HBO should really try a new slogan for its original programming. Indeed they already had one courtesy of Aaron Sorkin's acid pen in the debut of his ridiculous new series "The Newsroom." That slogan is "Speaking Truth to Stupid."
It's an appropriate slogan for a pay-cable channel that insists only the really smart people pay the extra fee to join the television elite. But do Sorkin and HBO really deserve their lofty, arrogant position as the smart people? Let's count the ways this new show demolishes that proposition:
1. It's preposterous that this "Newsroom" is realistic. The first glaring indicator was disgraced CBS anchor Dan Rather insisting on his accuracy. He said the large number of TV critics who panned the show were wrong. "They've somehow missed the breadth, depth and 'got it right' qualities -- and importance - of Newsroom."
Real news junkies had to laugh at the idea that this fictional news crew from "ACN" handling real-life stories managed to figure out within a couple of hours that the Deepwater Horizon oil platform explosion in the Gulf of Mexico was going to lead to a massive oil spill. In real life, the networks took about four days to figure out the emerging story was a voluminous spill.
If that wasn't ridiculous enough, viewers are treated to the idea that the ACN crew of producers and fact-checkers was somehow out to lunch most of the day waiting for the Jeff Daniels anchorman character to get his contract revised. Then, with an executive producer in her first hours on a new job, the anchorman does an hour-long cable newscast with no script -- and it's presented as a seamless, Emmy-deserving hour of genius.
This is about as realistic as Rather's ersatz Texas Air National Guard documents.
2. It's preposterous that this "Newsroom" is idealistic. This show's debut revolved around a rhetorical explosion from an anchorman when a young woman asks why America is the greatest country in the world. She gets an angry earful on how America is not at all the greatest country in the world -- with rat-a-tat statistics on how America only leads in incarceration as it lags in infant mortality, and it's certainly not great because it's free, because every country in Western Europe is free -- blah, blah, blah.
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