Warren Adler may have missed the "Newsroom" Point

Full disclosure: I’ve been a huge fan of everything Aaron Sorkin has done (with the exception of The Social Network – no interest) and love his writing style, even more so when it is bombastic and over the top. But not everyone does and Sorkin’s new show, “The Newsroom”, has taken body blows from some critics. Warren Adler is one of them with his well written article about the show.

While I take several issues with the column, this caught my eye:

What makes me wonder about the integrity of Mr. McAvoy’s character is why portray him as an angry America hater from the get go? I kept wondering how he even became an anchor with such a profound distaste for his country. I mean, he really hates America.

I think Mr Adler missed the point on this. In watching the show and the scene in particular Adler refers to, I didn’t get the impression that Jeff Daniels’ character, Will McAvoy, “hates America”. I got the impression that he loves his country but is sad and disillusioned at the (slow?) decline from what he perceives as the glory days, at least as far as journalism is concerned.

But Adler brings up a point of discussion I’ve had many times. As a native born Canadian, I love my home country. But I also love America. But loving either doesn’t mean they are above criticism. Critiquing a thing doesn’t mean you hate it. Sometimes, it means you love it so much, you want it to be even better.
Warren Adler may have missed the “Newsroom” Point

3 thoughts on “Warren Adler may have missed the "Newsroom" Point”

  1. I completely agree with you. I LOVE this country, and like many conservatives, (actually I’m what’s known as a classical liberal… think refined libertarian) it hurts. I mean sometimes it “crying tears” hurts when people diss America. As the old saying goes though, “The first thing you have to do to fix a problem is recognize you have one.”

    I would loved to have been given that question that McAvoy couldn’t answer, on stage. Something to the effect of, what is it that makes America so great? I would have, without missing a beat said, “The fact that you can ask that question completely and totally without fear of reprisal. That many have died to make this true, and that I would personally die to keep it true.”

    They go on to say “freedom… lots of nations are free.” This is not completely honest. I understand it, but it’s not totally honest, and it less and less true about us on a daily basis. We enacted 40,000 new laws at the beginning of 2012, and not a single one was intended to protect you and I from the tyranny of the Government.

    As I said, I don’t get that McAvoy hates America, I just don’t get what he thinks can actually be done about it. I want to see in the episodes to come if we get a realistic portrayal of America, or a one sided portrayal. Will we get honesty or a Barrack Obama campaign message every week. Knowing Sorkin I suspect we will be watching a rehash of major stories all with our right eyes closed.

    I hope they become more honest about news media.

    I’d like to see them do something like MSNBC did the other day, which was take a 2 hour Mitt Romney speech, and edit out 1:59 minutes of it, down to him just being impressed by the automation in some restaurant, then making fun of how stupid he is. The next day, after the twitterverse descended upon them they showed more of the speech, and claimed they just didn’t have time the day before.

    Media is biased and I’d like to see that biased displayed whether it is the point of view that FOX takes, or the point of view taken by the rest, it should be shown that media is made up of people who exist in cultural bubbles and they present to us biased points of view. They are not as pure as the McAvoy newsroom appeared to be.

    1. “I would have, without missing a beat said, “The fact that you can ask that question completely and totally without fear of reprisal. That many have died to make this true, and that I would personally die to keep it true.”

      Agreed but also true of *many* other countries.

      “They go on to say “freedom… lots of nations are free.” This is not completely honest. I understand it, but it’s not totally honest.”

      As a Canadian, I would disagree with you. As MacAvoy said, lots of countries have “freedom”. It may be defined differently in other countries but it’s certainly recognizable as such. Americans don’t have a monopoly on “freedom”, even though many seem to think they do.

      “I want to see in the episodes to come if we get a realistic portrayal of America…”

      That’s not going to happen. This is TV’s view of America and, more specifically, Aaron Sorkin’s view of America. I’m not putting that kind of weight on the show. It’s not Sorkin’s job to right the wrongs, perceived or otherwise, of America. His job is to entertain and so far, he’s done his job, IMO.

  2. “…Critiquing a thing doesn’t mean you hate it. Sometimes, it means you love it so much, you want it to be even better….” True dat, but sometimes the critiques don’t come across that way.

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