Maggie interrupts Jim's phone call to tell him that those disreputable jokers at NPR just announced that Giffords is dead. But no one else has, yet. Jim doesn't think they should go on the air with it. Then Don (who is in the control room because why not) tells MacKenzie that Fox, MSNBC and CNN just announced Giffords' death based on that same NPR report. The graphics guy gets the death screen ready and everyone looks very sad. Okay, you know what? I'm going to call bullshit on this. If this were a real newsroom, most of these people would be happy about getting to cover an exciting breaking news event like this. I once rode in an elevator with a professor (not one of my professors) at my journalism school and listened to him tell another professor about how awesome it was that an elderly husband killed his wife of several decades because now two of his students were at the scene trying to put together a story about it that would surely bring many hits to their class's news website. The professor was absolutely giddy about this. Like, the fact that a grandmother was just murdered by her own husband was the best thing that happened to him all week. That's disgusting, but that's the way a lot of journalists are. I think that's the kind of journalist the people on this show are because that's the kind of person Sorkin is. Sorkin wants us to think that people who write mean things about reality show contestants are worse than heroin dealers. He makes up a reality show contestant for his show that is supposed to be based on real events and real people. He tells us that it's wrong to exploit people for financial and professional gain. And then, 40 minutes later, he's using the shooting of a real person (and the murder of six other real people and the shooting of 12 others) for his crappy show's emotional climax. So to all the people who thought that the last ten minutes of this episode redeemed the sucky 50 minutes that came before it, I would argue that they are actually much worse.
But anyway! MacKenzie says she won't call Giffords' death until she gets some kind of official confirmation because MacKenzie has the power of hindsight and therefore knows that Giffords did not, in fact, die. Six other people did, but they aren't congresswomen so no one cares, much like no one on this show cared about the people who died when that oil rig exploded.
And then Reese runs in, also at work on a Saturday, demanding that ACN announce that Giffords is dead. Will's staff ignore him, so he marches onto the set to talk to Will during a 30 second break. "I'll call security!" MacKenzie offers weakly. Yeah, go ahead and call security on your boss's boss, MacKenzie. That should go over well. Reese ignores her and tells Will that every second they don't announce that Giffords is dead they lose 1,000 viewers who would apparently hate Giffords and want to watch a news show that says she's dead. "Don, tell him," Reese orders. "It's a person. A doctor pronounces her dead, not the news," Don says. There is no suspense here about which side Will is going to choose, of course, since we all know that Giffords did not die and so Will and his team are on the side of good and Reese is evil and wants congresswomen to die. Will goes back on the air and does not announce that Giffords is dead. And then Maggie talks to a real doctor at the hospital who tells her that Giffords is alive. Will tells the audience that Giffords is alive and being prepped for surgery and Charlie either nods in self-righteousness or just can't stop his head from moving. Will throws it to a reporter in Tucson and screams for MacKenzie and Charlie.