As part of yesterday's TCA press tour event, TV critics were bussed over to the set of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, where they were granted some face time with series creator Aaron Sorkin in his behind-the-scenes-at-a-distressingly- serious-minded-sketch-comedy-show environment. When asked to comment on a recent LAT piece claiming that comedy writers don't seem to be fans of the show, the beleaguered showrunner took the opportunity to decry the paper's transparent anti-Sorkin agenda, revealing that his research uncovered the shocking fact that some of his critics might be—audible gasp!—unemployed. Recounts The Oregonian's TV critic on his TCA blog:
So off he went, noting, not a little angrily, that the LA Times had in the space of four months run three separate articles about his show, all of them stating, re-stating and then re-re-stating the idea that some people on the Internet aren't fond of "Studio 60." The most recent story, he continued, also claimed that comedy writers don't like the show, either. And though it quoted a few members of a local comedy troupe called Employees of the Month, it failed to mention that the show had recently scored two nominations for Writer's Guild awards. Those are working, professional writers, Sorkin seethed. "And the writers she quoted were all, you'll notice, unemployed."
This was great. Sorkin was totally throwing down. And he wasn't finished!
"This was nonsense," he went on. "The Los Angeles Times should be ashamed of itself!"
Sing it, brother! And he wasn't done! Next Sorkin ridiculed the whole idea that bloggers — many of whom come from parts unknown, bearing grudges, perhaps, and not always a reliable sense of who they are and what they're really after — be taken more seriously in the mainstream media than any random josephine walking down Main Street. "An enormous rise in amateurism," Sorkin said of the blogosphere. "And everyone's voice oughtn't be equal."
While his Employee of the Month critic does, in fact, have a job, Sorkin is right on his larger, more loudly made point: The opinions of the "working, professional" writers who nominated him for those awards should certainly be weighed more heavily than those of the Starbucks-haunting know-nothings not talented enough to maintain an employment level that would qualify them for full WGA health benefits; after all, anybody in this town with something worthwhile to say is already running his own TV series or doing uncredited punch-up on a Will Ferrell movie. And let's not get started on the bloggers, whom the internets hand a megaphone with which to shout their uninformed, poorly thought through feelings about Sorkin's work in between incremental updates about their cat's harrowing battle with feline diabetes, yelps too often picked up by the lazy, indiscriminate mainstream media. As we're currently stitching into a pillow to remind ourselves about the deleterious effects of unchecked amateurism on civilized discourse, "Everyone's voice oughtn't be equal."