The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn

Episode Report Card
Sara M: C+ | 25 USERS: C-
Even God Hates This Show

Charlie, MacKenzie and Will meet in Reese's office. Reese opens by saying he's not going to tell them what to put on the air. Charlie says he isn't allowed to. Why not? His mom owns the station. There aren't laws prohibiting people who own news stations from dictating what those stations cover. "May 27, 2011" pops up on the screen as Reese informs the three that their ratings last week tanked. Casey Anthony's trial just started and NewsNight is too good to cover something like that, so they ignored it. Their timeslot competitor Nancy Grace did not ignore it, and she gained like 1.3 million viewers. NewsNight, on the other hand, lost half its audience and went from second in the ratings to fifth. HA HA HA! This is my favorite storyline ever. Reese asks who the genius who decided not to cover the Casey Anthony trial was. All three claim it was his. Reese is not entertained. He decides it's MacKenzie's fault. MacKenzie smirks.

Reese says MacKenzie made a choice to work for a commercial cable channel. I don't know if she chose it so much as she didn't have any other job prospects because she's so bad at this. "You have a ratings obligation," Reese says. MacKenzie says Reese is the one with the obligation. "I'm in business with the viewers," she explains. Um... what viewers? They don't have any viewers anymore, thanks to MacKenzie's news savvy. Despite the fact that she just spent over a year making her viewers better people and informing them about things like politics and the economy, they all still would rather watch the Casey Anthony trial. Oops!

Reese tells them to do whatever they want with that information. They leave, and Charlie says he is not about to let a "psychotic cocktail waitress" take his show down. I'm guessing he's talking about Casey Anthony and not Reese? I wonder how he knows so much about her. Maybe he watches Nancy Grace. MacKenzie says they just have to wait out the trial, which she doesn't think will take very long. Will predicts six weeks. Charlie says that's too long. "We're gonna cover Casey Anthony," he says. "Bullshit we are!" MacKenzie says to her boss's boss. Charlie says they can prep over Memorial Day weekend, then be ready to open Tuesday's show with all Casey Anthony all the time.

MacKenzie can't believe what she's hearing. Charlie can't believe they lost half their audience. "It's unprecedented!" he sputters. MacKenzie asks Will to speak up on her behalf. "Have marketing promo the living shit out of Casey Anthony," Will says. MacKenzie cannot BELIEVE what she's hearing even more! So much so that she has to reference stupid Don Quixote again. Oh, and Will's "mission to civilize" that is probably best if the viewing audience is allowed to forget. Then she starts screaming a lot about how horrible the Casey Anthony situation is and how we're all evil for wanting to know more about it. "It's news!" Will says. "It's entertainment!" MacKenzie says; "and it's just -- just -- this side of a snuff film!" I kind of wish this show was a snuff film.

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