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Sorkin is a know-nothing blowhard. The most damning thing I can say about him is that you can take either of those speeches, give them to any character (well, any male character; the women are all morons) on Sports Night, The West Wing, Studio 60, or The Newsroom, and it would make no difference.

I agree his speeches are all sound and fury, but they reflect nothing but the interior of his tortured brain; tortured with being surrounded by those who don't see the plain and honest truth as clearly as he sees it. That's why all his characters sound the same; they're all as brilliant as he imagines smart people to be and that sounds suspiciously like his own voice.

Phooey to him from me.

Claire Helene

A-freaking-men, Lance. I'm glad you saw that tweet. Please don't get me started on the process that was getting this transportation bill passed, goodness knows I could go on about it. Did you see that piece Ezra Klein had a couple weeks ago that showed what little output this current Congress has had, in comparison to all others? It is shameful. I am sick of these do nothing, know nothings who just seem to sit around and moan about the other side. Anyway, good post.


"If you're rich the fire department does get to your house faster. The police not only arrive sooner, they ask permission first and then they wipe their feet when they show up and apologize for taking so long and being out of breath."

911 is a joke.

Ken Houghton

If Sorkin were paying attention to his own show--pull the other one--someone would have told Sam Seaborn:

"Yes, and what did we get for that $400,000 a year, on which you paid less than $80K in Federal taxes? We got one of the biggest fracking oil spills of all time, which we have to clean up using Government funds because you arranged that the company that bought ships you knew were not up for the job for which they planned to use them wouldn't spend a penny on it.

"Don't bloody tell us you how you paid so much more than the other voters in taxes; your ledger is so far in deficit that if you and your children and your children's children worked for Gage Whitney and didn't take a bleeding deduction for at all, you would still owe those other 27 people money. They'll be paying for your screw-up for decades, Sam. Not one of those 27 people would have been willing to take such a stupid risk with the environment--to ruin one of those places where, if they scrimp and save all year, they can take their kids there for four or five days and feel as if this land really is partially theirs.

"They all know that you don't defecate where you eat, Sam. You didn't. That's why you got the big bucks. Because you would do things to them you would never allow to be done to yourself.

"You ruined their hopes and dreams, Sam, so don't go whining that you paid more taxes than Mitt Romney."

Fortunately, Sorkin and continuity don't have a good relationship.


I once yielded to no one in my love of Sorkin, but he's so completely lost me that I, too, wonder if The West Wing was actually less good than I remember it. I watched most of Sorkin's episodes again a year or two back (when I was still smarting off the awfulness of Studio 60, unimpressed with Charlie Wilson's War, and wondering just what was in the Social Network kool-aid), and I was struck at how, for a show that's often seen as a liberal's fantasy world, how un-liberal the show was. Liberal arguments rarely carry the day on The West Wing. Whenever someone advances a Big Liberal Idea, you can count on the very next conversation being why it won't work or won't pass or just can't happen, and the person who advanced the Big Liberal Idea looks wistful for a moment before moving on to the next thing.

And that speech by Sam was ghastly. I couldn't believe Sorkin wrote it...but then, actually knowing what he's talking about is not Sorkin's strong suit. (Neither, frankly, is continuity -- where the hell did Mandy go after Season One? -- or logical premises for a joke -- why would Sam not know how old Leo's daughter is?) I watched the first scene of The Newsroom and was appalled at how it's just like any number of other moments in Sorkin projects, all the way back to The American President.

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