In the hallway, Donna hooks Josh up with Ed and Larry, who tell him that an American company called JCN is looking to move 17,000 computer programming jobs to India, and that this is why India suddenly jumped on the happy free trade bandwagon. Josh looks stunned, because he just arrived in Washington last week on the back of a turnip truck. He's horrified to think that 17,000 American programmers are going to lose their jobs. It was okay, I guess, when it was steel workers and people who make shoes. Hell with steel! Who needs shoes? (Well, other than tasseled loafers.) He heads back to the doorway of the Office of O, where he fetches Leo and tells him that there's news. C.J. and Jed stroll by, still talking about "better, higher-paying jobs." Josh looks unhappy. And potentially disillusioned! I think we have a winner!
When we return, Leo is moaning to Josh about the 17,000 programmers. "Those are new economy jobs," Leo says, skillfully picking up the carefully scripted irony. He adds that this will create serious problems with Congress, and Josh emphatically agrees that neither Democrats nor Republicans will love the idea of giving up 17,000 good jobs. Furthermore, Josh explains, the programmers are represented by the Communications Workers of America. "The CWA?" Leo asks, equipping you, in your presumed position as a dumb-ass viewer incapable of understanding letters and numbers or sentences longer than "Hey, you," with the acronym you will need later in order to understand what's going on. Anyway, Josh already has a message from the union on his desk, as it turns out -- that being the note from Parsons that Donna mentioned earlier. Josh and Leo both are surprised that the tech companies that were in on the negotiation wouldn't have told Josh what was going on. Seriously, lobbyists? Not forthcoming? I feel faint. Medic!
As Carol and C.J. stroll, Carol asks how Jed's interviews are going. C.J. comments that Jed has, among other things, already used the phrase "market elasticity" three times, and that she's waiting for him to wave a piece of chalk. "Professor-In-Chief," Carol comments. "More like Professor Incoherent," C.J. quite correctly snarks. Heh. C.J. asks what else is up with the press, and Carol throws out a few fairly pedestrian issues, and then the fact that there's new press guidance available about a development pertaining to the FCC. Just then, Will breaks in and says that Congress reached a deal with the FCC about media consolidation. "Media consolidation?" Carol asks dumbly. "You know, that plan to let corporations buy up more and more TV stations." The exposition fairy is not light of foot today. In fact, bracket your bookcases to the walls, because she is coming to stomp on your roof as well as mine. Will explains that instead of letting a single company reach 45\% of all viewers, as was its original proposal, the FCC has agreed to allow any company to reach 39.37\%. C.J. looks puzzled by this weird number, but fails to draw any particular conclusions about it, because she in no way resembles an actual person with experience in politics. Such a person, of course, would have immediately said, "Oh, really? Which company has a 39.37\% situation to protect?" That's exactly what you think whenever you see a weird number in a regulatory proposal -- that it's there in response to a particular existing or hypothetical situation, and to have C.J. so dumbfounded like this just makes her seem...well, dumb.