Newsroom Willie Pete Season 2, Episode 3

How to end an ultra-exciting day? A Newsroom blog!

Rick Santorum: We have a culture right now that doesn’t say serve. It doesn’t say don’t think about yourself. It says, “Me, me, me.” It’s a very self-absorbed, me-centered, excessive popular culture.

This is a load of Santorum (google it), every generation is the me generation.

Here is the Republican debate mentioned in the Newsroom:

I forgot how horrible these debates were.

Will McAvoy: That was a big room full of Republican primary voters booing an American combat soldier who, as he was speaking, was in combat. The audience members who were booing were in Orlando.

Excellent point.

Will: Soon they’ll surely be in hell, though not soon enough.

A little strong but I understand it, a little bit of a “I’m mad as hell” moment.

Will: Not everyone was booing. There were people in the audience who heard Captain Hill say that when he was deployed to Iraq, he was worried that if his sexuality was discovered, they might not let him go — As opposed to most of us who, if told we were being deployed to Iraq, would go Corporal Klinger faster than you can pull on a yellow taffeta picnic dress.

Having never seen M*A*S*H I didn’t get this until I googled it — the one hard part with Sorkin is if you aren’t in his cultural wheelhouse you miss out on some of the awesome dialog.

Will: I’m sure there were even some people in the building who stood up for Captain Hill, people who had the simple strength of character to turn to the fraction of a human in the seat next to them and say, “How many different kinds of disgusting do you have to be to boo a man who volunteered to fight and die for you?” I’m sure those people were there. I’m sure there were many of them. But unfortunately, none of them were on the stage. Not one of these would-be commanders in chief took a moment to stand with a line officer. They let him stand alone. Soldiers never do that. Leaders never do that. Witless bullies and hapless punks do it all the time.

Really incredible speech, I hope it was clearly labeled opinion but it was pretty awesome.

Charlie Skinner: We’re like made men. We’re like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas.
Will: He got shot.
Charlie: Before he got shot
Will: Before he got shot, he wasn’t a made man.
Charlie: We’re like James Caan in The Godfather.
Will: Also shot. Many, many times.

Will: I’m changing it from within
Charlie: Like Pacino in Scarface.
Will: Have you ever seen any of these movies?

Loved this exchange — and these are three great movies.

Charlie: I really thought we were done with the mission to civilize.

So did I, not happy it’s back.

Will: Was Don Quixote de la Mancha done with his mission to civilize?
Charlie: Yeah, he died of being crazy.
Will: So that one you know, but not The Godfather?

That is really odd. Step up your game, Charlie.

Will: Snark is the idiot’s version of wit and we’re being polluted by it

I consider most of the characters here to be pretty snarky (including Will) so don’t know what that means for our motley crew.

Will: Don’t mock this
Charlie: It’s literally impossible not to.

I would have though Will would have been used to being mocked — he quotes musicals regularly.

Will: And so it was that the mild-mannered reporter donned his cape and tights–
Charlie: And transformed himself into a delusional drag queen.

I wouldn’t call Will “mild-mannered” but him as a delusional drag queen would be must-see TV (Sorkin would need to make at least one Rent reference).

Hallie Shea: Are you a moron? You think you’re scoring wise-ass points and he’s plainly fucking with you. You’ve heard the only answer you’re going to hear. Learn how this works, ’cause you’re driving the rest of us crazy.

All of this attitude would make sense if Romney was already the nominee — then everyone needs to be a little deferential and try to keep their place on the bus, it doesn’t make sense in this time frame.

MacKenzie McHale: I think you got home after the bin Laden broadcast and for a minute, just a minute, you forgot that you were mad at me.
Will: Listen
Mac: You forgot for a minute that you’d made a pledge to be mad at me for the rest of your life.
Will: Let’s speak really quietly, okay? I’m not mad at you. You didn’t dent my fender. You didn’t stand me up for a date. I’m not mad at you. I’m not your gay best friend. You were back with Brian for four months
while you were with me. And you– That’s flat– I don’t get it. Do you wanna see the e-mails you sent me while you were with him? I’m never gonna get it. So the small favor you can do for me is not saying something as inane as, “You forgot you were mad at me.” Because sometimes, you’re not as cute as you think you are.

I wish lines like “You’re not as cute as you think you are” worked — freaking gold. Also who just “forgets” feelings?

Taylor (Romney’s press secretary): When the gay soldier asked his question, did Will McAvoy expect the candidates to waterboard each member of the audience until they admitted to exercising their First Amendment rights?
Jim Harper: I doubt it
Taylor: What did he expect?
Jim: I guess for at least one of them, perhaps the front runner, to tell the audience that he wasn’t interested in the votes of anyone who was booing. Not for nothing, but he’d have won the election that night.

I don’t think that is a lot to expect. It wouldn’t have won him the election but it would have made him seem a little more human.

Taylor: How long have you been covering politics?
Jim: Almost two weeks

This can’t be true, he’s been producing the show that has been covering politics — that should count.

Eric Sweeney: Intel had location on Marine POWs who’d been separated from their unit three days earlier during a firefight in the Hindu Kush. They’d been smuggled across the border. Pakistani Taliban intended to sell them to Al-Qaeda for propaganda purposes.
Jerry Dantana: You mean like, “Hey, look, we got some Americans”?
Eric: I mean like, “Hey, look, we beheaded some.”

So that’s likely the motive behind Operation Genoa, a worthy motive and things are starting to add up a little more.

Eric: The helos started laying down white phosphorus to cover us.
Mac: You’re saying you shot white phosphorus?
Eric: Yes, ma’am

This is outside my area of expertise, it seems to be some sort of burning agent but since I am well out of my depth I’ll just say google it if you are interested.

Eric: Why did the white phosphorous do that? The guy said it wasn’t white phosphorous. I said, “Well, what was it?” He said, “Sarin.”

This is a first bit of doubt, Mac and Jerry really have to look for someone who saw the Sarin.

Will: Pierre, a mimosa for Miss Howard, please. No pulp, correct?

What type of person would have a mimosa with pulp? That’s a question not worth asking. I know little about white phosphorous and Sarin but, doggoneit, I know my booze.

Will: And I get that’s where the story is, but, Nina, are we okay with being Mean Girls and Heathers and whatever the male equivalent of that is?

Did Will just make a Mean Girls reference? The limit to my surprise does not exist.

Nina Howard: Lord of the Flies

I reject that the male equivalent of Mean Girls is Lord of the Flies.

Will: Welcome to the high ground in McAvoy’s team of champions.

Can someone print out Jerseys?

Charlie: And he doesn’t remember the date?
Jerry: He remembers it was around March 9, 2009. Do you remember dates from two years ago?
Charlie: I would if I dropped sarin gas on a small town.

I imagine the date wasn’t the first thing on his mind.

Mac: He remembered a lot of details and his story sounded a little rehearsed.
Jerry: Didn’t to me

For a story that was run it seems like everybody has a ton of doubts about it.

Charlie: Do you believe this story? I mean, you can’t possibly believe this story.
Mac: But what if someone else confirms? At what point do we have to take it seriously?
Charlie: We’ll never find that out.

Famous last words.

Mac: Jerry, this is something they and you do when they and you have nothing else to do.

This is why big stories and long-term projects don’t get done very much in newsrooms. This is very real and I hate when it happens.

Maggie Jordan: I could swallow a petri dish full of smallpox, and my immune system would laugh the laugh of the righteous.

Some day, on this blog I want to post an audio recording of the “laugh of the righteous” and allow all of us to bask in it’s brilliance — ok, that was a little more snarky than I wanted.

Mefloquine vs. doxycycline

I have known people who have taken these drugs and don’t know anybody who suffered bad side-effects from either of them. A friendly reminder, read the side-effects before taking the meds. Also: with very serious side-effects pharmacists should (and very often do) go over all these things with you (your doctor should as well).

Maggie: I can feel my mood changing. I can feel it. It’s happening right now.

One of the many reasons people say Sorkin makes his women stupid.

Will: Everyone’s gonna close their eyes including me, and the person who couldn’t keep their mouth shut is gonna raise their hand. That wouldn’t work. That doesn’t make any sense.

I slightly disagree with the statement “Sorkin’s female characters are stupid” with all his characters are smart people doing and saying stupid things, the above is a good example of that.

A MAJOR NOTE: Hallie tossed the tequilla, she didn’t drink it. I no longer like her as a character — if you don’t want to take the shot don’t take it, donate it to those in need, don’t throw it on the ground for someone to clean up.

Don Keefer: I started by putting tires on my chair.
Sloan Sabbith: Tires?
Don: Little tires. They go on your chair. They give you better traction to zip around the room and then there were some parts that were squeaking, so I got some WD-40 and here I am.

Another smart person doing stupid things.

Jim: In June, Governor Romney said, “I believe the world is getting warmer and I believe humans have contributed to that.” Last week he said, “Do I think the world is getting hotter? Yeah. I don’t know if it’s caused mostly by humans.” What new information raised doubts for the governor?

That is a great question, just leaving it here.

Jim: Choice?
Hallie: Yeah. Choice is the only women’s issue. And it’s just a women’s issue because we all got pregnant reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

Women’s issues have been almost boiled down to choice, it’s pretty sad but a similar thing is happening with civil rights being boiled down to gay marriage (also sad).

I’m also wondering if this mention helps the sales of Lady Chatterley’s Lover (the book or the movie).

Mustache Man: You know, Jim, if you’d open up a little, we could have, like, a bond or something. Embeds bond on the road. And there’s a lot of sex.
Female reporter (not Hallie): For who?
MM: Players gotta play.
FR: With who?
Other reporter: Whom.
FR: Shut the fuck up, that’s with whom.

I really enjoyed this exchange — it’s what happens if someone corrects spoken grammar in most bars I’ve been to.

Mac: The blog isn’t accomplishing what it should. And even though I can’t tell you specifically what to change, I want a complete overhaul.
Neal Sampat: I see, you’re doing a topical satire of OWS.
Mac: Well, I’m not willing to say exactly what I’m doing, because I don’t want it corrupted by the media.

Some of the best Mac moments

Mac: That wasn’t a great report.
Neal: It was better than our nothing.

A bad report isn’t better than nothing.

Neal: That the shoes you walked 14 blocks in cost $1,200.

A) How does Neal know that?
B) How does a reporter have those shoes?
C) Why would one pay that much money for shoes?

Charlie: ‘Cause we did blackmail you.
Reese Lansing: It wasn’t bluster when I said I don’t care — I don’t care.

This is a major problem with blackmail… Reese has to have something invested in you not revealing the dirt.

Also, none of these two bozos can work a recorder? They aren’t that hard — newspaper writers use them every day. They are also digital so they could be saved anywhere.

Jim: Does anybody want to join me? Are you really okay not doing any reporting?

It is really sad that these reporters don’t want to report (I’m not saying it’s totally not true but still).

Jim: It’s not a press bus. It’s a free media bus. We can get off this bus, rent cars, and cover the campaign the way a campaign should be covered. Like a cross-examination in a courtroom. We can force them to answer our questions if we do it together, if nobody backs down. They need us.

This is really true but I’m not surprised many other people didn’t go with it. But still, wouldn’t these outlets without Romney coverage just cover the other GOP people more instead of Romney?

Jerry: It’s written phonetically. What’s Willie Pete?
Mac: Hmm?
Jerry: What’s Willie Pete?
Charlie: It’s white phosphorus.
Jerry: Hamni8. “Willie Pete everywhere. Burning.” Hamni8. “Helicopters, grenades.” Hamni8. “Men in gas masks. Machine guns.” Hamni8. “Burning.” Hamni8. “Americans. White smoke.” Hamni8. “Two helicopters. No markings on them, but they’re American.”This is from the translator. “I’m translating the next Hamni8 tweet. It was sent 32 minutes after the last.” Why’d he stop for 32 minutes?
Mac: Jamming
Jerry: What?
Mac: Digital frequency hopping. We’d have jammed the radio frequencies cell phones use. He’s describing Genoa.

A tweet isn’t confirmation, you would need to get in contact with the tweeter — but this story is really getting close.

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~ by realfactsandbeer on July 30, 2013.

One Response to “Newsroom Willie Pete Season 2, Episode 3”

  1. You don’t like the mission to civilize? I love the mission to civilize. Maybe because it is such a quixotically uphill battle or maybe just because it amuses me. Perhaps both.

    Mac isn’t a reporter. She was a foreign correspondent who came back to be an executive producer. Not only is she being paid more than her staff, but recall she said she went on a shopping binge when she returned to refresh her fashions. It was likely fueled by the money she didn’t end up spending while she was embedded in combat. Business trip expense money and salary you don’t use while away from normal life really adds up, especially as long as she was gone.

    You don’t know willie pete? WP is shorthand for white phosphorous. Phosphorous combusts in the presence of oxygen like sodium does in water. Used in ordinance, you create incendiary and explosive firepower.

    Sympathetic with Jim on the campaign trail. It has become a living irony that reporters don’t report and the only serious coverage of politics I can get comes from the Comedy Channel while what everyone else does is a sad sad joke…on us. Jim is experiencing a politically oriented spin-off of Will’s mission to civilize.

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