C.J. says, "The First Lady loves two out of the three of her children, but she doesn't like to tell them which two." A reporter named Arthur is told that POTUS is more likely to be on the podium at 8:30 than the scheduled 8:15. He will speak for fifteen minutes. Knowing Jed, that'll more likely be half an hour. A reporter asks for commentary on the CBO deficit numbers. C.J. says there's going to be a deficit, but that the CBO numbers are off. Katie asks about legislative appropriations. C.J. says Jed can't say until he sees the bill. She calls a full lid and says she'll see them over there (meaning the DNC fundraiser, I presume).
As everyone leaves, Carol gives C.J. a news report; and C.J. calls out to the reporters to hang on for a second. She comes back to her podium as the reporters sit back down, and announces: "Okay, today at 5:32 PM Central Savings Time, two pipe bombs were set off inside the Geiger Indoor Arena, which is the swimming team's facility at Kennison State University, the Kennison Hawkeyes. The women's team was hosting a match...a meet, with Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota. They're all Big Ten schools...forty-four people are dead...looks like about a hundred injured, about twenty critically." All the reporters start calling C.J. name at once. Okay, before we go on, there have been a number of objections raised about this in the forums, and I'm going to try to deal with them as adroitly as possible. First of all: "Central Savings Time?" Isn't it just Central Daylight Time? And anytime there's a reference to Daylight Saving, it's singular, not plural. No "Savings." Second: Apparently swim meets are not held in September. It's a winter sport, or so I'm told by people who know more about it than I do, and meets are held starting in October and November. Third, and most importantly, it just doesn't seem that plausible that C.J. would be the first source of this news for these reporters, or really, a source of non-government news at all. That's not her function. It hasn't anything directly to do with Washington or the Bartlet administration. Certainly they might be called upon to react to such a thing, but to report it doesn't ring true at all, and even as a plot device feels false and awkward and forced. And it isn't the first time it's happened on the show, either. Yes, because the incident could be related to terrorism, the White House might be saying something about it, but I can't imagine that she'd just stand there live on TV and feed the news secondhand to the reporters. I would think they'd want to get off the air as soon as possible, gather information, and prepare an official response. It's too easy to say careless or difficult-to-retract things in the heat of the moment. Let CNN run off at the mouth. All that said, though, wouldn't C.J. be a great news anchor? She's got an earpiece in her ear on which she's listening to these reports and says she'll have to listen as she's taking questions.