Aaron Sorkin is back! I loved THE NEWSROOM. It's the perfect vehicle for his whip-smart dialogue. (It was also nice to see the wonderful Emily Mortimer finally not in a thankless role.)
INT. W.J.M NEWSROOM – DAY
MARY AND MURRAY ARE WORKING AT THEIR DESKS. SUE ANN ENTERS.
SUE ANN: Hello, union mules. I’m in a wonderful mood. Care to guess why?
MURRAY: You just learned you’re not part of the 17.8% of the population that has a venereal disease?
SUE ANN: Oh, Murray. Oh -- bald, condescending, working drone under the delusion that your pension will cover you in retirement despite inflation now at 4.3% while the cost of living rises at a rate of 11.5% -- Murray, you should be more worried than I. Those statistics are even higher for homosexuals.
MURRAY: I’m not gay.
SUE ANN: Oh, Murray. Oh – confused, indignant, cross dressing – Murray. We’re a more tolerant nation now.
MURRAY: Tell that to Harvey Milk, Billie Jean King, Merv Griffin, Cesar Romero, Waylon & Madame...
MARY: Merv Griffin?
MURRY: So I hear.
MARY: Who’s your source?
MURRAY: That’s confidential.
MARY: Is he reliable?
MURRAY: Who said it’s a he?
MARY: It’s a she?
MURRAY: I’m not saying that.
MARY: Then it is s a he.
SUE ANN: Unless it’s both.
LOU: It was Joan Rivers who Murray bumped into in the owner’s box at Metropolitan Stadium where the Twins were hosting the Tigers and beat them 4-2 on a come-from-behind double by Cesar Tovar. Time of game: 2:55. Paid attendance: 23,710.
MARY: Joan Rivers? That still doesn’t answer whether the source was a he or she?
SUE ANN: Or whether Cesar Tovar is related to Caesar Romero?
MARY: One’s with an extra ‘a’.
MURRY: How did you know, Lou? It was a private conversation. There was no one else in the suite. I’ve never told a living person.
LOU: I’m smart. Everyone who's smart on this show knows everything.
TED: Lou, what is the name of that big glowing thingy in the sky? I think I saw it again.
LOU: That’s the sun, Ted.
TED: I knew you’d know, Lou. (then) Are you sure?
SUE ANN: Doesn’t anyone want to know why I’m in such a good mood?
MURRAY: Or why Cesar Tovar is missing an ‘a’?
TED: You got laid.
MURRAY: Wow. When even the dumb guy gets it...
LOU: You met a drunk insurance salesman at that new Tex-Mex place on Marquette – Diablo Cody’s. He was despondent that the life expectancy in the U.S. just climbed to 71.2, which means unless rates went up another 3.676548% the insurance industry will lose $6.2 billion this year and $8.5 the next. So you fellated him.
SUE ANN: You bet your missing ‘a’!
TED: Can I talk now?
MURRAY: I don’t know, Ted. Can you?
TED: Lou, he’s being insubordinating again.
LOU: What is it, Ted?
TED: Standing at the mirror doing my two-hour brow exercises this morning I came to a major revolution. News is boring. Our government does this, our soldiers are fighting that – who cares? What we need, in my humble but influenza opinion is this – bias. We should skew the news to what I believe in and ignore the rest.
MURRAY: But you’re an idiot, Ted.
TED: I like to think of myself as a registered voter.
SUE ANN: Now that I think about it, Aetna has an extra ‘a’.
MURRAY: That's a ridiculous idea, Ted. Worse even than you hosting a special on finding Al Capone's vault.
LOU: Not so fast, Murray. Ted, you may just have something there.
TED: I do? I mean, I do.
MARY: What? Oh, Mr. Grant!
LOU: No, no. Hear me out. America places 36th in literacy, 165th in attention span, 78th in learning English and there are only 73 English speaking countries, but we're 3rd in world ignorance.
TED: (proudly) God bless the U.S..
MURRAY: You’re missing another ‘a’.
LOU: We’re getting killed in the ratings by WHEEL OF FORTUNE…
SUE ANN: Doesn’t Merv Griffin own that show?
TED: He’s queer, y’know.
LOU: Maybe a newscast by a moron for morons is just where this country is heading.
TED: And I'm the right man for the job!
MURRAY: But you can’t do that!
LOU: We gotta do something.
MURRAY: It’s wrong! It’s immoral!
SUE ANN: Immoral is fun!
MURRAY: What about integrity?
SUE ANN: I’m now covered for fire and floods.
TED: It’s my show. And I should be able to say what I want even if I don’t know what I’m saying!
LOU: Look, we’re fighting for our lives here. We’re only ten years away from cable television.
THEY ALL START YELLING AT ONCE UNTIL FINALLY:
MARY: Stop this! Quiet! All of you! I can't stand this any longer!
MARY: Do any of you know how hard it is to be a single woman in 1972?
TED: It’s 1972?
MARY: Shut up, Ted! Do you know how hard it is to be single, alone, and yes, I’m beautiful and wear fabulous clothes, but despite the propaganda to the contrary, there is a glass ceiling for women and it’s lower than the moon roof on a Nova hatchback. According to the Horner study, we women internalize that high achievement will be rewarded in a fair society when in truth we are deceiving ourselves and sacrificing a part of our souls, not to mention our identities. The survey concluded that most women in the corporate world from the late ‘60s to early ‘70s would ultimately choose the traditional sex-role stereotype when faced with conflict between their feminine image and expressing their competence and interests. How sad is that? How completely dispiriting? And I can’t find a man! Even with my looks! Any yet, I refuse to give up my sunny disposition. I refuse to bow to the insidious cynicism that is creeping into our collective consciousness. And I refuse to blow insurance salesmen in order to have a social life! Or home protection! I may not be getting paid, and I may not be getting laid, but I am doing something important. I’m helping to inform the public. I’m helping to ensure that when it comes time to choose the leaders who will determine the very future for us and our children – well, your children. It doesn’t look like I’m having any anytime soon. But when we’re asked to make those crucial decisions, I want to make sure we're responsibly and accurately informed. Just because ceilings are glass doesn't mean windows have to be... although, yes, most of them are. But you get the idea. And you want to talk about ‘a’s that don’t belong – what do you need an ‘a’ in Murray for?
MARY STORMS OFF. THERE’S SILENCE AS THEY ALL LET HER WORDS SINK IN, FINALLY:
MURRAY: Wow. If I wasn’t gay I’d do her in a second.