I have been somewhat disappointed in HBO’s “Newsroom” compared to “West Wing,” but the last few episodes have improved. The segment about rape on college campuses was amazingly prescient in light of the Rolling Stone report about UVA. The themes about the rise of social media and the decline of edited news, and of the government infringement of free speech in the name of national security are also ripped from current headlines. Aaron Sorkin has taken a thoughtful approach to raising important issues, even down to my bugaboo, the role of Jews in America, of which Sorkin must be one. I did not get that Will was alone in the segment when he appeared to be debating with a cellmate in prison; so, he was presumably discussing his inmost fears and prejudices, including about Jews. Will has apparently made his peace with Jewish elites who vowed never to work with their hands, while his boss, Charlie, is killed by having to cope with brash, young billionaires of Silicon Valley, who want to disrupt the news business.
I was surprised to find this story in the NYT about backlash to the rape story on “Newsroom.” I think “Newsroom” was trying to show two sides of a difficult issue, while the real new media is screaming for lynching anyone accused of rape. It’s as if the new media is saying, “Hey, remember the KKK, McCarthy, yellow journalism, we’re back! Presumption of innocence does not apply to rape.” Congratulations to Sorkin for getting these undemocratic troglodytes to come out of their caves.