Newsroom episode 10, The Greater Fool

We have reached the end of season one!

Doctor: What about antidepressants?
Mac: No
Lonnie: Yes, he takes 135 milligrams a day of Effexor.
Mac: Since when?

First, why would you update people when you start or stop taking antidepressants? Also wouldn’t this be in his medical file and provided by the doctor and not his bodyguard?

Charlie: To get rid of the migraine headache that comes with taking too much Effexor and bourbon at the same time.

This seems to be a common misconception about a lot of medications (including antidepressants and birth control): taking more at one point will not make you feel better or allow you to have more sex before getting pregnant — these pills don’t work like that.

I will be reminded of this when Sorkin makes fun of Republican politicians who don’t know how birth control works that Will didn’t know how antidepressants work.

Will: Dorothy Cooper is a 96-year-old resident of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and has been voting for the last 75 years. This year, she’s been told she can’t. A new law in Tennessee requires residents to show a government-issued photo ID in order to vote. Dorothy Cooper doesn’t have a driver’s license because Dorothy Cooper doesn’t have a car.

I thought this soft news was the stuff they were avoiding? Something that affects almost nobody. I’m also not sure how someone can live in Chattanooga for that long and not ever having a driver’s license (note: I’m betting that the state would issue a Non-driver’s ID).

Will: disqualified Dorothy Cooper from the one fundamental thing that we all do as Americans.

I’m getting that you are talking about voting but about half of us don’t.

Will: It’s estimated that 11%, or roughly 20 million people, don’t have government-issued voter IDs and will be disenfranchised this November. Why?

This stat comes from NYU’s Brennan Center and I’m not going to spend much time arguing with it. (

However, “Reuters and Ipsos found that those lacking proper ID were less likely to vote anyway, “regardless of state law changes.”
Among those who said they were “certain to vote,” only 1 percent said they did not have proper ID while another 1 percent said they were uncertain whether they had the proper ID.” (

ProPublica goes on to inform me that if one does not have the proper ID they are issued a provisional ballot (although I’m not totally convinced that these votes are counted if the race isn’t close).

Will: To me, too, because voter fraud is such a huge problem that during a five-year period under the Bush Administration when 196 million votes were cast, the number of cases of voter fraud reached 86. Not 86,000. 86. Here’s what that number looks like as a percentage of votes cast– 4/100,000ths of a percent.

Now, I won’t claim voter fraud is a big issue, BUT this does not prove that. One could easily say that voter fraud is not being caught or that it is more of a local issue. Let’s let Will continue:

Will: This would be called a solution without a problem, but it’s not. It’s just a solution to a different problem. Republicans have a hard time getting certain people to vote for them, so life would be a lot easier if certain people just weren’t allowed to vote at all.

Without any proof he is throwing out an accusation THIS IS HORRIBLE JOURNALISM!!!

Nina: There’s no such thing as a little girl who dreams of being a gossip columnist one day.

Actually, I expect more kids dream of doing gossip (or sports or other soft news) than this hard news BS. Entertainment is sexier than news.

Sloan: I’ve been talking about it almost every night since the mid-terms, and I haven’t moved the needle at all.

Almost all Americans don’t watch your show and you preach to the converted not the heathens… that’s how it works.

Sloan: I don’t know who told you you’re a bad guy, but somebody did, somebody along the way. Somebody or something convinced you of it because you think you’re a bad guy, and you’re just not. I’m socially inept, but even I know that. So because you’re a bad guy, you try to do things you think a good guy would do, like committing to someone you like but maybe don’t love. A sweet, smart, wholesome Midwestern girl. I could be wrong. I almost always am.

This is a problem a lot of people have with Sorkin: he spills the beans by telling and not showing. We are told exactly what Don, Maggie and Sloan are in that one bit of brisk talk.

Don: Why are you single?

The question that has been on this writer’s mind since he saw Sloan.

Sloan: A lot of men are intimidated by my intelligence.
Don: No, seriously.
Sloan: Because you never asked me out.

That might be the worst answer ever. URGH

Mac: “Gather ye rosebuds,” Jim! When I told you to gather ye rosebuds. Did you?
Jim: I did. Yes. But–
Mac: What? I accidentally gathered the wrong rosebuds.

I feel like this happens a lot and it is millions of times funnier when it’s not happening to you.

Mac: Do you have any life philosophy that isn’t based on a musical?
Will: Hey, Dulcinea, I wasn’t the one who came in a year ago talking about Don Quixote

I don’t know why we don’t base more of our life philosophies on musicals, except Chicago — don’t base our life on that musical.

Mitch McConnell: Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term.

This isn’t a problem with his priorities; it’s a problem with him being open with the press. I don’t know many (or any) political junkies who were surprised by the fact this was true.

Nurse Cooper: And why, young man, isn’t this the first story on the news every night?

It’s not interesting, it doesn’t affect many people, it doesn’t keep viewers, it will be the same ragging on Republicans that Will does in the next five segments?

Will: “What is illness to the body of our knight errant?” “What matter wounds? For each time he falls–”

This with Baba O’Riley is so awesome!

Maggie: Hey! No, you didn’t! I’m a typical single woman in New York City! I don’t wear heels to work because the typical woman’s job doesn’t exclusively involve gallery openings. And I know Carrie must have made boatloads writing her 800-word column for a newspaper no one’s ever heard of, but I just spent my last $7 having a fight with my best friend who, by the way, is not available at 3:00 p.m. on a Wednesday to console me about some guy, because she, too, has a job. And mostly, when you fall for a guy and he’s going out with your best friend, it doesn’t work out. Things get really bad!

This is one of Sorkin’s best pieces of the Newsroom. Funny, snarky and with a lot of truth to it. It goes a little far when Jim is on the bus (but we all saw that coming).

Charlie: You reported $14 billion of net revenue last year. You won’t miss the $80 millionfrom TMI.

Assuming this is a publically held company they can’t just do that. It seems the words Fiduciary Duty mean nothing in this universe.

Sloan: Yeah. “The greater fool” is actually an economic term. It’s a patsy.
Will: Thanks for that.
For the rest of us to profit, we need a greater fool, someone who will buy long and sell short. Most people spend their lives trying not to be the greater fool. We toss him the hot potato. We dive for his seat when the music stops. The greater fool is someone with the perfect blend of self-delusion and ego to think that he can succeed where others have failed. This whole country was made by greater fools.

This is the message of the episode but even though I got hit over the head with it I’m hoping that there is something underlying that I’m not getting.

I have nothing to say about the “American Taliban” thing. I just can’t.

Mac: You’re melting now, aren’t you? Your heart is full. Just say what you’re feeling.
Will: Why the fuck didn’t you tell me?
Mac: I was waiting for the right time!
Will: 15 months ago was the right time.

This is a classic comedy and Sorkin nails it.

Jenny: I watch the show and I read the New York Magazine article and I know what a greater fool is. And I want to be one.
Will: Camelot— She’s the kid at the end of Camelot.

Morals, rapping up the story and a musical reference? Yup, Sorkin.

Will: Ask me your idiot question again.
Jenny: What makes America the greatest country in the world?
Will: You do.

Gag me with a spoon.

Then the tabloid reporter stops this crap, ugh… I really wish they had ended the season differently.


~ by realfactsandbeer on February 24, 2013.

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