Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Keeping the Camelot Dream Alive

I wasn't aware of this, but it's apparently only a little known secret that, for all of high school and the start of freshman year of college, I wanted to be and worked toward being a journalist.  Back before I got brainwashed into going to law school (joke), I had dreams that ranged from working at The New York Times to writing puff pieces for women's magazines.  The things that would now give me pause when considering this profession -- the crazy up-all-night hours, the absurd deadlines, the necessity of networking and cold-calling and interviews -- were the things that originally appealed to me.  I wanted to be in the thick of it, you know?  I wanted to write the news, in whatever form it took.

So when I started watching HBO's The Newsroom, it took less than a nanosecond for me to love it.

If you were to ask me at 17 what kind of news I wanted to report, this would be it (minus the whole broadcast part.  I wanted to do print.).  I wouldn't have been able to tell you that in so many words, of course, because after all, I was 17 -- what did I know of politics or the media machine or the fourth pillar?  But if I did know, News Night 2.0 would have been it.  Real news, less bullshit.  Less concerned with bias and more concerned with providing all the facts.  Does that make me idealistic?  Sure.  Does that mean I'm a sucker for those fantastic and impassioned lets-rally-all-ye-troops speeches a character gives from atop their soapbox at the end of each episode?  You bet your ass.

But that's okay, isn't it?  Isn't it a good thing to want to improve the way our news is presented?  Isn't it good to want to make it more honest?  Particularly this year, don't we want a more informed electorate instead of one that agrees with everything Fox News (or its liberal equivalent) says?

Yes.  Emphatically yes.

My one gripe about the show right now is that the political agenda of the creators is perhaps a bit too obvious.  While The Newsroom readily and accurately critiques and points out the idiocies of one political party, it fails to do that to the other.  Which, contrary to the entire premise of the show, isn't presenting all the facts, just the facts that line up with your views.

But that aside, what's really not to love?  Witty, Gilmore-Girl-rapid-fire dialogue, sharp commentary on the greed and powers at play behind the media, love stories (raise your hand if you keep referring to Jim and Maggie and JimandPam.  Just me?), a chance to reflect on the biggest news stories over the past 2 years, Dev Patel, Sam Waterston and Jeff Daniels?  Come on.

Come.  On.

The first season of The Newsroom just wrapped on Sunday night.  There are 10 episodes.  Find them and watch them.  Let me know if you want company.

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