Aaron Sorkin has apologized for The Newsroom in the most Sorkin like way possible.
According to Buzzfeed, Sorkin was at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival on Monday and took a couple of seconds away from promoting himself to answer a few concerns people have been sitting on since The Newsroom began in 2012.
“I think you and I got off on the wrong foot with The Newsroom, and I apologize and I’d like to start over,” Sorkin told press during a conference.
Good luck starting over with only one season left in the show’s future, but we’ll let you continue, Sorkin.
“I set the show in the recent past because I didn’t want to make up fake news. It was going to be weird if the world that these people were living in did not in any way resemble the world that you were living in, so I didn’t want to make up fake news, and also, I wanted the option of having a terrific dynamic that you can get when the audience knows more than the characters do,” Sorkin said.
“So, I wasn’t trying to and I’m not capable of teaching a professional journalist a lesson. That wasn’t my intent, and it’s never my intent to teach you a lesson or to try to persuade you of anything.”
Now, that’s interesting. The one aspect of the over dramatized show, full to the brim with childish fantasies of what a newsroom should actually be and how it should actually operate, that doesn’t get criticized is the hopeful morality Sorkin instills into his fictional reporters, chase producers, and anchors.
Nonetheless, Buzzfeed reported that Sorkin made it painstakingly obvious he was deeply apologetic about this one aspect he had written into the show. The showrunner further explained that although he’s a storyteller who writes intimate plots revolving around politics and journalism, he’s not, by any stretch of the imagination, an expert in those fields.
“I like writing romantically and idealistically. I try to balance that with just enough realism so that it feels like whatever romantic ideal is in there is somehow attainable,” he explained. “I haven’t become an expert in anything. I’m not sophisticated when it comes to politics, when it comes to journalism. I’m not as smart as the characters are or, as you can see, as articulate. I want to make it clear: I don’t know nothin’.”
Then, Sorkin ostentatiously proclaimed that he’s not happy with any of his work, including Emmy winning episodes of milestone cable dramas like The West Wing and Sports Night.
“…with everything, from Sports Night to The West Wing, Studio 60, and The Newsroom, we shoot my first drafts and you just have to live with, ‘There’s bad writing out there. Now, we had to do it. This is what you signed up for, and we had to do it.’ It’s kind of like a M*A*S*H unit…We just want to stop the bleeding here.”
Even though the apology is there, it feels like Sorkin is actively trying to defend every mistake he’s made. His television writing is poor, because he doesn’t have enough time to hone it. His characters are exaggerated because he’s not an expert in those fields.
This wasn’t an apology, Sorkin, this was an admittance of defeat. The Newsroom isn’t a terrible show, and it’s a shame to see a talented show runner not stand behind his work.
I guess there’s always next time. Meanwhile, the West Wing is available to watch on Netflix, and that’s one hell of a show.