The Newsroom, S1 Ep9 – The Blackout Part 2: Mock Debate

Mock Debate

Sloan comes to check on Neal’s trolling progress.  He reports that the economists weren’t as easily distracted as he thought they would be—until he made a ridiculous comparison between balancing his checkbook and the government balancing the budget.  This argument immediately makes Sloan furious.  Then she sees the wisdom of Neal choosing that argument to troll economists.  From there, he reports that he was able to get an argument started about Sloan as he planned before.  However, he still needs to do more trolling to really get in with the big timers.  You know, I still don’t really see how this is news.  Interesting, yes.  News?  I think not.  Also, I appreciate Sloan’s responses to all of this better than her responses last week, which were all centered around her insecurity about her appearance.

Sloan, Neal, & Trolls

I’d probably watch a show that featured just Sloan and Neal.

Our only NSA-related update this episode is that Solomon Hancock, the source, is not rock solid.  He has a somewhat checkered past, and his latest psych exam led to his security clearance being lowered.  Charlie and Will are highly disappointed.  Charlie tells Jim to keep working on it.

Maggie and Mack decide to ‘conveniently’ leave some statistics on the number of missing children cases in the hair and makeup room for Lisa once she arrives to do the show.  Nice thinking, Maggie and Mack (even considering what happens later).  I’d sure like to be able to say that more often.  While Lisa is in said room, Jim comes in to once again try to convince her to go out with him.  But Lisa refuses, stating that A) she doesn’t want to hurt Maggie, and B) just like Jim doesn’t want to be Maggie’s second choice, Lisa doesn’t want to be Jim’s.  Well-played, Lisa.

The actual interview with Lisa is… well, interesting, for sure.  She does bring up the statistics about missing kids, with a few heart-rending specific examples of murdered kids who didn’t make the news.  She claims to have found these facts online.  But then things take a turn for the uh oh.  Lisa asks hypothetically if Casey Anthony might have wanted an abortion.  She says Casey didn’t, but that it’s a fact that it’s cruel to children to force them to be born to women who don’t want them and can’t care for them.  Ooh.  Not an okay thing to say on the air.  In fact, the next scene is Jim rushing to the curb outside Lisa’s workplace.  Someone has broken one of the windows and spray painted “BABY KILLER” on the building.  Maggie’s already there to comfort Lisa (who is physically not hurt).  Will shows up to check on her, too, and to advise that she gets out of the public eye before local news shows up.  He also says it should have been him targeted rather than her.  I wonder if that could possibly be foreshadowing!

I will summarize the beginning of the next scene by stating that there’s a particular suit which, when Will tries to wear it, he says he has trouble putting on the pants.  But before we see the outcome of that, it’s time for the News Night team to meet with Adam Arkin!  Yay, Adam Arkin!  He’s an old friend of Will’s who’s some kind of bigwig in the RNC.  His partner’s name is Tate Brady.  Tate already looks smug and irritating, so well done, casting department.  Anyway, the RNC folks sit down with Will, Mack, and Charlie.  Tate gives a brief summary of the RNC’s proposed debate rules.  Charlie replies, “We had something different in mind.”  This is the segue for the NN staff to show off their hard work in preparing for a debate where candidates really have to answer questions, not dodge them.  These are real questions regarding rhetoric that doesn’t match up with facts, etc.  Of course, it’s Will who’ll be doing the questioning.  The ‘candidates’ (each portrayed by NN staff) will reply in as close an approximation to how the actual candidates would reply as possible.  We get to see some of Will’s good questions.  Then Tate gets fed up and storms off.  Will and Adam follow.

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