Aaron Sorkin provided a glimpse into his thinking behind The Newsroom in a recent interview with NPR. Reaction to the show, starring Jeff Daniels as anchorman Will McAvoy, has been polarized, earning criticism of its portrayal of journalism and complaints of sermonizing, as well as praise, but Sorkin tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, it’s fantasy. ”I like writing about heroes that don’t wear capes and disguises”, he said. ”I think that the critics and the audience who are reacting as hostilely to the show as they are, part of the reason is because they think that I’m showing off an intellect and an erudition that I don’t have”, Sorkin said. He said he spent two days on the set of Countdown With Keith Olbermann to get the feel of a newsroom before he started writing. ”I realized I could set the show in the recent past,” he says. “My big worry was making up the news — writing fictional news — because it was just going to take us too far away from reality. … But [setting the show in the recent past] became the gift that kept on giving. Because you have the fun of the audience knowing more than the characters”.
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