Tag Archives: Aaron Sorkin

On Being Freshly Pressed and a Fair Depiction of Steve Jobs


Comics Grinder was recently bestowed the honor of being Freshly Pressed by the WordPress community. What does that mean, you ask? For those of you not familiar with WordPress, it means that Comics Grinder has found its place under the sun and joined the honor roll of Freshly Pressed blogs worthy of note. This is a grid that displays a total of 27 entries from various blogs published on WordPress.com. Each day, three more blog posts enter the ring and move the line along.

Okay, so why should you care? There are a number of good reasons. For one thing, to be Freshly Pressed is sort of a seal of approval. You shouldn’t let it go to your head or take it too seriously but, if you should be Freshly Pressed, you should feel pretty good about yourself, and your blog. A happy and self-confident blogger means better blog posts! Yes, it is a great motivator to keep on carrying on.

Once Freshly Pressed, you never go back.

You feel a stronger sense of community. You cannot help but bask in the glow of acknowledgment. You know you must have been doing something right.


A lot of factors go into being chosen to be Freshly Pressed. I believe it has to do with the overall quality of your blog: its consistency, its sense of style, and its relevance. Ah, yes, relevance. Often, a blog post that is chosen for this honor is reflecting something that is currently going on in the world.

The post that was showcased from my blog is an interview I conducted with illustrator Jessie Hartland about her new graphic novel, “Steve Jobs: Insanely Great.” Now, the new movie is out, “Steve Jobs,” with a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin. Here’s the thing, Jessie Hartland struck a balance with the multitude of facts about a most exceptional person. In this new film, it is well understood that Aaron Sorkin takes no prisoners and goes straight for the jugular in attempting to cast Mr. Jobs in the darkest light possible. I am curious about seeing the film but I don’t have to see it. Maybe I’ll wait until it’s on DVD or not see it at all. I think Mr. Sorkin is prone to overkill in the same way as Oliver Stone. And I wonder what sort of treatment Sorkin would get in a Sorkin-like screenplay.

Mr. Sorkin should be ashamed of himself, if that were even possible for man with such an outsized ego. He has written a story about Steve Jobs that robs him of his humanity. An analysis in Fast Company of the real Steve Jobs and Sorkin’s sad, sad portrayal is well worth reading. Here’s a quick excerpt from the essay by Rick Tetzeli, Executive Editor of Fast Company:

The real man was a real man. He was complicated, and therefore could be mean, pig-headed, and wrong even on his best days. But he only became truly great because he was able to learn, grow, harness his strengths, and mitigate his weaknesses. Sorkin’s vision doesn’t capture any of this.

So, I’m very happy to have helped in my small way to spread the word about Jessie Hartland’s fair and thoughtful depiction of the life of a man who we can all, warts and all, look up to.

If you’re considering seeing the Sorkin movie or are curious about getting a good look at Steve Jobs, then seek out Jessie Hartland’s book.


Filed under Comics, Freshly Pressed, graphic novels, Interviews, Jessie Hartland, Steve Jobs

Aaron Sorkin’s THE NEWSROOM: Olbermann/Lou Grant Mashup?

“THE NEWSROOM” will do for broadcast news what “THE WEST WING” did for true believers in good government. Bravo, to Mr. Sorkin for what looks like possibly another HBO hit. Let’s consider what we’ve got here starting with the best thing going for this show. We all loved what Sorkin did with behind-the-scenes White House drama. What we need to know is will this new show really fly. What’s the hook? Well, it’s not totally about idealism in journalism. What finally got me was seeing some sparks fly between the two lead characters, Jeff Daniels, as Will McAvoy, a grumpy and volatile news anchor, and Emily Mortimer, as MacKenzie McHale, his demanding (and rightly so) girlfriend. Just view this clip. It’s fabulous to see MacKenzie trap Will into making an intimate admission with the threat of hijacking his broadcast.

Honestly, I don’t know if the entire show, week after week, can live up to that little moment but here’s hoping it can. In reality, if a girlfriend pulled a stunt like that, it doesn’t seem likely a relationship would actually survive it. I’m also annoyed that the these two have Mc-names. McAvoy and McHale? It takes you out of the realism and reminds you of ’70s TV shows, “McMillan & Wife” and “McCloud.” Was the intention to yank us out of the moment and remind us it’s all artifice? I think not.

You know, at first, I thought this show was going to be something like a retread of “Broadcast News” and “Network,” and it probably is more than Sorkin cares to admit. Perhaps artifice does rule supreme and would that be a bad thing? Well, God knows, I don’t need to see Sam Waterston add to the countless hand wringing scenes in televsion drama over the decades. And I’m not that interested to see  Jane Fonda as a latter day Nancy Marchand in the role of Mrs. Pynchon on “Lou Grant.”

Then there’s the whole Keith Olbermann thing. Mr. Olbermann made a wisecrack that “The Newsroom” is the second time his life has been used for a TV show, the first being Sorkin’s “Sports Night.” Sorkin is irritated by that and stated, rather caustically, that “Newsroom” has nothing to do with Olbermann, “a man who I’ve spent about five minutes with in my entire life.” Huh? There really would be no shame in basing MacGyver, I mean McAvoy, with Olbermann. In fact, the more merging of fact and fiction, the better, it would seem. Frankly, a show loosely based on a bunch of other stuff, old TV shows, our own idea of what the world is like or should be, with a dash of Keith Olbermann, sounds like a winning recipe for success.

UPDATE: I have seen the pilot, which is available for anyone to see for free on YouTube or the HBO site. It does provide some good moments of entertainment but it comes at the price of it just messing with you. In the end, it seems like a big tease since the premise is flawed. We don’t live in a world that pays attention to the evening news like we once did in the era of Walter Cronkite but Sorkin believes we should.

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Filed under HBO, Television