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Shouldering the burden of a fourth-place network's comeback dreams must be a psychically draining undertaking for even the most stable television producer, to say nothing of one who once sought refuge from TV's pressures by curling up with a call girl and a warm, homemade rock of cocaine. At this morning's media session for Aaron Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, the series NBC hopes will help drag the net from the Nielsen basement to the foot of the stairs that it may one day use to climb out of that basement, the Peacock Messiah may have started to show the effects of that pressure with a Freudian crack, er, slip for the ages. Reports TV Week's blog from the TCAs:

Calling TV "a terrifically influential part of this country," Sorkin said mean-spirited and voyeuristic programming is like "bad crack in the school yard."

Immediately Sorkin had regrets on his choice of words—probably related to his very public past struggles with illicit pharmaceuticals.

"Why did I use that word?" he asked.

After the first wave of tittering from the assembled press subsided, a bemused Sorkin shrugged before continuing, "Now, I know that it's pretty funny that I just made an unconscious reference to my former substance abuse problem like that, so I might be a little preoccupied with the subject at the moment. But can I ask why the Washington Post sent that six-foot-tall crackpipe in the third row to interrogate me? That's just very unprofessional of them."