Monday, December 8, 2014

The Newsroom 3.5: Penultimate Prescient

A mind-blowing, heart wrenching Newsroom 3.5 tonight.

It was, first of all, prescient, in its treatment of rape on college campuses. The news doesn't change as much we think in a year and a half.   Most of the major stories in our news today - Middle East turmoil, killer diseases, police killing of unarmed African-American men and boys - were sadly happening in June 2013, too.   And so was rape on campus.  But the parallel of the UVA story in our news and what ACN was investigating at Princeton - including the role of the media, social and traditional - was uncanny.  I just put up a blog post about this on Friday.

There was some good news, long desired, in tonight's episode, too.   Maggie and Jim are finally together, and that was a relief to see.   It took way too long.  The course of true love never did run smooth, especially when it involved two idiosyncratic people - but mainly a guy too shy - working in a newsroom no less.

The Will story was a piece of cinematic art all in itself.  He's in jail, supposedly in solitary confinement, except he has having a conversation with a wife beater (played, by the way, by the guy who plays the priest in Gracepoint).  I was suspicious of this all along, because, why would Will be locked up with a violent criminal - in a Fed prison for being held in contempt of court, a white collar crime if ever there was one.  Still, the coda to this little tale, when Will takes down the pix on the wall, and we see what his abusive father looked like, was a rich touch indeed.

The ACNGage story was also very much ripped from today's headlines, in which the tracking of celebrities has taken on a new and disturbing ubiquity in our age of citizen journalism, apps, and smart phones and tablets.  At least one student in the class on "Digital Media and Public Responsibility" I'm just finishing up teaching this term at Fordham did a report on this problem just last week.

And then there's Charlie.   There was no way he could have continued under Pruitt.  And what happened to him tonight was certainly more satisfying to the narrative requirement that he leave than his just quitting.  Even so, it was a sad, traumatic, kick-in-the-gut moment.

Much as fans of The Newsroom, including me, will feel when the show itself ends for good - or, in this case, for no good reason - next week.

analysis of the first two seasons

See also The Newsroom 3.1: Media on Media ... The Newsroom 3.2: Ethics in High Relief ... The Newsroom 3.3: Journalism at the Barricades ... The Newsroom 3.4: McLuhanesque "Books Are Like the New Art"

And see also The Newsroom Season 2 Debuts on Occupy Wall Street and More ... and (about Trayvon Martin) If Only There Was a Video Recording ... The Newsroom 2.2: The Power of Video ... The Newsroom 2.7: Autopsy of a Bad Decision ... The Newsroom 2.8: The Course of True Love ... The Newsroom Season 2 Finale: Love, Triumph, and Wikipedia

And see also The Newsroom and McLuhan ... The Newsroom and The Hour ...The Newsroom Season 1 Finale: The Lost Voice Mail

a little civil disobedience in this story too


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