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Dan Rather Reviewed The Newsroom for Us and Liked It


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A note from Dan Rather: 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 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.

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As the Newsroom character MacKenzie (Emily Mortimer) says, in challenging the anchorman Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) to be a crusader for quality journalism, "There is nothing more important in a democracy than a well-informed electorate. When there is no information or, much worse, wrong information, it can lead to calamitous decisions that clobber any attempts at vigorous debate."

This is the battle being lost in almost every newsroom, in every place around the world. Ratings (or circulation), demographics, and profits rule. Any talk of the public interest or of doing quality journalism of integrity with guts is considered passé.

The Newsroom's last 4 episodes were so great.

But it did take them a while to get going.

This is a series that rewards patience, like The Wire, Walking Dead, LOST, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Game of Thrones.

There will be a season 2, right? I hope so.

Yes. I started in the second half -- late -- and perhaps that's why I enjoyed it so much. HBO had a great marathon today to catch up with the first few episodes.

Episode 1 is action packed, but then the next half season slowly builds.

The complete season tells an amazing story. Not sure what they do for an encore.

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