Let me say off the top that it’s about time that a TV show focused on the drama that plays out in a newsroom.
It’s a place rife with strong story lines ripe for fleshing out.
HBO’s The Newsroom, starring Dumb and Dumber’s Jeff Daniels as anchorman Will McAvoy, has been a polarizing topic among journalists since its premiere June 24. Carol Off, a host with CBC’s As It Happens calls the show “tedious and navel gazing,” while The New York Times wearies of the show’s preaching.
On the other end of the spectrum, prolific newsman Dan Rather has high praise for the newest creation from Aaron Sorkin (West Wing, The Social Network): “The show gets close to the bone of what happens, what really happens, behind the scenes in newsrooms and the boardrooms that govern them.”
The Newsroom has not been shy about harpooning the current media climate in the U.S., criticizing it for any perceived failure in its duty to report the news fairly, accurately and without hyped-up, ratings-grabbing sensationalism.
Perhaps nowhere was that clearer than in McAvoy’s apology in the opening scene of episode No. 3 about his program News Night’s coverage. If we, as journalists are to do any navel gazing, this would be a good bit of dialogue to do it over.
The full apology is after the bump.