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The Newsroom

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Laure Depretto

Annexes

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Introduction

1p. 14. The greater fool is actually an economic term. It’s a patsy. […] For the rest of us to profit, we need a greater fool, someone who will buy long and sell short. Most people spend their life trying not to be the greater fool. We toss him the hot potato, we dive for his seat when the music stops. The greater fool is someone with the perfect blend of self-delusion and ego to think that he can succeed where others have failed. This whole country was made by greater fools. (Sloan, The Newsroom, s1e10.)

2Encadré, p. 15. I’m serious about the Don Quixote story. It’s not just a couple of jokes at the beginning. Man of La Mancha was the first play I ever saw — I was five years old, and I remember it vividly. It had a huge impact on me. I’ve got a little windmill on my desk. Don Quixote’s a big deal to me. He just reminds me of my father a lot. In the best way.

3And in Don Quixote, instead of bringing him down with swords, they just hold mirrors up, so he can see what a fool he is in his stupid helmet and rusty armor, and that really sends him into a hospital bed. And in Will’s case, it’s a profile in New York Magazine, a cover story called “The Greater Fool”. He reads all these blind quotes from people in the business talking about how ridiculous he is and takes the wrong combination of self-medication and winds up in the hospital. (Aaron Sorkin.)

Chapitre 1

4p. 25-26. Aaron Sorkin is always looking for young, smart, new writers that he can mentor. Working on one of his series, writers are not going to be doing much script writing — “but they will get a one-to-two year paid apprenticeship. If you hire eight to ten writers and three are leftby midseason, that’s a good haul, and you will hold on to those people for the rest of your life”. (Neil Landau.)

5p. 29. [My character] has to be, for me, a hero… To put it as simply as possible, you want to write the character like they are making their case to God about why they should be let into heaven. (Aaron Sorkin.)

6p. 29. In other words, we’re not telling the story of a bad guy becoming good. He’s a likeable guy who’s just not living up to his potential, who has yet to be challenged by something and risk something in a kind of selfless act. (Aaron Sorkin.)

7p. 31. I’m about to write our season finale, and I don’t know what the expectation is for season finales. Are you supposed to write a cliffhanger ? Are you not supposed to write a cliffhanger ? Is that a cliché ? (Aaron Sorkin.)

8p. 32. We used to joke that the Aaron seasons were the best TV shows of 1953. Which we didn’t mean as a put-down ; he wrote in the tradition of those great 1930s and 1940s comedies.

9Note 15, p. 37. I’m not interested in the difference between good and bad, I’m interested in the differences between good and great. (Aaron Sorkin.)

Chapitre 2

10Encadré, p. 40. – People like me are going to be tempted to say that, following Sports Night and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, this show is part three of your trilogy about the making of TV.

11– There’s something about live television that I find very exciting and romantic — I’m gonna use the word “romantic” a lot. But you’d be closer to the truth to say it’s a quartet, with The West Wing, that lives in that place of wish fulfillment, what Will calls “a mission to civilize”. And it keeps failing miserably — he keeps slipping on banana peels. (Aaron Sorkin.)

12p. 43. Together they set out on a patriotic and quixotic mission to do the news well in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles and their own personal entanglements.

13p. 50. For generations of moviegoers, the male reporter, cigarette dangling from his mouth, plays poker and drinks as if his life depended on it. He was never called an alcoholic, just a boozehound who always found a drink from a hidden bottle in his desk or the bar around the corner from the newsroom.

Chapitre 3

14p. 65-66. On The West Wing, it’s a fictional world but it’s a parallel world. Any statistics that I quote, whether they’re on cancer or funding for the arts, are real. I don’t do a statistic unless it’s real. On the other hand, the people are entirely made up. No one is based on anyone in real life. Also, on The West Wing, because it’s a parallel universe, you have to be careful about things that remind people it’s a fake world. And mostly what I’m talking about are contemporary references. To begin with, I don’t use actual names of people in government. Nobody says “Get on the phone with Ted Kennedy.” Once you say “Get on the phone with Ted Kennedy”, then Martin Sheen seems like a fake president. (Aaron Sorkin.)

15p. 70. No, I call myself a Republican’ cause I am one. I believe in market solutions, and I believe in common sense realities and the necessity to defend ourselves against a dangerous world and that’s about it. Problem is now I have to be homophobic. I have to count the number of times people go to church. I have to deny facts and think scientific research is a long con. I have to think poor people are getting a sweet ride. And I have to have such a stunning inferiority complex that I fear education and intellect in the 21st century. But most of all, the biggest new requirement, really the only requirement, is that I have to hate Democrats. And I have to hate Chris Christie for not spitting on the President when he got off Air Force One.

16The two-party system is crucial to the whole operation. There is honor in being the loyal opposition. And I’m a Republican for the same reasons you are. So I hope your voice gets louder in the next four years. (Will, The Newsroom, s2e9.)

17p. 70-71. I’ve been a Republican all my adult life. I have worked on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, at Forbes magazine, at the Manhattan and American Enterprise Institutes, as a speechwriter in the George W. Bush administration. I believe in free markets, low taxes, reasonable regulation, and limited government. I voted for John McCain in 2008, and I have strongly criticized the major policy decisions of the Obama administration. But as I contemplate my party and my movement in 2011, I see things I simply cannot support. (David Frum, “When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality ?”, New York Magazine, 20 novembre 2011.)

18p. 76. The Newsroom, for all its “real stories” and “big issues,” is as real about news as Jack and the Beanstalk. (Dave Marash, “And That’s Not The Way It Is”, Columbia Journalism Review, 25 juin 2012.)

19p. 77. I’m aware that my musings run counter to some of the more prominent early reviews in high-profile publications such as The New Yorker and The New York Times. But with all due respect (and I have a lot of it for those reviewers), I just don’t think they “get it” ; they’ve somehow missed the breadth, depth and “got it right” qualities — and importance — of The Newsroom. Maybe it’s because they are print people. Then, too, maybe they’re right and I’m wrong. I never rule out the possibility of that. But I’ve lived in the world of television newsrooms for most of my adult life. I know the people, the venues and the challenges — the satisfactions of success and the heartbreak when things go awry. From where I sit and based on my experience, Sorkin and crew have got it amazingly right, even when they over talk it. (Dan Rather.)

20p. 77-78. I’m not interested in reality as much as I’m interested in the appearance of reality. It doesn’t matter to me. I don’t understand when a movie or show is coming out, that the production will boast : “We did this incredible research ! We’re using the exact same pencils they used.” That doesn’t get you anywhere on film ; that’s just something you can say to Jay Leno. It’s silly and you’re sending your prop person on a fool’s errand. On the other hand if you can do something or say something where the audience believes, “God, those people know what they’re talking about”, then that’s good. (Aaron Sorkin.)

21p. 83. Charles Foster Kane : – I will provide the people of this city with a paper that will tell all the news honestly. I will also provide…

22Jedediah Leland : – That’s the second sentence you’ve started with I…

23CFK : – People are gonna know who’s responsible […] I will also provide them with a fighting and tireless champion of their rights as citizens and as human beings. Signed : Charles Foster Kane

24p. 93. I do not diminish the incredible symbolic importance of a black man getting elected president. But my euphoria was a smart guy getting elected president. Maybe for the first time in my lifetime we had elected one of the thousand smartest Americans president. (Aaron Sorkin.)

25p. 93. I don’t have any patience for the glamourization of dumbness. (Aaron Sorkin.)

Chapitre 4

26p. 99. The trick is to follow the rules of classic storytelling. Drama is basically about one thing : somebody wants something, and something or someone is standing in the way of him getting it. What he wants — the money, the girl, the ticket to Philadelphia — doesn’t really matter. But whatever it is, the audience has to want it for him. (Aaron Sorkin.)

27p. 112-113. Gus Avrakotos : There’s a little boy and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse… and everybody in the village says : “How wonderful. The boy got a horse.” And the zen master says : “We’ll see.” Two years later, the boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg, and everyone in the village says : “How terrible.” And the zen master says : “We’ll see.” Then, a war breaks out and all the young men have to go off and fight… except the boy can’t ’cause his legs are all messed up and everybody in the village says : “How wonderful.”

28Charlie Wilson : Now the zen master says : “We’ll see.” (Charlie Wilson’s War.)

Chapitre 5

29p. 127. I really like workplace shows. I like creating workplace families, and writing about people who are very good at what they do, and less good at everything else. (Aaron Sorkin.)

30p. 132. I just wanted you to know that sometimes I get concerned about being a career woman. I get to thinking my job is too important, and I tell myself that the people I work with are just the people I work with, and not my family. And last night I thought : “What is a family anyway ? They’re just people who make you feel less alone and really loved.” And that’s what you’ve done for me. Thank you for being my family. (The Mary Tyler Moore Show.)

Chapitre 6

31p. 137. Sorkin : Plot is something I’ve never been particularly comfortable with. I’m not a natural storyteller. I wasn’t the kid around the campfire saying “I got a million of them.” I wasn’t that guy. It’s really just the sound of dialogue for me.

32Longworth : You’re a lyricist.

33Encadré, p. 146. A lion is walking through the woods. Lion comes up to a zebra, and lion says : “You know something, zebra ? You are a ridiculous looking animal. You’re half white, half black, half horse, half donkey. Look at me, I’m rough, I’m tough, I’m the king of the jungle.” The zebra just shrugs and moves on. Lion comes to a giraffe, lion says : “You know something, giraffe ? You are a ridiculous looking animal. You’ve got a long neck and little horns. Look at me, I’m rough, I’m tough, I’m the king of the jungle.” Then lion comes to a frog, lion says : “You know something frog, You are a ridiculous looking animal, you’re green and slimy.” And the frog says : “Fuck you, I’ve been sick.” (Sloan à Don, s2e5.)

34Encadré, p. 146. There’s a story about a little kid who keeps shredding paper, and his parents take him to all kinds of doctors to get him to stop shredding paper. And finally, they take him to the most expensive doctor in the world, who looks at the kid and says : “Kid, if you stop shredding paper, your parents will stop dragging you to doctors”, and the kid turns to his parents and says : “Why didn’t you just say so ?”(Will à Mac, s2e9.)

Chapitre 8

35p. 176. I have suggested that the work of the romance of remarriage is designed to avoid the distinction between Old and New Comedy and that this means to me that it poses a structure in which we are permanently in doubt who the hero is, that is, whether it is the male or the female, who is the active partner, which of them is in quest, who is following whom. A working title for this structure might be “the comedy of equality”, evoking laughter equally at the idea that men and women are different and at the idea that they are not. (Stanley Cavell, “Leopards in Connecticut”, Pursuits of Happiness, op. cit., p. 122.)

Chapitre 12

36Encadré, p. 212. Ideological purity, compromise as weakness, a fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism, denying science, unmoved by facts, undeterred by new information, a hostile fear of progress, a demonization of education, a need to control women’s bodies, severe xenophobia, tribal mentality, intolerance of dissent, and a pathological hatred of US government. They can call themselves the Tea Party. They can call themselves conservatives. And they can even call themselves Republicans, though Republicans certainly shouldn’t. But we should call them what they are : the American Taliban. (Will, The Newsroom, s1e10.)

Liste des épisodes

Saison 1

371. We Just Decided To

382. News Night 2.0

393. The 112th Congress

404. I’ll Try to Fix You

415. Amen

426. Bullies

437. 5/1

448. The Blackout, Part 1 : Tragedy Porn

459. The Blackout, Part 2 : Mock Debate

4610. The Greater Fool

Saison 2

471. First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Lawyers

482. The Genoa Tip

493. Willie Pete

504. Unintended Consequences

515. News Night With Will McAvoy

526. One Step Too Many

537. Red Team III

548. Election Night, Part 1

559. Election Night, Part 2

Saison 3

561. Boston

572. Run

583. Main Justice

594. Contempt

605. Oh Shenandoah

616. What Kind Of Day Has It Been

Calendrier de diffusion

Saison

Nombre d’épisodes

Diffusion premier épisode

Diffusion dernier épisode

1

10

24 juin 2012

26 août 2012

2

9

14 juillet 2013

15 septembre 2013

3

6

9 novembre 2014

14 décembre 2014

© Presses universitaires François-Rabelais, 2016

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