Accomplishments Stars as Don Keefer on HBO’s The Newsroom, was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in Neil LaBute’s reasons to be pretty
Base Los Angeles
What’s the first information you consume in the morning?
It depends on where I am, honestly, man. When I’m in Los Angeles, the first thing I do is turn on NPR and listen to All Things Considered. In New York, I go straight to MLB.com.
What do you read or watch or listen to at the breakfast table?
I read the morning news, usually. I find The Daily Beast to be a decent source—it casts a wide net in terms of sources to get information.
Are you a TV junkie or on an airtime-restricted diet?
I’m a walking advertisement for PBS and for the Discovery Channel. All of my DVR settings are pretty much set to record anything that’s on the Discovery Channel. I’m a big fan of MythBusters and Deadliest Catch, and I’m constantly watching Moyers & Company and the NewsHour and Antiques Roadshow.
Before bed, do you bite into a novel, graze on Twitter or fast until morning?
I have a Twitter account. I own my name, but I’ve never tweeted. I watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, and I read until I fall asleep. I’m reading a book called Evening’s Empire, about the nocturnalization of society in the 16th century and about how lighting technology changed the world, and how, previous to that, little work got done at night.
Has working on The Newsroom changed your perspective on the news?
Working on Newsroom has given me an appreciation of the struggle that you go through on the 24-hour news cycle. The people who are legitimately attempting to deliver honest news are really facing a tough, uphill climb that’s a lot harder than any other time in history. It’s really enforced my belief that corporate media is to be distrusted and sometimes to be feared. A well-informed electorate is the best sign of a healthy democracy, and we’re failing miserably in that regard. I enjoy being on…I wouldn’t call it a crusade, but part of a group of people saying, “Why has it gotten this bad?”
What’s happened to make you more aware of this stuff?
I got into a cab the other day, and my cab driver was Oliver Budde. He was the guy who blew the whistle on Dick Fuld and Lehman Brothers, and he’s driving a cab. We were talking politics and the Tea Party and Occupy, and nobody’s listening to him except Matt Taibbi! And nobody’s listening to Matt.
With such a bloated media universe, how do you cut out the fat?
I start looking for adjectives in news reporting, and if there are too many of them. If they’re all sort of repeatedly designed to influence my thinking in a certain way, I start getting concerned. I’m leery of people trying to paint a picture in a certain way.