Newsroom: Operation Genoa
I decided to do a separate post on what we know about Operation Genoa through episode 1 of the Newsroom.
“If Ben Furusho hadn’t broken his ankle, if Jim Harper hadn’t gone to New Hampshire to cover for him, if Jerry Dantana hadn’t been brought up from DC to cover for Jim, if Mike Tapley had been used on the panel instead of Cyrus West –“
This is how episode one starts and it is apparent that this is a domino situation where one thing is causing another.
Will on Genoa: “It’s a kind of a jib or foresail on a boat.”
This could signify a Navy mission but I’m doubting that — it’s probably something more general and the name just sounds good — but I want to put the wild speculation out there.
Now we get to the meat of the matter: The lawyer and Will are speaking at the same time very quickly… I’m going to try to piece it together the best I can:
Lawyer: “You went on the air with a story that alleged the US used nerve gas during an operation, which is a war crime. And a doctored interview and a producer who says that
News Night conspired with the Pentagon to cover up Operation Geneva.”
So this is about nerve gas and war crimes… but let’s get to Will’s bit
Will: It was a mistake. We had two eyewitnesses and a three-star general… That’s why we fired him.
So they did have some sources (although I expect that we will find shakiness in the sources) and some with some clout (a three-star general), but Will fully admits it was a mistake.
An interesting question is who is fired and for what. At first, I thought that the person got fired for doctoring the interview (absolutely justified) but upon listening to it for (what feels like) the 314th time it seems they got fired for alleging a conspiracy. That just confuses me, unless I have jumbled up the order somehow.
Lawyer: Did you take calls from the DOD asking you not to run the story?
I’m not sure what this really has to do with the deposition. With the Freedom of the Press (capital F and P are for Sorkin) the DOD does not have the power to ask an organization not to run the story AND expect that it is taken as an order (they obviously have the right to ask).
Lawyer: The entire population of the Pensacola Minimum Security Prison is people who did things that happen all the time.
Few funny things here: minimum security? With such high stakes and not knowing the charges I would have assumed that we were preparing to send our cast of characters to Gitmo or the The Hague… Pensacola has been listed as one of the best places to go to prison (no, I’m not kidding — here is the link). They reportedly have racquetball, and bocce.
I may be reading a lot more into this but according to the official website it is an all male prison. Does this mean that Mac is not in danger of going to prison/jail? We don’t really know who is in danger of what but it did seem that the lawyer was implying that Will could be locked up.
Lawyer: Then you retracted it?
Will: Of course we retracted it.
So the network and everybody involved is no longer standing behind the story — we should see the different times when Mac, Will, Charlie and the gang realize the reporting isn’t good on this (looking forward to this).
ASIDE: PROBABLY UNRELATED TO OPERATION GENOA BUT STILL BEARS MENTIONING
Maggie’s hair changed… this has been covered on this very blog.
Here is what Will said: Look, she went out on a story. She went to Uganda. It got real very fast and she came back a little messed up.
Many messed up things happen in Uganada, I’m expecting the worst for Ms. Jordan.
The reason I’m expecting the worst? This Will quote, “Counsel, if what happened to her
happened to you, you’d kill yourself for the rest of your life. You would sit in the middle of a room and cry forever.
Cyrus West: I’m gonna give you a story now. I’m gonna give you a name to call, but you have to use me to help you follow it.
Jerry Dantana: What kind of story?
Cyrus: You have to use me to help you follow it.
Jerry: What kind of story?
Cyrus: The kind that makes careers and ends presidencies.
I think it’s reasonable to suspect that they are talking about Gena. Given that Obama is President (and in Newsroom time we are getting closer to his bid for re-election) I would be surprised if we didn’t have a political angle on this. If it “ends presidencies” then it would seem to be a story favoring the Republicans… a group that Will has insulted by calling them the American Taliban.
Mac (at the end of the episode): You know, nobody believed
Genoa at first. It was impossible to believe. But, piece by piece, the evidence started coming in and suddenly it was impossible to deny. It was the biggest thing any of us had ever touched. Including Charlie. It was… the Pentagon Papers and we were the only ones who had it. We average about 1.5 million viewers. Genoa got 5.5 million. It was the most viewed program in the history of cable news.
Mac is talking about ratings? WHAT! She never cared about ratings. I think this statement will become much clearer as time goes on. Enjoy episode 2 and I will have a blog for that episode soon.