.
When I wrote I wanted to burn The Newsroom down, I was not talking about a mere studio fire. No, I was talking about a forest fire – one that spreads like cancer, ravages the Earth, kills Smokey the Bear, and then engulfs The Newsroom. Under such a 500-alarm scenario, The Newsroom would have ceased to exist after about 10 minutes into its initial airing and all memory of it would have been erased. Thus, it would no longer torment and anger me.
Alas, none of these things happened. I am still cringing at the memory of the scene where Jeff Daniels’ character – the Jay Leno of cable news anchors, we’re told – went on a righteous tirade after becoming incensed at an innocuous question from a college student during a panel discussion. This was the same character who refused to take a stand on anything and we, the audience, were supposed to believe he suddenly morphed into someone with Cronkite’s integrity, Olbermann’s boundless belief in self, and Socrates’ oratorical skill.
No fucking way, Aaron Sorkin. I call bullshit on your manufactured, pretentious, pontificating main character, and I quit your show. Good luck saving the world from itself. Good thing AMC’s Breaking Bad is coming back two Sundays from now. I need my faith in TV restored.