West Wing
Talking Points

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Trade (And Intellectual) Deficits

Brock runs into C.J., and he still wants to talk about Brussels. She says no, because he's not interested in her FCC story. Brock says that he thinks media monopolies aren't going to be around long anyway, what with online media and such. They bicker back and forth. She stares at him disbelievingly as he leaves. She follows him to his little press cubicle, where she starts haranguing him again about ClearChannel. It pains me to say "Shut up, C.J.," so I'll assume you know I'm thinking it. Brock tells her she just seems to be trying to distract from the job losses that really ARE a real issue. She goes back again to repeating exactly what she's been saying for half an hour, which is that the companies got their way with the board the regulates them. Impossible! This cannot be! Brock comes back that C.J. isn't helping any herself, with the way she distributes seats at press briefings to all the major media outlets and not to small hometown papers. Finally, he tells her he doesn't have time to listen to her whine anymore, because he has a deadline. He walks away from her. The Bartlet staffers hate that! Brock would pay dearly if any of the writers ever remembered what happened from show to show anymore.

Outside, Ben is waiting. C.J. steps out to meet him.

Josh walks into his office to find Parsons from the CWA, and he's toting two union employees, a man and a woman. Josh swears he doesn't know how the India thing happened. Parsons says that he knows -- the White House was so busy "helping a bunch of soft-money-donating CEOs" that they sold out the union. Josh answers by asking him not to go public with the layoffs yet, because they're still "growing this economy." I'm sure that's quite a comfort. Josh and Parsons discuss the fact that the CWA knew Bartlet was in favor of free trade from the start. Parsons retorts that they were told the lost jobs would be in manufacturing, and that if you had good training, your job would be safe. Josh says that he's lobbying for training assistance, but Parsons asks just how many jobs his guys are supposed to retrain for in a lifetime. Josh tries for a lame joke about how even minimum wage would "buy a nice house in Bangalore," which is really, really distasteful. One of the employees in the room asks what he's supposed to do about his three kids in college. Josh tries to rattle off various benefits they'll get when they're laid off, but the guy says he doesn't want "burial insurance." He wants to keep his job. "You made that promise five years ago," Parsons says gravely. "To my face in the Wayfarer Hotel." He indicates the employees. "They're going to stay right here till you tell them how you plan to honor it." Parsons leaves, making vague threats about talking to the press and to the members of Congress who haven't signed off on this thing yet. "You look a lot better on TV," one of the programmers snots. It doesn't have anything to do with anything, really, but insulting Josh is always in order. I would support the programmers if they wanted to throw empty toilet-paper rolls at his head, also. I'm not picky.

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West Wing

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