The Newsroom brings us Aaron Sorkin and Sam Waterson along with Jeff Daniels and a cast of new faces in a drama set in a fictitious cable newsroom. Daniel’s character, Will McAvoy was an audience pleasing anchor who sees the light when a moderator at a Northwestern University panel pushes him to answer a lame question about how great America is. After demurring, he lashes out with his true beliefs and begins a quest to do news differently, much to the delight of the president of Atlantic Cable’s News division.
In the first episode his veteran staff jump ship, and his former love, MacKenzie McHale, who’s a top notch newsperson, is hired as his executive producer. The show has many of the qualities that made The West Wing and Studio 60 so great: rapid-fire, smart dialog, high ideals in a world that favors the low, unrequited love amongst very smart, attractive people. The Newsroom glides along the high road making you wish there really was a Will McAvoy and a Mackenzie McHale, who’d give the American public intelligent, honest news night after night. Obviously, Atlantic Cable News is what CNN could be and isn’t.
For a long time I’ve questioned the belief that there are two sides to every story. When is life ever so cut and dried? Nature isn’t just binary. How happy I was to hear a character champion my quietly held position. Indeed, sometimes there are three, four, ten sides. Some issues are so obvious, e.g. the world is round, that no there aren’t two sides. Sorry, there just aren’t. Your teachers and family have done you a disservice if after a short mulling over, you can’t figure this out.
It’s a pity this is only available on HBO, since like the pseudo show it depicts, The Newsroom contains ideas and information that should inform us in the voting booth.