×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Why Aaron Sorkin Is Right About the Huffington Post

'The Newsroom' scribe gets it right in worrying about the impact of our snark-infested culture

During a panel discussion earlier this week previewing the new TV season, I worried, in regard to journalism, that “the metabolism of the Web is making us stupid.”

Aaron Sorkin is equally concerned — and just as accurate — when he suggests the same culture is making us nastier as well.

Now, I’ve been among the chorus of critical voices regarding Sorkin’s HBO series, “The Newsroom.” But that shouldn’t diminish his insights as a media observer, which have been honed through years of dramatized analysis, from “Sports Night” to “The West Wing,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” to “The Newsroom.”

Certainly, it’s hard to argue with Huffington Post’s knack for generating traffic, so much so that its cryptic headlines and teases have given birth to a feed designed strictly to decode and spoil them.

But it only reinforces Sorkin’s case, frankly, to see HuffPo staffers respond to his comments, as quoted in Mother Jones, with volleys of snark, as if there’s no room for legitimate criticism or self-reflection regarding the manner in which they operate.

It’s worth noting, too, that Huffington Post and Sorkin should be ideological allies, inasmuch as both tilt toward progressive politics. So his broadside is all about the site’s excesses, and not so easily dismissed as just another partisan skirmish. (Incidentally, this isn’t the first time Sorkin has lamented the steady slide of media standards, having weighed in a few years ago regarding how the media has “de-creepyized voyeurism” in a piece via — wait for it — the Huffington Post.)

Of course, even bothering to raise these questions risks being branded a fuddy-duddy, and railing against the influence of the Web, at this point, does have an obvious “You kids get off my lawn” quality. It’s simply a no-win situation, however good it might feel (especially if you have your own TV show) to vent about it, as Sorkin did by having “The Newsroom’s” protagonist say, “Snark is the idiot’s version of wit, and we’re being polluted by it.”

Still, just because you can’t change things doesn’t mean you have no right to gripe about them. And whatever I might think about “The Newsroom,” Sorkin deserves credit for having the guts to wade into these snark-infested waters.

More TV

  • AVOD streaming video OTT users -

    Comcast Unveils 'Flex,' a Streaming Service for Internet Customers

    Comcast said it would unveil “Flex,” a hub for its Internet-only customers that allows them to stream and purchase shows and movies, the latest effort by a traditional cable provider to latch on to customers who are migrating to broadband services, The Philadelphia cable giant will also make free, ad-supported services available via the service, [...]

  • Imagine, Zero Point Zero Produce Doc

    Imagine, Zero Point Zero to Produce Doc on Teen Skateboard Star Brighton Zeuner (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fourteen-year-old skateboarding star and two-time world champ Brighton Zeuner will be the focus of a feature documentary by Imagine Documentaries and Zero Point Zero, Variety has learned exclusively. Described as a coming-of-age story, the film will document Zeuner’s childhood, personal and professional relationships, and road to earning a spot as a member of the 2020 [...]

  • Smithsonian Handmaids Tale Costume

    Why the Smithsonian Chose to Enshrine 'Handmaid's Tale' Servant Costume

    The iconic red-caped, white-bonneted outfits worn by Elisabeth Moss and the other childbearing servants in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” created by costume designer Ane Crabtree, have become that show’s signature visual.  Hulu immediately knew it had a good thing, hiring groups of women around the country to parade in the garments to promote the show. [...]

  • Stephen Bruno

    Stephen Bruno Exits Netflix for Top Marketing Job at MGM

    Netflix global marketing chief Stephen Bruno has exited his post for MGM, where he has been named chief marketing officer. His departure follows that of Netflix CMO Kelly Bennett and marks a major shake-up for the streaming giant. Bruno had been with the streamer since 2014, and is known as an innovator. He joins MGM [...]

  • 'Dark Tower' Pilot at Amazon Casts

    'Dark Tower' Pilot at Amazon Casts Jasper Pääkkönen, Sam Strike

    The pilot for the planned “Dark Tower” series adaptation currently in the works at Amazon has cast two lead roles. Sources say that Jasper Pääkkönen and Sam Strike have both been cast in the pilot, which is based on the Stephen King book series of the same name. Strike will play Roland Deschain, also known [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content