GET IT BACK: The Newsroom Thread

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My fucking queen of everything.


Quick takes: Oh, I just can’t tonight. The last two minutes of that show ruined me forever and I may never get better. I may just run around tomorrow randomly yelling GET IT BACK at people, which will be weird during a morning meeting at a supermarket.

LEONA. Let’s be shallow first. I don’t know who that woman made a deal with to get the body she has, but I want his phone number. If it involves a portrait in an attic somewhere, so fucking BE IT. That dress was goddamn and she is astonishing.

I could tell you what it feels like to hold something as it comes apart under your hands, but you’re reading this, I don’t think I have to tell you. I could tell you how it feels to pound on it trying to staunch the bleeding, how it feels to listen to the sirens as it dies, but you’ve all been here with me a really long time. You know. Charlie, pacing in his office after the story aired, he felt the weight of it. That drink wasn’t a celebration. He was bracing himself. He knew what could be coming, and maybe he heard it, miles offshore, but he hoped and he hoped and he hoped he was wrong.

Mack was making it all about her and Will was making it all about something that was inevitable, something small, something that would make it like every other disaster on earth, like the O-rings and the attempted assassination of Roosevelt and all the other accidents of history. And Charlie was a player in a revenge fantasy he didn’t even know his old friend had, because he didn’t know the man’s child had died, and he didn’t know it was his fault. Or that the guy thought so, anyway.

Why would you hold something like that up to the light? Why would you try to see through it? A piece of paper is only important for what’s written on it. They all three of them, Mack and Charlie and Will, made it about what they didn’t know they were supposed to prevent.

And in swept Leona, maybe drunk or maybe high or maybe just amazing, and put it squarely back on the one man who DID SOMETHING ON PURPOSE. She came in wild and mad and clear: “He came into my HOUSE.” I feel for Jerry, I really do, the smarmy little prick, because he was trying to stop what was happening, but he was the one who deliberately did something wrong. That nobody stopped him, that’s on them, but by the end of the episode it had all gotten lost, and she found it.

(The catch in Charlie’s throat when she refused his resignation just fucking finished me, I’ll have you know. Remember the first season, when Charlie said to her, “You’re one of us?” She said that back to him just now. Your best friend, he’s the person who reminds you who you are when you’ve forgotten.)

You don’t, quoth Leona Lansing, fix your mistakes by walking away from them. You don’t run off to New Hampshire and you don’t cut your hair off and you don’t move in with a girl you don’t really like all that much and you don’t go to Islamabad and get a knife wound covering a protest. You fix your mistakes by fixing them. Cutting your losses is for pussies. Quitting is for suckers. It solves nothing. Face your disasters, head on, and take that hard step forward into the gale because hiding in your house won’t make the wind stop blowing.

Because here’s the thing: Every story is a risk. Every story is a reach. Every story you tell, you assemble it as best you can and you send it out into the world, and you love it and you hope it holds together. When it doesn’t, the answer isn’t to stop telling stories. It’s to find another one, and tell it better.

Or as Leona Lansing would say, and I may get tattooed on me somewhere, GET IT BACK.

A.

7 thoughts on “GET IT BACK: The Newsroom Thread

  1. Nice one…
    I must say Fonda does a better job as Lansing than she did as Nancy Reagan in The Butler!
    I really hope Jerry doesn’t get a red cent. It is so f***ed up to think that he might profit from the scenario where he would break the cardinal rule of journalism, get fired for it, and then sue his former employer for (basically) not seeing through his treacherous behavior!
    Can’t wait to see how they Get It Back! Two weeks to wait. Oy Vey!

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  2. mothra says:

    Here’s the thing that bothered me throughout this whole buildup: that Jerry’s zealotry didn’t give anyone pause. Especially in that last go ’round. He was so defensive as to make anyone wonder whether he was on the up and up.

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  3. Athenae says:

    mothra, I think it’s because breaking the rules like that isn’t something you do EVER. EVER EVER EVER. Even when you’re a zealot about a story. I think they never even considered that one of their own could be that far gone. I mean you have to be around the fucking bend and even THEN, you have to be broken, to break something like that.
    And I know people have done it, but not YOUR people, not the guy who works for Charlie too.
    A.

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  4. scottmichael says:

    With the credits just starting to roll last night and the hair on my arms still standing so rigid that the damn mosquito in our house would have been impaled trying to snack on me, my first coherent thought was, “I can’t wait to read what Athenae says about this one.” Being a Newsroom devotee is a less lonely road to walk because of you. Thanks, A.

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  5. noblejoanie says:

    Whoa, only way Sorkin could have written this better was to have you help him, A

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  6. adrastos says:

    This episode was as good as a first class episode of the West Wing. I was kinda hate watched the show during season-1 but I’m really into it this year.

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  7. Spocko says:

    Excellent review A. What I kept thinking about was how this compared to Dan Rather.
    I was thinking. “Maybe there was Sarin gas, the military knew about it and knew it would leak, so they let it out with fake documents. And then they told everyone about the fake documents destroying the credibility of Dan Rather and his staff. Also burying the actual information that George W. Bush did go AWOL in the process.
    That is the story that I thought about. I read Rather’s producer’s book. I wish Rather had been successful with his lawsuit so that we could see the pressures that his bosses were putting on them, but also who created the fake memo and who tipped off “Buckhead” to complain about the kerning?
    This was some deep PR black ops shit. Stuff that we know that ROve and Hughes were capability of. He bugged his own office, she had scrubbed his records before he was governor.
    I liked the whole bit about his son being hurt but Charlie not knowing about it and the father blaming Charlie instead of his son. (He is probably also blaming himself that he couldn’t stop his kid from being an addict and killing himself.)
    Jerry’s suing makes total sense if you apply the RW theory of “apologizing” The goal is never to admit you were wrong, but to blame someone else for it being wrong.
    This can be seen in the recently posed Jamies O’Keefe tape.
    He did something wrong. He was caught. He was lightly punished. After his punishment he went back and said, ‘I shouldn’t have been punished in the first place! The “system” was the problem. Not what I did, ‘I showed my ID!’ The story is about how the “system” failed not him.
    And this also fits because O’Keefe likes to see himself as a journalist, not a activist. As a journalists he is given certain permissions, as an activist he isn’t. He also has certain responsibilities as a journalist, which he doesn’t as an activist.
    When he was busted as an activist he pretended to be a journalist. It is his shield.
    Jerry was being an activist first. He knew that clip was fixed but he believed the other evidence and he wanted to address past wrongs. He was like a cop who knew he had the killer, but couldn’t get him cold, so plants evidence.
    Maybe sarin gas did happen, but now, because of the fixed evidence, we will always focus on that instead of the war crime.

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