I’ve now watched two episodes of Aaron Sorkin’s new show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Well, to be completely honest, I sort of watched two episodes, sinced I slept through most of the second.
The show has the usual Sorkin trademarks — incredibly rapid-fire dialogue, some of it clever; a camera that likes to spin and zoom; and speeches, lots of speeches. This time, the speeches meld Sorkin’s two primary concerns: studio control over show content and Evangelical Christians.
In Sorkin’s world, the studios are constantly bowing down to the Evangelical Christians and bleaching “cutting edge” content from the brilliant work done by writers and directors. Sorkin is remarkably unconcerned by the fact that the studios are business-making entities and that their obligation to their shareholders isn’t to be cutting edge, but is to appeal to the greatest number of advertisers — which means attracting, not attacking, the largest audience demographic.
In the 24 hour a day cable world, if Sorkin has something burning to say, he can find a venue. As it is, despite his attacks on the studios, NBC seems happily to have assumed the martyr’s roll of hosting a show savaging its own approach to TV (although I’m sure the network bigwigs console themselves with the thought that, since they’re hosting the show, NBC must be considered a network that doesn’t pander in the way Sorkin describes).
In any event, as Sorkin constantly flexes his puny muscles with his brave attacks on Christians, I can’t help but think of my own recent American Thinker article about the Democrats’ horror of being on the receiving end of a verbal challenge to their ideas. You see, that’s what this whole Studio 60 is about: How dare those Evangelical Christians use market power in a capitalist economy to say I’m not brilliant? Further, how dare they challenge my attack against them?
I’d be much more impressed with Sorkin’s freedom of speech positioning if, instead of attacking Evangelical Christians who, for the most part, merely huff and puff about his inanities, he’d throw in a few Mohammed jokes or perhaps have a cutting-edge joke two about burkhas, honor killings, submission, free speech riots, etc. Attacking paper tigers is scarcely the way to make the point about freedom of speech in a dangerous world. But, as we well know, because the Kennedys, Trumans and Roosevelts are long gone, the Democrats’ enemies of choice are always the paper tigers who won’t fight back.