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Tara Ariano

S03.E03: Main Justice

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With respect to the HR plot, I really hope CaughtOnTape is right that there's a bigger end game. Because as we've all noted, right now it's ludicrous and weighing on the show.

 

ACN is the most visible part of AWM's empire. The first action of a new VP or HR would not be to mess with the locations and work arrangements of on air talent. Sloan's not going anywhere. She needs to be on near Wall Street. Moving Don to DC, would incur the wrath of Charlie Skinner and Reese Lansing for fucking with the product, something an HR director shouldn't be doing if there isn't an issue.

 

Let's hope there's a bigger payoff here. Maybe he just really wants to get Lutz a producer position.

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Personally, I've always thought the character of Jim should have his own kind of meme, where he goes out of his way to do, what he thinks, is the right and noble way, only to have it blow up spectacularly in his face.

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Maybe he's stalking Sloane and Don is in the way.

Maybe he's stalking Don and Sloane is in the way.

Maybe he wants to be on that new all-stalking-all-the-time channel.

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Gary's initial sass and 'fuck you' attitude to the feds was as unexpected as it was awesome. That he went from singing showtunes to that only emphasized its 'holy shit!' shock value to me.

 

I enjoy Don's facial reactions to things. The actor does them so well.

 

I loved his reactions to Sloan's totally disinterested "okay" when he ran to her to tell her that they weren't dating. There was his initial "phew! Got here in time" and then a heartbeat before " wait...what? Why isn't she having any reaction to this?" and then you can almost see the wheels turning in his head while he tries to puzzle that out. Did Don give the HR guy the wrong directions to Sloan's office or just the slowest?

 

I was trying to figure out how Don/Sloan would be a problem but Will/Mac wouldn't be. So, initially I appreciated that the HR guy addressed it. But then, his justification was so UTTERLY BULLSHIT that I can't believe Don didn't immediately go to that guy's supervisor. Will and Mac are very clearly in BLATANT violation of this HR policy but because Will is an anchor, they get a pass while Don and Sloan are put through a witch hunt? Sorry but no. If I were Don/Sloan, I would take that shit to the top. Either the policy is enforced for all, or it is enforced for none. ACN cannot cherry-pick the cases it wishes to pursue. I would threaten legal action.

 

Now, I've made no secret of the fact that I don't give three fucks about Will and Mac's wedding, so any reference to it kind of annoys me, but did I hear correctly that the FBI chick, who has been Mac's friend for-fucking-ever is merely a guest? Who asks their coworkers, whom they've known for like 2 years to be bridesmaids but not their childhood friend with whom they are still close and see a lot??

 

And while I'm talking about Mac, I agree with the poster earlier in this thread who finds a slight disconnect between the supposedly fashion loving Mac and the usually utterly dishevelled looking Mac we see all the time. Her hair alone is a travesty. Her dress at the event was nice enough but the hair is a trainwreck. She has money and apparently likes the pricer fashion stuff...I cannot reconcile that with how she presents herself. And could someone please explain to me her parting remark to Will of "I'll need a dress" when they were told that they were going to the Correspondents Dinner? Why did Will have to be told this? Is he supposed to go and get her one? Pay for it? Was she implying that whatever plans they had that night would have to be put on hold because she had to go shopping? I just...didn't get it.

 

And speaking of the Correspondents Dinner...I can totally accept that a news agency's executives would be invited, but the fucking VP of HUMAN RESOURCES???? What in the fuck? Americans, get your tax dollars back for funding that waste of money!! ;)

 

And don't get me started on the potential buyer for ACN. I cannot believe that a self-made billionaire has such terrible ideas. I can only hope that he was fucking with Charlie. I mean, why would he shell out FOUR BILLION DOLLARS to buy the fourth ranked news channel to see his shitty ideas come to fruition? It made no sense to me. For less than that, surely he could start his own channel/network?

 

I love Jane Fonda as Leona Lansing. That woman looks fucking fantastic and she kills it as Leona. I also loved that they had Sloan start giving suggestions to save ACN which the higher ups had already tried (which, to me, again showed Sloan's brains).

 

I had no problem with Jim being an ass when Maggie was talking to him about the EPA report because, unfortunately, he's right. No one gives a fuck about the environment. That's why we're in this mess in the first place. His comments about how he was thinking about sports when she was talking was, IMO, not an attempt to disrespect her or her work but to show her how the viewers will react: they won't care. Throw in that Maggie highlighted the entire fucking report and just...ugh. Yes, it's important. So what? If you can't cut to the meat of it and give your viewers the Cliff's Notes, no one will pay attention anyway.

 

That said, I did love the EPA guy's 'no fucks left to give' interview. His deadpan, "yeah, that would be great!...20 years ago" and him totally not giving in to Will's blatant attempts to sugar coat or silver-line the bottom line were priceless.

 

And Jim/Hallie? Whatever. It took way too long to get to the crux of the matter: that he's worried she'll spill secrets in order to get paid. I had no issue with her being pissed about that. But everything that came before it? Was shit. If Hallie is so full of integrity and above tabloid-style "journalism", she could have simply said: "yes, they will pay for more re-tweets but, even though I'm taking the job because I'm low on options, I have no intention of cashing in on sensationist news reporting". That's it. End of discussion. She would have acknowledged the bullshit bonus/incentive thing and responded to it. Instead, because of how she was defending it, sorry but I found myself agreeing with Jim: don't pretend the "bonuses" are something they aren't; it's suspicious. Call a spade a spade. She will be paid extra for re-tweets, which means that her fucking unprofessional tweet which got her fired from ACN (a legit news agency) would have been rewarded financially by this "news agency". Her focus was on re-tweets when she WASN'T going to profit from it, so I can see where Jim was coming from on that one. He knows that she considers herself to be a valid journalist and she's on a slippery slope by taking a job which, based on the contract, will be the opposite of that. He ended on a douchey note with the whole trust thing but I think his earlier comments were valid.

Edited by NoWillToResist
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And speaking of the Correspondents Dinner...I can totally accept that a news agency's executives would be invited, but the fucking VP of HUMAN RESOURCES???? What in the fuck? Americans, get your tax dollars back for funding that waste of money!! ;)

I agree that an HR VP would probably not be at the White House Correspondents Dinner, but this event is not paid for with taxes. It's a benefit paid for by the guests, just like any other charity fundraising event.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/white-house-correspondents-association-dinner-isnt-costly-but-the-parties-are/2013/04/25/335da104-acfc-11e2-a8b9-2a63d75b5459_story.html

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I would guess each company has a certain amount of tickets to fill and decides who gets them. That Maggie was there was what was hard to believe not that a vp was.

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Hallie's point that tv personalities are paid based on the viewers they bring in is valid. Why is it different online

 

If I'm not mistaken, Ellen's selfie at the Oscars set a Twitter re-tweet record. Not sure if it's been beaten since then, but I think Jim is of the opinion that popularity on that type of media is usually based on sensationalism or celebrity bullshit rather than "real" news.

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But does it have to be?  Will got his biggest numbers when they supposedly broke Genoa - and they were all thrilled.  Hallie could also crack a real news story and get big numbers if people retweeted it.  

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But does it have to be?  Will got his biggest numbers when they supposedly broke Genoa - and they were all thrilled.  Hallie could also crack a real news story and get big numbers if people retweeted it.  

 

I'm not saying it has to be that way; I think that Jim naturally distrusts the 'online journalism' thing.

 

That said, I do sadly think there is merit in thinking that the general public is far more interested in pointless celebrity shit than things that actually matter and affect their lives...

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Sorkin has created the HR subplot because Sorkin wants to dramatize his belief that HR bans on intracompany relationships are bullshit.

 

Sorkin's POV--shocking in this day and age--is that consenting adults ought to be able to do with each other what consenting adults wish to do with each other in their private time, even--horrors!--if they work for the same company.

 

The Newsroom is at root a comedy, a comedy that has a POV about the social and political issues of the day. Sorkin's POV. I think it works well.

Edited by Milburn Stone
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He may think that but it's not how most companies operate. The chick who outed her own affair while trying to say she should have had an assignment: never, no way, would that ever, ever, ever happen, in a TV station, on a newspaper, nowhere. Most companies are "at will" companies and by making such accusations she's asking to be let go.

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He may think that but it's not how most companies operate. The chick who outed her own affair while trying to say she should have had an assignment: never, no way, would that ever, ever, ever happen, in a TV station, on a newspaper, nowhere. Most companies are "at will" companies and by making such accusations she's asking to be let go.

 

Only if the company wanted to let her go. The company itself still has leeway when it comes to how it enforces its own policies. That's why the HR guy could overlook Will and Mackenzie in favor of not messing with Will McAvoy.

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Which is why I said "asking to be let go" and why no employee would ever behave that way. i saw it as ridiculously bad writing. An editor has absolute discretion over what he assigns to whom, and the notion that she thought she had a beef at all just shows that Sorkin has never worked in an actual newsroom (I, on the other hand, have and do.)

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So have I. My experience is that everyone dates each other all the time because the hours are so bad that no one ever leaves. Some people are professional about it, and some aren't. So some bickering among colleagues and an angry, spurned ex don't seem especially odd to me. But you know, different newsrooms, different companies, different experiences.

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Not my experience at all. in 2014, most newspapers (like mine) are owned by larger media groups and this kind of clause is the norm, as it has been my whole entire working life. I am still working in one. Ever since Clinton, these kinds of things are the norm in HR. And I don't believe a subordinate would lodge a complaint against a boss for not getting assigned something she thought was her beat. Simply. Do. Not. Believe it. She's trying to get her immediate superior in trouble for something he has absolute discretion over doing. I saw it as programmatic, bad writing by Sorkin to try to make the theme go to a smaller plot as well. I didn't buy it for a moment.

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Ah, yeah. I was in TV news. I've always thought they were much more famewhorey and less professional than "real" reporters, which is why I got out and moved to other types of print. I have no trouble believing a newspaper is run differently. But Sorkin's company is TV news, and cable news to boot. I realize my generalizations are all anecdotal, but I totally believe it.

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Well, that's what he's going for. At least he acknowledged that you have to sign disclosure papers. The part I did not buy was the girl picking a fight over not getting her story and outing herself to win points, not that the relationship happened.

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