Monday, July 30, 2012

The Newsroom: Counterpoints (7/29/12)

None for this episode. I guess Aaron Sorkin toned down his liberal preachiness for an episode. But a couple of quick hits:

Rick Santorum: I'm amazed that this guy was able to go so far in the Republican primary. There is no way he could have beaten President Obama in the general election and yet he came so close to upending Romney's bid for the Republican candidacy.

Fukushima: The fail-safes worked as advertised and the event was nowhere close to how disastrous Chernobyl had been. If anything, this just underscores the rock solid stability of Japanese engineering in the face of an incredibly powerful earthquake (9.1 on the Richter scale) and the solid design principles behind the Gen II nuclear reactors. The Newsroom didn't really pass a lot of judgment on the incident, it was mainly used as a backdrop for further character development of Will McAvoy and Sloan Sabbath.

Energy sidebar: The vast majority of the Gen II reactors (including Fukushima's) were created in the 60s and 70s. Since then, the nuclear industry has developed vastly more efficient and safer reactors (currently classified as Gen III). Due to gross exaggerations (if not outright lies) made by certain politically active elements (parts of the green lobby, local NIMBYism) combined with public ignorance, the United States has been forced to keep operating its fleet of Gen IIs despite the fact that they were originally rated for an operational lifetime of 30 years.

As a result of extraordinarily prohibitive regulation, natural gas is now the cheapest electricity source in the US due to the advent of hydraulic fracturing, which the green lobby is also trying to fight. I don't think most people realize how dependent modern society is on cheap energy. But the energy industry is constantly vilified in the media despite its overwhelmingly important role it has in our economy. If Sorkin wants to maintain some semblance of credibility for Will McAvoy being a Republican, he should talk about this subject.

The bodyguard: That guy has some nice chemistry with McAvoy. I hope he sticks around for a few more episodes.

1 comment:

  1. I never watched the Newsroom until this weekend. A coworker at Dish told me I would like the show after having a political talk at lunch one day. The one thing I love about HBO, they have so many ways to access their content that you can spend a couple days and get caught up on a season of a show. I usually will hit their page on Dish Online just because I already have it bookmarked. Even though I don’t think my views are that of the show or Sorkin for that matter I still enjoyed the show. Usually it is the people watching that are always in suspense, but The Newsroom is reversed because we all know what happened in the news and what they are talking about, and they find out how we know it ends up. I thought they were going to make more about the Fukushima as well, and I was glad they kept it in the background.