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[S1E2] News Night 2.0


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The narrative takes place on April 23, 2010. MacKenzie McHale asserts control over the new incarnation of News Night and enlists a beautiful and brainy on-air economist, Sloan Sabbith, to do a nightly segment. Jim Harper takes the fall for a Maggie Jordan mistake when doing the prep work for a report on SB 1070; Charlie Skinner forbids Reese Lansing from holding furtive meetings with Will McAvoy; a long-festering breakup secret gets out.


After learning the names of his staff, Will McAvoy arrives at the office to start the morning with a meeting with MacKenzie "Mac" McHale. He first expresses his concerns about the youth and inexperience of the staff, followed by his doubts about the lead story for tonight's show. Additionally, Will stresses to Mac his desire not to have anyone in the office know about the circumstances of their breakup.


Mac continues her meeting laying out the new format and concept for News Night 2.0. Unhappy with the way ACN and News Night was covering the news, Mac proposed "News Night 2.0", a complete overhaul of the way the news was covered based on three "I"s: 1) Is this information we need in the voting booth? 2) Is this the best possible form of the argument? 3) Is the story in historical context?


Mac and Jim Harper present a segment about the immigration bill in Arizona and their intentions to bring on an expert and the Governor of Arizona to debate the bill. Neal Sampat pitches an interview with an illegal immigrant whose driver's license was taken after a newspaper story about him was published. Mac shoots down the idea as not being the type of interview that fits in the show's new format. Jim approaches Maggie Jordan to practice her pre-interview with the Governor's press aide. Maggie protests the supervision and during the practice interview she shows Jim her passion for the subject and impresses him enough for him to let her do the pre-interview on her own.


Jim finds out that Maggie blew the interview with the Governor's press aide. Maggie admits that she briefly dated the press aide in college. It ended embarrassingly and she mistakenly kept if from Jim. They call an emergency meeting to find a replacement guest for the show. Unable to find a suitable replacement they get three highly unqualified guests for that evening's broadcast. Everyone is afraid to tell Will for fear of being fired. Mac again tries to defend Will and convince everyone that he's a good man. Frustrated she sends an email asking Will if she can reveal to everyone that she cheated on him. However, due to the new email system she sends it to the entire staff. Will is furious and then apoplectic when he finds out about the night's replacement guests.


Even though "The Newsroom" mines the recent past for its storylines, hindsight won't benefit the "News Night" crew every week. Sometimes the best attempts to present multiple sides of an issue fall short. And sometimes doing a professional newscast gets waylaid by romantic immaturity.


So while this episode is dealing with an immigration story and the characters are speaking openly on their opinions on immigration, this is not the central thread of the show. It is important to note that these are characters speaking, not Sorkin. The intricate political background only comes out because this is detailing a news program where they have to deal with these issues everyday. This is about the media and the people that run it.


Back downstairs, Mack unveils the new rules or the credo for any possible future news item:1) Is this information we need in the voting booth2) Is this the best possible form of the argument3) Is the story in historical context


Jeff Daniels stars as Atlantis Cable News anchor Will McAvoy, who takes a mandatory leave of absence after a public tirade about America's shortcomings during a political debate. Upon his return, he discovers that most of his staff have quit. Seeing an opportunity to return to the glory days of televised news instead of ratings-driven info




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