Before I go any further I should make one thing clear about me and my approach to this show; I don’t know the news. I’m one of those college students that McAvoy is busy yelling at, except I’m 26-years-old now, for asking the obvious question and somehow I believe I may suffer for it. Now I’m not to say that I’m completely devoid of knowledge. While I may know the general idea of what’s going on in the world I am pretty much that guy who reads the headlines and expects podcasts and general jumping around a radio dial will fill in enough details for me to get a line in a conversation and direct a discussion to the point where I can then apply my knowledge of method and understanding of the world. It’s becoming more and more obvious that this show is going to be spending more and more time serving the world of the real – dated – news that I may at times be lost on, but hopefully not too often.
This week we begin with an apology. After last week’s calamitous display by the team at News Night Will McAvoy leads his show with an apology. He apologises for falling into the trap of consumerism and allowing for something as basic and idealized as the news to be turned into something completely opposed to what it really should be. The news is supposed to be the one sliver of time that everyone can sit around to become just a bit more informed about what’s going on with the world, but in recent years that has changed a lot and the news tends to be everything but that.
Aaron Sorkin is a man that I love not because he makes me recognize parts of the world that I’ve never seen or heard of before, but because he’s a man with a voice. People seem to be getting on his case for this show and the notion of him starting to soap box on and on about how the news ought to be done, and how it’s be done wrong. While I agree with him, I do also see the reasons why the news isn’t done right. I know that 90% of my demographic gets their news from John Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and while I applaud those two individuals for finding a format to grab onto a market that is as ill informed as the new born baby who just finally exited his mother’s uterus after ten hours of labour it does worry me – and a lot of the world – as to what this new age will bring. I know that I fall into that problem, but I also would like to use the uselessness of a lot of the news today for why I have a lack of interest in it. Before you all go and say that I’m blanketing a generation, I know that there are some brilliant ones out there, but if you take a look at my twitter stream and my facebook news feed it’s a list of never-ending memes and video clips of babies farting and people tripping on their way to the toilet, I think that can serve as a general barometer of informational zeitgeist that is the internet.
The world seems to be now rooting for this show’s eventual demise due to rhetoric. Aaron Sorkin is sitting in a room and writing some of the most insulting and beautifully poignant rhetoric to remind us all that we have a responsibility to be informed.
I’ve discovered over the last half decade of film and television criticism that the number one thing I can ask of any film or TV show to have is a point. Please have an idea and regardless of whether I agree with the idea that the creator wants to get across or not I enjoy the fact that someone is having a thought. It’s the same reason why I’ll read ten reviews of the same film each weekend, I’m interested in the debate. I like hearing all these points of view and then coming to a conclusion, or better yet jumping the middle of it all to try and help create the conclusion that will be a part of the wider context of what this news (or event) is.