“Newsroom”: Like Watching the Inner Lives of People who Hate Me

I sat down with my laptop, a cup of coffee, and a little trepidation for Newsroom, HBO’s drama about Will McAvoy (played by Jeff Daniels), an anchorman who apparently — in the first season — decided to save network news by telling the truth and covering only “important” stories.

I’d hesitated to plunge into the depths of the drama, because I didn’t trust Aaron Sorkin’s handling of the subject.  Then, when offered the possibility of writing a weekly critique of the show for a magazine, I decided to test the waters.  After all, I loved Sorkin’s The West Wing, which occasionally would provide a pretty good representation of a conservative point of view.  Plus, writers in this economy rarely turn down the opportunity to make a little money!  This HBO show had promise — by providing an interesting analysis of why the heck everyone knows Casey Anthony’s name, but can’t explain what happened in Benghazi.  When I realized this season is set in the middle of the 2012 Presidential campaign, however, I cringed.

“Do you think this is going to bad,” I asked my husband, whom I’d dragged to the television.  “Or, could it possibly be beneficial since we saw all of that so close up?”

By “close up,” I mean we had worked on the Romney effort since 2006. My husband and I (along with some dear friends) helped organize straw polls, we started Evangelicals for Mitt, and I was even briefly employed by the Romney campaign as a delegate coordinator for the state of Tennessee.  We were on the 2008 National Faith and Values Steering Committee and were delegates from the 4th Congressional delegate to the 2012 Republican Convention in Tampa. I even had the honor of riding on Ann Romney’s campaign bus through South Carolina. Once, I remember talking to Ann, barreling down the interstate at about 75 mph while a CNN film crew caught up with us, a cameraman hanging out of their SUV.  It was quite an experience to be around the media, the boom mics, the energetic supporters, and — of course — the Romneys.

I guess I should also confess that the last time I watched the news was Nov.6, when I stood in a Boston convention center awaiting the results of the election. Perhaps this show was custom made to push all my buttons.

“Oh, it’ll definitely make it worse,” my husband said, since he knows my acute sensitivity to the subject.

Read how my first experience with HBO’s Newsroom went!

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About Nancy French

Nancy French is a three time New York Times Best Selling Author.


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