Newsroom: Season 1, Episode 3: The 112th Congress

This is what happens when you decide not to check your email for two days, have the place to yourself, HBO On Demand and a blog: You start writing VERY LONG episode summaries of the Newsroom.

The idea of the News as a public service:

Follow me on this path: why would the government subcontracts out the news to multiple different networks? If your idea is that advertising is what causes bias then it should be enough for just one network.

Actually, why subcontract at all? The government has the money to do this effectively. This would create concerns about propaganda and how the government would share information.

If TV news could not make a profit than what would happen with print and web news? Would the newspapers be able to pay more and hire more people for that news?

This all would fly in the face of the first amendment in the freedom of the press. Government regulation of the press should be taken very seriously and that provision could lead to propaganda or the end of TV news.

Overall, this is an incredibly interesting “what if” situation that should be discussed in J-Schools. I’m of the opinion that it would not have been feasible or even necessarily a good thing.

I also don’t think it could have lasted. Look at radio and the Fairness Doctrine and Equal Time Rule.

I think someone should (if it hasn’t already been done) write a book exploring this topic. It probably won’t sell very well but while textbooks are still overpriced the can make a pretty penny off students.

All those journalists Will mentioned dealt with ads by the way.

“We’ll be the champion of facts and the mortal enemy of innuendo, speculation, hyperbole and nonsense. We’re not waiters in a restaurant, serving you the stories you asked for, just the way you like them prepared. Nor are we computers, dispensing only the facts because news is only useful in the context of humanity. I’ll make no effort to subdue my personal opinions. I will make every effort to expose you to informed opinions that are different from my own.” Will

This is a really cool mission statement. I won’t belittle it and rant about each section and I will just move to the end of his speech.

“Who are we to make these decisions? We are the media elite” Will

This would be the least popular statement if the show was real. It raises more questions than it answers (and it doesn’t answer the question before it). Who are the “media elite”? Are there members outside of your staff? Why should this group control the news? What is the process?

“I saw the show at a bar” Don.

How would one watch the news at a bar? A bar is loud and every bar I have seen the news in only does the subtitles with the volume off (and even that’s delayed). If I’m going to read the news I have the Internet and print to read.

I’m surrounded by news every day, when I go to a bar I need to escape. Bartenders of the world: please stop showing comedies, talking heads and news at your establishments. I would suggest something that has no need for volume (say sports).

Also with Don doing the show after News Night then why is he drunk?

The Tea Party:

I think calling it a “party” is a misnomer. I would like it much better if it were it’s own political party. In fact, I think America would benefit greatly from the splintering of the Republican and Democratic parties.

At this point: it seems as if the labels of Republican and Democrat don’t mean anything. A Republican can be for Gay marriage and a Democrat can be against abortion (side note: this is absolutely wonderful, I’m extremely suspicious of people who agree with everything that one of the major parties stand for).

I would propose two possible solutions:
1. We get rid of parties. This won’t work because of money structure and identification but is the best solution. Our complete organization doesn’t allow it.
2. Have better labels and more parties. This seems to do the exact opposite and in the short-term I would bet that it would create chaos but it could work out really well in the long term.
I really don’t see one issue or one unifying theme within the major parties.

I also don’t quite understand how someone could get the Tea Party’s endorsement. As far as I was aware (much like Occupy Wall Street), they were not really a unified group. I may be wrong about that but I didn’t think they had original principles.

“Before he (Will) was an anchor, before he was a reporter, before he was a speech writer, he was a prosecutor. He graduated college at 19, law school at 21, and he signed up with the Brooklyn DA’s office, as a prosecutor, where he racked up a 94% conviction rate. The newsroom became a court room, Reese, because I made a decision that American voters need a fucking lawyer.” Charlie

The fact that Will is a lawyer doesn’t mean the set should be a courtroom. Americans don’t seem to trust lawyers, so we want them to trust anchors by making them seem like lawyers?

I don’t know how many people have been inside a courtroom but it really isn’t the best way to get facts (especially if you aren’t there for the whole case). I think that this courtroom journalism is really bad for news as a whole (not as bad as talking heads yelling but still).

“You scared them off with your wiki-nerd pitch” Jim to Neal.

Wiki-nerd pitches very rarely work but when they do it’s awesome.

This thing of fans taking cell phone pictures of Will is stupid. New Yorkers are really good at not giving a shit about “celebrities.”

Also these meetings have Bourbons in them? I’m holding all meetings there.

On a completely unrelated note, I hate glass walls especially in an office. One of the major

Charlie seems unaware of the power structure. This is always a mistake.

I also love boxing and Rocky metaphors for politics. Can we please get more of these metaphors in my life? Seriously.

Rule for life: Never put a laptop and start typing in a bar.

“We are looking at American Democracy in action” Elliot.

Aren’t we always?

“I’m not the one who wants to be a star Momma Rose” Elliot.

GYPSY!!!!! This gives me an amazing excuse to post this video:

Why will the debt ceiling be his most important vote? If you are in Congress for at least two years you have no idea what the most important vote would be.

“Be a damn newsman!” Charlie to Jim

Fuck yes! I might print this on a shirt.

On the golf analogy: It makes no sense and what happened to Moses’ ball? Also I will always pick fuck around vs. playing golf (although people say me playing golf looks a lot like fucking around).

“I got where I am by knowing who to fear”

That’s a great piece of information.

I wish I had a way to do these shorter and spend less time on them but the two seem to be at odds.

I have also been watching the Sorkin aftermath and it’s making me like the story less rather than more.


~ by realfactsandbeer on December 31, 2012.

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