West Wing
The Stormy Present

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When we return, Jed strolls purposefully into the Situation Room. It is Monday at 6:45 PM-TCT, and all the usual suspects are around the table. General Alexander explains with some amusement that the protestors are speaking anti-American rhetoric, but requesting democratic reforms. Hello? Hasn't anyone told them that the United States copyrighted democracy quite a while ago, and that no one else has any authority to call a government any such thing without our express written consent? We may sue. Crazy demonstrators. Anyway, it turns out that our intelligence on the protestors -- especially on the issue of whether they're armed -- is limited. The debate turns to whether intervention would be appropriate, particularly if we could get around to it before the Saudi government gets around to, as Leo says, "public beheadings." Some in the room favor going in and buddying up to the protestors, on the theory that we don't like wickedness. Others favor staying out of it, on the theory that we don't like upheaval. It's the same debate I go through every time I consider changing my cell-phone service, come to think of it. "Get me better intelligence!" Jed barks. Sort of a non-answer answer to the problem, you'll notice.

Cut to C.J., conducting a briefing. She insists that she knows nothing useful about Riyadh that she can share with the press; they can all "watch CNN together." She's asked for an update on the former President Lassiter, and she says that he's recovering nicely from his hip replacement. In a rapid-fire exposition explosion, C.J. explains that Jed will be attending the annual Ford's Theater gala tonight, that yes, it's where Lincoln was shot (painful, painful that they put that in there, as if the audience cannot be relied upon to that degree); that the president will be spouting Lincoln trivia all night; and that the plethora of available bad jokes means she has to stop the briefing now before any of them get any ideas. As she leaves, C.J. is accosted by a bespectacled reporter who asks her about a rumor he's heard that the military is funding mind-control experiments. She asks him who the hell he is, and he reports that he's from Backslash magazine. She laughs directly in his face and says, "Who let you in here?" Good lord, is it really necessary for everyone in the administration to be such a total shit when dealing with people they perceive as being less important than they are? C.J. is demonstrably a decent sort at heart, and yet she falls into that trap of being a person who alleged loves The People but in fact seems to have an awful lot of contempt for anyone who isn't a high-level federal employee. It's not a very plebe-friendly attitude. Anyway, Mr. Backslash talks about having a couple of sources for his story, and C.J. condescends to him some more.

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West Wing

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