Homage or hatchet job? ‘Steve Jobs’ screenwriter supercut


Philip Elmer-DeWitt is a senior editor at Fortune.



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FORTUNE -- "This video is a tribute to the work of Aaron Sorkin: The recycled dialogue, recurring phrases, and familiar plot lines. This is not intended as a critique but rather a playful excursion through Sorkin's wonderful world of words."

That's the description Kevin T. Porter wrote when he posted his brilliant 7:22 minute homage to Hollywood's hottest screenwriter on YouTube last week.

Porter may have meant it as an homage, but many of the half million viewers who have clicked on it in the past 10 days seem to have come to a different conclusion.

"Such garbage, repeated ad nauseam. Kill your television," wrote MeganTheMusicette in one of the pithier comments.

"Aaron Sorkin has now become the David Caruso of screenwriting," alphaboy11 added. "If he wasn't unwatchable before, he certainly is now."

Writing in Wednesday's
L.A. Times
, Steven Zeitchik goes so far as to suggest that the screenplay Sony Pictures hired Sorkin to write about Apple (aapl) co-founder Steve Jobs may be at risk:

"Like a cable news network erroneously reporting on a Supreme Court decision, Sorkin has crashed to Earth."

Bad enough that Sorkin's HBO series "The Newsroom" is getting mixed reviews from the journalists it skewers, writes Zeitchik. "More troubling for the show was the public backlash."

Zeitchik's evidence for that backlash: The YouTube video and the fact that it has gone viral.

"Judging by Sorkin’s recent film work, 'Steve Jobs' could well turn out to be a masterpiece," he concludes. "But the knives are out, and as anchorman Will McAvoy can attest, once drawn, they’re not often sheathed."

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