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" I do not speak through my characters; it's not a ventriloquist act. "
" I had a lot of survival jobs. One was for the Witty Ditty singing-telegram company. I was in the red-and-white stripes with the straw boater hat and kazoo. Balloons. Even when you're sleeping on a friend's couch, you have to pay some kind of rent. "
" It's nice that HBO is in business with the audience and not with the advertisers. There's a difference. "
" Decisions are made by those who show up. "
" There's a great tradition in storytelling that's thousands of years old, telling stories about kings and their palaces, and that's really what I wanted to do. "
" I'm neither a millennial nor a hipster. "
" The Internet, in general, I find troubling. The anonymity has made us all meaner and dumber. This thing that was supposed to bring us closer together, I see it doing the opposite. "
" Not all paintings are abstract; they're not all Jackson Pollock. There's value in a photograph of a man alone on a boat at sea, and there is value in painting of a man alone on a boat at sea. In the painting, the painting has more freedom to express an idea, more latitude in being able to elicit certain emotion. "
" I have all of the Apple products. Everything I've ever written, I've written on a Mac. My first computer, my roommates and I chipped in, and we got that first Macintosh - 128K. It had as much memory as a greeting card that plays music. "
" I do not diminish the incredible symbolic importance of a black man getting elected president. But my euphoria was a smart guy getting elected president. Maybe for the first time in my lifetime we had elected one of the thousand smartest Americans president. "
" I've loved every minute I've spent in television. And I've had much more failure, as traditionally measured, than success in television. I've done four shows, and only one of them was the 'West Wing.' "
" When I create a TV show, it's so that I can write it. I'm not an empire builder; my writing staff is usually a combination of two kinds of people - experts in the world the show is set in, and young writers who will not be unhappy if they're not writing scripts. "
" There are some screw-ups headed your way. I wish I could tell you that there was a trick to avoiding the screw-ups... but they're coming for ya. It's a combination of life being unpredictable, and you being super dumb. "
" I think socializing on the Internet is to socializing what reality TV is to reality. "
" I find television, and particularly live television, very romantic: the idea that there is this small group of people, way up high, in a skyscraper in the middle of Manhattan, beaming this signal out into the night. "
" As long as you keep one foot in the real world while the other foot's in a fairy tale, that fairy tale is going to seem kind of attainable. "
" I think I would have done very well as a writer in the Forties. I think the last time America was a great country was then or not long after. It was before Vietnam, before Watergate. "
" I spend most of my days pacing around, muttering that I have no ideas, feeling like I'm walking a plank. "
" Don't ever forget that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world, it's the only thing that ever has. "
" When I wrote 'The West Wing,' the juice behind it was that in popular culture, our leaders in government are generally portrayed as Machiavellian, or as idiots. I thought, well, how about writing about a group of hyper-competent people? "
" All my heroes wore coats and ties to work. What happened to men wearing hats? Maybe I should bring back hats. "
" It's a combination of life being unpredictable, and you being super dumb. "
" I get the 'The New York Times' and 'Los Angeles Times' thrown at my door every morning. I'll read the front page of 'The New York Times,' then the op-eds, then scan the arts section and then the sports section. Then I do the same with the 'L.A. Times.' "
" The upside of web-based journalism is that everybody gets a chance. The downside is that everybody gets a chance. "
" I am all for everyone having a voice; I just don't think everyone has earned the microphone. And that's what the Internet has done. "