‘The Newsroom’ Will Focus on the Boston Marathon Bombing

HBO's trailer for the third season reveals the show has returned its focus to news from two years ago.

HBO’s The Newsroom is still, for some reason, a fictional show about non-fictional news events that happened two years ago. So of course, in its upcoming season, the folks at the ACN network will speechify loudly about one of the biggest news events of 2013: the Boston Marathon bombing.

HBO released the trailer for the third and final season of The Newsroom this week, and in it, Jeff Daniels’ character addresses the hectic media climate that surrounded the manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Unsurprisingly, he does so at a shout:

Two times in 24 hours, law enforcement had to publicly disclose information, because either a paper or website put someone’s life in danger. He’s hiding in a boat in someones back yard? Id like confirmation on that before I say it on TV!

When the show premiered, critics derided its focus on two-year-old news; the events were a little too dated to be current and a little too recent to have any historical weight. Blissfully, the second season focused on a the aftermath of a fictional blunder the news team made, giving the show a little more narrative oopmh. So it’s a little disappointing to see them re-focusing on real news.

Although if they must focus on something, the Boston Marathon bombings at least present interesting questions on journalistic ethics, the role of social media in major news, and a few big old what-not-to-dos. Speaking which, The New York Post coincidentally just settled a lawsuit last week with the two men it put on its cover during the hunt for the perpetrators of the attack. The “Bag Men,” as the Post called them in a headline, had nothing to do with the bombings, and didn’t much appreciate the Post‘s heavy implication that they were suspects. Neither side revealed the terms of the settlement, according to the Associated Press, but both considered it “amicable.”

Are these the kinds of errors Will McAvoy will opine about at full volume in Season 3 of The Newsroom? Probably. Who can say whether the show will make the issues of journalistic malpractice compelling, but we can imagine the folks at the Post probably won’t tune in to find out.