Grant Jantzen

Totally Designed Lifestyle

PaleyFest: The Newsroom

PaleyFest:  The Newsroom

March 3rd, 7:00 pm, Saban Theatre, Beverly Hills

The cast and producers of HBO’s amazing news drama, The Newsroom gather for a panel discussion, led by Piers Morgan, host of CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight.  Here is the lineup:

Aaron Sorkin, Creator & Executive Producer
Alan Poul, Executive Producer
Jeff Daniels, “Will McAvoy”
Emily Mortimer, “MacKenzie McHale”
Sam Waterston, “Charlie Skinner”
John Gallagher, Jr., “Jim Harper”
Alison Pill, “Maggie Jordan”
Thomas Sadoski, “Don Keefer”
Olivia Munn, “Sloan Sabbith”
Dev Patel, “Neal Sampat”
Moderator: Piers Morgan, Host, Piers Morgan Tonight

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John Gallagher Jr. (Jim Harper), Alison Pill (Maggie Jordan), Thomas Sadoski (Don Keefer)

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Thomas Sadoski (Don Keefer), Olivia Munn (Sloan Sabbith), Dev Patel (Neal Sampat)

What an impressive night of high-brow discussion.  We enjoyed every minute of it, from Aaron Sorkin putting Piers Morgan in his place, to a touching moment shared between Sam Waterston and Thomas Sadoski, but without a doubt, the winner of the night was Olivia Munn.  She challenged Morgan’s integrity and professionalism and made articulate points again and again, even when confronted with ridiculous topics like, “Olivia, let’s talk about sex for a moment.”  After turning that absurd maneuver on its head,

“When you see Sloan walking out, I want people to judge her immediately…but then I want the audience to judge themselves for judging her.”

she commandeers the conversation and turns it around on Morgan, indirectly and masterfully referring to Morgan and other reporters like him.  Well spoken, Miss Munn.  I previously did not care for you, but you may have just won me over.

“My definition of journalism is seeking out a truth and honesty and asking questions that raise other questions and get to the bottom of a story…I prefer to see Piers Morgan and Diane Sawyer just on the news and not on the red carpet, but that’s just me personally…I like seeing my news anchors just be my news anchors and now when you turn on CNN, people are putting themselves into a story and people are tweeting things out…I think people and especially journalists, they make themselves too much a part of the story, when journalism is really about other people’s stories….To make yourself newsworthy is so egotistical and self-absorbed. That’s the problem with so many news organizations — so many people trying to make themselves a celebrity.”

One of the more depressing things to come out of Piers Morgan’s mouth during the event was when he expressed his opinion that the recent wall-to-wall coverage of the stranded Carnival cruise ship was “actually quite interesting”, to which Sorkin responded with something to the effect of, don’t you think your time would have been better spent covering the sequester?  (Duh!!)  Morgan responds, “Honestly? No. I think the sequester is one of the most supremely boring stories ever told on television…There are many political stories which are just incredibly dry and trying to make them come to life…you can do it and you can do it with all of the tricks in television in my experience, but it doesn’t rate…”  (And you call yourself a journalist??  FAIL.)

After a few more questions go by, you can tell Sorkin is still pondering Morgan’s ridiculous response.  He then interrupts to say, “I’m not ready to agree with you yet on the sequester.  We’ve all had that teacher in high school, the American History teacher or Social Studies teacher that made some subject that you would think was very dry just come alive, they made it really exciting and it just seems to me that adults would be susceptible to that too. I think that could happen.” 

Way to go, Aaron!  I agree and enjoyed seeing Morgan be put (respectfully) in his place.  I hope you choose to cover the sequester in The Newsroom.  I’m positive that you’ll be able to make it “come alive”.

One of my favorite moments of the night was when Thomas Sadoski described working with Law & Order veteran, Sam Waterston like getting an acting PhD.  He then went on to say some very complimentary things, which Waterston appeared to be very touched by:

“I could go on and on and on about my feelings about Sam as an artist, but they would sort of pale in comparison to my feelings of Sam as a human being.  Sam is and has routinely proven to be, to me, to my eye, incredibly generous, but also a master of subtlety and honesty, which are two things I desperately needed to study up on when it came to working on television.”    – Thomas Sadoski

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Sam Waterston (Charlie Skinner)

Later, Waterston speaks eloquently of Sorkin’s writing:

“When the material is like this, it makes everybody rise to the bait and become their best selves.”    – Sam Waterston

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Piers Morgan (moderator), Aaron Sorkin (creator, & executive producer)

And, just because I totally agree with him on this (and love Will and Mackenzie):

“I do not believe that a couple that’s together is any less fun or romantic or sexy than a couple that’s trying to get together.”    – Aaron Sorkin, on Will and Mackenzie getting back together

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Jeff Daniels (Will McAvoy), Emily Mortimer (Mackenzie McHale)

 

This was a truly entertaining PaleyFest night.  I encourage anyone reading this, to start watching The Newsroom if you don’t already.  It is enlightening, informative, humerous and insightful.  Powerfully and articulately written and performed by superior calibre actors.  Well worth your time, no matter who you are.

 

 

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4 comments on “PaleyFest: The Newsroom

  1. Acuario
    May 23, 2013

    Hola, es muy interesante los comentarios.
    No encuentro el video, donde puedo verlo?

    • grantjantzen
      June 6, 2013

      Hola,
      There was no video posted for this Paley Fest event…but you can look it up on Hulu. They posted all of the complete interviews. 🙂
      Hope that helps!
      Adios!

  2. Acuario
    June 8, 2013

    Hola,
    Entrevista? no encontré en hulu.
    Los vídeos están en http://www.hulu.com/search?q=the+newsroom
    tampoco se puede ver. Mala suerte.
    Esa serie es buenísima
    Gracias por responder.

    • grantjantzen
      June 8, 2013

      Here’s a link for the whole thing:

      And if you want the individual clips broken up, then you have to search “Paleyfest Newsroom” on Hulu and it will pull up 8 other clips.

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