Whatever, whatever more pontificating and the montage continues with Will still writing his Sermon on the Mount, while the janitor is cleaning, and emailing it to Maggie, who’s just sitting around in bed with Don. Exactly what is the time frame here? Will continues revering the memories of all the august newsmen and how they are being besmirched by the likes of him, a cable news anchor in the same business as the producers of Jersey Shore. Because the only things on major networks during the time of the “great newsman” were Playhouse 90 and Omnibus.
OMG, he’s STILL talking. Now he’s reading it to the whole staff, who are enrapt by Big Daddy Will, going on about how Newsnight had its “Come to Jesus” moment and is getting back into the news business, and he’s quitting the circus to join the dwindling voices of the nameless, faceless journalists still dedicated to reporting the news, because “nothing is more important to a democracy than a well-informed electorate.”
Forging bravely down the self-righteous path, Will runs the apology past Charlie then says he’ll make no effort to subdue his personal opinion. Disregarding Cronkite’s opinion that “Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine,” he’s basically revolutionizing cable news by creating The Rachel Maddow Showa year and a half after it debuted? Go boldly where no one has gone before, Will.
I’m an asshole.
Upstairs in the war room, at some point in the future, Buck Turgidson is giving his Power Point presentation about how the revamped Newsnight has been performing since “the apology.” Charlie’s playing all “see no evil, hear no evil,” and parsing the language that because Will said he was only speaking for himself that he wasn’t actually calling the network craven and greedy and Reese is wondering just how stupid Charlie thinks they are. Very stupid, Reese.
Downstairs in the newsroom, a bordering-on-drunk Don comes in to find Jim sitting in a dark meeting room and doodling because it was either sit alone in the dark in the office or do it at home. Don says he saw the show and would have loved to have been involved because he can produce that show, too. Jim, thinking it’s a friendly overture, starts condescending to him that he can. They can follow up and expand and rebut and whatever. Don cuts him off and tells Jim that he has a mandate to bring in viewers at 10:00 or else his ass is gone and their stunt set him up to look like an asshole before he had a chance to start. Okay, he’s doing a good enough job on his own, but he has a point. A self serving one, but a point all the same.
Jim sees his point and immediately counters that since it wasn’t their intent to screw everyone else over, they’re completely innocent and, anyway, he can still insist on doing the show he wants, even though he’s a young producer on a brand new show and already established that if he doesn’t produce numbers he’s canned. Don agrees with me and just drunkenly pats Jim on the shoulder before he leaves to point out to Maggie how she kind of fucked him over, too, by not letting him know about the email. That’s why you don’t date at work.
Back upstairs, the numbers guy is explaining…something…about how after the apology came the Time Square bombing attempt, prompting Reese and Charlie to pound their chests and compare what is news 101 v. douchebaggery 101, and that even though the networks led with the story, Great and Powerful Will only gave it three minutes.
These numbers suck, Charlie.
This segues into a flashback to the staff meeting about how they’re going to cover the attempted bombing and preening and patting themselves on the back for only dedicating those three minutes to tell the “boring” version of the story. And then we take a moment to retcon Maggie’s utter incompetence where she points out that the first person to spot the smoking car was Muslim so they should give time to point that out since others are covering the alleged bomber’s religion. Will gets his Solomonic expression and portentously agrees. Even when they’re right I want to punch both of them.