I do like Aaron Sorkin’s shows, even if I probably shouldn’t like Aaron Sorkin as a person. Over the weekend (sick as a dog), I started watching Newsroom. Although it can be a tad preachy, it has some amazing points about what tv news is, isn’t and should and should not be as well as covering a period of time that I find to be defining for our country.
” I speak for myself. I was an accomplice to a slow and repeated and unacknowledged and unamended train wreck of failures that have brought us to now. I’m a leader in an industry that miscalled election results, hyped up terror scares, ginned up controversy, and failed to report on tectonic shifts in our country. From the collapse of the financial system to the truths about how strong we are to the dangers we actually face. I’m a leader in an industry that misdirected your attention with the dexterity of Harry Houdini while sending hundreds of thousands of our bravest young men and women off to war without due diligence. The reason we failed isn’t a mystery. We took a dive for the ratings. </sic>
Congress would allow the fledgling networks free use of taxpayer-owned airwaves in exchange for one public service. That public service would be one hour of air time set aside every night for informational broadcasting, or what we now call the evening news. Congress, unable to anticipate the enormous capacity television would have to deliver consumers to advertisers, failed to include in its deal the one requirement that would have changed our national discourse immeasurably for the better. Congress forgot to add that under no circumstances could there be paid advertising during informational broadcasting. They forgot to say that taxpayers will give you the airwaves for free and for 23 hours a day you should make a profit, but for one hour a night you work for us. And now those network newscasts, anchored through history by honest-to-God newsmen with names like Murrow and Reasoner and Huntley and Brinkley and Buckley and Cronkite and Rather and Russert – Now they have to compete with the likes of me. A cable anchor who’s in the exact same business as the producers of Jersey Shore. “
I love that he included Tim Russert in that list, as to me, Tim was one of the last great journalists this country has seen. With the death of Gwen Ifill, they no longer exist. So even though it’s a bit preachy and tends to hit things over the head with a sledgehammer, it also makes a lot of points that, in my opinion, should be made.
The other thing I’m watching (again) is Legion. Aside from really enjoying this underrated show, I’m catching a lot more on the second watch than on the first. It’s incredibly involved and I do not recommend two screening while watching, but it’s also riveting, so you won’t miss your phone while it’s on.
So…what good stuff are you watching that you didn’t see the first time around?