Entertainment Weekly printed a teleplay excerpt from Aaron Sorkin's new HBO show, The Newsroom, last week. And holy shit, it's the most Aaron Sorkin thing ever. If you were hoping that Aaron Sorkin would use his Social Network Oscar win to create another bullshit meta-drama where he uses his characters as empty speechifying vessels that tell you HOW AARON SORKIN THINKS THE WORLD SHOULD WORK, you're in luck! Because this excerpt is exactly that.
First, let's take a look at what Sorkin's goal is with this show:
"Reporters used to be the good guys in popular culture, and I wanted to write them that way," he told EW.
I can't think of a more Sisyphean mission than to try and restore America's faith in the media with a fucking TV show. Yes, reporters used to be depicted as good guys in pop culture, and that's because pop culture back then was naive and stupid. That was before everyone realized that the media is filled with incompetent, self-admiring dipshits who choose stories essentially at random. And that was before the Internet exposed the media as being almost comically unreliable.
Anyway, that's Sorkin's goal with this program. Now, let's get into this excerpt. The fact that this scene opens with one character forcing another character to listen to a passage from "Don Quixote" should give you an idea of the sermonizing bukkake you're in for.
MACKENZIE: You got yourself into the shouting match when you took your vertigo medicine. I'd have you winning it.
WILL: And what does winning look like to you?
MACKENZIE: Reclaiming the Fourth Estate. Reclaiming journalism as an honorable profession. A nightly newscast that informs a debate worthy of a great nation. Civility, respect, and a return to what's important. The death of bitchiness. The death of gossip and voyeurism. Speaking truth to stupid. No demographic sweet spot, a place where we all come together.
Aaaaannnnnnnd PUKE. You can practically hear Sorkin jerking off onto his keyboard when you read this shit. You can tell he's aching with regret that the media has become so vile and full of GOSSIPY SNARKSTERS. You can smell the paternalism, the idea that Sorkin is the last pure man on the fucking Earth. A terrible Aaron Sorkin show is exactly the same as a terrible David Kelley show, only with more walking. Both men may as well name every character after themselves. Every episode could be titled "Where Aaron Sorkin Thinks America Went Wrong." Every woman character represents the Devil's advocate position in either man's inner monologue. And then every episode could end with the main characters getting drunk and patting themselves on the back for agreeing to disagree.
This is trite, messagey bullshit, and he's not even making a good point. No one in their right mind wants to go back to a world where you had to watch a fucking nightly newscast to get all your information about the world. The media environment we live in now is light years better than what we used to have. We have an army of people online ready to call bullshit on the media, and we have a second army of people online ready to call bullshit on the people calling bullshit. It's a glorious, repulsive mess. You can find out anything you want about virtually any subject, and you can exorcise your demons by getting into pointless political flame wars with other retards safely and anonymously. I find it funny that Sorkin's stand in complains about bitchiness and then demands that we "speak truth to stupid," all one speech. What do you think the Internet does on a daily basis, fucktaster? That Sorkin would embrace this dipshit liberal fever dream of a world where THE NEWS MATTERS, and everyone holds hands while reasonably objecting with one another, is laughable. He's as stuck in the past as Rick Santorum.
I have an idea for an Aaron Sorkin show. It's gonna be called THE MAGAZINE, and it will give you an inside look at an industry you don't give a shit about, and magazine critics will swoon over it because it's about them. And it'll feature an idealistic reporter named Hippy Howstein, who learns at the feet of crusty old editor Flank Jankens. And together, they'll act out every annoying political diatribe that Aaron Sorkin should have relegated to 300 words on the Huffington Post. Reclaim THAT, bitch.