So the first thing to say is: if you haven’t yet seen those three minutes — in which one of the nation’s best-known nightly news anchors (think an exasperated Tom Brokaw, if he still occupied one of the anchor chairs) cracks during a panel discussion (he’s apparently on meds) and does some very serious “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more”-style truth telling — do.
The whole country should see those three minutes, except for the F-word (sorry about that) and even though a lot of us, including me, believe America is still, in fundamentally important respects, the greatest country on Earth. But one of those respects is that we produce three-minute clips like this one, and have — or I hope still have — the capacity to discuss them and, eventually, stumble to the right conclusion and self-correct.
That whole first pilot episode was, I thought, pretty spectacular. The newsroom encounters the BP Deepwater Horizon blow-out. If you liked Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing” — I totally loved it — here he is writing “The Newsroom.”
Only . . . when I started watching a subsequent episode, it seemed to me the dialog was just a bit TOO snappy, the interpersonal relations just a bit TOO intense — are all these people on coke? — and the story line just a bit TOO preachy. Which is a shame, because we need this message to get out. Maybe Sorkin has dialed it back a bit, even at the expense of its incandescence. (As one of my friends put it: “Don’t any of these characters ever say anything humdrum and boring? And slowly? Everyday normal-speak things like, ‘I don’t know. Where do YOU want to eat?'”) I do plan to give it another shot.
In the meantime, I have fallen in love with “Political Animals,” in which Sigourney Weaver plays a thinly disguised Hilary Clinton, and the actor who plays her husband delivers a grossly unfair yet vastly entertaining caricature (which is okay, because it’s fiction) and they have handsome twin sons and . . . just watch. You’ll love it. You can see it on-line at that link.
Russell Bell: “From the New York Times obituary of Sally Ride we learn that ‘Dr. Ride is survived by her partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy’ — a woman. My gaydar failed again: Anderson Cooper, Ken Mehlman, Ellen DeGeneres . . . Perhaps it never worked. At least there was progress at the Albuquerque Journal: they didn’t remove mention of Dr O’Shaughnessy from the wire service obit they ran as they removed the mention of you from Mr Nolan’s.”
Sally was a hero (if you ask me), and young people, especially, should know that heroes come in all stripes.
Quote of the Day
On Hollywood Squares, gay comedy writer Bruce Vilanch was asked: You are the most popular fruit in America. What are you? His answer: Humble. (The correct answer? Banana.)~.
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