A large West Virginia hospital seriously overradiated patients suspected of having strokes with CT scans for more than a year after similar episodes prompted federal officials to alert hospitals nationwide to be especially careful when using those types of scans, interviews and documents show. The patients, at Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, W.Va., were overdosed with radiation until late November, records show, even after the Food and Drug Administrationhad publicly issued its final report on hundreds of overdoses involving brain scans at other hospitals and the errors had been discussed publicly in Congress and by state officials and professional organizations. Federal records indicate that Cabell knew of some of the overdoses for three months, but it did not disclose them publicly until The New York Times called the hospital for comment late last week. Within hours, the hospital issued a news release that was picked up by the local media. Charles Shumaker, a hospital spokesman, declined to say how many patients were overdosed, why the mistakes occurred or whether any hospital employees were disciplined as a result.
“They’re fucking gross, man. Look, I love beautiful girls too. I think everyone should be free to have their knee socks and their sweaty shorts, but I’m over it. I’m over this weird, exhausted girl. I’m over the girl that’s tired and freezing and hungry. I like bossy girls, I always have. I like people filled with life. I’m over this weird media thing with all this, like, hollow-eyed, empty, party crap.”—
“I feel like Mark has to defend himself against these attacks that he stole something,” Sorkin says, “because these guys [Harvard twins and Olympic rowers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, key plaintiffs along with Zuckerberg classmate and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin] had an idea for a website. Mark’s line, ‘If you were the inventor of Facebook, you would have invented Facebook’—that’s coming from me! That’s me unzipping myself and stepping out and shouting at every single hack who comes out of the woodwork.”—
This is Aaron Sorkin. Seriously, you guys: It’s so weird that I haven’t read anything about how The Social Network, and the Zuckerberg Saga, resembles Sorkin’s own life. What I wrote for the Atlantic had to be cut down substantially before I turned it in, because I went down a rabbit hole with Sorkin research. And, prior to this? I just found Sorkin’s mannered, overly wordy dialogue and HuffPo-level “progressive” politics sort of annoying. (I say this as a fan of mannered, overly wordy dialogue, too. But every single time I watch any single Sorkin project, I find myself reaching a breaking point, at which point I scream at the screen “STOP. FUCKING. TALKINGGGGGG.”) Now, however? Oh, my God. I just don’t LIKE the guy.
Okay. So the saga of Rick Cleveland (who wrote the original script for what turned into Emmy-winning West Wing episode “In Excelsis Deo”) and Aaron Sorkin is a sad, strange one. It’s recapped a little in what I wrote. Further recap: Rick Cleveland’s estranged father was a Korean War veteran, who became an addict, and homeless, and died on the street. Cleveland never knew his father, and only discovered his father’s history as a soldier when someone alerted him to the fact that this one dead homeless guy someone found on the street was, in fact, his Dad. Cleveland then went on a personal quest to get the guy buried at Arlington. The most memorable, tear-jerking part of award-winning West Wing episode “In Excelsis Deo” is, basically, a thinly fictionalized version of this story. All of the participants on the show praise this part of the episode as exceptionally powerful. The episode is nominated for an Emmy, and a shit-ton of other prizes; Cleveland apparently tells Sorkin that, if they win, he’d like the chance to dedicate that win to his father on stage.
They win. Sorkin takes the mic. He speaks, uninterrupted, with Rick Cleveland standing directly behind him, until their time is up. When they go backstage, Cleveland is asked to sign for “Mr. Sorkin’s Emmy.”
OH MY GOD.
But it gets so, so much worse from there. An NYT article is published about the fact that the very progressive, pro-labor management of The West Wing is denying writers contractually promised raises. This article also mentions Cleveland’s experience. At this point, Sorkin takes to the Internet and, Zuckerbergianly, insists that he writes EVERY episode himself, the writers ONLY get “story by” credits as a “gratuity” for giving him ideas, and — on the Cleveland tip — writes that Cleveland wrote a horrible, unusable script about a cat, which Sorkin had to throw out, and that Sorkin then re-wrote the entire episode (INCLUDING THE PORTION WHICH IS A THINLY VEILED ACCOUNT OF THE DEATH OF CLEVELAND’S FATHER, AND CLEVELAND’S SUBSEQUENT STRUGGLE TO BURY HIM) all by himself. He furthermore states that Cleveland was fired for “lack of performance” and that other people have fired him for the same reason.
OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD.
The editors of Television Without Pity apparently (and anonymously) alert the New York Post to Sorkin’s comments, as he has posted there before and they have always found him overly confrontational and annoying. Cleveland responds by telling people where they can find his original script, and — in one of the greatest grace notes of any Internet fight ever — tells the TWoP posters that he’s working on a little show called Six Feet Under now and they should check it out. (Cleveland later went on to write for Mad Men. Cleveland is very talented, is what I’m saying.) Sorkin backs down.
Sorkin then writes a nasty episode of The West Wing about TWoP. (An editor at TWoP retaliates by joking about how maybe the proprietors of the fictional message board are just egging “Josh Lyman” on so that they can eventually call the New York Post on him. You know he read it, too. And I love them for that.) On his next show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, he includes a character named “Ricky” (Rick) “Tahoe” (a city, like Cleveland), referred to as “Hackboy” by Matthew Perry (who is clearly a Sorkin surrogate) and who is shown to be an idea-thieving, talentless, terrible asshole, who then goes on to start his own show that’s CLEARLY not as good as what Matthew Perry could do but which he thinks will be SUCCESSFUL for some reason.
THE FUCK, SORKIN.
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is also dedicated to a series long sub-plot, which might as well be entitled “Kristen Chenoweth Was A Terrible Stupid Girlfriend And I’m Better Off Without Her.” Seriously: Every recent event from Kristen Chenoweth’s life was played out, with her ex-boyfriend Matthew Perry showing up at key points to call her a stupid hypocrite and chastise her for it. (The one where she threatens to pose for a men’s magazine and every single man in her life tells her she’s “cheapening” and “degrading” herself and that she’ll become just another nasty slut if she does it is particularly delightful, seeing as it also has an abundance of Matthew Perry screaming at “Ricky Tahoe.”)
Anyway. Studio 60 is cancelled. The Social Network comes out. Aaron Sorkin gives this quote. And I know I said he was “learning,” but SERIOUSLY? SERIOUSLY, AARON SORKIN?
“I wrote the 88 episodes of The West Wing during the four years I was writing the show… I’m a playwright. I don’t write by committee. I write by myself,” is another quote, from the interview in question.