Time for our press conference. Rawls, Burrell, and Daniels are standing up at the podium in their dress blues, and the stiffness can't be entirely blamed on the formality of the event. "You look nervous, Deputy," Burrell coyly murmurs to Daniels. "I swear I didn't ask for this," Daniels protests, which is not actually the proper response to that observation, at least if you have no reason to be nervous. Burrell tells him to relax: "You once told me that if I was going to do you, you would be done already. Remember?" Somehow, I don't think Daniels takes that as the reassuring patter Burrell possibly intends it to be. "Shit," Burrell continues, "I don't even remember what was in that file." Other things Burrell claims he doesn't remember: 1) who's responsible for his ouster today; 2) what deductions he claimed on his taxes for the past few years; and 3) whether or not Iraq ever had any WMDs. Anyhow, Carcetti has made it up to the platform now, so it's time to stop watching Daniels sweat and time to get on with the dog-and-pony show at hand.
They're watching the televised proceedings of said dog-and-pony show at the Baltimore Sun and doing what newspapermen do, which is to say heckling it mercilessly and making the sort of comments that would scandalize polite society. As Carcetti heaps lavish, insincere praise upon Burrell, Gus is moved to remark, "He feared and hated me, and I merely wanted him dead" to peals of laughter from his fellow editors. "It took a while," Gus continues, as the televised image of Carcetti prattles on, "but I finally put his ass out to pasture." More laughter from the peanut gallery. By now, Carcetti is handing a plaque over to Burrell -- "Plaques for hacks," Gus says. "The prerogative of any big-city mayor." Even Klebanow thinks this is funny. "How much of that insight and analysis can we get in tomorrow's story?" the managing editor asks. Oh, Klebanow -- you've just giving Gus leave to pontificate at length about the horrible state of the Baltimore Sun and how you -- you, Thomas Klebanow -- are the one responsible for this mess. There will be no insight and analysis in tomorrow's paper, Gus explains, because Twigg has been bought out, and he is the only one who could work the department sources to get to the bottom of this. A cynic might ask why Twigg and Gus and the older guard have not taken to pains to make sure that the younger generation might be equipped to work those sources, but I'd hate to be the pooper for this pity party. "A veteran in the cop shop is what gets us over in a story like this," Gus concludes, "and fuck if we didn't buy ours out." Because he is petty and two-dimensional and entirely made of straw, Klebanow choose this moment to lecture Gus on his deplorable civility and even more deplorable language. "A collegial atmosphere is essential," Klebanow says, before twirling his cape and slinking back to the Legion of Doom where he, Luthor, Sinestro, and Black Manta will further plot acts of cartoon supervillainy. "'Collegial'?" Gus says, once Klebanow is gone. "I fucking failed out of journalism school. What the fuck do 'collegial' mean?" Which is clever and all, but I'm still sort of stuck on the Klebanow character. Show of hands, everyone -- how many people think he's going to be given the benefit of a scene like the one Burrell had a few moments ago when everything's said and done this season? For the record, my hand is not up in the air.
Anyhow, Jay Spry has just noticed that the television has cut to footage of Clay Davis's interrogation on the steps of the courthouse, following his grand jury appearance. "Jesus Christ, we don't have this?" Spry remarks. No, they do not. Any guesses as to why? (Hint: It rhymes with "schmy-outs.") Gus angrily calls for Zorzi, the court reporter, to account for himself; Zorzi reminds Gus that he handles the federal court, and that the local court beat has been vacant for two buyouts now. "If it had been federal, I would have had it months ago. This is city," Zorzi says, his anger growing. "You know, you want one reporter covering two courthouses, fine. Why don't you just shove a broom up my ass, and I'll sweep the floor while I'm at." Careful, Zorzi -- knowing what I know of the Tribune Company, they just might take you up on that offer. Anyhow, Gus cools him off, and tells him to get caught up on the story. Gus also asks Templeton to pitch in. Great -- what the Clay Davis story really needs is comments from wood nymphs and sprites and other made-up things. "You remember in the good old days when nobody in their right mind would stage a perp walk without calling a daily newspaper?" Gus remarks. "Nowadays all they care about is the goddamn video." Well, that and the internet, to be fair.