Newsroom Episode 9: The Blackout Part II: Mock Debate

Let’s get it started up in here… we are almost to the end of season one!

Mac: We hate what we’re doing. We hate that we’re covering Casey Anthony and Anthony Weiner. We hate that we have to do it to save the ratings. We hate that we have to bump important stories. And we’re starting to be not very pleasant people to be around. Guys, this is real. I’m not making this up. Just a minute ago when I was prepping for a pretape with that idiot who’s still sitting in the studio–
The idiot still sitting in the studio: Are you talking about me?
Mac: No! Yes. When I was prepping for her pretape I said, “God, please show me a sign that I’m not doing a big thing badly.” And right that second all the power went out. And so obviously I thought, “There’s my answer.”

This is a very Sorkin speech… where is Maggie asking why God would give a shit about this TV show?

Will: Raise your hand if Mac’s freaking you the hell out right now.

(Raises hand)

Sloan: We’re committing journalistic malpractice.
Neal: Fortunately, there’s no such thing.
Sloan: How great would it be if there was?

This is the part of the Newsroom that convinced me to start blogging about it. I really think it would be a horrible thing… I need to carve out some time for a long article about why this would be horrible but it will eventually happen (get excited).

Mac: That’s what an answer sounds like.

What makes them believe that any amount of prodding or browbeating would make a politician give a straight answer? You could have a knife at the throat of some politicians spouse and have a hard time getting a good answer… these politicians are trained for this.

Toni: What about Galliano?
Lisa: We, um– We stopped carrying Galliano after he, you know, came out in support of the Holocaust.
Toni: I mean, I don’t agree with him, but that’s no reason to condemn him for life.
Lisa: If only the Germans had had the same attitude.

You are going to the Tony awards, where the most powerful Jews in Broadway will surround you and you want to be in any way/shape/form connected to a Holocaust supporter? Your career is going to tank.

Jim: Miss, I’m just a random heterosexual guy from off the street and I think that dress looks great on you. Don’t even look at anything else. Buy that dress and wear it out of the store.

Is Jim really dim enough to think that she is wearing that dress for the purposes of attracting a random heterosexual guy? If she was she would just slut up. Also can anyone pull that move off? I want to see it in action.

Jim: You know what these pants cost me?
Maggie: $30.
Jim: That’s right. And they look just as good as the ones that cost $40.

Damn right, this is my approach to fashion. Although why can Maggie tell how much those pants cost? I don’t understand fashion.

Jim: You think they’re kissing in there (Lisa and Toni in the dressing room)?
Maggie: Do you think they’re kissing in there?
Jim: If I was a woman, I’d spend the whole day kissing other women. I don’t understand gay men or straight women.

Jim, you are no longer dim… he is now dispensing sage wisdom.

Jim: Um, I don’t know if it was clear from my e-mails and phone calls, but I’ve been wooing you. Still trying to get that second first date. The way you’re staring at me right now that this isn’t the best moment. You see that? I was able to tell without your saying anything. Our minds are in sync. But there’s not an ounce of quit in me, so I’ll woo you when–

Wonderful monologue, excellent use of the word “wooing” (when did this go out of style?). Brava!

Sloan to Neal about his troll stuff: You’re gonna be a good reporter.

This undercover work doesn’t prove that he would be good at anything (including trolling)

Neal: I could really get behind a government that was in a cahoots conspiracy to shove your breasts in our face.

The real question is why isn’t SOMEBODY in a conspiracy cahoots to put her breasts in our faces… we might have failed as a nation.

Lisa: Olivia Garcia was one year old when she mysteriously died at her babysitter’s house. But Olivia Garcia had brown skin, so we’re not that interested. Same with Triumph Skinner, a seven-month-old African-American who was rushed to the hospital with a crushed skull. For some reason he’s not keeping Nancy Grace up at night.

Here’s something I don’t get: if Anthony shouldn’t get media attention (and I’m on the record saying that it is news) why should all these other cases? If you are arguing that none of it is news why are you bringing these cases into media attention?

I don’t know anything about these other cases and have no opinion on if they were or weren’t news.

Lisa: What if Casey Anthony had wanted an abortion?
Maggie: She didn’t want an abortion!

Now this is something I don’t like, let’s not descend on hypotheticals (especially false hypotheticals). I will not wade into the abortion issue (I find when people do so they tend to lead with their chin and get knocked out) but media outlets should be careful to avoid delving into this type of buffoonery.

Also this is a pretty good case for pre-taping more interviews.

Will: If baseball players testifying about steroids in front of a House Subcommittee are subject to perjury, I don’t know why presidential candidates aren’t.

Baseball players shouldn’t be in front of Congress and it doesn’t seem that the threat of surgery was really enough. BTW the country learned nothing from that testimony and it didn’t help anyone or anything. Please don’t try to make debates like CSPAN.

Will: At which point we’ll explain the rules, which is there are no rules. I question a candidate until I’m done. They can each make an opening statement.

So if the candidates ignore whatever the hell you are saying and doing what do you plan to do? No rules works both ways.

The barrage of questions and answers assume that the candidates will respect and worry about hurting Will’s feelings. If all the candidates made Will look like the bad guy (and I assume they would) then they all get a huge bump and Will comes out with egg on his face.

Will: And if they know they’re going to be held responsible for the nonsense they’re shouting on the stump, they’ll be forced to stop shouting nonsense.

No they won’t and if only one party is accountable the other party will dominate. This makes a better idea for a general election format (still not a very good one).

Adam: Any candidate who can handle a cross is gonna find himself at the top of the polls in the morning. And we should welcome it ’cause it’ll clear out the clown car and give us a serious discussion among serious candidates.

I can’t see any of the GOP candidates being able to withstand that… maybe Ron Paul because his message is extremely simple. I doubt Romney or Santorum or Perry would show up. Newt could show up purely out of hubris and lose his cool (which could end up helping or hurting him).

Tate: We’re not agreeing to this format. You are going to abide by the rules that we give you and I don’t want Mackenzie McHale producing it for you.

This seems pretty accurate, at the end of the day Will needs the RNC more than the RNC needs Will.

Mac: “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.”
Jim: I’m gonna.
Mac: “Then be not coy but use your time, and while ye may go marry.
For having lost but once your prime, you may forever tarry.”

Why does nobody in my life give my advice in poems? Well, except the occasional homeless person and that drunk guy who always starts speeches with “there once was a man from Nantucket.”

OK, I think I’m alright with not getting any more advice in poetry form.

Maggie: If every network said, “We’re not playing by your rules. You’re playing by ours,” we’d raise the level of debate overnight.

Every network would be facing an anti-trust lawsuit and we would have no debates, it’s what media execs could call a “lose-lose.”

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~ by realfactsandbeer on February 10, 2013.

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