Media Blog

How HBO Is Lying to Promote The Newsroom

Hilarious. It’s as if HBO doesn’t understand the point of Sorkin’s show. I wonder what Aaron Sorkin thinks of these marketing techniques? Jeff Bercovici of Forbes:

Critical reception of “The Newsroom,” Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO series set in the TV news business, has been generally cool. On Metacritic.com, which averages out reviews from all over, its score is a distinctly mediocre 57. Even those critics who’ve embraced it have generally done so with considerable caveats.

You wouldn’t know that from ads HBO has been running to promote it, though. A two-pager that ran in last week’s edition of The Hollywood Reporter, among other places, quotes breathless-sounding praise from The New York Times, Time and Salon, among two dozen outlets. Yet all three of the reviews those blurbs were drawn from were distinctly negative.

The quote from the Times, bannered atop the full width of the spread, reads: “Wit, sophistication and manic energy…A magical way with words…a lot of charm.”

Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley did write those words. But she also wrote, “[A]t its worst, the show chokes on its own sanctimony,” said it “ suffers from the same flaw that it decries on real cable shows on MSNBC or Fox News” and called the show’s central structural conceit “probably a mistake.”

Time’s James Poniewozik, summarizing his views on “The Newsroom” for non-subscribers, flatly declared, “I was not a fan.” Yet the ad makes it sound like he was, burbling, “The pacing is electric…captures the excitement.” 

Salon’s Willa Paskin is quoted in the ad calling “The Newsroom” “captivating, riveting, rousing.” Here’s what she actually wrote: “The results are a captivating, riveting, rousing, condescending, smug, infuriating mixture, a potent potion that advertises itself as intelligence-enhancing but is actually just crazy-making.”

More funny lying edits here.

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