The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn

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

It took Charlie, Will, and MacKenzie an entire day to get whatever they need to get together to give Jim the assignment to vet Hancock and tell him about what the NSA and AWM are up to. MacKenzie says that either they have an amazing scoop on the NSA (and ACN's parent company), or someone is trying to set Will up like Dan Rather. Jim will have to find out by "filing a couple of hundred of freedom of information act requests" and somehow not letting the NSA know. Jim says he is up for the challenge because he is the best senior producer ever who never does anything wrong.

MacKenzie returns to her office, where she finds Brian. MacKenzie doesn't really want to talk to him. Brian doesn't care. He asks her what's so special about the Republican debate that NewsNight has to abandon its principles for a chance to show it. MacKenzie thinks their new format will "change the debates forever." I'm still not sure what their stupid new format even is. It appears to just be asking candidates questions, but I think that's already part of the old format. Brian wonders if Will isn't just using the lost viewers and the debate as an excuse to "dumb the show down" and get his audience back. MacKenzie doesn't answer his question, preferring instead to belittle Brian by saying he's "auditioning" for this job. Brian says he's pretty sure he has the job, just because he's the one MacKenzie cheated on Will with. It turns out he didn't even know MacKenzie was seeing anyone when they were hooking up, so MacKenzie kind of cheated on Will and Brian. MacKenzie is adamant that she only cheated on Will and she sorely regrets it now that she works "30 feet from the life I could have had if I hadn't been so stupid." Brian, on the other hand, is looking that he life he could've had if he "hadn't been a douchebag." I think Brian is feeling pretty relieved that he's a douchebag right about now.

Speaking of douchebags, Neal walks in to pitch a story to MacKenzie. He thinks NewsNight should cover trolls. MacKenzie assumes he's talking about the trolls that guard bridges. "They're not real, man!" she says. Even Brian knows Neal is talking about Internet trolls. Neal has to explain what Internet trolls are to MacKenzie (who probably doesn't know what this 'Internet' everyone keeps talking about is either) and that they have their own websites and clubs devoted to their evil craft. This is the first MacKenzie has heard of something that has been going on for like 20 years. Neal wants to earn the trolls' trust by posing as one -- which means trolling. DUN DUN DUNNNNN that is some dangerous undercover work, there. It's not super ethical, either. Nor is this a story that seems to be very valuable to the voting public MacKenzie wants to inform with her crap news show. And yet, MacKenzie thinks this is a great idea. She tells Neal to let her know when he has a trolling target picked out.

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