Tonight is the premiere of the new HBO series “The Newsroom,” written by Aaron Sorkin, Oscar-winning scripter of “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “The Social Network,” “A Few Good Men,” and the television series “The West Wing.” I am a big fan of his series Sports Night, starring Josh Charles (“The Good Wife”), Peter Krause (“Parenthood”), and Felicity Huffman (“Desperate Housewives”). People often notice Sorkin’s “crackling” hyper-articulate dialogue, but what I love is the spacious and generous humanity of his characters. In one of my favorite “Sports Nights” scenes, Jeremy, a new employee, explains to his boss that he is embarrassed at having fainted on an assignment to cover a deer-hunting expedition.
JEREMY (Joshua Malina)
Not fitting in is how qualified people
ISAAC (Robert Guillaume)
Yeah, but a lot of time it’s how
people end up working here. You had an
obligation to tell us how you felt.
Partly because I don’t like getting a
phone call saying I’ve put one of my
people in the hospital. But mostly
because when you feel that strongly
about something you have a
responsibility to try and change my
mind. Jeremy, did you think I was
gonna fire you ’cause you made a
convincing argument? It’s taken me a
lot of years but I’ve come around to
this: If you’re dumb, surround
yourself with smart people.
If you’re smart, surround yourself
with smart people who disagree with
you. I’m an awfully smart man and Mark
Sabath is an idiot. He had you and he
blew it. You’ve gotta trust us. Fit in
on your own time, when you come to
work for me you show up to play.
(BEAT) I’m going home.
You don’t know us very well. So if
it’s hard trusting us at the
beginning, maybe it’ll help a little
to know that we trust you. G’night.