I've worked with several of the people in this article. I've worked for Mark Burnett. A friend of mine gets between three and ten calls a week from journalists because he's the most likely candidate to have the mythical "n-word tapes." I overheard him talking to the Washington Post once - "look man, you have my number so you know who I am. You know I boxed professionally. You probably know I was raised by Black Panthers. If Donald Trump ever said the n-word around crew you woulda known it by now because TMZ woulda carried it when I decked his ass."
I think it's impossibly cowardly that the chattering class feels it's the responsibility of the guys selling dandruff shampoo and Depends to serve as the moral and ethical standard for a country that wants to watch Honey Boo Boo. They want to feel better because someone is worse than them. A country that wants to watch Undercover Boss. They want to feel better because maybe if the person they're dedicating 50 hours a week of their life to might not be such a shitheel if only they could talk to him one-on-one. A country that wants to watch Survivor. They want to feel better because maybe if TEOTWAWKI happened they wouldn't have to nod and smile at their manager's jokes for $18 an hour. A country that wants to watch The Apprentice. They want to feel better because maybe those Captains of Industry that destroyed their pension fund and bulldozed the park are Actual Geniuses Who Live Very Important Lives.
How many million views do the assorted clips of the "drink the sand" speech from American President have? The pundit class loves Sorkin. Loves thinking they're a part of something clever and noble and honorable and those poor fucking rubes are too stupid to do what's best for them. And maybe they're right.
But they also revel in pissing all over the people who give those rubes what they want. And they never talk about the fact that they've let things fall to the point where America gets its news from organizations that sell dandruff shampoo and Depends. And until the New Yorker figures out how to talk to people who enjoy watching The Apprentice in a non-ironic way, they're just as much of the problem as Mark Burnett.