The Newsroom May Be Coming Back


Which one did he work on? The kiss butt Kelso from That 70’s Show one or the other one? I don’t think anyone saw either, though that might be because they were straight up bio-pics and not fictionalized stories with a current events frame (ala Social Network).


It was the one directed by Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender as Jobs. The Ashton Kutcher one got savaged by the critics, the Danny Boyle one got initially hyped as a masterpiece after the leaked Sony emails and then got a scuppered limited release. It was a decent movie. Similar to The Social Network in how it portrayed this tech head as a thoroughly unlikable character. It did feel more like a play, essentially depicting Jobs at three different moments of his life preparing to go out on the stage for a product announcement.

I love Danny Boyle as a film maker though.


I think placing blame for the problems of the Obama administration on the writer of a couple of seasons of a television show from a decade previously is maybe giving outsized credit to the formative power of media.

It has, admittedly, been a long time since I watched it, but I very much remember at least the Sorkin-authored seasons of West Wing as being all about trying to do the right thing as you saw it, and very little about respect for “the process,” whatever that is.

And more to the point, it is a television show. It’s a television show about politics (sort of) but it’s television, and if people who worked in the Obama White House thought or acted a particular way because Richard Schiff did on teevee, that’s on them, not the television.


Here’s the thing though: I think Sorkin is a bad writer irrespective of his politics. It’s okay for us to disagree on whether he is a good writer or not. I think he’s really bad. I have never liked anything I’ve seen that he’s written, and I’ve given him more than one shot because people swear by his stuff so much. When the West Wing was on, I couldn’t have formed a cogent argument about why the show’s politics were odious, I just didn’t think it was any good as a show.


The show was probably more representative of congressional Democrat ideology than instructive of it. Though having their views represented in a professional TV production absolutely served to reinforce their methodology for years to come.