The Newsroom Review: “The Genoa Tip” (Season 2, Episode 2)


Considering that the episode was called The Genoa Tip, a surprisingly slim amount of time was spent on this thing called “Genoa,” which is supposed to be at the heart of this year’s storyline on The Newsroom. Instead, we get more Maggie drama, and talk of drones and other types of executions.

We pick up pretty much where we left off last week. Jim is in his self-imposed exile covering Mitt Romney’s primary swing through New Hampshire. Cameron, the campaign’s press flack, still won’t let Jim ride on the bus, but one of the other reporters twists Cameron’s arm, allowing Jim to ride along. Jim, now free of the bus flap, tries to get one-on-one time with the candidate, but Cameron is no help. I hope Jim gets more to do out of this adventure than be a tool for pointing out how the Romney campaign was run by tools, and how life covering the Romney campaign was, at this point, less than stimulating. But given the alternatives storywise, maybe it suits Jim better to have distance from the soap opera back home.

And yes, it is quite a soap back in New York as Maggie, having broken up with Don due to that pesky You Tube video of the Sex and the City tour bus debacle, is now sleeping on the floor in Sloan’s office before making her way back to her old apartment with Lisa. Sloan gets further sucked into the Maggie/Don drama when Maggie is able to use a social media cross-checking and learns that the woman who shot the video, Erica, is in New York and presently at a laundry mat in Queens. It turns out Erica is a Sex and the City blogger who uses her real-life as inspiration for SATC fan-fic… I think this might be one of those times where Aaron Sorkin’s lack of internet savvy shows. Anyway, in exchange for some Twitter favours from Sloan, Erica promises to take down the video before anyone else (ie: Lisa) can see it.

Meanwhile, Don throws himself into work. He comes to Will to recruit his help in taking up the cause of convicted cop killer Troy Davis, a black man from Georgia who went to death row for shooting and killing a white cop. Will is unphased, not wanting to be in the shoes of that trial’s prosecutor by having “some guy with an anchor desk” re-try his case in the press. Don later gets a tip that one of the judge’s responsible for hearing the clemency appeal was being lobbied to deny and wants to go to air with it, but Charlie, in a controversy-avoidance mood, points out that one source is too thin. By the end of the episode, as in real life, Davis is put to death still claiming his innocence.

Also in a mood for feeling pilloried is Will himself. Still smarting from being removed from the network’s 10th anniversary coverage of 9/11, he tries to save face with the staff by telling them it was his idea. In the editing room, we see a couple of techs putting together the video packages for the anniversary coverage and we learn that Will’s first time in the anchor chair after serving as ACN’s legal correspondent was the 16 hours he was on the air on 9/11. That seems a little far-fetched because most network anchors were in their chairs within hours of the terrorist attacks, so how the untested law reporter ended up subbing for most of the day is never given a good answer, but I guess it does make good mythologizing for our crusading anchor.

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