Sunday, July 22, 2012

Newsroom Factroom - Newsnight 2.0

by Jonathan Bredemeyer

Finally continuing the fact-checking series of articles for the Sorkin brainchild The Newsroom [sorry for the delay, blame comic-con prep and coverage]. The next few articles will be a bit shorter than the first, but again, all about the facts. Reviewing the rules:

Facts are chosen because they were/are critical to Sorkin's storyline.  These are taken and determined to be
 accurate, potentially accurate, or inaccurate.  This is based on internet research from primary sources (and even Wikipedia when they do it best).  Luckily, with the scene set in modern day, these things are available via the web.
  • Fact
    • Finding
      • Evidence
And here... we... go:
  • Hector Nunez, an illegal immigrant who works at a moving company, was the featured person in a story in the Spokane Pacific Northwestern [something] and lost his driver's license after the story came out because the paper used his real name.
    • Accurate story mostly, but wrong person, paper, and job.
      • Hector Nunez is really [based on] Jose Antonio Vargas, and he 'outed' himself as an undocumented immigrant because he wrote an article telling his story.  He was a writer at the Washington Post where he shared a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings, but the article in question was published in New York Times Magazine.
      • His driver's license was cancelled by the state of Washington.  The state did open an investigation after the article and determined he wasn't living at the address on his license.  They cancelled it after he didn't respond to a request for proof of residency at the address, not of citizenship, one month after his article was published in NYT Magazine.
      • [This was a nice pivot of the character to add into the episode. A Pulitzer prize-winning illegal immigrant definitely isn't as common as the illegal movers most people see in front of the U-Haul place every Saturday morning...]
That was the really only interesting fact in this episode.  The dates for the Arizona law that was enacted are tough because not every episode displays the exact date.  As the election episodes will be way more fact-heavy, this one can slide by on the light side.  Feel free to highlight in the comments any you think were important that I missed.
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