Aaron Sorkin needs to clear a space on his cluttered mantle. The king of the walk-and-talk recently signed on to adapt Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography — and considering how many awards The Social Network won, it’s safe to guess that Sorkin’s next peek behind the computer screen will be similarly celebrated.
But even though Sorkin snagged an Oscar for writing about the technorati, it’s still deeply weird that he somehow became Hollywood’s go-to tech biopic scribe. Sorkin has long had a love-hate relationship with computers — accent on the hate.
After getting into a string of online arguments with Television Without Pity posters in the early ’00s, Sorkin wrote an episode of The West Wing that featured a subplot about how horrible Internet users are. (Josh to C.J., on a certain site: “It’s a crazy place. It’s got this dictatorial leader who I’m sure wears a muumuu and chain smokes Parliaments.” C.J. to Josh: “The people on these sites, they’re the cast of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest!”) An episode of Studio 60 also revolved partially around the characters’ reactions to a critical blogger; as one opined, “It’s like we’ve all spent the last five years living in a Roger Corman film called Revenge of the Hack.” Another dismissed the blogger as someone with “a freezer full of Jenny Craig” who sits “surrounded by her five cats.” Even the new trailer for Sorkin’s upcoming HBO drama, The Newsroom, includes a moment in which Jeff Daniels’ character reacts with disdain when Dev Patel’s character mentions his blog.
And then there are the various Internet bashing comments Sorkin himself has made over the years. Here’s a sampling of his greatest hits: