Leona says she actually dug it when Will said the Tea Party was the American Taliban. But now she does not because it's a new season and we need Conflict. She storms out and Reese tells Charlie that "people" are mad at Will and they'll be mad at Charlie, too. "Fuck 'em," Charlie says, followed by a less rebellious, "I don't know."
And stuff is happening in the news! It's August 23, 2011, which means the rebels just took Tripoli and I'm a few weeks into journalism school. There's something happening in Libya, but whatever! It's five days before my BIRTHDAY! Which was also the day Hurricane Irene hit. FUN. Also, Will's newscast is super-boring. I would've changed the channel by now. Was the Casey Anthony trial still happening? I definitely would have watched that.
While ACN's Libya correspondent reports from Tripoli, a.k.a. the alley behind the LA studio where this show is filmed, Jim runs into the control room to tell MacKenzie that they have to pull the segment on Dominique Strauss-Kahn because they suck at life and said he was being charged with attempted rape when he was simply being investigated for it. But oh my god! That package is set to roll in 90 seconds! MacKenzie gets to work to try to prove to us that she is actually competent at this after spending the entire previous season showing us otherwise.
Jim tries to get some guy on the phone (his name is Ryan and he's at a Benihana with his kids but answered the phone anyway), puts him on speaker and has him say the correct phrase at the correct time and it all looks seamless. The show is saved! The control room erupts in applause for MacKenzie BUT HER JOB ISN'T OVER YET! For some reason, the entire control panel thing goes crazy and now Will doesn't have any graphics. You know, all of these problems MacKenzie has to solve could be avoided if ACN's fact-checking system worked correctly and ACN's graphics computer thing worked correctly. Also Will is now singing that Rebecca Black "Friday" song because, remember, it's in THE PAST. Although not that much the past. That song was at least three months past its funny viral date by August 2011. Anyway, Will ends up doing the report with the graphics on a monitor behind him instead of full-frame in the broadcast. And this is why Sorkin brought on all those newspeople consultants! For these awesome tense lifelike scenes that last maybe five minutes of an hour-long show.
When MacKenzie gets out of the control room, Charlie is waiting for her to let her know that one of the ACN reporters covering the Romney campaign (which is still for the nomination, remember -- we are in THE PAST PAST) got drunk and jumped off a balcony into a hotel pool and broke his ankle in two places. They need to replace him. Charlie suggests, "Whoever you want to punish." How about that fact-checker?