Perhaps you’ve seen “The Newsroom.” Probably, you haven’t.
“The Newsroom,” on HBO, is closing out its less than stellar run. It was the brainchild of Aaron Sorkin, the man who brought us “The West Wing,” so hopes were high for his version of a television news operation.
With a decided lack of humility Sorkin decided that he would show the world how the news should be reported. His fictional news channel, ACN would tell it like it is. It would dispense with the fluff, the filler and the bias.
As you know, the show has been a bomb. Aside from the clever, crisp dialogue--often too crisp and too clever-- it has very little to distinguish itself. Worse yet, it represents Aaron Sorkin telling everyone how to think.
Mixing art, such as it is, with propaganda is a formula for failure.
In this year’s first episode “The Newsroom” takes on the Boston marathon bombing. You recall it.
You probably also recall that some news organizations released a picture and eventually the names of two suspects who turned out not to have been involved at all.
The cautious and responsible folks at ACN did not fall for the misinformation and thus spent part of the show patting themselves on their backs.
Eventually, the ACN crew did name the two perpetrators, the Tsarnaev brothers, and reported their fates.
So far, not so bad.
And yet, the show failed to mention why the brothers did what they did. It did not even connect them with Islam or Islamist terrorism. It did not even mention that they were Muslims.
Imagine doing a story about the Boston marathon bombing and not mentioning Islamic terrorism. You can't. Aaron Sorkin did.
Hint: when you are doing a fictionalized version of a news show and claiming that it presents the news as it ought to be presented, you should not censor what is arguably the most relevant information.
ACN can now have a new slogan: Unfair, unbalanced and afraid.