Category Archives: Journalisms

Aaron Sorkin is telling us yesterday’s news

HBO, "The Newsroom"

I thought about going with “Aaron Sorkin is yesterday’s news,” but that seemed excessively mean. And probably inaccurate.

A recurring subplot in Sorkin’s previous worst show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, dealt with a character who was developing a TV show about the United Nations, which he was planning to put on HBO because it was too highbrow for the network TV audience — an idea that Amanda Peet’s fake programming director tried to dissuade him of. So it’s probably telling that now, after Studio 60 collapsed under its own baggage and Sorkin himself got to put a show on HBO, his big idea was apparently to make Studio 60 again.

The Newsroom works considerably better than Studio 60 did, largely because it doesn’t have to sell the idea that a fake version of Saturday Night Live is somehow central to the soul of American society. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t seem to advanced its analysis of the news industry much beyond a few wistful lines about how much better America was when a bunch of old white men told us what to think every night.

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You’re Violating the Rules of Being a Weatherman

One of the unfortunate aftereffects of being a reporter is that I’m actually interested by journalistic ethics flaps. Actually, I’ve kind of gone beyond interested, because the journalistic ethics code is one of those bizarre things that makes less sense the more you think about it. Still, I can get dragged in on occasion, particularly when the issue involves news outlets I use.

So when, during the course of driving to get some lunch today, I caught this report about KUOW (Puget Sound’s public radio service!) dumping Cliff Mass from his regular gig forecasting the weather on Weekday, I ended up sitting in my car with the engine off waiting for the story to finish. It was a nice callback to my days in public-service journalism — that rare profession held in high regard by the people who actually do it and by virtually no one else.

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