It wasn’t just that Don held the incredibly blinkered opinion that the rape victim he was interviewing was wrong to publicize her allegations in the absence of a court verdict.It was that he forcibly prevented her from doing so—lied to his boss that he couldn’t find her, sabotaged the on-air confrontation with her rapist she desperately wanted because said confrontation went against his better judgment, which mattered more than hers.No one is saying that all coverage is worthy and that there isn’t a lot of pernicious noise in the media today.No one, for instance, is saying that the right thing to do would be to dump the dox of the Sony leaked emails everywhere and let everyone do what they want with all of it.Consider how one of the major stories of The Newsroom Season 3 is Maggie overhearing an EPA official making damning remarks against the president, refusing to publicize them and—there’s that Sorkin wish-fulfillment again—being given The Real Story as a reward for good behavior.
But of course if Sorkin’s critics end up playing the roles of Sorkin’s fictional antagonists, it’s surely even more true that Sorkin ends up in the shoes of his own protagonists—that he’s his own Jed Bartlet, his own Matt Albie, and now his own Will Mc Avoy.***It’s striking to see how often Sorkin’s stories revolve around the theme of One Man (and yes, it is always a man, and a middle-class intellectual white man to boot) vs. The Anonymous Hordes still suck in every other arena though. See the proto-West Wing, the 1995 film The American President, where the climactic, triumphal moment is the president saying he will ignore all political deal-making in order to massively slash fossil fuels and enact comprehensive gun control, even personally going door to door to “get every gun” if necessary.
Who gets to make this bold pronouncement on our behalf?
A guy with hiring and firing power over actresses who, it turns out, doesn’t think women in acting are on average as good as men. The most insulting thing about “Oh, Shenandoah” was this denial of agency to anyone who’s not one of Sorkin’s Great Men.
All you have to do to see how upset he is is to read his e-mail, which, thanks to his new nemeses the Guardians of Peace (not to be confused with his old nemeses, who have the same acronym), any of us can do.
Aaron Sorkin is frustrated that his Steve Jobs biopic fell apart.