Dan Rather: Aaron Sorkin's 'Newsroom' A 'Winner' With 'Lot To Like': [ send to a friend ]
Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama 'The Newsroom' has a fan in Dan Rather after it premiered to nearly 2.1 million viewers over the weekend.
That put it ahead of other debuts on the network like 'True Blood' in 2008 (1.4 million) and slightly behind 'Game of Thrones' in 2011 (2.2 million).
"With all due respect, I just don't think they 'get it,'" former CBS anchor Dan Rather says of the negative reviews in a writeup. "They've somehow missed the breadth, depth and 'got it right' qualities -- and importance -- of Newsroom."
"Maybe it's because they are print people. Then, too, maybe they're right and I'm wrong. I never rule out the possibility of that. But I've lived in the world of television newsrooms for most of my adult life."
"I know the people, the venues and the challenges -- the satisfactions of success and the heartbreak when things go awry. From where I sit and based on my experience, Sorkin and crew have got it amazingly right, even when they over talk it."
"Mark well, however, that with this HBO series premiere more praise is justified. A lot more. I've only seen the first program, but if what is to follow is as good as this first show then Aaron Sorkin has a winner."
"Sure, I've got my nits to pick with it; and, no, it's not perfect. But there's a lot to like in what Sorkin and his cast have done here. There is a newsroom authenticity to what's presented and much that gets to the heart of modern American journalism's problems."
"There is a battle for the soul of the craft that goes on daily now in virtually every newsroom in the country," he adds. "It's a fight that matters, not just for journalists but for the country."
"It centers on whether news reporting is to be considered and practiced -- to any significant degree, even a little -- as a public service, in the public interest, or is to exist solely as just another money-making operation for owners of news outlets."
"As the Newsroom character MacKenzie (Emily Mortimer) says, in challenging the anchorman Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) to be a crusader for quality journalism, 'There is nothing more important in a democracy than a well-informed electorate. When there is no information or, much worse, wrong information, it can lead to calamitous decisions that clobber any attempts at vigorous debate.'"
This is the battle being lost in almost every newsroom, in every place around the world. Ratings or circulation, demographics, and profits rule. Any talk of the public interest or of doing quality journalism of integrity with guts is considered passť."
"Sorkin and his team deserve full praise for bringing the issue to the screen and to a mass audience, and for doing it in an interesting and entertaining way."
"Yes, it's a bit too preachy here and there: show me, don't just have monologues and long pontifications about what the problems are. And no, on average newsroom people are seldom as smart or as high-minded as most of the lead characters in this fictional drama."