The Newsroom’s third and final seasn is debuting this fall on HBO, but creator Aaron Sorkin told the crowd at a Tribeca Film Festival discussion on Monday that he’s just starting to learn how to write the often critically maligned series. And that he’s sorry.
“I’m going to let you all stand in for everyone in the world, if you don’t mind. I think you and I got off on the wrong foot with The Newsroom and I apologize and I’d like to start over,” Sorkin told the audience after interviewer (and former President Obama speech writer) Jon Favreau asked about what he’s learned about the media doing the series. “I think that there’s been a terrible misunderstanding. I did not set the show in the recent past in order to show the pros how it should have been done. That was and remains the furthest thing from my mind. I set the show in the recent past because I didn’t want to make up fake news. It was going to be weird if the world that these people were living in did not in any way resemble the world that you were living in… Also, I wanted the option of having a terrific dynamic that you can get when the audience knows more than the characters do… So, I wasn’t trying to and I’m not capable of teaching a professional journalist a lesson. That wasn’t my intent and it’s never my intent to teach you a lesson or try to persuade you or anything.”
He went on to explain, “I like writing romantically and idealistically. I try to balance that with just enough realism so that it feels like whatever romantic ideal is in there is somewhat attainable. It’s not a cartoon. It’s not animated… These are people who are trying to do the news well when market forces work against them.”