Quit Sending the Clip of ‘Newsroom' Please, Really!
For the collection of ‘friends’ who forwarded the viral YouTube clip of the new series by the producers of West Wing, and thought they were sending something we’d endorse wholeheartedly, even though it is a caricature of a bad arch-conservative stereotype, we offer this review of the show by Bill Zeiser, writing for American Spectator, which we do endorse wholeheartedly, mostly.
Zeiser begins his clever-on-several-levels commentary: “In a recent episode of Aaron Sorkin's new HBO drama, Newsroom, about the inner workings of a network news program, a young staffer puts his fist through a computer monitor. He had become enraged after repeatedly viewing a clip in which Rush Limbaugh expressed lack of sympathy for foreign correspondents imperiled while covering the uprising in Egypt. I can relate. Not fifteen minutes earlier, the same episode had me seething during a scene in which unfounded attacks were made on reputable policy shops like Heritage and Cato. I had the good sense not to break my hand over it, though.
Newsroom follows the exploits of Will McEvoy, a once staid evening news anchor whose profanity laden moment of honesty during a panel discussion at Northwestern University transforms him into a YouTube sensation. His direct superior decides to seize upon this notoriety and refashion Will--whose reputation had been that he was safe, the Jay Leno of news--into the sort of old fashioned, idealistic newsman who speaks truth to power. Not surprisingly for an Aaron Sorkin show, power correlates approximately 1:1 with conservative interests.
The twist is that McEvoy, played as likeably flawed by veteran actor Jeff Daniels, constantly proclaims that he is a member of the Republican Party and balks at any notion of liberal favoritism on his show. Right. We are informed that conservatives perceive him as a RINO. He does little to bolster his GOP credentials, scoffing at the New York Post for being too lowbrow, blanching when a date brings a legally permitted concealed carry weapon into his swank Manhattan apartment, and describing himself as a member of the "media elite" on air -- using the phrase proudly as a credential, not in the self-effacing pejorative.
It is almost as if Sorkin foresaw the coming complaints from conservative watchdog groups about his latest unbalanced show and decided to add a measure of even-handedness. And a weak measure, at that. McEvoy is not so much Sorkin's ideal newsman, as his ideal conservative. He never articulates a single conservative value and uses his airtime to attack other conservatives. More on that later. Even McEvoy's ostensible Republicanism itself is played for smug laughs. "I am a registered Republican," he tells his boss, "I only seem liberal because I believe that hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure and not gay marriage." Ignoring for a moment that hurricanes are actually caused by low pressure, the irony is apparently lost on McEvoy that the global warming agenda he alludes to is essentially a secular religion with adherents as zealous as anti-gay bigots.
McEvoy, supposedly distressed by what he sees as the extremist drift of the GOP, turns his guns on the Tea Party movement. In his eyes, the movement started as a legitimate populist response to heavy-handed governance but transformed into a rag tag group of ignorant radicals acting as useful idiots for the Koch brothers. He laments that a dentist is running a campaign to the right of a career conservative politician. A dentist! Remember, viewers, in this progressive world born of the imperious politics of Woodrow Wilson, only "experts" should hold office. …” Do catch the remainder of Bill’s comments at the link below. We consider the review worthy of sharing.
Source: American Spectator