When Aaron Sorkin’s leftist series “The Newsroom” debuted on HBO in 2012, then-ABC reporter Jake Tapper trashed it in The New Republic, writing “though “The Newsroom” intends to lecture its viewers on the higher virtues of capital-J journalism, Professor Sorkin soon reveals he isn’t much of an expert on the subject.”
Via Buzzfeed, we learned that on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, Sorkin admitted in an interview with former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau that Tapper was right, he’s not an expert, and he's not sophisticated on politics or journalism:
“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,” he said, stumbling over his words. “I want to make it clear: I don’t know nothin’,” he eventually said.
Sorkin was obviously shaken at the beating he took from the “news” professionals:
“I think that there’s been a terrible misunderstanding. I did not set the show in the recent past in order to show the pros how it should have been done. That was and remains the furthest thing from my mind. 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… Also, I wanted the option of having a terrific dynamic that you can get when the audience knows more than the characters do… 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 try to persuade you or anything.”
An audience member asked if he’s happy with The Newsroom. “I feel like I’m just now starting to learn how to write it,” he replied. “I’ve very proud of The Newsroom. I have the time of my life working with the people that I work with, but there is a learning curve and unfortunately, those lessons are learned in front of several million people. Again, that’s what you sign up for. I wish that I could go back to the beginning of The Newsroom and start again and replicate what you have with a play, which is a preview period.”
They’re presently creating the third (and mercifully, final) season of the show.