Despite numerous critics absolute trashing of Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO show, The Newsroom, I watched the pilot episode (which you can now watch in its entirety on YouTube) last night and actually liked it quite a bit. I particularly enjoyed the BP oil spill storyline (in what now seems like a past life entirely, I spent a year of my life covering that fiasco as a national affairs reporter for Yahoo!) and the control room scenes (personally, I’m more interested in the behind-the-scenes stuff involving the producers than I am the Will McAvoy character.) In the end, I figure that if I was willing to give Girls — awful, terrible, downright laughable in its lazy/atrocious writing/character development Girls — an extended shot to win me over, I owe Aaron Sorkin the same respect, despite obviously being a Charlotte.
But then I read about how he condescendingly and seemingly without reason talked down to a female reporter doing a piece on the show as “internet girl” (it was a piece for a newspaper) and I suddenly want to tune the show out — in effect telling Sorkin to go f*ck himself — sooooo bad.
This is how it started went when Toronto Globe and Mail writer Sarah Nicole Prickett met with Sorkin to interview him about The Newsroom, which she actually liked quite a bit…
I had to watch the show twice just to believe (a) how good that script was and (b) how incredibly convinced of its goodness, in every sense of “good,” it was.
Hence, my first question starts, “I watched the pilot twice … ” But I don’t get to the question part because Sorkin looks as if he wants to say something. I invite him to do so, and he asks, “Because you liked it so much the first time, or because you didn’t understand it the first time?”
WHOA…way to start off an interview by essentially implying that your interviewer may be a dullard who lacks the intellectual capacity to grasp a television show. Turns out, Pricky McPrickerson was just getting warmed up…
“Listen here, Internet girl,” he says, getting up. “It wouldn’t kill you to watch a film or pick up a newspaper once in a while.” I’m not sure how he’s forgotten that I am writing for a newspaper; looking over the publicist’s shoulder, I see that every reporter is from a print publication…I remind him. I say also, factually, “I have a New York Times subscription and an HBO subscription. Any other advice?”
He looks surprised, then high-fives me. Being not a person who high-fives or generally makes physical contact with interview subjects, I look more surprised.
“I’m sick of girls who don’t know how to high-five,” he says. He makes me try to do it “properly,” six times. He also makes me laugh; I’m nervous, and it’s so absurd. He loves it. He says, “Let me manhandle you.” Then he ambles off, hoping I’ll write something nice, as though he has never known how the news works, how many stories can be true.
So not only is Aaron an arrogant dinosaur with a head so far up his ass that he make Buzz Bissinger and David Simon look like internet visionaries, he’s apparently also a sexist and a misogynist. Who knew?
He helpfully drove that point home when he harkened back lovingly on a bygone era when women — not to mention people of color — weren’t offered the chance to play on the same field as white men.
“I think I would have done very well, as a writer, in the forties,” he says. “I think the last time America was a great country was then, or not long after. It was before Vietnam, before Watergate.”
Holy crap what an insufferable twat tornado! And one who lazily recycles his own dialogue — LIKE A GODFORSAKEN INTERNET BOY OR SOMETHING — at that…
(Whips out remote. Clicks on “series manager.” Begins to ponder canceling recordings of The Newsroom.)
Pic via Shutterstock