West Wing
Talking Points

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Trade (And Intellectual) Deficits

C.J. is on her way into the briefing room, and she's telling Carol to start working on a statement retracting everything she's about to say. Heh. She heads into the room, telling the assembled press weasels that the pre-Brussels briefing will start in another half-hour or so. They question what's going on in the briefing room, where many of the seats have been removed. She says that from this point forward, there will be only one seat available per corporate owner. One for Viacom and so forth. Which is cute, but wouldn't actually help the situation. Brock asks C.J. as she leaves what her point is, and she says that "if America's choices are going to be restricted, so are yours, and everybody's going to know it." So let me get this straight. C.J. thinks it's appropriate to restrict press access to her briefings in order to coerce reporters into writing stories sympathetic to her position on a public policy issue? Sorry, I love C.J., but...no. Media ownership is an issue for policymakers, and I don't see C.J.'s election certificate anywhere, so her personal opinion about whether media conglomerates are good or bad is pretty much one citizen's opinion, and whatever she thinks, interfering with individual reporters' jobs in order to make them do what she wants? That's not cool.

Josh comes by Donna's desk. She tells him that the union folks are still in his office. "What are they doing?" she asks. "Waiting by the sea," Josh tells her unhappily. He hands something to Donna. "What's this?" she asks. "Your diplomatic passport," he says. She looks happy about going to Brussels, but he tells her she's not going to Brussels. She's going to the Middle East with the congressional delegation, which will be a more interesting trip and involve less pointless meandering. "What I did wrong wasn't breaking my word," he says, suddenly back on the union. "It was making a promise I couldn't keep in the first place." He walks into his office to face the music.

Speaking of walking into offices, C.J. walks into Leo's, and he comments on the lost seats in the briefing room. She says she's already retracted the new policy, and that she asked to be billed for the carpentry. Leo says he understands that she's upset about the FCC thing, and she complains some more about the "big guy" and the "little guy." Leo points out that there really aren't any "little guys" in the mainstream media; your local TV news station isn't exactly "tying antennas to a pickup truck." Leo reiterates that they can't singlehandedly change the direction of the universe, and C.J. gets all "I won't go down without a fight" and blah dee blah. As she's leaving, Leo tells her he's happy to pay for the carpentry for her little stunt. Because if there's one thing busy people love, it's stunts.

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West Wing

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