The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn

Episode Report Card
admin: C+ | 8 USERS: A-
Even God Hates This Show

Charlie calls MacKenzie into Will's office. Or maybe it's MacKenzie's? Everything looks the same to me these days. Also, why is the lighting through the windows all early morning/early evening-looking, but it's supposed to be noon? GET IT THE FUCK TOGETHER! Brian tries to get in there too, but Charlie closes the door in his face. He reminds us all what happened last week yet again and then what happened a few scenes ago. MacKenzie and Will are cartoonishly shocked to hear that TMI has been hacking phones. MacKenzie selects Jim for Hancock-vetting duty. "Is he up for this?" Will asks. I would hope so. It's been over a year and you still haven't managed to hire anyone else capable of doing it. "He is, Will. I taught him how to do the news. I taught them all how to do the news," MacKenzie says. And that explains why they are all so bad at it.

Will asks Charlie to leave. He does. Now Will and MacKenzie can have it out over Brian. No, not the news and whether or not the Casey Anthony/Anthony Weiner stories are worthy, but over Brian because that's what MacKenzie is really upset about. MacKenzie asks Will why -- of all the writers out there -- he picked her ex-boyfriend. Will says that was the point; if he writes anything negative, it'll be shrugged off as latent personal issues. MacKenzie seems to accept that and asks if they can squeeze Dr. Dr. Sloan's news about a possible global financial meltdown in before the Weiner story. Will doesn't seem to care.

Will says good-night to his audience. He compromised his principles, reported on Casey Anthony and now it's time for the mysterious Terry Smith to do his or her fine upstanding program.

The next day, ACN ads are already billing NewsNight as the place to go for Casey Anthony coverage. Reese cheerfully tells Will he got 150,000 more viewers last night, "almost all women!" I think that's only because women in the Newsroom universe are too stupid to know how to change the channel away from ACN and to a channel with the kind of petty gossip news ladies love. Will assures Reese that ACN will continue its Casey Anthony coverage and Reese comments that it's really hot today -- almost record-breakingly so. Will clearly doesn't care what Reese has to say. They are no longer happy fun friends. Reese pushes Will to report on the weather today. Will refuses to "do a fucking weather report" because things like hot temperatures and tornados are not what a "serious news organization" like ACN should cover. Yeah, tell that to Hurricane Katrina, Will. Or any of the heat waves that almost always result in casualties. Also, Will, don't try to be as awesome as Jeremy Paxman. Only Paxman gets away with thinking he's better than a weather report. You do not. Reese reminds Will that he just got back 150,000 viewers he lost "while you were trying to be above it," so Will shouldn't try to think he's above telling America that it's hot outside. "98 degrees is when we have power outages," he says. THIS WILL BE IMPORTANT LATER. Also, he's wrong. Everyone knows that 98 Degrees is when we have classic boy band hits.

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