Newsmen agree: new HBO series Newsroom stinks

posted at 10:41 am on June 22, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Aaron Sorkin has built a reputation for turning politics into entertainment — and entertainment into politics.  In movies such as The American President and The Social Network, and in TV shows like The West Wing and Sports Night, Sorkin has leveraged clever dialogue and his progressive world view into ratings and critical success.  This year, Sorkin’s trying to do the same on HBO by merging cable news and politics into entertainment, which … er … is exactly what MSNBC, Fox, and CNN do every day.  Newsroom makes its debut this month, but the people who actually live and work in newsrooms are less than impressed.

Earlier this week, the Washington Post’s Hank Stuever blasted the show as “crammed with incessant gibber-jabber” in service to Sorkin’s political hobby horses:

Characters never stop speechifying to one another, replacing believable dialogue with that unmistakably Sorkinesque logorrhea of righteous self-importance. It’s a puppet show with Sorkin as the only hand, expressing his displeasure with the tenor of public discourse. (Which everyone knows has reached an unctuous low.) “The Newsroom” is principally concerned with how American society has been ruined by the blaring insipidity of our 24-7 media culture. The theme song swells with a collage of images of the founding fathers of television news, but if Edward R. Murrow is watching, I suspect he’s chuckling in his grave rather than spinning in it. (Fun fact: Murrow was cremated.) …

A twist for Sorkin (but not for viewers), is that Will is a Republican who has taken it upon himself to challenge the party’s rightward fringe, providing a novel new way to present a Democratic fantasia. “I’m a registered Republican,” Will says in a prime example of elegant Sorkinese. “I only seem liberal because I believe hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure and not by gay marriage.” Real events from 2010 and 2011 — including the BP oil spill, the midterm election that ushered tea partiers into Congress and the Gabrielle Giffords shooting in Tucson — form the backdrop of Will’s newly located outrage. His pulpit gets a nightly workout on air and a constant workout everywhere else.

The word pile that once seemed so melodious in Sorkin’s other projects — especially that millennial anti-anxiety medication known as the “The West Wing” — now has the effect of tinnitus. The men talk like Sorkin writes; the women talk that way, too; the 28-year-olds talk like that, as do the 41-year-olds, as do the cast’s septuagenarians, who include Sam Waterston as the head of the network news division and, later on, Jane Fonda as the network owner who puts the arch in matriarch. (In other words, Jane Fonda as Ted Turner.)

At one point in the first episode, MacKenzie delivers not one, not two but three grandiloquent monologues to Will, one right after the other. Sorkin’s writing lapses into self-parody, leaving savvier viewers to marvel at how quickly the show goes awry. And anyhow, HBO already has a compelling series in which whip-smart people of various political persuasions gather to out-argue one another and bemoan the state of media ignorance. It’s called “Real Time With Bill Maher.”

How about journalists who work both in the field and in actual TV newsrooms?  ABC’s Jake Tapper really, really wanted to like the show, he writes for The New Republic, but had to keep resisting the urge to change the channel — and he was watching it on DVDs:

I wanted this show to be great. When asked to participate in a conference call, gratis, where I shared some of my reporting experiences with the writers, I eagerly did so. But I won’t further bury the lede: “The Newsroom,” which debuts June 24 on HBO, is sadly disappointing. There’s much to criticize in the media—and TV news in particular. But though “The Newsroom” intends to lecture its viewers on the higher virtues of capital-J journalism, Professor Sorkin soon reveals he isn’t much of an expert on the subject. …

But that prompts the question: protect it from what? This is where Sorkin’s high-minded critique falls flat. McAvoy sanctimoniously laments the deterioration of public discourse and the news media’s complicity in it. But if that is the problem, his subsequent actions reveal a commitment to a uniformly partisan solution. McAvoy—and, by extension, Sorkin—preach political selflessness, but they practice pure partisanship; they extol the Fourth Estate’s democratic duty, but they believe that responsibility consists mostly of criticizing Republicans. This is done through the oldest trick in the book for a Hollywood liberal: by having McAvoy be a “sane Republican” who looks at his party with sadness and anger.

Hey, there’s a show for that, too.  It’s called Morning Joe.

In another episode Sorkin pats McAvoy on the back for limiting his coverage of the failed Times Square bomber and resisting the temptation to “hype” a terrorist threat that fizzled. (With no apparent sense of sarcasm, Skinner repeats praise for their restraint from Media Matters and Think Progress, as if those explicitly liberal websites are nonideological arbiters of Edward R. Murrow’s legacy.) And what are the important issues “News Night” covers instead of the piffle of Faisal Shahzad, a homegrown terrorist funded and trained by the Pakistani Taliban? McAvoy instead devotes at least a week of his broadcast to showcasing what a horribly inept and dangerous bunch Tea Party Republicans are as they—gasp!—defeat establishment Republicans in free and fair primaries and elections. It’s all well and good to follow the Koch brothers’ money, but at a time when Democrats controlled the White House and both houses of Congress, it’s telling that McAvoy and Sorkin aim their sights at conservatives seeking power—not moderates and liberals wielding it.

It’s telling, of course, and it’s also entirely predictable.  I doubt that at this stage anyone would have different expectations of a Sorkin production, but that prompts the question of why anyone to the right of Tom Harkin would bother watching it.

Howard Kurtz, who also knows a few things about newsrooms and journalism, is equally unimpressed:

Maybe expectations were too high, given the brilliance of Sorkin’s track record (The West Wing, The Social Network). Maybe, after reading that Sorkin was hanging out with Keith Olbermann, we were looking for a brilliantly nuanced rendition of the pathologies of cable news.

The thing is, as the individual soap operas unfold, the characters at times seem rather cartoonish. The thing is, for much of the episode that debuts Sunday night, they could work in a law office, since the plot turns on their clashing egos, romantic urges, and overweening personalities. …

Forgive me if this is less than inspiring. But then, Sorkin isn’t really interested in unspooling how journalism functions, the way he was in how Martin Sheen wielded political power. The bustle of the newsroom is a mere backdrop for self-involved characters to give talky speeches and taunt each other. In fact, the smart-ass speeches go on and on and on, the actors seemingly in love with the sound of their voices.

Now that sounds like a Sorkin production.  It’s yet another iteration of a progressive passion play about how awful conservatives are, and how principled and yet oddly conflicted progressives are in attempting to lead the benighted Right into the nirvana of central planning.  In other contexts, the media might have loved that kind of psychodrama, but Sorkin may have miscalculated by transplanting his oeuvre into a place they understand better than he does.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Hey, there’s a show for that, too. It’s called Morning Joe.

Heh.

MadisonConservative on June 22, 2012 at 10:44 AM

From Tapper’s article:

(With no apparent sense of sarcasm, Skinner repeats praise for their restraint from Media Matters and Think Progress, as if those explicitly liberal websites are nonideological arbiters of Edward R. Murrow’s legacy.)

Did you see it?

Look.

Closer.

There. Right there.

Between the plot lines and dialogue: “Faux news is eebil. EEBIL!”

In other news, HBO is still in business.

locomotivebreath1901 on June 22, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Shows such as this and Bill Maher (Ptui!) are the reason a lot of Americans have dropped HBO

kingsjester on June 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Is there anything in “Newsroom” about blogs?

listens2glenn on June 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Any time I’ve been involved in an event the press has covered, they’ve managed to screw it up. Same for everyone I’ve talked to. Now its their turn.

Socratease on June 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Trying to put lipstick on a pig huh? It’ still a pig though.

jake49 on June 22, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Hey, there’s a show for that, too. It’s called Morning Joe.

I’m with MadCon. Nice.

WisRich on June 22, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Jane Fonda

Absolute effing guarantee that this vet will not get within 100 miles of that show. That commie whore can burn in hell…and soon.

Extrafishy on June 22, 2012 at 10:48 AM

HBO is still on??

Deano1952 on June 22, 2012 at 10:49 AM

In a real newsroom, you’d be watching people reading and typing. In the meetings, you’d see people speaking in shorthand and looking at their watch (or iPhone clock.) This show sounds like fantasy upon fantasy.

RBMN on June 22, 2012 at 10:49 AM

I dropped HBO a couple of years ago…

d1carter on June 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Yeah, nothing gets me running for the tv remote like a show about the sausage-making aspect of a newsroom, I can barely contain my excitement for the next episode. I sometimes find myself anxiously switching between this show and the Paint Drying channel because I’m afraid I’ll miss the good parts.

Bishop on June 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Back in the early 80s, HBO actually was a good movie channel, with specials. such as Robert Vaughn playing FDR in a one man show, and Frank Langella appearing as Sherlock Holmes in a play taped live. Now, look at it.

kingsjester on June 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM

This begs a question, Morrissey.

What did you think of The West Wing?

Capt_Nemo on June 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Note the affected posing in the photo, the body language of self importance. Anyway, just another dream world of self praise by people,& Sorkin, who create an existence where Government is savior and creator, and these history ignorant fools take the credit and ego trips.

arand on June 22, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Of course, MTV actually played music videos, back then.

kingsjester on June 22, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Zzzzzz. What? Zzzzzz.

Finbar on June 22, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Why would I want to watch fictional newscasters cover news stories that already happened? Its not suspensful to see an actor muse how he’s going to cover Bin Laden death when its already happened. Fail.

libfreeordie on June 22, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Another good reason for not having HBO. Newsrooms are becoming dinosaurs. Soon there won’t be any. Won’t miss them at all.

BetseyRoss on June 22, 2012 at 10:55 AM

HBO = Help Barack Obama

22044 on June 22, 2012 at 10:56 AM

As I said in the Headline thread:

Jeff Daniels talked about the show during a radio interview. He said that Aaron Sorkin is a friend of and has worked with Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews and Larry O’Donnell. That should tell you about all you need to know about the leanings of this show. Sorkin has created a rare bird “Republican” newscaster who is more like Moe, Curly and Larry, oops, I mean, Keith, Chris and Larry.

Fallon on June 22, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Sorkin is a one note concert. His shows are boring, and a parody of the many parodies seen nightly on the network and cable news shows. Why would anyone looking for entertainment watch or even pay extra for?

Kissmygrits on June 22, 2012 at 10:57 AM

“White White White is the color of our TV show!”

(sorry. Old folks like me remember “White White White is the color of our carpet!” from The Producers)

Marcus on June 22, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Speaking of Tapper,Sunday New Shows might be worth watching!

Jake Tapper ‏@jaketapper

I’ll be subbing for @GStephanopoulos on @ThisWeekABC sunday — our guest will be Congressman @DarrellIssa…

Jake Tapper ‏@jaketapper

Here’s my review in The New Republic of Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO Show, “The Newsroom” > http://tinyurl.com/6vmvtu9

https://twitter.com/#!/jaketapper

canopfor on June 22, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Why would I want to watch fictional newscasters cover news stories that already happened? Its not suspensful to see an actor muse how he’s going to cover Bin Laden death when its already happened. Fail.

libfreeordie on June 22, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Yeah. Who needs HBO when practically everything the actual broadcasters say is fiction?

totherightofthem on June 22, 2012 at 10:59 AM

What the hell else would you expect from the cable network that brings us the witlessness and lack of wisdom of Bill Maher?!!!

pilamaye on June 22, 2012 at 10:59 AM

I actually watched “The Social Network” one night when NOTHING else was on cable. Boy, did that “movie” really suck. And it won awards? Did it get the Nobel Peace Prize?

Sorkin is awful. He writes nothing but boring, stupid pieces that lefties go ga-ga over. Monkey movies, essentially.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 22, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Soooo, this is a reality show…

BKeyser on June 22, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Crap,its bad enough to keep track of the daily news soap opera,
and drama!!!

And,just what,if anything will one glean from watching an HBO News Show,besides Demonization of the Right!

canopfor on June 22, 2012 at 11:02 AM

BTW, I must have missed all the “clever dialogue”. I saw nothing but boring diatribes.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 22, 2012 at 11:02 AM

that unmistakably Sorkinesque logorrhea of righteous self-importance

What a great word! I must use that…

KS Rex on June 22, 2012 at 11:03 AM

“I only seem liberal because I believe hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure and not by gay marriage.”

There is such a moronic irony to this statement.
You see hurricanes are caused by low barometric pressure, so gay marriage could just as likely cause one.

J_Crater on June 22, 2012 at 11:04 AM

It`ll sweep the Emmys.

ThePrez on June 22, 2012 at 11:07 AM

merging cable news and politics into entertainment

thus giving birth to the Obama administration….

hillsoftx on June 22, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Never heard of it, and it gets two threads on Hot Gas.

Akzed on June 22, 2012 at 11:08 AM

HBO?

One has to pay for the privilege of being insulted.

No thanks.

Robert Jensen on June 22, 2012 at 11:12 AM

I couldn’t stand The West Wing. I didn’t even need to see this to know it would suck.

goflyers on June 22, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Sorkin, Waterston & Fonda. Nuff said. HBO would have to pay me to watch it.

LynnB74 on June 22, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Maybe, after reading that Sorkin was hanging out with Keith Olbermann, we were looking for a brilliantly nuanced rendition of the pathologies of cable news.

What?

mankai on June 22, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Is there anything in “Newsroom” about blogs?

listens2glenn on June 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM

| Delete | Delete and Ban

Check that out! My cut-n-paste produced delete and ban powers.

Anyway, what I was going to say was.
Blogs and Citizen Journalism….that might be a good show.

bettycooper on June 22, 2012 at 11:17 AM

I have never seen an episode of The West Wing. I’ve watched The American President, because my bride likes it.

kingsjester on June 22, 2012 at 11:18 AM

“And the award for the show nobody watches, but has awesome cultural and political relevance by speaking truth to power goes to…”

mankai on June 22, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Even the promo pic is pretentious.

mankai on June 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

I won’t watch this show for the same reason I refuse to watch Christian movies like “Fireproof,” or “Courageous,” or “Decision Time: 365.” I can’t stand to watch ideologues preening themselves on their ideology rather than telling a story. Whether I agree with their particular ideology has nothing to do with it.

I suspect most liberals will look at this show and have an overweening desire to throw up, like the time my family forced me to watch “The Ride.” http://youtu.be/SySfhdpSTVk to see what I mean. And no, I didn’t walk the aisle after that one. That came a lot later, after a lot more soul-searching than a silly, rotten, crappy Christian movie sluzzfest.

Yeeeeeeuck!

JoseQuinones on June 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM

So, let me see if I understand this correctly.

Aaron Sorkin has built his entire career upon the broken twisted corpses of individuals whose political beliefs he disagrees with by transforming them into hollow pathetic caricatures of who they really are.

In the past, the Fifth Column Treasonous Media have applauded his efforts because they paralleled those of the Fifth Column Treasonous Media and provided the Fifth Column Treasonous Media with ammunition to lambast those with whom they disagreed.

Now Aaron Sorkin has turned his attention to the Fifth Column Treasonous Media and apparently given it the only kind of treatment that he knows how, which is to say, treated the Fifth Column Treasonous Media in the exact same manner as everyone else whom he has reduced to hollow pathetic caricatures of who they really are (which in the case of the Fifth Column Treasonous Media means he represented them 100 percent accurately) and the Fifth Column Treasonous Media suddenly find this kid of treatment to be unrealistic, disingenuous and more than a tad bit less than flattering.

OK, so, does anyone see where I might have failed to understand this issue?

SWalker on June 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Heeeey Ed, the word you’re looking for in the last sentence is “oeuvre”…or better yet, “œuvre.”

On topic, not at all surprised by this. Isn’t Sorkin in the Gilmore Girls school, where talking fast is equated with saying witty things?

TouchingTophet on June 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM

So, it’s no Band of Brothers, eh?

reaganaut on June 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM

I actually watched “The Social Network” one night when NOTHING else was on cable. Boy, did that “movie” really suck. And it won awards? Did it get the Nobel Peace Prize?

Sorkin is awful. He writes nothing but boring, stupid pieces that lefties go ga-ga over. Monkey movies, essentially.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 22, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Delete

I disagree. I thought “The Social Network” was excellent. It probably helped that it was free of politics.

Now, the movie that Sorkin wrote that I can’t watch is “A Few Good Men.”

Nick_Angel on June 22, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Part of the anger here coming from the critics — aside from the fact the show apparently features the usual Sorkin motor-mouth dialogue problems — is that a lot of these people have been carrying water for Barack Obama and the Democrats for over four years now, and here comes Aaron Sorkin to basically tell them, “You’ve done a horseshirt job of carrying water for Obama and the Democrats.”

Aaron’s basically the evil Bond villain about to drop one of his failed henchmen into the crocodile pit, and the liberal big media types resent the fact that some Hollywood egotist with a cornucopias history of substance abuse is going to tell them they haven’t been doing a good enough job of protecting the King. If you’ve spent at least the last 30 months knowing you’re trying to peddle a crap sandwich to the public that’s catching on about the ingredients, you’re not going to be very charitable when some amateur tells the world he can sell it better.

jon1979 on June 22, 2012 at 11:25 AM

“I’m a registered Republican,” Will says in a prime example of elegant Sorkinese. “I only seem liberal because I believe hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure and not by gay marriage.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t hurricanes caused by LOW barometric pressure?

clayj on June 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM

JoseQuinones on June 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM

If one more Christian tells me how you can’t tell “Fireproof” from a real Hollywood movie, I’m going to throw up. Sentiment aside, it doesn’t even rise to level of many Lifetime movies.

It’s abysmal. The acting is horrendous. The writing even worse.

And as far as the message goes, the guy who delivers the speech on marriage, by his own life, doesn’t believe it! “MARRIAGE IS ABSOLUTE AND FOREVER, TWO BOUND INTO ONE… but I screwed up my first marriage and married again.”

What?

mankai on June 22, 2012 at 11:28 AM

People still pay $20 for HBO in an $8 Netflix era?

Who would have thunk.

MNHawk on June 22, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t hurricanes caused by LOW barometric pressure?

clayj on June 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Racist, gay basher!

/

mankai on June 22, 2012 at 11:28 AM

I disagree. I thought “The Social Network” was excellent. It probably helped that it was free of politics.

It was free of entertainment, too :)

Now, the movie that Sorkin wrote that I can’t watch is “A Few Good Men.”

Nick_Angel on June 22, 2012 at 11:24 AM

I didn’t have a big problem with that – though I only saw it once and never felt like seeing it again. It was sort of typical of Hollywood to do okay but have the good guys and the bad guys switched. Just like Swordfish, which was stupidly fun but made the huge mistake that John Travolta’s character was actually the only good guy – and that came out right before 9/11, IIRC. Best golfing address scene with Halle Berry, I’ll say, even if it was silly.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 22, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Hmmmmm, won’t be picking HBO back up for this then.

As someone who enjoys good TV and movies (yes such things exist) its unbelievably boring to be lectured by condescending liberals when watching either. They almost always destroy any value in the product by giving free rein to their hackneyed political ideas. Spielberg can occasionally keep it in check, Mel Gibsonberg and James Cameron usually cannot.

CorporatePiggy on June 22, 2012 at 11:32 AM

“I only seem liberal because I believe hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure and not by gay marriage.”

Hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure???

Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

Liberals are so stupid.

Hayabusa on June 22, 2012 at 11:33 AM

I liked A Few Good Men and The Social Network.

I really hated The American President, though.

22044 on June 22, 2012 at 11:35 AM

“I’m a registered Republican,” Will says in a prime example of elegant Sorkinese. “I only seem liberal because I believe hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure and not by gay marriage.”

Hurricanes aren’t cause by barometric pressure being one way or the other. Pressure is a result of a formed hurricane and low pressure is indicative at ground level of the presence (or approach, possibly) of a hurricane.

Sorkin is a retard and Jeff Daniels (who was always a shlub and a loser, which used to be the only roles he played) is an idiot for repeating these retarded lines without objecting (along with everyone else who took part in this fiasco).

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 22, 2012 at 11:35 AM

So this was so close to the real thing that it made Jake Tapper uncomfortable..?

d1carter on June 22, 2012 at 11:36 AM

So this was so close to the real thing that it made Jake Tapper uncomfortable..?

d1carter on June 22, 2012 at 11:36 AM

ROTFLMAO… That was my take on it as well… ;)

SWalker on June 22, 2012 at 11:37 AM

I got a call from my cable provider, Verizon, with an offer to try a package that included HBO for a short period of time, for free. The representative sounded like an eager young girl. She told me that if I didn’t like it, I could simply cancel without penalty.

I declined. She seemed surprised and asked why I was refusing all this ‘Free’ good stuff.
My reply: “Two Words. ‘Bill Maher.’”
She said: “Who’s he?”

Maybe there IS hope for the next generation.

TimBuk3 on June 22, 2012 at 11:44 AM

I fired HBO three years ago a the same time I fired the Arizona Republic…and I have never looked back.

I’ll decide what my opinion is, thank you very much.

DrW on June 22, 2012 at 11:45 AM

HBO = Help Barack Obama

22044 on June 22, 2012 at 10:56 AM

…for sure!…and then… they want you to pay for it! Just like der leader.

KOOLAID2 on June 22, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Shows such as this and Bill Maher (Ptui!) are the reason a lot of Americans have dropped HBO

kingsjester on June 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Heh, I dropped HBO several years ago, and cable TV entirely almost a year ago. All I miss is the clock on the cable box.

If you have cable TV, you are subsidizing this evil progressive “incessant gibber-jabber”. Buy a digital antenna for free TV. I still get about 40 channels, most still not worth watching, but at least I’m saving over $1000/year, and wasting less time on crap TV. Screw you Hollywood & the LSM.

ornery_independent on June 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM

For his next series Sorkin is going to address the biggest threat in America – the Theorcrat Christianist Taliban.

CorporatePiggy on June 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I disagree. I thought “The Social Network” was excellent. It probably helped that it was free of politics.

It was free of entertainment, too :)

It somehow managed to make a guy writing Perl scripts look interesting, so the movie has something going for it, but to each his own.

Now, the movie that Sorkin wrote that I can’t watch is “A Few Good Men.”

Nick_Angel on June 22, 2012 at 11:24 AM
I didn’t have a big problem with that – though I only saw it once and never felt like seeing it again. It was sort of typical of Hollywood to do okay but have the good guys and the bad guys switched.
ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 22, 2012 at 11:30 AM | Delete

Exactly. I don’t think the point of the film is to have the audience agreeing with Nicholson’s character, and of course the villain Kiefer Sutherland played just HAD to be a Bible thumper.

Nick_Angel on June 22, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Shows such as this and Bill Maher (Ptui!) are the reason a lot of Americans have dropped HBO

kingsjester on June 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I thought it was because of the totally deranged and perverted sex series HBO loves to make. There are some really sick puppies over at HBO, apart and aside from politics.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Back in the early 80s, HBO actually was a good movie channel, with specials. such as Robert Vaughn playing FDR in a one man show, and Frank Langella appearing as Sherlock Holmes in a play taped live. Now, look at it.

kingsjester on June 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Yup, HBO was much better then than it is now. In the past 12 months, the only decent things I’ve seen there have been:

1. Their great series “Treme”, which is quite possibly their only decent regular programming now. But even that show is starting to run out of ideas, simple because of its premise.

2. HBO had the world broadcast premiere of Scorsese’s George Harrison film.

3. And just recently they had the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction show.

But were all of those things worth shelling out $30 a month? Not really.

Del Dolemonte on June 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM

HBO, hmmmmm let’s see….

There’s Boardwalk Empire……

and….

wait….

still thinking…..

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on June 22, 2012 at 11:53 AM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM

There was a great series by HBO about the Old West, hosted by Dick Cavett, that was used in schools back in the 80s. Man. How things have changed.

kingsjester on June 22, 2012 at 11:54 AM

There’s gotta be a Meghan McCain character in the script. That cow fits the “sadness and anger” schtick to a T. Add a big helping of Meggie’s daft stupidity and you’ve got yourself some Joe Biden-style comic relief to boot.

Cicero43 on June 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Not only do we have lousy journalists, now we have lousy shows about journalists.

Ain’t watchin’ none of it.

NoDonkey on June 22, 2012 at 12:06 PM

The West Wing – feeding liberal fantasies about the kind of world we could live in if only conservatives were “reasonable” (and liberals weren’t corrupt crony-capitalists-fascists).

gwelf on June 22, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I believe the reason many of the lefty critics are beating up on the show is because it pretty accurately portrays the blatant, virulent bias and lefty hive mentality in all MSM newsrooms.

They want the public to think that there’s no such bias and that “golly, we’re not like that -we’re just ‘journalists’ doing our jobs”.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on June 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Ummm… regarding the dialogue… Hurricanes form because of low pressure, not high. I guess Liberals don’t need to get their science right.

DrUrchin on June 22, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Do people still pay for HBO? I thought you had to be a leftist to subscribe.

Dollayo on June 22, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Sooner or later people will realize that those who accuse us of hatred are the ones truly filled with hate …
Almost makes me want to break into the song about how
“they will know we are Christians by our Love”
… except I am more Pagan than Christian …
but you Christians feel free to sing it and I’ll give you a thumbs-up in support

TimLenox on June 22, 2012 at 12:41 PM

“And anyhow, HBO already has a compelling series in which whip-smart people of various political persuasions gather to out-argue one another and bemoan the state of media ignorance. It’s called “Real Time With Bill Maher.”

Lost me right there.

PJ Emeritus on June 22, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Olivia Munn pie jump. Nummm Nummm Nummm!

mechkiller_k on June 22, 2012 at 1:03 PM

The only favorable review I have seen of the show has been from the SF Chronicle and was exactly as the New Yorker review said some would spin it: “if you don’t like it, you are too stupid to understand it”.

crosspatch on June 22, 2012 at 1:07 PM

HBO is like sitting in an outhouse for the first time and wondering what that smell is. Try to imagine the type of person who would think Bill Maher is entertaining. Lifeforms that illiterate should be euthanized for the public good.

volsense on June 22, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Way Off Topic: Today starts the Jobbie Nooner. Party on.

mechkiller_k on June 22, 2012 at 1:10 PM

I saw the West Wing once. Basically it was a show designed to let Libtards forget for an hour that Bush was president. Not even any eye candy. Then again hot liberal women is contradiction of terms.

Reason #872 why I only use my TV for DVD’s.

This pile of manure will be no different except that it will be a shrill for Obamao.

To give HBO credit they did a good job with John Adams. My only complaint was it was not long enough.

Bubba Redneck on June 22, 2012 at 1:13 PM

and the Fifth Column Treasonous Media suddenly find this kid of treatment to be unrealistic, disingenuous and more than a tad bit less than flattering.

OK, so, does anyone see where I might have failed to understand this issue?

SWalker on June 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Yup, that pretty much nails it. Couldn’t have said it better myself. +100

Turtle317 on June 22, 2012 at 1:22 PM

The only favorable review I have seen of the show has been from the SF Chronicle and was exactly as the New Yorker review said some would spin it: “if you don’t like it, you are too stupid to understand it”.
crosspatch on June 22, 2012 at 1:07 PM

That’s what my old art professor in college used to say about modern art when I told him it looked like cr@p.

Bubba Redneck on June 22, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Sorry I don’t give my time or money to people who think I’m a racist hillbilly. Goes against my religion. Or something.

PASS.

kim roy on June 22, 2012 at 1:27 PM

HBO is like sitting in an outhouse for the first time and wondering what that smell is. Try to imagine the type of person who would think Bill Maher is entertaining. Lifeforms that illiterate should be euthanized for the public good.

volsense on June 22, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Wondering what the smell is, hahahahahahhaha, good one!

Dollayo on June 22, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Sorkin puts out crap. The Social Network was truly awful. The dialogue is stilted garbage. Nobody talks like that.

Captain Kirock on June 22, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Liberalism always fails. It is propagated by losers and championed by ignoramuses.

tom daschle concerned on June 22, 2012 at 3:06 PM

What should we expect from a Hollywood narcissist with pretensions of altruism making a series about a whole gaggle of narcissists with pretensions of altruism? WAIT! Is there a germ of a creative idea there? How about a SHOW about a Hollywood narcissist making a show about narcissists with pretensions of altruism? Get some National Lampoon type talent (the old good kind) and voila! A Mary Tyler Moore show for the 21st Century! Ed Asner, where the hell are you?

Mr Mxyzptlk on June 22, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Sorkin lost me at:
“Sydney, I don’t want to lose you.”
“Mr. President, you’ve got bigger problems than losing me. You just lost my vote.”

Well, f–kberries, bad enough that I don’t get to bang Annette Bening any more, but if she’s not going to VOTE for me… well, shit!

The Schaef on June 22, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I saw and advance screening of the first episode of “Newsroom” earlier this week.

Since I love political humor, I enjoyed it.

I have seen the reviews that accused the show of bashing Conservatives/Republicans.

But in the first episode, I thought there was equal opportunity for the bashing of both Liberals and Conserevatives. This relative balance may change in future episodes if the obnoxious character, Will, becomes more clearly identified as an evil Republican who somehow managed to get hired to host a news show.

The best part of the first episode was the heated discussion about whether or not President Obama is a Socialist, which happens in the first few minutes of the show.

So if you are watching the show with a Liberal, make sure they are seated and paying attention as the show begins. You don’t want them to miss the “Obama is a Socialist” discussion.

If Newsroom wakes up some voters and helps them to see the very real bias that exists in modern newsrooms, then the show has the potential to do some good.

Heck, if Newsroom encourages some young people to inform themselves even a little bit by paying attention some current events, that could be a plus too.

wren on June 22, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Is there anything in “Newsroom” about blogs?

listens2glenn on June 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Yes.

Will, the News Anchor, is surprised to find out he has a blog.

Will’s blog is written by a young 20-something. This may shock some gullible folk who think that famous people actually write their own blogs.

wren on June 22, 2012 at 4:04 PM

HBO = Help Barack Obama

22044 on June 22, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Quick, get Axelrod on the phone. Somebody really screwed up when they let the “Obama is a Socialist” scene appear in the first episode.

wren on June 22, 2012 at 4:10 PM

It’s telling, of course, and it’s also entirely predictable. I doubt that at this stage anyone would have different expectations of a Sorkin production, but that prompts the question of why anyone to the right of Tom Harkin would bother watching it.

This.

And sorry, RINOs, but anyone here who is surprised that liberal twits Jake Tapper and Howard Kurtz “wanted it to be great” is a fool. They are both biased liberal Democrats. Tapper does a slightly better job of masking his nearly constant left-bias, but only slightly. The entire butt-sniffing television media consists of Democrats … outside (and often inside of) Fox News studios.

Jaibones on June 22, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Murphy Brown 2.0
No imagination, more party propaganda.
I’d rather watch soccer.
Boring? By all means!! But at least there is a chance someone could get kicked in the nuts.
That, and the fact that if you have trouble sleeping just record a game.
You’ll be sawing logs in no time. Heck one game will last longer than the DVD player.

Bubba Redneck on June 22, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Hmmm…Sorkin must have made the show like the current real MSM newsrooms…stinky for sure!

aposematic on June 22, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Sorkin’s shows are never about how bad conservatives and Christians and corporate leaders are. They are simply about how much cleverer and more intelligent Sorkin is than everybody else, liberals included. The Latin references, the obscure factifying, the lecturing and arrogant condescension in the dialogue, all designed to make the viewing public feel ashamed of their inferiority and aspire to be more like him.

Ozwitch on June 22, 2012 at 7:16 PM

After watching “The Big Bang Theory ” my TV watching is over for the week.

BruceB on June 22, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Comment pages: 1 2