The Newsroom (2012–2014): Season 2, Episode 6 - One Step Too Many - full transcript

Will makes an appearance on an ACN morning show. Jim meets old friends and foes when Hallie comes to visit. The ACN staff interview a general with knowledge of Operation Genoa, but Jerry's handling of the interview may prove costly.

Here's where we are.
August 24 of last year we had a guest on a panel
about drones named Cyrus West,
a retired Air Force captain who now teaches at the Maxwell School.
When the panel was done, Captain West gave Jerry a tip
about a black op with the codename Genoa.
What did he tell you about Genoa?
He told me that in March 2009, two Marines
were separated from their unit in the Hindu Kush.
Intelligence told us that they were captured by Taliban fighters,
taken across the border into Pakistan, held in a small village,
and in a matter of a few hours
they were gonna be sold to al-Qaeda and publically beheaded.
A MARSOC unit was deployed to attempt an extraction.
Two MH-60s, Black Hawks, came in with 15 MARSOCs apiece.
The first unit was overrun by the enemy and trapped behind cover.
- They were wearing MOPP gear. - Mission Oriented Protective Posture.
The second unit, also in MOPP gear,
came in and successfully extracted the prisoners
as well as the first MARSOC unit.
- How? - By dropping sarin gas on the village.
How would the prisoners have survived?
We hit them with atropine and dragged them onto the helos.
- Everyone else was wearing MOPP gear. - Everyone but the civilians.
That was Cyrus West's story and that was last August.
Jerry then tracked down a retired gunnery sergeant, Eric Sweeney.
Jerry and I met with Sergeant Sweeney
and the full transcript of that meeting begins on page four in your binders.
Sweeney describes rehearsals for the mission...
- In MOPP gear. - ...and then describes the mission itself.
He witnesses blinding smoke and women and children
with boils and burns on their faces.
Back on the helicopter he asks another member of his crew
what that was all about and he's told it was sarin.
Jerry put a team together to track down other members
of the crew and any ground support, but no one was talking.
Neal then did a search of any tweets from the area
sent around March '09 and came up with Hamni8.
The tweets from Hamni8 would seem to be describing
what we'd heard from Sergeant Sweeney and from Cyrus West.
"Helicopters. Grenades."
Then a moment later, "Men in gas masks. Machine guns."
A moment later, "Burning." Then, "Americans. White smoke."
Then, "Two helicopters. No markings on them, but they're American."
It's 32 minutes before the next tweet.
"I think everyone's dead."
We believe the reason for the 32-minute gap is frequency hopping.
We'd have jammed the radio frequencies cell phones use.
West is one, Sweeney is two, Hamni8 is three.
Four is a humanitarian report from a guy named Leon Deit.
Deit was in the region working for an NGO
and traveled to the site of the extraction on verbal reports of a mass grave.
The eyewitness accounts are consistent with the use of sarin gas.
And as you can see, the report includes
pictures of the victims.
Five is a confidential source who confirmed the story
and provided a copy of the munitions manifest.
The manifest included this item, MX-76.
MX-76 doesn't exist. It's a euphemism for classified material.
We believe it's the sarin canisters.
The five of us as well as some other staffers
have had a role in putting this together so far.
We've purposely kept a number of people out of the loop
including Will for fresh eyes.
Are there any questions?
- Sarin gas? - I don't believe it, either.
I also don't believe in Santa Claus, but if I saw eight reindeer take flight...
To be clear, you haven't seen eight reindeer.
You've talked to someone who says he's seen eight reindeer.
And we have someone who's tweeted about the reindeer
and a third witness who's interviewed victims of the reindeer
and a highly-placed confidential source who's confirmed
that in this place at that time, reindeer flew.
It couldn't matter less, but Santa Claus has nine reindeer.
- Rudolph. - Mac, I don't think...
- Dasher, Dancer. - Vixen, Blitzen.
- How many was that? - It really doesn't matter.
- You believe we used sarin? - Yes.
- On civilians? - Yes.
- Dasher, Dancer, Prancer. - What are you doing?
Well, I'm digesting what I just heard.
I'm doing a fact check on the number of reindeer.
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Comet, Blitzen, Cupid,
Donner, Vixen, and somebody else.
- Rudolph. - Thank you.
- Wait, how many was that? - Start again.
No. Do we even have sarin gas?
We aren't supposed to. It was supposed to be destroyed by 2007
according to the Chemical Weapons Convention.
But it wasn't. We still have it. The DOD confirms that.
We may have it, but we've never used it.
We didn't use it in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the first Gulf War,
and we were fighting people that did have...
Those all happened before 9/11.
We torture people now. We kidnap them, wiretap them...
- Drop deadly gas on civilians? - It happened, Jim.
This is the one we know about.
- The original tip came from Cyrus West? - I know, but...
- He's not reliable. - His crime was not being good on television.
But he led us to Eric Sweeney, so who cares?
What about the Marines who were rescued?
We don't know their names
and they wouldn't have been in a good position to know what happened.
Sweeney says they were in a hole in back of one of the houses.
And then they were exposed to the gas.
They would have known if they were hit with an atropine.
Probably, but it doesn't matter. We don't know who they are
and we've been looking for seven months.
We have 30 names and here they are.
These were given to us by Sweeney.
None of them is talking with the exception
of Lance Corporal Herman Valenzuela who's dead.
It sounded like you said Herman Valenzuela,
in spite of being dead, is talking.
- I wasn't saying that. - I was confused by that, too.
Valenzuela was killed in action, the other 29 aren't talking.
What about Hamni8? Have you tried to track him down?
Yes, but he's gone. We believe given his proximity to the raid
that he was killed.
Well, or that he couldn't pay for his cell plan.
Those are two pretty different things.
Have we put boots on the ground to see if there's any locals we can talk to?
You can't send Americans in there or anyone working for Americans.
- A local fixer? - It's much too dangerous.
- What does Tapley say? - Who?
Mike Tapley, our military analyst,
who I don't know why we didn't use him instead of West.
'Cause I was producing the segment.
Neither Mike nor our Pentagon correspondent have been brought in.
The Pentagon would go into shutdown.
We'll ask for comment 24 hours before air.
Before air?
We're really talking about...
Charlie, be the voice of reason.
I think it happened
and I think we're two inches away from proving it.
It's always 50-50 when you ask Charlie to be the voice of reason.
- Nobody's saying it's ready to air. - I'm saying it's ready.
It certainly is not.
And we can keep calling the names on the list till St. Swithin's Day,
but we have a better chance of getting Herman Valenzuela to talk
than any of the other 29.
So we started looking for someone not on the list.
A flag officer who'd be in a position to confirm the mission. Neal?
We ran five separate searches and cross-referenced
the five search parameters which were the following,
recently retired generals who have attempted to publish work that was heavily redacted,
commanders who have served as head
of the Marines Combat Logistics and Munitions Element,
generals who've taken academic positions since retiring
who've been critical of the US stockpile of chemical weapons,
and flag officers who were on active duty when Genoa took place.
When we think Genoa took place.
There's one name that meets all five criteria.
This is three-star Marine General Stanislaus Stomtonovich.
He was a munitions consultant at White Sands
and an expert on the US chemical weapons program.
He retired six months after Genoa and lives in Silver Spring.
You're gonna call and ask him if we dropped sarin gas on a small village?
- No, we're going to his house. - Charlie, God damn it.
He's already alerted the Pentagon's Office of Public Affairs.
He thinks we're coming about something else. We're just getting in the vestibule.
But eventually, you will ask him the question?
Do you understand what we're accusing them of?
We do, Jim, yeah. And I think we're less concerned
with what we're accusing them of than we are with what they did.
What you think they did, which I still can't hardly believe
my fucking ears we're even talking about.
- What was the general's name? - Stomtonovich.
How are you gonna question Stomtonovich without him knowing what you're asking?
We're gonna ask him how chemical weapons would be stored and deployed.
- What's the cover story? - Libya.
You've been on this for seven months?
Do you believe the story?
I don't know.
Have we nailed down the number of reindeer?
I see you.
You seem really excited every time this works.
Is it because you're seeing me or is it because of the technology?
- The technology. - I get that.
But tomorrow night it'll be because I'm seeing you.
I'll tell you why you should be excited about tomorrow night.
I got a suite at the Soho Grand.
- It cost three years' salary. - I like you.
- That's such great news for me. - It really is.
So I'll pick you up at the event at 10:00. I'll be out in the lobby. We'll go to dinner
and then back to the hotel for, you know, discretionary time.
- Speaking of dinner... - What's about to happen?
- Do you know Aubrey Lerner? - No.
- Her byline is AK. - I don't know her.
- AK Lerner. - I don't know her,
but I feel like she's about to be an obstacle in my path to...
- Discretionary time? - Yes.
No, she's been on the press plane
for a couple of weeks and she reports for mtvU.
It sounds like she'd have a really good time staying home by herself tomorrow.
I don't think you should rob her of that.
She stays at her parents' place when she's in New York
and I thought she could come out to dinner with us tomorrow night
and you could bring Neal.
I think they'd really hit it off
and you said he just broke up with somebody.
Neal's always just broken up with somebody. He calls it going home in the morning.
It'll be a fun foursome.
- Dinner and then straight to the hotel. - How many of us?
Jim, I'll have just finished covering a $5,000-a-plate dinner.
I'll be in cocktail attire.
Do it. Do it.
Whatever she's asking to do, do it. Do it now.
- You gonna be okay? - Yeah.
- Hey, Gary. - Hey, Hallie.
In terms of what you're gonna be wearing, could you describe exactly what...
I'll see you guys tomorrow at 10:00?
- In the ballroom lobby. - I've got to go.
I'll talk to you later.
Harry Truman dubbed the 80th Congress the "Do-Nothing Congress."
Its productivity, measured by this bar, shows the number of laws they passed.
The productivity of the 112th Congress is measured by this bar.
The 112th Congress has not yet passed one sixth of the laws
of the Do-Nothing Congress.
But let's look at the laws they have passed.
Congressman Peter Roskam represents the 6th District of Illinois.
Illinois has the fourth highest unemployment rate
in the country with 9.9% of its workforce out of work.
So Congressman Roskam introduced House Resolution 21-39,
which would require the Secretary of the Treasury
to mint coins in commemoration of the centennial of the Lions Club.
Congressman Randy Forbes of Virginia
sponsored a bill reaffirming "In God We Trust" as our national motto,
a motto already made official in 1956,
2002, 2006 and now 2011.
One in four American children are living in poverty,
but the motto should take care of that.
We're fighting a war, a stagnant economy,
a failing education system and climate change.
The 112th Congress has renamed 40 post offices.
Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican
on the Senate Banking Committee,
blocked the appointment of MIT economist Peter Diamond
to a vacant seat on the Federal Reserve Board.
Said Shelby, "I do not believe the current environment of uncertainty
"would benefit from monetary policy decisions
"made by board members who are learning on the job."
While Senator Shelby held up Peter Diamond's nomination
on the grounds that Diamond was insufficiently qualified
to counsel the Federal Reserve Board,
Peter Diamond won the Nobel Prize for economics.
- You busy? - No.
Hey, this may sound nuts, but I'm looking at the movie John Carter
as a possible subject for my News Night segment.
What about it?
Well, it's about a Civil War Confederate officer
who's transported to Mars, which is a lush planet
inhabited by 12-foot-tall barbarians.
Because of his different bone density
and the planet's low gravity, John Carter can jump...
I said, "What about it?" not, "What's it about?" Also, you know, spoilers.
Okay, well, it's projected to lose about 200 million for Disney.
You want to do the economics of Hollywood?
Say what you want, but they're one of the few American industries
still making a product people want to buy.
Doesn't sound like they want to buy John Carter.
Well, that's my point. Nobody's gonna ask for a bailout
and Disney stock is relatively safe.
Entertainment is one of our highest revenue-generating exports
and they employ members of 17 different unions,
all of which have excellent minimum basic contracts.
They may take it in the teeth on John Carter, but nobody's gonna get hurt.
It's still early. It's just a first idea.
- Yeah, no, it sounds good. - What are you doing?
Looking at last night's show.
- They did a focus group? - No.
There are dial lines on the bottom of the screen.
Yeah, those are just... That's...
What's going on?
I did a focus group. I did it myself.
I called our company and did it on my own.
They did the dials and a moderator got comments after.
- Why? - Why?
- Yeah. - To check in.
Why does a politician take polls?
To find out what people want him to say the next day.
Are you comfortable with that analogy?
Charlie doesn't allow me to be tested anymore.
So I did it myself.
We have kind of a big brother-little sister relationship.
- Which one are you? - And the little sister always ends up
chewing out the big brother and he says, "Thanks, sis."
This is on Nickelodeon?
- Never mind. - Are you preparing for a chewing out?
You forgot to ask me how the test scores were.
I didn't forget.
427. 427.
Are the odd numbers on the right side or the left side?
I can't see any numbers yet.
All right, you look on the right side, I'll look on the left side.
I'm already on the left side. Why don't you look on the right side?
I'll look on the right side.
Hey, found it.
- Is it this house or that house? - I don't know.
Let's just clean this up and ring both doorbells.
What are you doing in my garbage cans?
- General Stomtonovich? - Yeah.
I'm sorry we're a little late.
What are you doing in my garbage cans?
We ran over them with our rental car.
We're just gonna get this cleaned up.
Were you texting?
No, sir. It was regular negligence.
Well, hurry up and tell me what you want.
I'm sorry, sir. You're General Stom...
I know who I am.
I'm asking who you are and how I can help you.
- I'm Charlie Skinner. - MacKenzie McHale.
How about if I write you a check for $100
and you send the magazine subscriptions to whoever you want?
Sir, we spoke to you on the phone yesterday.
We made an appointment to see you here at your house.
Yeah, right. That's too bad.
I like arguing with Jehovah's Witnesses.
You want to know how chemical weapons are stored?
Yes, sir.
All right.
What is the Marine Combat Munitions Element?
We oversee all or almost all
of the munitions supplies for the entirety of the Marine Corps.
- Bullets, bombs... - And that includes chemical...
Foul him. Foul him now!
And he buries a three.
March Madness.
Best sporting event on Earth.
Better than the Super Bowl, World Series...
- Better than the World Cup? - World Cup?
- What are you, from Brazil? - Brooklyn.
2003, Gaddafi announced Libya would voluntarily eliminate all materials,
equipment and programs, but they've still got 'em.
- How about us? - The US?
- Yeah. - Do we still have chemical weapons?
- Yeah. - Yeah.
- We do? - Yeah.
Do you believe chemical weapons are a legitimate weapon of war?
I believe chemical weapons, like any other weapons,
are tools to be used to kill the enemy.
Which tool you use depends on battlefield circumstance.
- And collateral damage? - It doesn't make much difference
to the collateral damage whether it's damage by gas
or a Hellfire missile, does it?
So you think chemical weapons should be part of our arsenal?
Part of ours, not Libya's.
Do you think we should be able to use chemical weapons?
Missed free throws is what kills you.
I don't think I want to talk about chemical weapons.
- We think you do. - Yeah?
During a speech at the War College two years ago,
you were openly critical of the destruction of our stockpiles.
You've commissioned two studies citing the potential need
for chemical weapons in combat situations
and your book was so heavily redacted that all that was left were pronouns.
Why are you two big shots in Silver Spring, Maryland,
running into my garbage cans and asking me about sarin?
General, we never mentioned sarin.
We know about Genoa.
You can't touch a shooter while he's in the process of shooting the ball.
It's against the rules.
Shooter goes to the foul line, takes two free throws.
But what happens if the shooter brandishes a knife?
He's dribbling the ball and he suddenly takes out a switchblade.
You're allowed to grab his arm now
because we're not playing basketball anymore.
This is a helo manifest. Can you confirm it's authentic?
It's an authentic helo manifest.
Can you confirm that Genoa happened?
Why would I confirm, even off the record, the existence of a classified mission?
Because you believe very strongly that if the shooter
takes a knife out, it shouldn't be illegal to grab his arm.
Here are my conditions. You black out my face.
- Sure. - Alter my voice.
- Mmm-hmm. - That's it.
We do it right here noon tomorrow.
I want to be able to watch the games.
- Not during the interview. - I'm not turning that TV off.
I don't know how many years I have left after this thing goes on the air.
The producer's name is Jerry Dantana.
He's from the DC bureau and it's been his story from the beginning.
We have to head back to New York, General.
It was nice meeting you.
We won't have any more communication after this unless it's necessary.
How did he find it... Dantana?
How did he find the story?
Just a lucky tip.
And then very late in my political career,
I had the opportunity to read the speech and I almost threw up.
The speech that almost made Senator Santorum vomit
was given by John F. Kennedy in Houston, Texas, in 1960.
The presidential candidate was answering concerns
that his Catholicism would be his compass in the Oval Office.
And the Houston speech made a forceful argument
for a firewall between religion, any religion, and government.
With us by satellite from Boulder, Colorado, is Randall Dell,
President of the League of Catholic Voters and a Santorum supporter.
- Mr. Dell, welcome. - Good to be here.
The common wisdom is that political candidates
shouldn't be asked about their religious beliefs.
I agree with that.
But what if a candidate makes their religious beliefs part of their candidacy?
Is there a candidate who's doing that?
- The candidate you support is doing that. - That's not true, sir.
Is Rick Santorum devout? Yes. Does his faith guide his actions? Yes.
Does he say so every day in campaign speeches? He does.
Let's put this quote up on the screen.
- G17-a. - Got it.
Rick Santorum speaking at a Tea Party event in Columbus.
He said this in regard to President Obama's climate change agenda.
"It's not about your quality of life. It's not about your jobs.
"It's about some phony ideal. Some phony theology.
"Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology."
Mr. Dell, one of Rick Santorum's problems
with the president's plan to combat climate change
is that its roots can't be found in the Bible.
We have a lot of reasons to be concerned with Obama's plans,
but you're plainly distorting Rick Santorum's words.
I don't think I am, but let's go to this instead.
- 17B. - Up.
- Thirty seconds. - Let it go long. the Press and People of Faith in Politics forum in 2008.
"I think there are a lot of problems with the theory of evolution
"and I do believe it is used to promote
"a world view that is anti-theist, that is atheist.
"You should have academic freedom in the classroom when teaching about life."
- That was 2008. Mr. Santorum... - Ready 18.
...made those remarks when he didn't hold office.
- He was speaking as a private citizen. - Ready.
- Go. - He was speaking in defense of an amendment
he offered in 2001 when he was a US Senator,
making it a federal law that, "Where topics are taught
"that may generate controversy, such as biological evolution,
"the curriculum should help students to understand
"the full range of scientific views that exist."
By full range of scientific views,
- he's including Genesis, right? - That's right.
It seems like far from objecting that religion
be brought up in political campaigns, he's insisting on it.
And here's Rick Santorum's opponent, Mitt Romney,
- asking us not to ask about his religion. - 22.
That idea that we should choose people
based upon their religion for public office
is what I find to be most troubling,
because the founders of this country went to great length
to make sure, and even put it in the Constitution,
that we would not choose people who represent us
in government based upon their religion.
And now here he is invoking his religion.
The Declaration of Independence established our rights
by saying that they were created not by government, but by the Creator.
We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.
I will fight to preserve America's tradition as a religious nation.
So, can we really not ask these candidates questions
about what they believe with regard to religion?
Well, like what?
Like is it important that you and I have the same definition of "creator"?
They plainly meant God.
That's not plain to everybody.
Like right there. Just a smile would have made it folksier.
Also, honey, you've got to stay away from religion.
You know you're just asking for it.
What else am I supposed to talk about
with the President of the League of Catholic Voters?
You don't have him on as a guest. That's another thing.
You want guests that don't make you look so combative.
That's why your likability numbers are down.
- I don't know. I think I'm likable. - I think you're lovable.
- Thank you. - But your numbers are problematic.
Listen to me, I'd like dinner to last 10 to 15 minutes.
You don't like to linger.
I'm doing my lingering somewhere else tonight,
so we're not ordering anything that takes a long time to prepare.
We're not ordering anything well-done. We're not ordering anything cooked.
It's okay with me if we don't order anything.
It's not going to be okay with the restaurant.
Screw the restaurant, Neal.
The restaurant hasn't not seen his girlfriend in a month.
The restaurant's girlfriend isn't wearing cocktail attire.
- You gonna be okay? - Yeah, I'm fine.
Six minutes and 20 seconds.
God, it's you.
That's how long you spent tonight on Etch-a-Sketch.
- Six minutes and 20 seconds. - Hey, Taylor.
- Hi, Jim. - You look very nice.
- Thank you. - This is Neal Sampat. We work together.
Neal, this is Taylor Warren, a Romney campaign spokesman.
- Woman... Spokesperson. - Nice to meet you.
- You work for ACN? - Yes.
I loathe you in ways that are unquantifiable.
- You must be excited to see Hallie. - I am.
I mentioned to Hallie that I didn't have anything to do in the city tonight.
And she said that I should join you guys for dinner.
You should see the look on your face.
Don't worry, I know you had a special night planned,
so of course I'm coming along. You know why?
Because we spent six minutes and 20 seconds...
On Etch-a-Sketch, yeah.
- It was a story and you know it. - No, it was a gaffe and you know it.
He came out and said, "Don't worry about anything I've said during the primary.
"I can be whatever you want me to be."
He didn't say it. Fehrnstrom did.
And how do you expect us to juggle
very diverse coalitions inside the Republican party?
- Really glad I came tonight. - There's no way you're coming to dinner.
- I've missed you. - You look amazing.
- Plus? - I've missed you, too.
There it is. This is Aubrey.
Hey, it's nice to meet you. Neal.
Okay, full disclosure, the press wasn't allowed any food,
but we stole a couple bottles of Chardonnay
- and I am wicked hammered. - Okay.
- Neal, this is Aubrey. - Hey.
- Nice to meet you. - Full disclosure...
The press wasn't allowed any food,
but we stole a couple bottles of Chardonnay...
- Wicked hammered. - You said that already.
We're gonna get some food in your stomach.
Maybe that's not necessary.
So, listen, Taylor's kind of sad tonight.
I don't know why, so I asked her to come to dinner.
She's not sad. She's mad 'cause we did
six minutes and 20 seconds on Etch-a-Sketch.
And now I have to have a dinner with her that could last up to a half hour.
You're afraid of Taylor.
Being afraid of Taylor is just good common sense.
- Anybody hungry? - I can boot and rally.
Let's do it.
- You here alone? - Yeah. You?
I am.
This is what I do now. I drink alone at bars late at night.
See, men can do that with no stigma attached.
- Women... - Women can vote
and your vote counts the same as my vote.
I'm really supposed to worry about a stigma?
Oh, Don.
Don, Don.
Are you happy with that name?
Pretty happy. Never really thought about it.
How'd it go in Maryland?
He confirmed.
Will he do it on camera?
- Find out tomorrow. - Hey, Mac.
- What do you say, Chelsea? - You here alone?
- Don't stigmatize her. - Where's the gang?
Jim and Neal are on a double date,
Sloan is out with a New York Giant,
and Will's having a quiet night at home with Mrs. Macbeth.
He took some questions from the audience
and somebody asked him if he thought the court
was going to overturn the ACA.
And I thought he was gonna duck the question,
but he answered for about two minutes.
- What did he say? - I swear to God, I don't know.
Can I ask something?
What's the fucking obsession with Ann Romney's horse?
- Reagan had a horse. - His horse didn't dance.
So fucking what, James? It's a clever horse.
It's an Olympian. It's a horse.
And what in this is bad?
And how do you know that Reagan's horse didn't dance?
It's a reasonable question, James.
How did you get into campaign reporting?
I told my bosses that nobody was covering Ron Paul
and they were like, "Go do it yourself."
And I was like, "Really?" And they were like, "Really."
So Ron Paul, 2012!
- Is this your...
- Okay. - Seriously?
Yeah, she's into it.
- Hey. - Hi.
- You're back again. - Yeah.
- It was Stoli and tonic? - Yeah.
- I'm Devon. - Maggie.
I admire MacKenzie.
- And Charlie. - So do I.
I know you do.
But I wonder if it's blinding you to certain things.
Like what?
Well, honey, every night you cross examine somebody.
They're using your prosecutorial skills.
Wait. First, they're not my puppet masters. I'm the managing editor.
But don't you always listen to MacKenzie?
- Not always. - What percent of the time?
I don't know. But the idea is
that we cross examine people from time to time.
- We? - A lot of staff prep goes into those segments.
But the staff's face isn't on camera.
What are we talking about?
Are you being sacrificed
so that Mac and Charlie can do the show they want to do?
It's the show I want to do, too.
- Is it? - Yeah.
Then that's that. If it's the show you want to do,
then who cares how many people like you? I like you.
It actually doesn't measure how many people like you.
It measures how much people like you.
- How much? - Yeah.
- That's not something that can be measured. - That's right.
So this is really all there is to go on?
Do you fully trust Jerry Dantana?
- Why wouldn't I? - No reason. I was just curious.
- But there's a reason you're asking. - There really isn't.
- Can I tell you what it is? - It was just curiosity.
- It's 'cause he's not Jim. - Please.
Jerry has committed the crime of not being Jim Harper.
You know how long it took you to trust me?
- How long? - I'll let you know when it happens.
I completely trust you.
- Do you? - With my life, Don.
Thank you. That's nice to hear.
You know, when I look at you...
- Sloan's going out with a football player? - Yeah.
- Who? - I don't remember his name.
- You know what position he plays? - No.
- Offense or defense? - I don't know.
Why don't you just ask her out?
After she's gone out with a professional athlete
who's 10 years younger than I am with three percent body fat
and ripped muscles that have been conditioned
over a lifetime of two-a-days sweating...
How long have you been thinking about this guy?
How am I supposed to follow that?
- And, you know... - Get it done?
I can get it done.
I'm saying...
get it done in a spectacular fashion.
This is how most men think?
This is how every single man thinks except for the guy out with Sloan right now.
And that's why you haven't asked her out?
Sometimes she subs in for Elliot and sometimes she does a segment with us,
which means sometimes I'm her boss.
That stopped absolutely no one here, including you and Maggie.
That worked out phenomenally well.
Nothing that happened to her is your fault.
- It's really good. - Me, too.
That's the spicy Shanghai soup noodles,
- chilled silken tofu garlic and herbs? - Yes, it is.
- How'd you recognize that? - It's kind of a hobby.
And here's the charred chili rubbed beef skewer.
- With Thai basil dipping sauce. - That's right.
- So, Jim. - Yeah?
- I have to tell you something. - Okay.
The Sex and the City story is off-the-charts awesome.
- What's the Sex and the City story? - Please, no.
- You haven't heard this? - I haven't.
Is it an embarrassing story about Jim?
- It's not embarrassing. It's sweet. - I'd like to hear it.
I'd like to hear it as many times
as ACN's run the "I like to fire people" sound bite.
- Everybody ran it, Taylor. - And everybody, including you,
knew what he meant when he said it.
Let's play the game where we identify the food.
- What's this? - You're pointing at rice.
I believe that's correct.
You know, I could tell the story...
- Yep. - ...or we can watch it on YouTube.
Oh, sweet.
I'm starting to feel responsible for this.
What about ACN Morning?
- You think I should go on? - I think you should start there.
I think you need to warm yourself up and a morning show is a great place to start.
Just go on and do some jokes?
Just be you. Nebraska farm boy.
The guy who knows how to build his own cabin.
I don't know how to build my own cabin.
Well, you seem like you do. You need to seem like you do.
Midwestern. You used to steal
your mother's pies when she put them out to cool.
You're confusing me with a hobo.
- You know what I'm saying. - I think I do.
- Then do it. - Okay.
- How about tomorrow morning? - Well, it's after midnight.
ACN is a network built around one person.
You call the EP, tell him you're coming on in the morning.
You'll feel better once you start to turn this around.
- I will feel better. - 75s become 85s fast,
but they become 55s faster.
All right.
That gentleman over there would like to buy this for you.
This is nice of you, but I have to tell you I'm just hanging out alone tonight.
- That's okay. - It's nothing personal.
The drink's on me anyway.
Very kind. Thank you.
- I'm just thinking my thoughts. - Understood.
I have a number of questions.
I'll try to answer them with the same detail and honesty you've always answered mine.
What were you doing on a Sex and the City tour bus to begin with?
My girlfriend at the time liked the show and I was showing an interest in her interests.
And Maggie didn't know you were on the bus when she shouted that she loved you?
That's not what she shouted.
- And she didn't know someone was filming it? - No.
- So it was kind of a gaffe? - Lady, I...
Life and death and you guys can't get past "corporations are people."
How fast are we supposed to get past "Hispanics should self-deport"
or "I'm not concerned with the very poor"?
"There's a safety net there" was the end of that sentence,
and plainly his concern is with the middle class.
The middle class are the very poor.
The better point is we don't need clean air and water regulations.
We don't need FEMA. We don't need antitrust laws.
We don't need the IRS or the Department of Education or the Federal Reserve.
We need freedom.
What the fuck did you just say?
If you listen to Ron Paul...
I have. He's a batty old crank
who wrote instruction manuals on how to get away with shooting the black kid
who's stealing your car. He's not Betty White.
- He didn't write those letters. - Yes, he did.
And then he signed them and then he charged money for them.
So I don't give a shit if he wants to legalize weed.
I can already dial the phone and have an ounce
delivered to this table before the check comes.
- Then for God's sake, do it. - The check will never come.
They won't let Romney get his message out, either.
Someone should tell him if he wants to get his message out,
he should consider appearing on a network
where the entire audience isn't already voting for him
and that if he's gonna be the businessman president,
he should run on his business record instead of pretending he's never heard of it
and that if faith is important to his good works and personal narrative,
he shouldn't be afraid it'll creep us out.
- It's been suggested. - And?
I was fired.
- I was fired tonight. - You were fired?
- Yeah. - For suggesting...
No, I suggested other things, too.
I'm sorry.
You were a good spokesperson for him.
You should go work for Ron Paul.
We need to rebound from dinner.
- Yeah. - Bounce back.
- I've already bounced. - It's just us now.
With a little over six hours.
This is...
- Hi. - What are you doing here?
I'm just having a drink with a friend of mine from college.
What are you doing here?
Jim's fixing my computer. I'm staying here.
This is Hallie Shea. Hallie, this is Maggie Jordan.
- Hi. You, too. - It's nice to meet you.
Well, we should...
- I have to be on the press plane pretty early. - Yeah.
- Good meeting you. - You, too.
See you later.
- That was nice of you. - I doubt it mattered.
Is there something wrong with the room?
I am not unskilled in the ways of courtship.
I know, babe, but still, just saying that...
I am pouring you some champagne
and then taking a hot shower.
Can I offer you a Toblerone from the minibar?
- Honey. - What is it?
They just added on an event at a base in Colorado for the morning.
For tomorrow morning?
I have to be on a plane in 90 minutes.
Are you religious?
- In my way. - Me, too.
I think the way you know you've broken one of God's rules
is if you can't put it back together again.
You kidnap an entire people,
make them slaves, it's 300 years later
and we can't put it back together again.
You and Will?
Doesn't really seem like the same scale.
- As slavery? - Yeah.
- No.
But here we are.
- You should go out. - I do.
You'll meet someone.
You're sure you trust Jerry?
I have no reason not to.
Mac, if Charlie green lights it and Will and the lawyers,
you still have to consider not running it.
- I know. - The size of this...
- I've thought about the risk. - Embassies will be attacked.
- POWs will... - There'll be protests.
Protests in some countries look a lot like riots.
Muslims will go crazy.
I was at Newsweek in 2005.
For the guy who flushed a Koran down the toilet?
Yeah. We report the story
and two months later, the London subway blows up.
- It's not clear the two were connected. - The bomber's cousin said...
- Somebody was gonna report it. - Ah, maybe not.
Maybe not.
Anyway, I hope you're considering cause and effect,
'cause if we broke one of God's rules,
it might be best just to shut up about it.
Where's your friend?
Oh, she took off. I'm just paying the check.
Did you fix her computer?
No, I wasn't really able to.
Because you don't know shit about fixing computers?
This thing we've been talking about,
- Jerry's thing... - Yeah?
Secrecy is incredibly important.
I've been working on it for seven months and you didn't hear about it, right?
- Yeah. - Okay.
Just be careful when you're drinking.
I will.
- Hey, you ready to go? - Yeah.
I think you're supposed to be paying the check.
She's all covered.
And you were a high school athlete.
That's right.
There's another thing we didn't know about you.
Baseball and football. Pitcher and quarterback.
- It was a small school. - The question is were you any good?
- I wasn't bad. - Well, we're gonna find out right now.
- Uh-oh.
We're gonna have you stand on this line and make five throws.
Every throw that goes through the tire is $1,000
to the Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Research Center.
It seems like cancer research
shouldn't have to depend on my throwing accuracy.
- Come on now, don't chicken out, McAvoy. - All right.
Wait, there's one more piece of apparatus.
I don't think I'm gonna need a helmet,
- unless you guys plan on... - Oh, it's just for fun.
It's a morning show. We have fun here.
- Yeah, all right. - There it is.
All right, this is for cancer research.
On the line.
On your mark. Get...
I know you think it went badly, but it didn't.
I have to do two things...
I have to write a huge check to Sloan-Kettering
and then I absolutely have to break up with you.
They're both important. I get why the first one has to come first,
but the second one has to come right after, no delay.
Why didn't you just say I shouldn't worry about the number?
Because you should.
I was aiming for the fucking light tree.
You didn't care that you scored in the high 90s
in trust and intelligence?
- You looked like Dukakis riding in the tank. - I know.
I've done a comprehensive study on your psychological profile.
"Introduction to First Year Adult Psychology."
I haven't read the whole thing, but I read from page eight to...
Well, I've read most of page eight.
And here's what happened to you.
A long, long time ago,
you were doing a show you liked with MacKenzie.
Then she broke your heart. Then you started doing a different show.
A softer show. A show built around your likeable personality.
And the love you got from the audience filled, almost,
the hole in your heart.
You're happy from 8:00 to 9:00 and miserable the other 23 hours.
You feel more comfortable with strangers than with friends.
Then suddenly Mackie's back in town
and she's making you do the show you're supposed to be doing
and she insists that you and everyone else do the news, and you like that.
But that does mean you might lose
some of your invisible friends. That sound about right?
- I don't believe it really said that in the book. - I extrapolated.
You gonna tell me I'm supposed to love myself before anyone else can love me?
"Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting."
I read page eight of Shakespeare, too.
"A woman is like a tea bag. You can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water."
- Who said that? - Eleanor Roosevelt.
- Does that have anything to do with this? - No.
That's it? I thought I was getting chewed out.
I can't say anything that would make you feel worse than you do right now.
- I like that you know that. - You know what a Goldilocks planet is?
It's a planet with the potential to support life because of its proximity to a star.
- Not too hot, not too cold. - Right.
Near liquid water, but not made of liquid water.
Enough oxygen, but not too much nitrogen.
And we use something...
- Transit spectroscopy. - I think that's what it's called.
To analyze the atmosphere and find planets
that match the different requirements.
1,300 planets were identified, but only two confirmed.
And of those two,
one turned out to be something.
- Radioactive. - Yeah.
So right now that leaves one planet
in all of space that's perfect.
You're talking about what I think you're talking about, right?
- I probably am. - All right.
How'd the date with the Giant go last night?
Not that good. He ditched me around midnight.
But I did end up dancing with Savannah Guthrie for a while.
That girl can dance. Have you seen the sheer length of her legs?
I embarrassed the whole team this morning and I'm sorry.
It won't happen again.
I love you, Will.
Thanks, sis.
- You look tired. - I'm not.
- When'd you get in? - On the first shuttle.
What are we going to do about the screen?
Oh, it has to be on. It's a condition.
I can't frame it out. There's gonna be a piece of the game in the shot.
We're gonna blur it out.
Why not just move the chair?
I want the hardware for gravitas.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
- General. - Let me just see what's going on here.
It's a good game.
- Jerry Dantana? - Yes, sir.
This is Maggie Jordan. She's also a producer on the story.
She'll be leaving before we start.
No, she's a producer on the story.
- She understands... - I was told Jerry Dantana.
Charlie Skinner and MacKenzie McHale told me Jerry Dantana,
and Jerry Dantana is who I had investigated,
not Maggie Jordan.
- Um... - It's all right. I'll wait outside.
Just check your levels once in a while.
Fellas, you all set?
- Yeah. - Okay, could you wait outside?
You can sit right there, sir.
You understand we're going to ask about Operation Genoa
- and that it was a classified mission? - Yes.
Okay, you're all set.
I'm stepping out.
And you're going to confirm it happened.
It happened.
What was Operation Genoa?
An extraction.
Two Marines were taken by the enemy and I won't say more than that.
Who carried out the extraction?
MARSOC, Marines Special Operations Command.
Were any exceptional measures used in the operation?
Exceptional measures were called for.
Were they used?
- Was sarin gas used during Genoa? - It is right.
It is moral and necessary to use any means in that situation,
in the situation they were in, to use the means
at your disposal to rescue captured prisoners.
- Did we use sarin gas? - If we used sarin, let me put it this way.
- Sir. - Here's how we would have used sarin.
I'd like to get to the logistics in a moment,
but right now I'm asking you if we used sarin gas.
If we used sarin...
- General... - Listen to me.
If we used sarin, here's how we used sarin.
It would have been stockpiled in a depot in Okinawa.
That's first. It was guarded...
- Two Marines...
...we used sarin gas? - If we used sarin...
- General... - Listen to me.
If we used sarin, here's how we used sarin.
If we used sarin, here's how we used sarin. we used sarin.
...we used sarin.
It is right. It is moral and...
It is moral and...
Who carried out the extraction?
MARSOC, Marines Special Operations Command.
Did we use sarin gas?
We used sarin.
And how is that used?
Here's how we used sarin.
It would have been stockpiled...
- I want to see the raw footage. - Yeah.
Here we go.
Were any exceptional measures used in the operation?
Exceptional measures were called for.
Like what?
We used sarin.
It is right. It is moral and...
We're not there yet.
- You're joking, right? - It's compelling film.
When Mac and I showed up at his house yesterday,
he'd forgotten he'd talked to us on the phone.
He thought we were selling magazine subscriptions.
He wasn't being asked about...
Did it seem to you like he was shaky during...
I want another witness.
- We have our key witness. - He wasn't there.
- He knew about it. - Didn't remember we'd called.
- He didn't remember at first, right? - Jerry...
We've got evidence of a war crime. Just sit with that for a second.
We dropped sarin gas on a village.
We have a moral imperative to question
the flagrant disregard with which the president
and the national security establishment
treat the Constitution and international laws.
What does this have to do with the Constitution?
We've killed four American citizens without due process.
And those are the ones we know about.
Five times as many drone strikes as the entire Bush presidency.
Dramatically increased wiretapping, detentions, prosecuting whistle blowers,
several of whom are willing to go on camera for us.
- What your problem is... - Careful, Jerry. that you like him. You like this president.
You trust him. Go ahead, we trust you.
Chase Nielsen flew the Doolittle Raid after Pearl Harbor
and got water boarded by the Japanese,
and we executed the Japanese soldiers who did it!
What the fuck is going on?
We have it.
How long before you're comfortable?
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum suspended his campaign for the presidency...
President Obama told ABC News' Robin Roberts
that same-sex couples should be able to get married.
Texas Representative Ron Paul said today
that he will stop actively campaigning in the Republican primaries.
And now, thanks to the Lone Star State,
Governor Romney can officially drop the word "presumptive."
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is still the governor...
Chick-Fil-A's president, Dan Cathy said,
"I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation."
The White House is exercising executive privilege
over documents requested by the House Oversight Committee
in its investigation of "Fast and Furious."
Chief Justice John Roberts... ...wrote the majority opinion
in the historic 5-4 decision.
The constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act has been challenged...
With eight weeks left until the Republican National Convention in Tampa,
speculation has turned to Governor Romney's choice of running mate.
...introduced Representative Paul Ryan,
one of the Republican party's young conservative leaders as his running mate.
Representative Todd Akin, who won Missouri's GOP Senate primary
earlier this month, and who will face Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill,
said Sunday that he misspoke when he claimed "legitimate rape"...
With three days to go before delegates converge on Tampa Bay, Florida,
GOP officials are moving forward with their plans
to kick off the Republican National Convention on Monday,
despite the looming threat of Tropical Storm Isaac.
The storm is currently headed for Haiti.
I'm gonna ask you to hold on just a second, please.
Lance Corporal Herman Valenzuela is on the phone.
Valenzuela is dead.
No, he's not. He's on the phone.
How'd you get that wrong?
There were two Herman Valenzuelas. Both lance corporals.
One was killed in action.
Why were you calling him if you thought he was dead?
The messages were left for him before we got the service records.
We stopped calling, but he'd been deployed.
And when he got home, he got our messages and returned our call.
And that's when you gave the green light?
We had Sweeney, we had Hamni8...
- Charlie. - ...we had the report from the NGO,
- we had my source... - Who you won't reveal.
...we had the helo manifest,
we had Valenzuela who was the crew chief.
We had a story that the US used sarin gas on a village in Pakistan and we went.
Anybody would have.
Most people would have gone months earlier.
To not go would have been to participate in the biggest cover-up since...
These were war crimes.
It was a Sunday special report. 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
Nielsen tracking showed it was gonna be a monster audience,
three and a half, four million.
It ended up closer to six.
By 10:05, I knew we had a problem.
None of it was true.