Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
K & R, Part II

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At The Risk Of Being Unpopular...

WHOOSH! Jerry approaches Matt and Danny's office with what he calls a "fig leaf." Danny can't let the opportunity to give Jerry some shit pass, so he tells him the propmaster gave him poison ivy. It's a joke, and the thing is supposed to be an olive branch besides, because Jerry's come in peace, but he's also not Matt or Danny, which means he's too dumb to know the significance of an olive branch. Jerry's making nice, because Wes laid down the hammer with Jack and won't budge on the Rove sketch, and Jerry needs Matt and Danny to talk Wes out of it. They have no intention of doing so, of course, and Danny once again returns to the copout that they'd rather not be on the air at all. Which is such bullshit, seriously. You can't play the maverick and posture like you're not going to toe the White House line when, at the same time, you're offering to shut yourself up entirely, and voluntarily so. Danny says that since they have to go on the air, they can't just ignore what's happening. Jerry says they're not ignoring -- they have that sketch about the Arab children. "Muslims Say The Darndest Things?" Matt clarifies. (Oh, Jesus H.) Jerry says that sketch "resonates," by which he means "laughing at Muslims is how we're choosing to heal as a nation" and also "the people who might be offended by that sketch don't matter as much as the people who might be offended by the Rove sketch." Matt derides the sketch as "Luke Scott dumping every Muslim in the world together." Jerry's like, "Oh, so this is a cock-blocking thing." Jerry also suggests changing "Muslims" to "Mullahs or Muftis" or whatever will allow Matt to distinguish between, I guess, the "good" Muslims and the "bad" ones? Matt says there are enough crazed fundamentalists in this country he could be making fun of, and Jerry says, "It's talk like that that's got us scared." So we're at a standstill, until Danny offers a compromise: Jerry gathers the ad reps, they run the sketch at dress, and if anyone has an unprompted objection to it, they'll cut it. Jerry and Matt are both dubious, as am I. Of course, that's easy for me to say, as I have the benefit of six years worth of hindsight, but as I mentioned before, that's kind of the theme of these episodes.

Back alley. Simon finds Leon and cuts to the chase and quick: there's a story about Tom and Mark being estranged, they're not, Leon needs to set the record straight. Leon says he will, but he also wants to know how Tom's doing. Simon explains how Tom and his parents are, and how close they are with Mark, and that's when the rest of the press comes rushing in. Simon backs up the stairs to the loading door as the reporters fire off questions. They're mostly innocuous, though I don't think Simon should be saying even the little bit he's saying about Captain Boyle being there and such. But it's pretty mellow until one incredible jerk asks if NBS leaked Tom's connection to the crisis on purpose so they could boost ratings for the West Coast airing of Studio 60. Leon tells Simon to get back inside, but Simon is about to take the bait hard. "Are you stupid?!" he demands. "Are you a stupid man? You guys like making this into entertainment? Come on, it's the Sunset Strip!"

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Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

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