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June 26, 2012

Aaron Sorkin should really stop being a dick to women reporters

Though I guess it fits with the way he writes, which often involves idealistic young women who are WRONG being lectured by wise older white men who are RIGHT. And when I say "often" I mean "always." Look guys, it's 2012. We should all be aware of the struggles it has taken to get here as a nation and as a planet. A lot of shit has gone down, you know? History is littered with injustices and atrocities and when you lean back and say that you wish you could live in the 40s because it was a time of great men, what a lot of us hear is that you want to live in a time when white guys were oppressing the living fuck out of women and non-white people. The 40s were great indeed for some people, but for over half of America they were not so great? This isn't a shock or rocket science. We have a pretty prominent TV show on that is all about this. Unless you're an asshole who watches Mad Men and wishes it could be that way again. (Though I admit the suits are really slick.) This interview with Aaron Sorkin begins with him assuming a woman couldn't possibly understand his TV show and just goes downhill swiftly from there. How to get under Aaron Sorkin’s skin (and also, how to high-five properly) - The Globe and Mail
“Listen here, Internet girl,” he says, getting up. “It wouldn’t kill you to watch a film or pick up a newspaper once in a while.” I’m not sure how he’s forgotten that I am writing for a newspaper; looking over the publicist’s shoulder, I see that every reporter is from a print publication (do not see: Drew Magary). I remind him. I say also, factually, “I have a New York Times subscription and an HBO subscription. Any other advice?” He looks surprised, then high-fives me. Being not a person who high-fives or generally makes physical contact with interview subjects, I look more surprised. “I’m sick of girls who don’t know how to high-five,” he says. He makes me try to do it “properly,” six times. He also makes me laugh; I’m nervous, and it’s so absurd. He loves it. He says, “Let me manhandle you.” Then he ambles off, hoping I’ll write something nice, as though he has never known how the news works, how many stories can be true.
And also:
“I think I would have done very well, as a writer, in the forties,” he says. “I think the last time America was a great country was then, or not long after. It was before Vietnam, before Watergate.” It was a great country, yes, for great white men. It was a great country when you could still trust in greatness. As many of us (who watch HBO, at least) long ago stopped believing in God, a God who for all Christian and capitalistic intents and purposes was male, it could not be much longer before we also stopped believing in things as theistic as neutrality and objectivity and omnipotence in journalism. I do not want us to stop believing in heroes; only in heroes who think, as Sorkin's heroes think, they're truth-raining gods.
And see also:
Hence, my first question starts, “I watched the pilot twice ... ” But I don't get to the question part because Sorkin looks as if he wants to say something. I invite him to do so, and he asks, “Because you liked it so much the first time, or because you didn't understand it the first time?” So huge is the hubris in thinking anyone smart enough to write about this show for a national newspaper might not be yet smart enough to understand it (should you fret about your own Sorkin-fathoming abilities, let me say that if you read Don Quixote in the ninth grade or studied American History in the 11th, you will be fine) that I just swallow and tell my own truth. REPORTER: No, I think that there might be a third way, which is that if you’re going to write about something, you have to look at it more than once. SORKIN: So, it wasn’t that you liked it so much the first time? You could have lied.