Deadline
Perception

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Heathen: D | Grade It Now!
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Police Brutality

Back at the office, Nikki asks how Wallace fared with the "poster boy for gun control," but he's on the phone. Wallace hangs up and says he found out that in 1995, Roth was arrested in Florida for shooting and killing an unarmed black man. "Willy Loman with a nine-millimeter," Wallace says grimly.

This show needs more commercials. If anyone out there has a cool million to blow, could you buy some airtime? I'd really, really appreciate it. I could buy you some Evian, or something, in return. Yeah.

"DOUBLE SHOT," reads the headline in the Ledger. It's an incisive treatise on the belt of liquor that changed Wallace's life forever. Nikki, apparently, thinks the story is about Roth and Braxton and the dead child. Wallace is taunting her because he found an angle that's more than just the hero-cop drivel Brooke is peddling. Wallace's column discusses Roth's Florida case, in which an apparently unarmed guy came out of the shadows and got shot by Roth. Because a search showed the victim had a knife in his pocket and a long rap sheet, Roth got away with self-defense and the county never pushed for a conviction. After reading Wallace's piece, the D.A. in New York has decided to push for a Murder Two conviction. Now that's power. Inspired, I open up a new Word document and begin a letter imploring Platt to have his character write a column exposing the toxic effects Jewel's music can have on the nation's youth. Phil walks up, and Nikki yells at him to use his brain and find out more about Roth -- stuff like whether he a notorious racist, or donates his money to sketchy causes like the Ku Klux Klan, or "We March for Mason Jars." Wallace gets a page from the clerk at the courthouse notifying him of Roth's impending arraignment. This whole storyline is too convoluted. There's a thug, a dead kid, a cop, a Roth, a rap sheet, a Phil and a Schnell -- too many threads, not enough character definition. Except for Phil -- it's clear he's a wily one.

Roth is granted $500,000 bail. Wallace is on the scene, and he quickly ends the scene.

Wallace is beating one of his sources into submission. "Give me a glistening nugget of your crackpot scientific genius!" he screams, rolling up a copy of the Ledger and shoving it up the lab-tech's right nostril. Wallace swears it's the last time he'll ever do this -- to that particular nostril, anyway. The poor, abused technician asks meekly, "Ever get tired of blowing smoke up friends' asses?" Wallace bitch-slaps him and feeds him a shoelace. Struggling to see from his swollen eyes, the technician says Wallace's ill-gotten blood sample is type A, and neither Braxton nor the dead teenager has that blood type. Benton swears that unless the technician gives him one more illicit tidbit, he will sit on the technician so hard that his blood type spontaneously changes. "On the ground in that neighborhood, [the blood] could've come from almost anyone," sputters the lab-tech. "But not them." Give or take a detail or seven, the entire scene unfolded just like that.

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Deadline

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