FNG intones, over White House and press-room establishing shots, that the program you are currently mainlining caffeine to remain awake for was shot over two days, a year into the second Bartlet administration. However, for national security reasons, it's not being shown until after the administration is out of office. So it's the future, geddit? What you have here is a desperate attempt to give some air of plausibility to the obviously absurd notion that any documentary film crew would be allowed to stroll around the White House offices the way these people are about to do. It's pretty insulting, really, but try not to dwell on it. I recommend tall, frosty margaritas. Speaking of which, why do bars occasionally drop, like, two hazelnuts into a margarita? What are hazelnuts doing in a margarita? If I wanted the flavor of hazelnut, I'd be drinking coffee at Starbucks, now, wouldn't I? I know, I'm changing the subject.
Another relentlessly dull setup sequence follows, in which FNG says that, before the internet, the press secretary's job was simpler. But just in the, you know, fifteen years before this documentary is being shown, it exploded! Oh, that internet. So confusing, with all the buttons to press. And then "Eric Schaeffer" -- a staff assistant of C.J.'s who works in the Office of Nine Zillion People In This Episode We've Never Seen Before -- is seen on the phone providing the president's press schedule for the day, clarifying that it's for planning, not for release. FNG offers up some statistics about how a lot of people watch and read the news. Lots of people. The news is important. You know...speaking of things that are important, do you think I could bank a wadded-up tissue into my trashcan off of the leg of my coffee table? Because I'm thinking that I could. Okay, okay, back to C.J. She interviews that the press secretary job was never "laid-back," and then she makes a refreshingly content-free remark about Eisenhower's press secretary's allowing the first news conference to be recorded. It's so dumb, again, because she doesn't say anything about this, really, other than that it happened. She doesn't offer any insight about it, and frankly, as a history lesson, I don't care. That's not on the list of interesting things I learned this week. That's not even on the list of interesting things I heard this week and immediately forgot about. I don't care whose press secretary did the first news conference. Without context and story, that's just...like a seventh-grade civics filmstrip. It's remarkable to me that this episode was "written," and shot, and edited, and all that, and apparently nobody noticed that you can actually feel your life shortening as you watch it. I feel like I'm strapped to that machine in The Princess Bride that sucks years of life out of your body. Only instead of seeing Chris Sarandon leaning over me, I'm seeing Eisenhower at a press conference. No, no, don't crank it any higher!