The Newsroom (American TV series)

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The Newsroom (2012–2014) is an American drama television series created by Aaron Sorkin, airing on HBO, that chronicles the behind-the-scenes events at the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN) channel.

Season 1

Will: It's NOT the greatest country in the world, professor. That's my answer.
Moderator: ...You're saying?
Will: Yes.
Moderator: ...Let's talk about-
Will: Fine. Sharon, the NEA is a loser. Yeah, it accounts for a penny out of our paycheck, but he gets to hit you with it any time he wants. It doesn't cost money, it costs votes; it costs airtime, column inches. You know why people don't like liberals? Because they lose. If liberals are so fucking smart, how come they lose so goddamn always?
Sharon: Hey-!
Will: [without letting her finish, he directs his attention to Lewis] And with a straight face, you're gonna tell students that America's so star-spangled awesome, that we're the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom, Japan has freedom, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium has freedom. [laughs] So 207 sovereign states in the world, like 180 of them have freedom.
Moderator: All right -
Will: And yeah, you, sorority girl. Just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there's some things you should know, and one of them is, there's absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we're the greatest country in the world. We're 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number 4 in labor force, and number 4 in exports. We lead the world in only 3 categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined. 25 of whom are allies. Now, none of this is the fault of a 20 year old college student. But you, nonetheless, are without a doubt a member of the worst, period, generation, period, ever, period, so when you ask, "What makes us the greatest country in the world?" I dunno know what the fuck you're talking about! Yosemite? [Pause] It sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons, we passed laws, struck down laws for moral reasons, we waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors. We put our money where our mouths were, and we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and we cultivated the world's greatest artists and the world's greatest economy. We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn't belittle it, it didn't make us feel inferior. We didn't identify ourselves by who we voted for in our last election, and we didn't [sighs] we didn't scare so easy...Huh. We were able to be all these things, and to do all these things, because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered. First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore. [Pause, then to the moderator] Enough?

Will: Yeah, I get that there are moments, small moments, infrequent moments, where I'm not the easiest guy to work with, but who the hell is?
Charlie: I am.
Will: Well, it helps that you're drunk most of the time.
Charlie: It certainly does. Do me a favor–
Will: This is more than unprofessional, it's uncivilized. But more than that, it's unprofessional.
Charlie: Just do me a favor, okay?
Will: Sure.
Charlie: Try not to make a scene–
Will: Yeah. [yelling at Elliot through a glass conference room door] Hey, dickless! (Don and Elliot both look up) [to Don, calmly] Not you. You're in a minute.

Charlie: [shouting] I'm a marine, Don! I will beat the shit out of you, I don't care how many protein bars you eat!

Will: What does winning look like to you?
Mac: Reclaiming the fourth estate. Reclaiming journalism as an honorable profession. A nightly newscast that informs a debate worthy of a great nation. Civility, respect, and a return to what's important; the death of bitchiness; the death of gossip and voyeurism; speaking truth to stupid. No demographic sweet spot; a place where we all come together.

Mac: Now I'd like you to listen to these words which were written 500 years ago by Don Miguel de Cervantes: "Hear me now, O thou bleak and unbearable world. Thou art base and debauched as can be. But a knight with his banners all bravely unfurled now hurls down his gauntlet to thee!" That was Don Quixote.
Will: Those words were written 45 years ago by the lyricist for "Man of La Mancha."
Mac: Didn't think you'd know that, but the point's still the same-- it's time for Don Quixote!
Will: You think I'm him?
Mac: No, I think I'm him. You're his horse.
Will: He rode a donkey.
Mac: Well, I can't help you there.

Charlie: For a long time now, I badly wanted to watch the news on my TV at night. Then it occurred to me-- I run a news division.
Will: She's indifferent to ratings, competition, corporate concerns, and, generally speaking, consequences.
Charlie: Good, 'cause you just described my job. I'm Don Quixote, you can be Sancho, she'll be Dulcinea, and everyone out there is the horse.
Will: Donkey. How did you know about that conversation?
Charlie: I know everything. Anchors having an opinion isn't a new phenomenon. Murrow had one and that was the end of McCarthy. Cronkite had one and that was the end of Vietnam.
Will: I'm not those guys.
Charlie: I'm betting all my money on you're wrong. You know what, kiddo? In the old days of about 10 minutes ago, we did the news well. You know how? We just decided to.

Will: "We aspired to intelligence. We didn't belittle it. It didn't make us feel inferior."
MacKenzie: "Reclaiming the Fourth Estate. Reclaiming journalism as an honorable profession. A nightly newscast that informs a debate worthy of a great nation. Civility, respect, and a return to what's important. The death of bitchiness, the death of gossip and voyeurism." ..... Speaking truth to stupid.
MacKenzie: "And where does it say that a good news show can't be popular?
Will: "Yes, people choose the news they want now, but-- People choose the facts they want now"
MacKenzie: "That America ... has said over and over and over that we can do better. It's part of our DNA. .... People will want the news if you give it to them with integrity. Not everybody, not even a lot of people --- 5%. And 5% more of anything is what makes the difference in this country. So we can do better.
Mackenzie: What's the difference between a corporation and a person?
Sloan: Have you ever held a door open for someone?
Mackenzie: Yes.
Sloan: Did you ask them for money first?
Mackenzie: No.
Sloan: That's the difference.

Will: They're very young out there.
Mac: I know. But what they lack in experience, they make up for in inexperience.
Will: Mac–
Mac: It's an asset. They don't know how to do the news badly yet.
Will: Or really at all.

Mackenzie: [Realizing she just sent a mass e-mail to the staff, with details of her infidelity during a relationship with Will] No... No, no... No, no, no, no, no, no I need everyone's attention, right now [Gary Cooper receives the e-mail on his Blackberry, which Mackenzie snatches from his hand, throws to the floor, crushes beneath her heel, and upon which she pours another employee's tea.]
Gary: [staring at the ruins of his phone] That was unusual.
Mackenzie: [frantically] I need everyone to delete the staff e-mail, right now, without reading it. Then I need someone to sneak into Will's office and delete the e-mail from his inbox. If it's password protected, I need someone to, um mm, TAKE A BASEBALL BAT AND SMASH-- [Will enters with a stunned expression on his face] I thought you said he was at a thing uptown.
Jim: I guess he came back.
Will: We stood in my office this morning...
Mackenzie: Will...
Will: ...and I said under no circumstances did I want anyone to know what happened, and you said yes, and yes again. I mean it really, it really seemed like you understood. Then, you sent an e-mail, explaining in some detail, what happened and then you copied 47 reporters on it.
Mackenzie: Will...
Will: You know how sometimes something happens in an instant that's so astonishing you just... shut down?
Mackenzie: Of course, that's understand–
Mackenzie:: We need privacy.
Will: [Sarcastically] REALLY?!
Mackenzie: We're going to go into Will's office, I want everyone to delete the e-mail-
Martin: Mack, I think I just accidentally forwarded it to corporate.
Will: [Will angrily charges at Martin and is blocked by Mackenzie and Maggie] WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?!
Mackenzie: [Frantically] I was trying to send an e-mail to you, but instead I sent it to Sloan and then 'Sloan' became 'Staff' and I either did or didn't type the asterisk.
Will: Why were you sending it at all?
Mackenzie: Because-... and here's where I'm on firmer ground. Sloan thought that you cheated on me and that you were an ass! [To the staff] Which is not true! I'm changing minds, Will!
Will: [Points angrily to his office] GET IN THERE!
Mackenzie: Sure.

Jim: First, you go into News and you look over the questions the Segment Producer put in the rundown. Identify yourself and your news agency, summarize the segment-- the length, whether it's live or not, and who we're having on from the other side.
Maggie: I'm sorry, but don't I first open my eyes and notice it's a new day?
Jim: What are we talking about here?
Maggie: I've done this before.
Jim: Okay.
Maggie: What is this magic box in front of me?
Jim: Have I done something to you?
Maggie: I swear I was just thinking the exact same thing. I have no idea why I'm being mean to you.
Jim: Now that you know that, do you think you'll stop?
Maggie: That's the thing-- it doesn't feel like it. I'm just being honest.
Jim: I can't ask for more than that, except rational thought.

Maggie: How come no one's yelling at me?
Jim: You know how bad you screwed up, right?
Maggie: Yes.
Jim: Is there anyone who feels worse than you do?
Maggie: No.
Jim: Then I doubt it'll ever happen again.

The 112th Congress [1.03]

Will: Good evening. I'm Will McAvoy. This is News Night, and that was a clip of Richard Clarke, former counter terrorism chief to President George W. Bush, testifying before Congress on March 24, 2004. Americans liked that moment. I liked that moment. Adults should hold themselves accountable for failure. And so tonight I'm beginning this newscast by joining Mr. Clarke in apologizing to the American people for our failure. The failure of this program during the time I've been in charge of it to successfully inform and educate the American electorate. Let me be clear that I don't apologize on behalf of all broadcast journalists, nor do all broadcast journalists owe an apology. I speak for myself. I was an accomplice to a slow and repeated and unacknowledged and unamended train wreck of failures that have brought us to now. I'm a leader in an industry that miscalled election results, hyped up terror scares, ginned up controversy, and failed to report on tectonic shifts in our country. From the collapse of the financial system to the truths about how strong we are to the dangers we actually face. I'm a leader in an industry that misdirected your attention with the dexterity of Harry Houdini while sending hundreds of thousands of our bravest young men and women off to war without due diligence. The reason we failed isn't a mystery. We took a dive for the ratings. In the infancy of mass communications, the Columbus and Magellan of broadcast journalism, William Paley and David Sarnoff, went down to Washington to cut a deal with Congress. Congress would allow the fledgling networks free use of taxpayer-owned airwaves in exchange for one public service. That public service would be one hour of air time set aside every night for informational broadcasting, or what we now call the evening news. Congress, unable to anticipate the enormous capacity television would have to deliver consumers to advertisers, failed to include in its deal the one requirement that would have changed our national discourse immeasurably for the better. Congress forgot to add that under no circumstances could there be paid advertising during informational broadcasting. They forgot to say that taxpayers will give you the airwaves for free and for 23 hours a day you should make a profit, but for one hour a night you work for us. And now those network newscasts, anchored through history by honest-to-God newsmen with names like Murrow and Reasoner and Huntley and Brinkley and Buckley and Cronkite and Rather and Russert-- Now they have to compete with the likes of me. A cable anchor who's in the exact same business as the producers of Jersey Shore. And that business was good to us, but News Night is quitting that business right now. It might come as a surprise to you that some of history's greatest American journalists are working right now, exceptional minds with years of experience and an unshakeable devotion to reporting the news. But these voices are a small minority now and they don't stand a chance against the circus when the circus comes to town. They're over matched. I'm quitting the circus and switching teams. I'm going with the guys who are getting creamed. I'm moved that they still think they can win and I hope they can teach me a thing or two. From this moment on, we'll be deciding what goes on our air and how it's presented to you based on the simple truth that nothing is more important to a democracy than a well-informed electorate. We'll endeavor to put information in a broader context because we know that very little news is born at the moment it comes across our wire. We'll be the champion of facts and the mortal enemy of innuendo, speculation, hyperbole, and nonsense. We're not waiters in a restaurant serving you the stories you asked for just the way you like them prepared. Nor are we computers dispensing only the facts because news is only useful in the context of humanity. I'll make no effort to subdue my personal opinions. I will make every effort to expose you to informed opinions that are different from my own. You may ask who are we to make these decisions. We are Mackenzie McHale and myself. Miss McHale is our executive producer. She marshals the resources of over 100 reporters, producers, analysts, technicians, and her credentials are readily available. I'm News Night's managing editor and make the final decision on everything seen and heard on this program. Who are we to make these decisions? We're the media elite. We'll be back after this with the news.

Mac: You're going on a date with a cheerleader?
Will: Not a high school cheerleader, a professional cheerleader.
Mac: That doesn't make it better!
Will: Can I help you?
Mac: She's a student!
Will: A graduate student.
Mac: In philosophy?
Will: Physical therapy.
Mac: There are better ways to get back at me.
Will: I'll put up a suggestion box.
Mac: Can I warn you about something? You're a rich and famous person, and for that reason only, she may want to sleep with you.
Will: That didn't sound like something that should come with a warning, that sounded like something that should come with balloons.
Mac: ... I loathe you right now.
Will: You have ink on your face.
Will: Get a grip!
Mac: I know.

Mackenzie: [After meeting Will's second date for the first time] Spinning instructor?
Will: Chief of neurology at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital. That would make her a brain surgeon...literally, a brain surgeon.
Mackenzie: [Pauses] That's not hard to beat.

Charlie: Does anyone mind if I start drinking a lot of bourbon right now and a little later, put my fist through his head?
Reese: I think you've had enough bourbon for one lifetime!
Charlie: Not for my lifetime.

Brad: Ms. Lansing, I think the best analogy I can use is Rocky II.
Reese: [Incredulously] Are you sure the best analogy you can use is Rocky II?
Brad: Ms. Lansing, Rocky was a lefty-
Reese: Rocky was... Political?
Brad: Rocky was left-handed and for his re-match with Apollo Creed, Burgess Meredith had him train as a righty. Rocky goes round after round with Apollo Creed as a righty until Burgess Meredith shouts 'Now' and Rocky swings with his left.
Reese: [Frustrated, confused] What the fuck are you talking about?
Brad: Ms. Lansing, all I'm saying is that Mackenzie MacHale shouted 'Now' and Will started swinging away.
Charlie: [Laughingly] Reese! Please, leave Mac out of this, I'm Burgess Meredith I shouted 'Now' [drunkenly slurs an imitation of 'Mickey' from Rocky II] This guy, he don't just wanna beat-cha, he wants to murder ya! [Normal tone] That was my best Burgess Meredith impression.
Reese: [Angrily] Is there something funny about all this?
Charlie: Yeah! We've been talking about Rocky II!

Charlie: We did the news.
Leona: For the left.
Charlie: For the center.
Leona: Are you fucking out of your mind–?!
Charlie: For the center, Leona! Facts... are the center. Facts. We don't pretend that certain facts are in dispute to give the appearance of fairness to people who don't believe them. Balance is irrelevant to me. It has nothing to do with the truth, logic, or reality. He didn't go on the air telling people to give peace a chance, but evolution? The jury's back on that one.

I'll Try To Fix You [1.04]

Nina: Now you seem lonely and broken to me.
Will: I do?
Nina: But don't worry I can fix you.
Will: Well, if there's one thing a man likes it's a woman who tries to fix him.

Mac: Honey are you saying the United States of America is getting out-lawyered?
Will: Don't call him honey it makes me crazy. I didn't say that, it came out of my mouth... just...words.

Will: I'm a registered Republican - I only seem liberal because I believe that hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure, and not gay marriage.

Will: I was rejecting a pass from her while trying to talk her out of what they call at TMI a 'take-down piece' of one of the desperate housewives of New Jersey.
Charlie: Real Housewives.
Will: Who gives a shit.
Charlie: Definitely not me.
Will: And the tuxedo's off the rack.
Charlie: Did you grope her?
Will: No! I-I-I-- I gently touched her to block her as she was coming in for a kiss. I blocked her. I was the victim of an unwanted sexual advance. But more important, I was fighting the good fight.
Charlie: Why were you fighting any fight?
Will: I was trying to get her to not write the take-down piece.
Charlie: Why?
Will: Why?
Charlie: Yeah.
Will: I'll tell you why. Because I'm on a mission to civilize.
Charlie: How's it going so far?
Will: Progress is slow, but I'm in it for the long haul.
Charlie: You want Publicity to draft a statement?
Will: About the mission?
Charlie: The Page Six piece.
Will: Absolutely not.
Charlie: Good.
Will: What did you call me up here for?
Charlie: Mostly to laugh at you.

Mac: Back in 15 seconds Will, try not to date anyone before you're on the air.
Will: Copy, Mac, try not to sleep with your ex-boyfriend while I am.
Mac: [to self] He got the better of that exchange.

Reese: Every second you're not current a thousand people are changing the channel to the guy who is. That's the business you're in. MSNBC, FOX and CNN all say she's dead. Don, tell him. Don!
Don: It's a person. A doctor pronounces her dead, not the news.
Herb: And we're back in 3...2... ...
Will: [after a few moments] Here's what we know so far:
[Charlie, Mac, and Don all leave the studio, looking satisfied, Reese looks furious]

Will: Mac, get in here with Charlie right now.
Mac: Is everything-
Will: Right now! [points to Charlie as he enters] You tell Leona that if she wants me out of this chair, she better bring more than just a couple of guys.
Charlie: That's exactly what I'll fucking tell her!
Will: I'm not fucking around, Charlie!!!
Charlie: Feet of fucking steel!
Will: Mac-
Mac: I'm sorry.
Will: It's not your fault.
Mac: I fucked everything up!
Will: It's gonna be all right.
Don: [entering the room] What the fuck is going on?!
Will: You're a fucking newsman, Don! I ever tell you otherwise, you punch me in the face!!!
Don: [considers this for a moment] Okay, but you're back in 30.

Amen [1.05]

Maggie: I'm about to have my Broadcast News moment. There are at least nine things between here and the control room I can trip over.
Jim: It's 2011. We don't move film manually anymore.
Corey: You're gonna have to move this manually.

Maggie: Happy Valentine's Day.
Jim: Oh, wow. I didn't realize it was Valentine's Day. And that people in the office gave-
Maggie: No, Valentine's Day is Monday, not today, and these aren't for you, they're from you.
Jim: I am more confused than I was before.
Maggie: Don planned a beautiful night for us on Monday.
Jim: You and me?
Maggie: Yes. Don planned a romantic evening for you and me. Me and HIM.
Jim: That makes more sense.
Maggie: And I don't want it to be ruined by Lisa, who will ruin it if she doesn't have a romantic Valentine's day. Last year her boyfriend forgot it was Valentine's Day and went to a Rangers game with his friends. She got drunk, made us watch "Overboard," and reviewed every bad Valentine's Day she's ever had, which was all of them. Not this year. You're gonna be like St. Valentine himself.
Jim: St. Valentine actually–
Maggie: Focus, nerd. Don got us a room at the Four Seasons.
Jim: Me and...
Maggie: Nope, still him and me. The Four Seasons. The bath fills up in less than 60 seconds. And I don't want Lisa showing up with a copy of "The Notebook" saying, "Where's the minibar?"
Jim: Yeah, I can't hang out with Lisa on Valentine's Day. That's making a pretty strong statement.
Maggie: Don't screw with me on this, James Tiberius Harper.
Jim: That's not my middle name. You're thinking of Captain James Tiberius Kirk–
Maggie: Do not screw me on this, Jim.
Jim: We're not in a relationship. She calls me at night after work. We talk for a minute and then she says, "Should I come over?" And what am I supposed to say?
Gary: You say yes.
Jim: I say yes.
Maggie: If you're dating someone on February 14th, you take them out on February 14th.
Jim: What's February 14th? [Maggie is annoyed] Valentine's Day...
Maggie: Yes.

Maggie: You can't have sex in a bathtub-
Tess: Yes, you can... You just have to slip-
Maggie: [sing-song] THANK YOU-
Jim: I wanted to hear mor-
Maggie: Shut up!

[Nina Howard has obliquely told Will that she will leave him alone if he pays her $50,000 for a silent restaurant investment, i.e. a bribe. He takes out his checkbook and begins writing, with an annoyed look on his face]
Nina: Hey, Will... we're journalists.
[Will stops writing]
Will: I wish you hadn't said that.
Nina: What?
Will: Everything would have been cool if you hadn't said that. You just talk too much.
Nina: You have a problem with me calling myself a journalist? Only the elite few who cover stories nobody cares about get to call themselves–
Will: I've got a guy on my staff who got hit in the head with a glass door Thursday. His forehead wouldn't stop bleeding, but he wouldn't go to a doctor 'cause I got another guy who got beat up covering Cairo. And the first guy wouldn't see a doctor until the second guy saw a doctor. I've got a producer who ran into a locked door 'cause he felt responsible for the second guy. I've got an 18-year-old kid risking his life halfway around the world. And the AP who sent him there? Hasn't slept in three days. I've got 20-somethings who care about teachers in Wisconsin. I've got a grown woman who has to subtract with her fingers staying up all night trying to learn economics from a PhD who could be making 20 times the money three miles downtown. They're journalists. [his voice becoming quieter and more menacing] Come after me all you want, Nina. Come after me every day. Look through my garbage. Invent things out of thin air - that's what you're paid for. But you touch my staff, and you are walking into a world of hurt. I have an hour of prime time every night, and I will re-dedicate my life to ruining yours. I also want you to send a message up the chain of whatever back room machinery that's driving this that if I so much as smell Leona Lansing's perfume on any of this, I'm going to make a meal out of both of you, and I'm not going to stop until I'm done. Look at me... [waits for her to do so] ...And see that I'm dead serious. [voids the cheque] Restaurants are bad investments. Wait twenty minutes until you leave here.
[He gets up and puts his coat on].
Nina: Tough-ass speech. But you're not gonna win.
Will: Nah, I don't care. I'm just a middle-aged man who never lived up to his potential. You don't want to be on the wrong end of me if I ever do. I got the drinks. [leaves]

Maggie: It's just a very bad day.
Lisa: It's Valentine's Day. It's my favorite day.
Maggie: Then pick another day! Because it's every guy's least favorite day. Everyone's always disappointed. Valentine's Day is the bully of holidays. It forces love on people who aren't in love. Cupid's freakish.
Jim: All right.
Maggie: No, I'm boycotting Valentine's Day from now on. Who's with me?!
Don: [holding flowers for Maggie hands them to a random guy] I love you every day. Today's just an excuse to spend a night in a hotel room.

Bullies [1.06]

Jack Habib: Any extra stress at work?
Will: Extra stress?
Jack Habib: Yeah.
Will: No.
Jack Habib: No extra stress?
Will: No.
Jack Habib: One more question.
Will: Sure.
Jack Habib: What are you fucking around with me for?
Will: I'm sorry?
Jack Habib: What are you fucking around with me for? I just asked you if there's any extra stress at work–
Will: There isn't. There isn't.
Jack Habib: What about the death threat?

[debating the construction of an Islamic community center near Ground Zero]
Will: Miss Greer, you mentioned creeping Islam, are you concerned about creeping Christianity?
Phylis Greer: [laughing] Only that it's not creeping fast enough.
Will: Okay. Here are some things done on American soil in the name of Christianity. The Ku Klux Klan burned down black churches, raped women, murdered civil rights workers, murdered children and terrorized communities for over a century. The neo nazis all acted and continue to act in the name of white christian supremacy. The army of god fatally attacks abortion clinics and doctors across the country. The covenant, the sword and the arm of the lord targets local police and federal agents. The federal building in Oklahoma City. The attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan and the successful assassinations of Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, John Lennon, and Abraham Lincoln, all perpetrated by Christians. Miss Greer, we weren't attacked by Muslims, we were attacked by sociopaths, and I for one would join you in protesting a community center for the criminally insane, but no one is suggesting building one.

Jim: What are they doing to contain the situation? What's going on with Will?
Mac: Internal security is handling it. But I have to give you a rotten assignment.
Jim: You got gum in your hair again?
Mac: No! Yes, but I got it out. I need you to do opposition research on Will.
Jim: Seriously?
Mac: About a year ago, somebody filed a complaint with HR on your behalf.
Maggie: I know what that was. Will didn't do anything wrong. This is ridiculous.
Mac: I know, but Charlie wants to know what else is out there so he can--
Jim: Will knows we're doing this?
Mac: Of course.
Jim: And he's okay with it?
Mac: No, he hates it.
Jim: Fantastic.
Mac: Go to work.
[at Jim's desk]
Maggie: Have you done this before?
Jim: Yeah.
Maggie: Where do we start?
Jim: Tell me about the complaint.
Maggie: There was a desk producer who saw Will yell at me about something.
Jim: What?
Maggie: Doesn't matter.
Jim: What?
Maggie: Doesn't matter. [Jim raises his eyebrows. Maggie sighs] I mixed up Georgia the state with--
Jim: No.
Maggie: Yes, Georgia the country.
Jim: And this was...
Maggie: Yup. This isn't about me.
Jim: During the invasion? You thought the Russians invaded Atlanta?
Maggie: In retrospect, it seems farfetched. But that wasn't what he was actually mad about. The wife of a board member died and Will asked me to send flowers. I wrote on the card, "I'm so sorry about your loss. LOL."
Jim: LOL?
Maggie: I thought it meant "lots of love."
Jim: How are you still working here?
Maggie: I dodge bullets. Here comes a bullet. Boom! I'm over here. Ping! Here comes another bullet. Boom! I'm over here.

Will: Who Else's body have you guarded?
Lonny: We don't talk about that.
Will: Okay.
Lonny: Kanye. [pause] It was awesome.
Will: Are you armed?
Lonny: I secure my weapon in a gun safe when I come in the building.
Will: Keep it there. I really don't want an armed guard. Maybe if you were drafted in the first four rounds, I'd feel safer.
Lonny: Mr. McAvoy.
Will: You can call me Will.
Lonny: Yeah, I was gonna do that anyway. I know you're used to being the boss. But you're not anymore. At least for a little while.
Will: How long?
Lonny: Until my colleagues chase down the source of the threat or, of course, if you've been successfully assassinated.
Will: A joke?
Lonny: What'd you think?
Will: It was all right. How does this work?
Lonny: I pick you up at your home in the morning and escort you to your office. Then I pick you up at your office at night and escort you to your home. I'm with you any place that's an unsecured area.
Will: What's an unsecured area?
Lonny: Anyplace that isn't your home or your office.
Will: I'm single. What about a date?
Lonny: I don't think we should get romantically involved.
Will: You get one joke a day.

[Sloan has just finished a broadcast, during which she overruled a Japanese translator and questioned him herself, and then committed a serious breach of ethics, causing Don to become quite agitated in the control room causing her to take her earpiece out during broadcast. She comes out of the studio to find Don lounging in a chair in the bullpen]

Sloan: Okay...
Don: [smiling] 'Sup?
Sloan: Okay, I know we were on sketchy ground ethically.. And linguistically, but-
Don: Whatever you're gonna say, save it for another 10 seconds.
Sloan: What happens in 10 seconds?
Don: Just hang on for another 5 seconds and know that we've all been there at one point or another.
Sloan: What happens in 5 seconds?
Charlie: [storms in] What in the name of holy fuck were you thinking about?!
Sloan: First, let me say that Don was not responsible for any of that.
Charlie: Yeah, when you severed communication with the EP you pretty much absolved him of responsibility. But that doesn't make the cut of the top three calamities that just occurred!
Don: Charlie..
Charlie: I, along with most people who don't live in Japan, am not fluent in Japanese, so I have to ask: did you just make up statements for somebody we had live on our air?
Sloan: I didn't make them up.
Charlie: About a deadly radiation leak?!
Sloan: I didn't make them up! He told me the reactor was going to a seven.
Charlie: When? Tonight? I'm asking honestly, because there was a portion of the broadcast that turned into a Kurosawa movie!
Sloan: These things are measured on a scale of zero to seven. Five is Three Mile Island, seven is Chernobyl.
Charlie: On air, did he say the reactors were going to seven?
Sloan: He said it to me in the pre-interview. And then the company stuck an interpreter next to him and I think her job was more than interpreting because she wasn't accurately translating...
Charlie: We don't report what you think Sloan!
Sloan: The Japanese are a deferential people. It's very hard for them to explain when they've done something wrong.
Charlie: I don't give a shit, Madame Butterfly! And right now the Japanese, who are reading an online report of your report, are fleeing from their fucking homes. Now tell me what he said tonight, on air!
Sloan: He said the reactors were at five.
Charlie: But you said he said they would move to seven.
Sloan: I made it clear he said that during the pre-interview.
Charlie: First of all, let's not kid ourselves, there was nothing that was clear about that interview.
Sloan: He said it to me, and he said it to a conference room full of staffers.
Don: The staffers weren't there.
Sloan: The staffers were not there. I sent them out so we could speak privately and off.. [pause]
Charlie: No. Finish that sentence.
Sloan: Off the record.
Charlie: Good luck trying to get a source to talk to you off the record again. You have no value to me as a reporter now.
Don: Charlie!
Charlie: And I have to suspend you.
Don: Come on!
Sloan: What?!
Charlie: I have to suspend you, while we bring in outside investigators to comb through every report you filed in the last two years, to find out what other shit you made up.
Sloan: I didn't make anything up. I would never make anything up.
Charlie: I know that, and you know that, and he [pointing at Don] knows that, but why the hell should anyone else know that? You're suspended with pay until I figure out...
Sloan: They were lying about a public safety issue!
Charlie: [louder] You're suspended with...
Sloan: I don't want the goddamn pay!
Charlie: [louder] Don't front off with me, girl!
Sloan: Don't call me girl, sir!
Don: [screams] Hey! Everybody calm the fuck down!
[Silence as Charlie straightens up and walks towards the exit]
[Referring to a mistake Sloan made at the end of the interview mentioning the next segment will feature an interview with Sarah Bernhardt instead of Sandra Bernhardt]
Charlie: [turns back to Sloan] Sarah Bernhardt was a turn-of-the-century stage and film actress from France. Sandra Bernhardt is a.... I don't know what the hell!

5/1 [1.07]

Will: [holding a bag of pot cookies] Just to be clear for you youngsters, this isn't recreational. It's medicinal. When I was a junior in high school, I was already throwing a 74-mile-an-hour fastball, which puts a lot of stress on your landing leg. I also have epicondylitis in my elbow due to my mess-you-up breaking ball.
Kaylee: You know, if you just want to bake, that's okay with me. You don't need to go to WebMD to come up with symptoms.
Will: I don't want to bake. I'm telling you I was an awesome high school athlete, but it's left me in constant physical pain in my knee and elbow. And experts say that medical marijuana relieves the pain and inflammation with fewer side effects than prescription pain killers.
Kaylee: Which experts?
Will: The ones on WebMD. Anyway, thank you and thank your friend in LA for getting this for me.
Kaylee: No problem. He said they're pretty strong. So you should just break off a quarter and eat that.
Neal: And when this guy says they're strong, they're strong.
Will: [looking worried for a moment] ...I ate two.
Kaylee: Okay, well...enjoy yourself and we'll see you in 12 to 14 hours.
Will: It's fine. I have incredibly high tolerance. That's why I can't feel the Vicodin.
Neal: You took Vicodin and then ate two cookies?
Will: Mmm hmm.
Kaylee: [To Neal] He's fine. [To Will] You're fine...just try to stay away from anything dangerous...electricity, y'know...outside...

[Mac, as his "first time in the chair", has been tasked to report on 9/11]
Charlie: You had to protect your sisters and your brothers and your mom from a pretty violent father, it sounds like. Do it again. I got faith in you.
Mac: Why?
Charlie: I'm out of options.

Mac: I've been searching for, uh... uh, Biblical quotes. None of them... We don't know how many are dead. It's gonna be a lot. It's gonna be thousands. We don't know who attacked us, we don't know what's coming tomorrow, and I don't know what I'm doing. But I'll make you this promise... I'm gonna be with you all night. I'm not going anywhere. I'll be right here.

[After Charlie tells Will and Mac to wait for the White House to break the story]
Mac: When was the last time you checked your emails?
Charlie: 15 seconds ago.
Mac: [To Will] When was the last time you did?
Will: Hmm?
Mac: Look at your BlackBerry.
[Will takes out his BlackBerry and considers it]
Mac: Press the buttons!
Will: Sure... [he reads emails on his Blackberry] Okay, not tonight but in days to come, uh, you'll look back and think this moment was funny.
Mac: [reading the Blackberry] It's from 20 minutes ago.
Will: (chuckling) Yeah...
Charlie: What's it say?
Mac: 'OBL re portable. Knock 'em dead just like we did.'
Charlie: Who's it from?
Mac: Joe Biden!
Charlie: Are you kidding me?!
Will: We used to play softball together when he was in the Senate, he knows something about the landing leg--
Charlie: GET ON THE AIR!!!
Mac: We're going!
Charlie: [to Will] When did you turn into Ted Baxter?

Don: Yeah, get the captain, 'cause I'd like to have a word with him. The seat belt while we're standing still is one thing, but how paranoid do you have to be to think that I'm declaring myself in charge of the-
Pilot: Is there a problem, sir?
Don: Yeah, I was asking how paranoid you have to- [suddenly falters] you have to be-
Pilot: Sir? Sir?
[Don sees the pilot's rank, his flying wings, and the United Airlines logo on his nameplate. He has realized the significance - that the man, his co-pilot and the flight attendant most likely lost friends and colleagues on United Airlines Flights 175 and 93]
Don: Captain, my name is Don Keefer. That's Elliot Hirsch and that's Sloan Sabbith. We work for Atlantis Cable News. And we wanted you and your first officer and Flight Attendant Crazy Lady to be the first ones on this plane to know that our armed forces killed Osama bin Laden for you tonight.
Pilot: You're serious?
Don: Yes, sir.

Charlie: I need to tell you that you're going to remember this night for the rest of your lives. It's going to be a long night and we need you to work fast and we need you to work well. But once in a while, take three seconds- you can't spare more than that- take three seconds to notice where you are and what you're doing. Will's gonna go on the air in a few minutes so that we can report that at the order of the President of the United States, US Special Forces have shot and killed Osama bin Laden.
Let tonight serve as a welcome reminder that throughout our history, America's darkest days have always been followed by its finest hours.

Will: Good evening. From New York City, I'm Will McAvoy. ACN is now able to report and confirm that for the first time in almost three decades, the world has no reason to fear Osama bin Laden. In just a moment, in a live address to the nation, the president will announce that in a coordinated operation under the cover of darkness, US Special Forces tonight killed the leader of al-Qaeda and the mastermind behind the deadly attack of September 11th, 2001. It's been nine years, seven months, and 20 days since America's most wanted criminal took from us 2,977 American sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, friends and colleagues. We were transformed that morning into a different nation, more fearful and so, of course, more hostile. And while nothing, not even this victory our country has waited for for such a long time, can bring back the souls lost on that terrible morning in New York City, in Virginia, in a field in Pennsylvania, and all across America and the world, let tonight serve as a welcome reminder that throughout our history, America's darkest days have always been followed by its finest hours. Here now, from the East Room of the White House, the President of the United States. [goes into the presidents address]

The Blackout Part 1: Tragedy Porn [1.08]

Brian: I'm asking why you reached out to me.
Will: Because, your recent complications notwithstanding, you cover the media better than anyone out there.
Brian: You haven't lost your touch for complimenting and insulting someone at the same time.
Will: Thank you. I appreciate it.

Sloan: Unless there's a rally—
Mac: I'm sorry, I've gotta—
Sloan: Listen.
Mac: Sloan...
Sloan: Unless there's a rally in the next 90 minutes, the Dow is gonna close down about 2.5%, S&P NASDAQ will close down 2.3. Let me tell you why.
Mac: I don't own a lot of stock...
Sloan: Let me tell you why.
Mac: [upset] I really can't deal with this right now—
Sloan: [raising her voice] Stop avoiding this! I just got off the phone with these guys. Listen to these quotes. These aren't from liberals. These are hardcore Wall Street guys who, whatever the world may think of them, know what they're talking about and so do I. Jamie Dimon at Chase says: "Voting against raising the debt ceiling would be a moral disaster." The Barclay's guys say "This debate is detached from reality." My Goldman source says: "If the House Republicans continue this debate, I hope they're willing to mark the end of the dollar as the Global Reserve Currency." Please notice that he didn't say: "If the House Republicans don't raise the debt ceiling." HE SAID: "If the House Republicans continue this debate." That's all it takes. Just the uncertainty. That's why the Dow is gonna close down 230 points today. Because just the debate. Just the doubt. Just the possibility that the House Majority might commit the greatest self-inflicted damage to [raising her voice] the country since the SECESSION OF THE SOUTH has caused billions in value to disappear."
Mac: Sloan, I understand. I swear to God I do. But you can't say the same thing in the C-block?
Sloan: Don't pretend that you don't know that most people watch 10 minutes of news. The first 10 minutes.
Mac: The vote isn't until tomorrow night and it's only the first vote and you said yourself it was cosmetic. Why do we have to feature it tonight?
Sloan: We should've been featuring it weeks ago. We should've been leading with it every night.
Mac: Why do we have to feature it tonight?
Sloan: To give time for the people to call their Congressman and say: "If you fuck with the full faith and credit of the US Treasury, you're fired!" To give time for the people to jam the phone lines of the District Offices, to give the people TIME to say: "I'm a fiscal conservative, and you've gotta put the pin back in the grenade right now." That's why.
Mac: I'm gonna do everything I can.
Sloan: [upset] Please do.

Mac: [to Sloan] Look, I'll do my best to find you the time you need for the story. We just need to hope there's no new piece of nonsense I have to jam into my 22 minutes of Short Attention Span Theater.
Jim: Anthony Weiner accidentally tweeted a picture of his groin to 40,000 followers. [Mac whimpers]

Maggie: [to Jim answering as Michelle Bachmann] Congresswoman Bachmann.
Jim: Yes?
Maggie: You've said that you were told to run for president by God.
Jim: Please, I don't–
Maggie: You have, right? You've said on a number of occasions that God told you to run for president. I have some clips if you'd like me to refresh your memory.
Jim: Nope, my memory is fresh.
Maggie: Here's my question.
Jim: Good.
Maggie: What does God's voice sound like? [everyone laughs] I'm completely serious. She's saying that God spoke directly to her. How is this not the first question asked in a debate? How's it not the only question? What does His voice sound like? What did He say exactly word for word? Did He speak in Hebrew? Acadian? Kiswahili-Bantu? And to put it in a medical context, is this the first time you've heard voices? She's claiming to be a prophet. The whole world is sitting on the edge of their seat. How is this not the first question we'll ask?
Jim: First of all, can you stop pointing at me and saying "she" and "her"?
Maggie: You're the one who wanted to play a woman. But tell me why that question is out of line.
Jim: Because it's not the best way to demonstrate seriousness of intent and it's not the best way not to insult people.
Maggie: Which people?
Martin: Christians. 83 percent of the country.
Maggie: I'm one of them. And she's insulting me!
Jim: Please, stop pointing at me when you are–
Maggie: Relax, J. Edgar. She's insulting me, she's insulting my family, she's insulting my congregation, and she's insulting my faith. She's implying that Christians are imbeciles who will believe anything while reducing God to a party hack who endorses political candidates. Now, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this is the first time since Moses that God has given direct instructions to someone other than His son. But if so, I think it deserves a follow-up.

Jack Habib: You look like you're in pain.
Lonnie: He is.
Will: He said in pain, not a pain.
Lonnie: Oh, never mind, then.
Jack Habib: What is it?
Will: I'm doing all these things that are wrong because of ratings, and I'm making the staff do things that they don't want to do, I'm cursing them out, I'm ignoring incredibly important new stories, and I'm betraying the trust of people who respect me. And I did it all in the blink of an eye.
Jack Habib: That can be traumatic.
Will: No, I'm fine with all of that. Here's my thing. New York Magazine is gonna do a story on my show and I get to choose the writer. And I could have chosen anybody and I chose Mackenzie's ex-boyfriend.
Jack Habib: Of course. The one she cheated on you with?
Will: Yeah.
Jack Habib: Why?
Will: That's what I came here to ask you.
Jack Habib: You're holding your hand over the candle.
Will: What do you mean?
Jack Habib: You're holding your hand over the candle because you think the trick is not minding.
Will: Ah. So if I just get through this, I'll be fine.
Jack Habib: No.
Will: Why?
Jack Habib: Because the trick isn't not minding. The trick is forgiving Mackenzie.
Will: It would be easier to hold my hand over the candle.
Jack Habib: I know.
Will: Well, you've been no help at all, but thanks. Sorry to barge in.
Jack Habib: You know, while working your way through this, you're hurting Mackenzie.
Will: I know that.

The Blackout Part II: Mock Debate [1.09]

Mac: A miracle. A miracle happens. We become a team again. We all hate this, right?
Gary: We're gonna hate it more after 10 minutes of no air conditioning.
Mac: No, not the power outage. We hate what we're doing. We hate that we're covering Casey Anthony and Anthony Weiner. We hate that we have to do it to save the ratings. We hate that we have to bump important stories. And we're starting to be not very pleasant people to be around. Guys, this is real. I'm not making this up. Just a minute ago when I was prepping for a pretape with that idiot who's still sitting in the studio-
Sandy: Are you talking about me?
Mac: No! Yes. When when I was prepping for her pretape I said, "God, please show me a sign that I'm not doing a big thing badly." And right that second all the power went out. And so obviously I thought, "There's my answer."
Will: Raise your hand if Mac's freaking you the hell out right now. [He and Don raise their hand]
Mac: No, listen to me!
Will: Just tell us how we do the show if the power doesn't-
Mac: By being a team again. And that was God's plan.
Will: Keep God out of this and talk more about electricity.
Mac: Does anybody think we're not good enough to pull this off?
All: No!
Sandy: Should I still be sitting here?
Mac: I'm so sorry, Sandy. I know you had your heart set on entertaining us with private details of a man you were sexting with and maybe a "Playboy" spread, but we're not able to do pretape. So if you want to do the show, you're gonna have to do it live.
Sandy: I already committed to Fox, and no offense but it's a bigger audience.
Mac: Shoot! Does anybody think we can't do this?
ALL: No!
Mac: This is a blessing in disguise. I say the power going out is the best thing that ever happened to us. I say the power going out is what is gonna save this-
[The power goes back on suddenly]
Mac: -Son of a bitch!

Will: Our job is to find the two candidates who'll give the voters the best competing arguments, and I don't believe we're seeing that. We have to put the candidates on a witness stand.
Tate Brady: Would you have them swear an oath?
Adam Roth: Just let 'em do it.
Will: If baseball players testifying about steroids in front of a House Subcommittee are subject to perjury, I don't know why presidential candidates aren't. But I'm not reaching for the stars, I'm reaching just an inch higher.

Will: [in the mock debate] Senator Santorum, you said that your campaign is about freedom and that 20 years from now you don't want to be telling your grandchildren how America once was free. Name three freedoms you had the day before President Obama was sworn in that you don't have now.
Don: [as Santorum] Obamacare, to begin with. Obamacare is the most egregious--
Will: Have you had to change doctors?
Don: [as Santorum] May I finish?
Will: No, sir. Have you had to change doctors?
Don: [as Santorum] No.
Will: Has anyone in your family had to change doctors? Has there been any change at all in health care for you or your family?
Don: [as Santorum] I'm talking about Obamacare now.
Will: My question was name three freedoms that you had the day before the president was sworn in that you don't have now. [to Maggie as Gingrich] Mr. Speaker, you just said that if you're elected, the price of gas will be $2.50 a gallon. How does the US President control the price of oil? [to Martin as Romney] Governor, you've said that as president you will never apologize for America. This question is in two parts. Name an instance in which the president has apologized for America and can you imagine no instance in which a US president should apologize for America?
Maggie: [as Gingrich] Mr. McAvoy, I find it reprehensible that the liberal media would try to pit Republicans against one another. And I, for one, won't stand by while it happens.
Will: This is the Republican primary, Mr. Speaker, and you're running for the nomination. It wasn't my idea to pit you against anyone. It was yours.

Tate Brady: [in Will's office] I told you, this guy--
Will: [walking in] This guy what?
Tate Brady: Wasn't on the team.
Adam Roth: He's on the team, okay?
Will: Hang on. The team I'm on is the voters' and smart, qualified people disagreeing about issues.
Tate Brady: Your plan was to embarrass the candidates.
Will: I want candidates who can answer those questions. And if they know they're going to be held responsible for the nonsense they're shouting on the stump, they'll be forced to stop shouting nonsense.
Tate Brady: This guy has lost his mind.
Adam Roth: He hasn't.
Will: Adam, this is exactly what we always talked about. This is what we dreamed of. We said we need real campaign reform and a way of letting Americans hear the two best competing arguments.
Tate Brady: Nobody could stand up to that kind of questioning.
Will: You think that was brutal questioning?
Adam Roth: It really wasn't.
Tate Brady: And you honestly believe the candidates would submit themselves to this?
Adam Roth: They should welcome it.
Tate Brady: I don't believe what I'm hearing.
Adam Roth: Any candidate who can handle a cross is gonna find himself at the top of the polls in the morning. And we should welcome it 'cause it'll clear out the clown car and give us a serious discussion among serious candidates.
Tate Brady: The only person who would welcome it is him. This is about him. He wants to look tough by making the candidates look like idiots.
Adam Roth: No, he doesn't. I have known this man for 25 years and I vouch--
Tate Brady: I don't care what you vouch for. I am not allowing the goddamn press to make fools out of our candidates.
Adam Roth: I'll remember that the next time you bitch about how the press never vetted Obama.
Tate Brady: [to Will] We're not agreeing to this format. You are going to abide by the rules that we give you and I don't want Mackenzie McHale producing it for you.
Will: What are you talking about?
Tate Brady: I want the old Will McAvoy. Not the thing she turned you into. I know all about that lady.
Will: Get out.
Adam Roth: Will, come on. You need the debate. Of course he can use Mackenzie.
Will: These guys have been compromising and compromising all week so we could host a debate that made some sense and did some good.
Tate Brady: Well, I'm sorry to hear that, because it was all for nothing.
Adam Roth: We need ACN.
Tate Brady: No, we don't.
Adam Roth: They've got the independents.
Tate Brady: He's not the only anchor at ACN. [marches out of office] Don Keefer.
Don: Yeah?
Tate: How would you and Elliot Hirsch like to have one of the debates?
Don: Eat me.
Tate: Mr. Skinner, I'm trying to be as-
Charlie: When Don says, "Eat me," that's usually the end of the conversation.
Tate: Sloan Sabbith. You want to be a star?
Sloan: Me?
Tate: Yeah.
Sloan: Fuck you.
Tate: [To Adam] I hate these guys. I don't know why you don't.

Brian: He'll cave. He'll agree to the debate on their terms.
Mac: No, he won't.
Brian: You romanticize Will.
Mac: Mm-hmm.
Brian: That mock debate was about him. He was the star. He attacked his--
Mac: He didn't attack anybody. He asked questions that the candidates should be able to answer and that the voters should be able to hear them answer. He didn't cower and he wasn't Ed McMahon.
Brian: Thinking there was even a remote chance--
Mac: Maybe it was naive.
Brian: It wasn't naive, it was hubris.
Mac: It was gutsy and you're just jealous.
Brian: Jealous of what? You know, fuck you, Mac. I've spent this week letting you kick my ass from here to the Chrysler Building because you were selling out every 15 minutes to get your hands on something you didn't get. And you were embarrassed by it in front of me. He doesn't want you.
Mac: Please don't talk about my personal life.
Brian: I'm sort of a key player in it. Is it all right if I talk about my personal life? Yes, I broke up with you. I'm the first guy ever to break up with a woman. And then I came back. Also unprecedented. Did he come back?
Mac: I don't know yet.
Brian: Seriously? After four years? In "Castaway," Helen Hunt got remarried in less time than-- I never would have gone with the Casey Anthony story. I don't care how much of my audience I was losing. And he's gonna cave on the debate, too.
Mac: Are you sure about that?
Brian: I am absolutely sure about that.
Mac: You know what I like about Will? He's not absolutely sure about anything. He struggles with things. He's never certain he's right and sometimes he's not. But he tries hard to be. He struggles with things.
[Will falls to the floor, struggling to get his pants on]
Mac: Could someone help Will put his pants on?

The Greater Fool [1.10]

Don: I'm gonna ask her to move in with me.
Sloan: I see. First, let me say you made a very wise decision coming to me with this problem.
Don: It's not a problem.
Sloan: Well, let's see what I can do about that.
Don: How would you want to be asked?
Sloan: To move in with a guy?
Don: Yeah.
Sloan: By having the guy say "Will you marry me?"
Don: Okay, well, let's just take that off the table for the moment.
Sloan: You know, if you're living together, it makes it harder to break up.
Don: Well, that's the idea.
Sloan: You have to get cartons.
Don: You've been no help at all.
Sloan: Since I'm never going to see you again after Friday, I feel like I can tell you something.
Don: We'll see each other.
Sloan: Maybe not after I say what I'm going to say.
Don: And you're not leaving.
Sloan: I don't know who told you you're a bad guy, but somebody did, somebody along the way. Somebody or something convinced you of it because you think you're a bad guy, and you're just not. I'm socially inept, but even I know that. So because you're a bad guy you try to do things you think a good guy would do, like committing to someone you like but maybe don't love. A sweet, smart, wholesome Midwestern girl. I could be wrong. I almost always am.
Don: Why are you single?
Sloan: A lot of men are intimidated by my intelligence.
Don: No, seriously.
Sloan: Because you never asked me out. Caught you off-guard, didn't I?
Don: Yeah, you really did.

Mac: [after hearing about Maggie and Lisa] Do you want to end up like me and him?
Jim: No!
Mac: Wasting time? And now he's practically dead.
Will: I'm not practically dead.
Mac: Eat some Jell-O! You've got to do something before he asks her!
Jim: No.
Mac: Why not?
Jim: It doesn't seem like a very nice thing to do to Don. Or Maggie. Or Lisa!
Mac: So you're willing to end up like the two of us- a strong, beautiful, vital woman and a hollowed-out shell of a man?
Will: You know I'm awake now?
Mac: That's a dead person speaking, basically. And now I'm gonna have to spend the next God knows how many hours in mourning.

Sloan: The greater fool is actually an economic term. The greater fool is a patsy. For the rest of us to profit, we need a greater fool, someone who will buy long and sell short. Most people spend their lives trying not to be the greater fool; we toss him the hot potato, we dive for his seat when the music stops. The greater fool is someone with the perfect blend of self-delusion and ego to think that he can succeed where others have failed. This whole country was made by greater fools.

Maggie: [screaming at a Sex and the City tour bus] Hey! No, they didn't! I'm a typical single woman in New York City! I don't wear heels to work because the typical woman's job doesn't exclusively involve gallery openings. And I know Carrie must have made boatloads writing her 800-word column for a newspaper no one's ever heard of but I just spent my last seven dollars having a fight with my best friend who, by the way, is not available at 3:00 p.m. on a Wednesday to console me about some guy, because she, too, has a job. And mostly, when you fall for a guy and he's going out with your best friend, it doesn't work out. Things get really bad!
[On the Sex and the City tour bus, Jim, previously unseen, stands]
Jim: Maggie?
Maggie: (horrified) No! No! [pause] I just...I was talking...about...other people! [she runs off]

Charlie: (on media figures who anonymously panned Will in a magazine article) [They] are just pussy-ass, coward-ass, sissified pussies!

Will: [broadcasting] During Tea Party rallies and campaign speeches, we have been told that America was founded as a Christian nation, and that if the Founding Fathers were here today, they'd tell us so. Here's John Adams in the Treaty of Tripoli: "As the Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..." And here's Thomas Jefferson: "... That our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions." And here's the First Amendment to the US Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." What's more frightening than the perversion of our great history is that sensible, smart, strong Republicans, the very men and women who should be standing up to radical fundamentalism, are so frightened of losing Primary battles to religious zealots that they've thrown in the towel on sanity. So we get this:
[cuts to a video of John McCain]
John McCain: Yes, the - the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.
[Back to Will]
Will: It's ironic, because the biggest enemy of the phoney Republican isn't Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. It's this man. [a picture of Jesus flashes on the screen behind him] He said to heal the sick, feed the hungry, care for the weakest among us, and always pray in private.

[On the Tea Party's policies]
Will: Ideological purity. Compromise as weakness. A fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism. Denying science. Unmoved by facts. Undeterred by new information. A hostile fear of progress. A demonization of education. A need to control women's bodies. Severe xenophobia. Tribal mentality. Intolerance of dissent and a pathological hatred of the US government. They call themselves the 'Tea Party'. They can call themselves 'Conservatives', and they can even call themselves 'Republicans', though Republicans certainly shouldn't. But we should call them what they are - The American Taliban. And the American Taliban cannot survive if Dorothy Cooper is allowed to vote.

Will: Sorority girl!
Mac: [to Jennifer] Don't be scared.
Will: You're the girl, right?
Jennifer: I'm Jennifer Johnson.
Will: Just graduated Northwestern?
Mac: Stay calm.
Jennifer: A year early.
Will: You asked me that moronic question and then my world came apart and she came here and I landed in the tabloids and I got death threats and my job is constantly in jeopardy and you ruined my life?
Mac: Again, just stay calm.
Jennifer: Yes, that was me.
Will: What the hell are you doing here?
Jennifer: I'm applying for an internship.
Will: Why?
Jennifer: I watch the show and I read the "New York Magazine" article and I know what a greater fool is. And I want to be one.
Will: "Camelot"- she's the kid at the end of "Camelot." Ask me again.
Jennifer: I'm sorry?
Will: Ask me your idiot question again.
Jennifer: What makes America the greatest country in the world?
Will: [To Jennifer] You do. [To Mac] Hire her.

Season 2


First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Lawyers [2.01]

Rebecca Halliday: Fourteen months ago you went on the air and called the Tea Party the American Taliban.
Will: I did.
Rebecca Halliday: And?
Will: The Taliban resented it.

Charlie: Hey, money skirt!
Sloan: The day will come when we have an HR rep who cares what goes on on this floor. And on that day, sir, I will dance upon your grave.
Charlie: Reciting stock quotes and wearing a skirt?
Sloan: How much time do I have to formulate a comeback?
Charlie: That was it. The first thing out of your mouth is the comeback - you wasted yours on a question about comebacks. [pause] Fantasy football draft starts in 10 minutes.
Sloan: I know. I'm the commissioner.
Charlie: Your parents must be proud.
Sloan: They are. I was elected unanimously.
Charlie: You were unopposed - just like when you were elected class treasurer.
Sloan: That was an important job.
Charlie: It wasn't.
Sloan: Why does it have to be like this?
Charlie: Because you're a nerd and I'm a nerd and you make nerds look bad.
Sloan: No, I make nerds look good.

Jennifer Johnson: Excuse me.
Charlie: He'll be out in a minute.
Jennifer Johnson: I'll come back.
Charlie: Do I know you?
Jennifer Johnson: I'm Jenna Johnson. I just started as an intern.
Charlie: You look familiar.
Will: [emerging from bathroom] Say "Why is America the greatest country in the world?"
Jennifer Johnson: [sighs] Why is America the greatest--
Charlie: You're the sorority girl!
Jennifer Johnson: That's what I'm most famous for.
Charlie: [to Will] You hired her?
Will: I'm benevolent.
Will: [to Jennifer] There are eight Broadway musicals that have won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. In five minutes, I need you to name them, the composer, lyricist, librettist, and source material, if any.
Jennifer Johnson: I need your--
Will: Go.
[Johnson leaves]
Charlie: You make the interns learn musical theater history?
Will: You’re welcome, America.

Will: I don't think there's an immoral way to kill terrorists.
Mac: There's an illegal way and we're doing it.
Will: I don't care.
Mac: 'Cause you were taken off the 9/11 anniversary coverage?
Will: Yes!
Mac: I knew you were upset.
Will: Of course I'm-- Are you kidding me? I'm flipping out! - Holy shit, Mac. What the fuck did I do?
Mac: I know. It feels bad.
Will: I used to be exactly the person that you wanted to see in these moments.
Mac: I know.
Will: I don't mean the old days. Like a year ago.
Mac: You still are.
Will: I remind people of the enemy? Jesus!
Mac: Every blond-haired guy from Nebraska reminds people of Muslim extremists. There's nothing you can do.
Will: Don't try to make me laugh.
Mac: You can blame it all on me.
Will: If there was a way to blame it on you, don't you think I would have done that by now? I've got Roger Daltrey screaming, "You better, you better, you bet" in my ear.

Mac: When I was little, I asked my uncle how much a lawyer costs. He said if it's bad, 300 pounds. If it's really bad, 400 pounds. And if it's really bad and you're guilty... How much do you cost?
Rebecca Halliday: $1,500 an hour.

The Genoa Tip [2.02]

Jerry Dantana: I need to tell you a story Cyrus West told me last night after the panel.
Mac: Cyrus West question mark? Hmm, ellipses.
Jerry Dantana: I booked a bad guest. How long do you guys give people shit in New York?
Mac: Ask A-Rod.

Maggie: If it goes to voice mail after two rings, they saw your name and sent you to voice mail.
Sloan: Really?
Maggie: Four rings they're not there, two rings they don't wanna talk to you.
Sloan: All right, I have to retrace my entire life now.

Will: Look, I'm trying real hard to care the Al-Awlaki is dead, but I-
Charlie: I don't care that he's dead. I care that we killed him. Without a trial, or anything resembling due process.
Will: You can't switch teams, declare your intention to kill as many Americans as possible, and not expect to be treated as an enemy of the state.
Charlie: And you can't be found to be an enemy of the state without a trial.
Will: John Dillinger said the problem with living outside the law is that you no longer have the protection of it.
Charlie: That doesn't sound like Dillinger.
Will: Yeah, it may have been someone else.
Mac: Federal Agents tried to arrest Dillinger coming out of a movie theater, and when he pulled a gun, they shot him. They didn't hit the theater with a rocket.
Will: Al-Awlaki was the head of AQAP. He doesn't get read Miranda. I don't give a shit what his passport says.
Mac: You don't.
Will: And you know all those times the two of you ask me why I'm a Republican, as if that's something that needs an explanation?
Mac: I don't know what the hell you're on about...
Will: I have never heard either of you ask anyone why they're a Democrat. Well it's right here. The purposeful suspension of common sense.
Charlie: Treason is a crime, you have to be found guilty of it before you can be punished.

Will: Anwar Al-Awlaki was killed today. It wasn't an accident. There was no warrant, no arrest, no arraignment, no judge, no jury, and no appeal.
Officer: How do you spell...?
Will: Not here. A US citizen was targeted. Another on death row for the crime of not being able to afford a good lawyer. And a bunch more have been locked up for wearing Halloween masks. So obviously what I'm doing is dealing with the easiest one!

Neal: Prison really changes a man. You get a lot of thinking done.
Tamara: How long were you in there?
Neal: About an hour. Hour and 15 minutes. It's slow time.

Mac: Isn't it enough that they love you? They'd walk into fire for you.
Will: For you.
Mac: For you. I'm usually the one setting the fire.

Willie Pete [2.03]

[Doing a story about the audience of a Republican Primary Candidate debate booing a gay soldier serving in Iraq.]
Will: 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. Soon, they'll surely be in Hell, though not soon enough. 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. 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. The only President on the stage last night was Stephen Hill. Godspeed, Captain Hill, and come home soon. A grateful nation is waiting to say thank you.

Will: I'm not allowed to make that suggestion on television.
Charlie: Make it anytime you want. We're protected.
Will: Oh, you mean the tape.
Charlie: The tape, baby, the tape. 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.
Charlie: Who are we like?
Will: Two guys who have a tape of their boss admitting to phone hacking.
Charlie: How do these people boo a soldier? How do the candidates say nothing? And how are you a member of this party?
Will: I'm changing it from within.
Charlie: Like Pacino in "Scarface."
Will: Have you ever seen any of these movies?
Charlie: I should.

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

Nina Howard: The message said--
Will: You don't have to say what it said.
Nina Howard: It said--
Will: It's all right.
Nina Howard: It said, "Hey, Mac, it's me. Look, I'm not just saying this because I'm high. I've never stopped loving you. You were spectacular tonight." Then there's a pause and you say, "Can you believe we got Obama?"

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.

Will: I sit down with her...
Charlie: No.
Will: I tell her exactly what happened...
Charlie: (stretched out and kind of singsong) Noohoohoo.
Will: And I appeal...
Charlie: To what?
Will: To her God given humanity.
Charlie: God didn't give her humanity. That's why she's a gossip columnist.
Will: God gave us all humanity.
Charlie: Let's look at the tape of people boo-ing a guy while he was in the middle of saving their lives.
Will: I have no explanation for that.

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: 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.

Unintended Consequences [2.04]

Maggie: I'm Dutch.
Rebecca: Well, then fuck you!

Mac: Hey, how was your weekend?
Sloan: It was good. It was good and then I saw Titanic for the first time.
Mac: You'd never seen it before?
Sloan: You know how I am about sad movies and the title suggested it wasn't gonna end well. But I still didn't see it coming. Mac, what is more important than the people you-- Kodak is dropping like a sack of flour. I'll never let go, Kodak. I'll never let go.

News Night with Will McAvoy [2.05]

Jim: It's been six months. You're unpredictable and moody. You're unpleasant and volatile and begging for a fight.
Maggie: All that's on my profile.

[Don, upon discovering a joke he made with a Republican about a potential Solicitor-General applicant has been written up by the conservative website WorldNetDaily, and has phoned David Munch, the Senior Editor of WND to persuade him to run a retraction, while Sloan Sabbith listens in]
Don: I was being hyperbolic.
David Munch: Yup?
Don: I didn't think there was any way it could be taken seriously.
David: Yeah, I can see that, but the thing is that we got it from multiple sources.
Don: David, come on. You gotta take it down and run a retraction.
David: I appreciate you clarifying your role, but like I said, you weren't the only one...
Don: I was the only source, come on now.
David: I don't think I appreciate being woken up and called a liar.
Don: [referring to David's British accent] It's 8.45. Where do you live.
David: Let's say goodnight, Don.
Don: My friend, I get that this story is pushing traffic...
David: That's nothing -
Don: ... But Weingarten didn't do anything except become a lawyer, so...
David: [irritably] I'll tell you for the third time. We have multiple sources telling us...
Don: ... That he spoke to the Righteous Daughters of Jihadi Excellence.
David: It turns out your joke was right on the money.
[Don looks at Sloan in disbelief and then explodes into the phone]
David: I just did. There are seventeen entries.
Don: That's because of your story, fat-ass!
David: Mr. Keefer, I think you're extremely - !
[Sloan hangs up the phone for Don]

Shep Pressman: They've got a huge crazy problem, Charlie. Black and white can live together. Christian and Muslim. But you can't have most of the world living in the 21st century and the rest living in the eighth century. Unless they're willing to limit themselves to eighth century weapons. They've got a big fucking crazy problem which simply is not addressed in Common Article I of the Geneva Conventions.

Will: Well, I guess it's just us now.

One Step Too Many [2.06]

General Stomtonovich: What are you doing in my garbage cans?
Mac: We ran over them with our rental car.
Charlie: We're just gonna get this cleaned up.
General Stomtonovich: Were you texting?
Mac: No, sir. It was regular negligence.

Jim: Listen to me, I'd like dinner to last 10 to 15 minutes.
Neal: You don't like to linger.
Jim: 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.
Neal: It's not going to be okay with the restaurant.
Jim: Screw the restaurant, Neal. The restaurant hasn't not seen his girlfriend in a month. The restaurant's girlfriend isn't wearing cocktail attire.

Mac: Are you religious?
Don: In my way.
Mac: 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.

Charlie: 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. Neilson 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.

Red Team III [2.07]

Charlie: He says he never said they used sarin.
Mac: It's on film.
Charlie: He says he never said that.
Mac: It's on film.
Charlie: I knew this would happen.
Will: It happens all the time. These guys get cold feet or someone at the DOD begs them to recant.
Mac: What's he saying we did?
Charlie: Edited him out of context.
Mac: Did you tell him we have the raw footage?
Charlie: Yea.
Mac: Raw footage isn't edited out of context. It isn't edited at all.
Charlie: I told him that.
Mac: What did he say?
Charlie: He said he was gonna kill me.
Will: Did he say it the way Mac says it to me or did it seem like he meant it?
Mac: I mean it when I say it to you.
Charlie: He was very upset.
Mac: Tell him I'm gonna go right now to look at the raw interview again and that he can look at it with me if he wants.
Charlie: All right.
Will: We knew things were gonna happen.
Charlie: Yeah. [stepping out the door] Chemical weapons expert wants to kill me. I make the worst enemies. Seriously, I'm a perfectly nice guy.

Don: This is the very last polling data taken before the polls open tomorrow.
Rebecca Halliday: Who's gonna win?
Don: The president will be reelected. But Tulsi Gabbard's gonna win in Hawaii's second. She'll be the first Samoan in Congress. And Kerry Bentivolio is gonna take the seat vacated by Thaddeus McCotter, who came out with my pick for the best resignation statement of all time. "The recent event's totalities of calumnies, indignities and deceits have weighed most heavily upon my family. Thus, acutely aware one cannot rebuild their hearth among the ruins of their US House office, for the sake of my loved ones, I must strike another match, go start anew by embracing the promotion back from public servant to sovereign citizen." Sounds like he and his friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are about to take a journey by sea to ask the Duke of Verona for his most kind blessing.
Rebecca Halliday: I like you, Keefer.
Don: My trust in Maggie has nothing to do with anything but the right things.

Don: I need some kinda sign from you. I need an indication... some kind of indication that you -
Rebecca: What?
Don: You fully understand the stupidity of this?
Rebecca: I do.
Don: Doesn't feel like it.
Rebecca: How would you like me to behave?
Don: It feels to me - I have to say - it feels to me that you think this is nuanced, that you think there are layers that have to be explored.
Rebecca: Why do you say that?
Don: Well, for one thing, there's four lawyers in the room, filling out a... I don't know, I'm sure you're worth it. And you've been here five days - this is your fifth day? But that's my point. Why do we need lawyers who are worth it? Why do we need lawyers? Why do we need lawyers?
Rebecca: You're being sued.
Don: And you're saying that like it's not insane? You're saying that like it isn't... [pauses, leans forwards towards them, getting angrier with each sentence] Tell me what I'm missing. A producer comes up from D.C., he wants to make a name for himself in New York. He chases a story that's not there. And the story - it's not a kitten up a tree. Chemical weapons, serin gas, on civilians. He cooks an interview, he takes a pair of scissors to raw footage. Of a man on the street? Of a retired, three-star Marine general. We go to air, 48 hours it takes for the story to come undone, and with it Atlantis Cable News, ACN is brought to its knees! The producer's surgical strike is discovered, and that producer is fired. Does he write an open letter to the New York Times apologizing to the public, his colleagues, the three-star General and US Armed Forces? No, he sues us for wrongful termination. And I need to know - I need some kinda sign from you, Rebecca, because you're obviously - all four of you, you couldn't be stupid and afford haircuts this good - [Rebecca laughs at this comment] I need you to tell me that this is exactly as insane as it is.
Rebecca: I'm afraid I'm gonna have to infuriate you.
Don: Why?
Rebecca: Because it is nuanced.
Don: [outraged] He cooked an interview! He took pruning shears to the raw - Rebecca... If he doused the studio in kerosene and lit a Tiki torch, it wouldn't have done as much damage as Genoa, so where is the complexity? Where is the nuance?
Rebecca: His claim is he was a scapegoat.
Don: That's his claim?
Rebecca: Yeah.
Don : I understand why he would feel that way, because it was entirely his fault.

Jennifer Johnson: Piers Morgan and Rihanna had a Twitter fight about her haircut.
Neal: I'll give you $100 if you go pitch that to Will.

Will: How much of what you're saying do you believe right now?
Charlie: 60%
Will: I thought it was in the mid-80s. You pulled it off.
Charlie: Experience.

Will: March 2, 1955. A young black woman is arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Alabama. Civil rights leaders and the ACLU rush to her side and she will be a symbol of the struggle against segregation. Her name is Claudette Colvin and she's 15 years old. She's also unmarried and pregnant. Civil rights leaders and the ACLU decide that Colvin is not the best foot forward and stand down. Eight months later, Rosa Parks happens, but during that eight months, a brilliant and charismatic young minister gets the attention of the community and is chosen to lead the bus boycotts. If Claudette Colvin doesn't get pregnant, if they'd gone in the spring instead of eight months later, Martin Luther King is a preacher you've never heard of in Montgomery.

[Cuts back to the newsroom then back to Will]

Will: Who is Giuseppe Zangara? I don't really know. He's a guy with a gun who fired five shots in February 15, 1933, killing the Mayor of Chicago. Why? Because Zangara was standing on a wobbly chair. And the Mayor of Chicago wasn't his target. It was the guy the mayor was shaking hands with, the newly elected President Franklin Roosevelt. If Zangara's chair isn't wobbly, Roosevelt never takes office and we swear in his running mate, John Nance Garner, a man whose political ideology was the basis for his opposition to a package of legislation that would be called The New Deal and we don't survive the Great Depression.

[Cuts back to the newsroom then back to Will]

Will: Your kitchen faucet has washers. They keep water from leaking through the joints in the fixtures. And that's what O-rings do. They're giant washers that keep pressurized hydrogen from leaking out of the SRB, the solid rocket booster, that shoots the space shuttle out of the Earth's atmosphere. These O-rings have been tested and tested under every possible circumstance but one-- cold. They didn't test to see if the O-rings worked when it was cold. Why would they even think to test for that? The thing's launching from south Florida. When's it gonna be cold? On January 28, 1986, a cold snap dragged the overnight temperature down to 18 degrees and it turns out the O-rings stopped working below 40. So 73 seconds after the Challenger lifts off, it converts itself into a bomb and detonates.

[Jerry goes to get out of the lift, but an angry looking Mac, having found out that he had trimmed the footage of a Genoa interview, confronts him at the door]
Mac: You forgot about the shot clock.
Jerry: Mac? [she pushes him back in, pressing the "G" button] Hey, easy does it.
Mac: The shot clock jumps. From nineteen, to three, to two, to fourteen.
[There is no response from Jerry, and she gives him an impatient look]
Jerry: He said it, Mac.
Mac: How do you not understand what you've done?
[They begin talking over each other]
Jerry: He said it before we were rolling, but I couldn't get it to say it on camera. He said it to me.
Mac: We have to retract it. Do you understand this..?
Jerry: Did Genoa happen? It happened. It happened.
Mac: ...That we invented evidence to support a story of a war crime. A WAR CRIME!
Jerry: Maggie was there, she heard him say it. She's just fucked up. Yeah, it's a war crime, and it happened! We went into Iraq because he had these things. We don't torture, we don't use chemical weapons.
Mac: No one... No one... No one... No one..!
Mac: ... Is ever going to believe us again.
Jerry: [after a brief silence] I think I shouldn't say anything more until I've talked to a lawyer.
[They reach the ground floor, and he leaves]
Mac: You're fired.
Jerry: I know.

Charlie: We're gonna resign, Leona. It's what has to happen now. Elliot Hirsch, Sloan Sabbith, Terry Smith, Dayside ACN, ACN. We understand the integrity of the news is more important--
Leona Lansing: Than one individual. That is beautiful. Not as beautiful as Daniel Craig.
Charlie: Leona.
Leona Lansing: I'd have sent my plane.
Charlie: We're not fucking around.
Leona Lansing: You will resign when I fire you out of petty malice and not before.
Charlie: Our trust numbers are--
Leona Lansing: Yeah, they're bad.
Charlie: They're fatal.
Will: Firing Jerry was obviously the right thing to do, but it wasn't enough and we've known that for two months. Charlie and I have to go.
Leona Lansing: And Twiggy over here?
Mac: It was my fault.
Leona Lansing: McMac. Can I call you McMac? Doesn't matter, I'm gonna anyway, McMac. Your head's up your ass.
Mac: Mrs. Lansing.
Leona Lansing: Guy comes in here into my hizzy-- guy comes in here, cooks an interview, no remorse. It goes on air. You, I don't know what you'd do to Sherlock Holmes this thing. I wouldn't be able to figure it out and I'm the smartest person in the room.
Will: Well, I wouldn't go that--
Leona Lansing: Oh, shut the fuck up, you Daniel Craig wannabe.
Will: I don't want to be Daniel Craig.
Leona Lansing: Well, you should want to be Daniel Craig. Everybody should.
Will: Leona, are you stoned?
Leona Lansing: [catching sight of her own reflection in a window] You know, my makeup lasts a long time.
Will: Oh, jeez.
Mac: Mrs. Lansing.
Leona Lansing: No, no, please, call me-- Continue to call me Mrs. Lansing.
Will: Leona--
Leona Lansing: Guy comes into my house which I love. Which I bet you guys didn't know. But I love it. I love ACN. You don't make me a nickel and you cause headaches for the divisions that do, but you make me-- You make me so proud. God, guy comes in here, cooks an interview, and this ends up with-- 'Cause he's unemployable he gets a $5 million settlement and the three of you leave? Oh, I don't think so. And McMac. That's a name that's really starting to grow on me. She doesn't have to go. Nobody's ever heard of her. But she's going to do the honorable thing. And what's expected of me, huh? Not to do the honorable thing? What's expected of me? [shouting] No, I do not accept your resignations! And Jerry Dantana's not gonna get one FUCKING dollar! [in a normal tone] I got some kick-ass courtroom outfits.
Will: You have to accept our resignations and you have to settle. He'll take it to trial and win. There was an institutional failure and he was the only one fired.
Rebecca Halliday: Then you'll need a good lawyer. Lee, don't accept their resignations.
Leona Lansing: I already wasn't accepting their resignations, Becca. Don't horn in on my honorable thing. God, I mean, can't a lady have--
Charlie: [in desperation] Leona, we don't have the trust of the public anymore!
Leona Lansing: Get it back!

Election Night, Part I [2.08]

Charlie: If a news outlet doesn't have credibility, it doesn't matter what else it has. That's a fact. There are people here from Jane Barrow, Terry Smith, everyone at the DC bureau to Sloan Sabbith, Elliot Hirsch, everyone on Dayside, these people don't deserve to have a piano strapped to their back. Their credibility shouldn't-- (to Rebecca) When did you arrive here?
Rebecca: I'm stealthy.
Charlie: I think it's commendable and pretty shocking that you want to do something just because it's the right thing to do, but it's not the right thing to do.
Reese: I know.
Charlie: What do you mean?
Reese: I think you were responsible for a massive fuck up. I think Will was the face of a massive fuck up. I think firing a mid-level producer appears to be an abdication of responsibility. Now we're gonna have to read about Jim and Maggie and Don and Jim and Maggie and Don and Maggie and Mac and Will and did Sloan punch a guy in the face?
Charlie: Yeah.
Rebecca: The train, she is wrecked.
Charlie: Why are you gleeful?
Rebecca: I'm on the right team for once and I get really paid.
Charlie: Are you saying you agree?
Reese: I think your resignation should be accepted immediately and we should write Dantana a check and get to the business of rebooting this once respected brand.
Charlie: Then why don't you?
Reese: [sheepishly] My mom says I can't.
Charlie: [incredulous] Reese!

Election Night, Part II [2.09]

Maggie: There's a difference between being tough and wanting to be. You and Mac are tough. Don's tough. I want to be.
Jim: You are.
Maggie: You know when I first noticed you?
Jim: When I ran into the room and got tackled by Mac's luggage? Did you know--
Maggie: No. It was funny, but I didn't notice you until later. There was a beep. It was an i News alert. But it was yellow.
Jim: You've got a news alert.
Maggie: Nobody was paying attention to it.
Jim: It was yellow.
Maggie: You clicked on it anyway. You couldn't help yourself.
Jim: You ran back into the building.
Maggie: He's dead and I'm alive.
Jim: That's what I'd keep in mind.

[After Sloan kisses him to the bewilderment of everyone.]
Don: What I have can't be taught.

Taylor: It's after midnight now and I feel like I can ask a question.
Sloan: Sure.
Taylor: I meant to Will.
Will: Yes.
Taylor: Who did you vote for today?
Will: You know I'm not answering that.
Taylor: I thought you might because you revealed your party affiliation on the air last year.
Will: I did. I identified myself as a Republican because I thought it was fair to give to the viewer given the commentary I was delivering.
Taylor: A commentary that ended with you calling the Tea Party the American Taliban.
Will: Yes.
Taylor: And in the body of the commentary - was a blistering indictment of Republicans.
Will: Exactly the opposite. It was a blistering indictment of people who aren't Republicans.
Taylor: Well, who's to say who is and who isn't?
Will: On that night, I did.
Taylor: I want to remind you you asked me to pursue this area.
Will: I understand.
Taylor: And I'm wondering, with all respect, do you call yourself a Republican so you can make a claim to credibility when you attack the GOP?
Will: No, I call myself a Republican 'cause I am one. I believe in market solutions and I believe in common sense realities and the necessity to defend ourselves against a dangerous world and that's about it. Problem is now I have to be homophobic. I have to count the number of times people go to church. I have to deny facts and think scientific research is a long con. I have to think poor people are getting a sweet ride. And I have to have such a stunning inferiority complex that I fear education and intellect in the 21st century. But most of all, the biggest new requirement, really the only requirement, is that I have to hate Democrats. And I have to hate Chris Christie for not spitting on the president when he got off Air Force One. The two-party system is crucial to the whole operation. There's honor in being the loyal opposition. And I'm a Republican for the same reasons you are. So I hope your voice gets louder in the next four years.
Taylor: Well, I don't like losing, so count on it.

Charlie: You ever read Jedediah Purdy, For Common Things?
Will: No.
Charlie: He talks about cynical times. People having terminal irony with a studied refusal to hope or care openly. Does that sound like us?
Will: No.
Charlie: No. Have you asked yourself tonight why we never reported the Petraeus story?
Will: The Petraeus?
Charlie: Remember? David Petraeus is resigning on Thursday.
Will: We didn't report it.
Charlie: That's funny.
Will: I forgot. Yeah.
Charlie: It's because we never made the trade. The decision was that the other story had information voters needed, the Petraeus story didn't. Not that many voters. It would have affected maybe a few thousand, tops. In one district, one seat. As opposed to breaking two days early what will be a giant story. Breaking it in front of an Election Night audience. And the decision to decline the trade was made instantly and unanimously. Don pushed back reflexively, but he came around in seven seconds. Don. We've come a long way. I'm not resigning. And neither are you. What, are we out of our fucking minds? Dantana doctored the tape. That's what happened, Will. We know the truth and the mob doesn't. When did we decide it was an institutional failure? We waited 11 months. We know people who would have gone after the second red team meeting or even the first. You agree with what I'm saying?
Will: I believe, except for the things we did wrong, we did everything right. And I can't live with Mac taking the blame for--
Charlie: We'll get the audience's trust back. Like Leona said, we're gonna overcome the terminal irony. And the laundry list of embarrassing things in the complaint? I've got to tell you, I'm not embarrassed. The Zimmerman tape, Jim going to New Hampshire, Sloan punching a guy in arbitrage-- I actually like that one. [pause, he notices Will is staring off into space] I can't tell what you're thinking. [pause] Will? It's gotten strange now. Are you able to hear me speaking? She--
Will: Except for the things she did wrong, she did everything right, too. The rest was me.

Will: There's a story about a little kid who keeps shredding paper and his parents take him to all kinds of doctors to get him to stop shredding paper. And finally they take him to the most expensive doctor in the world who turns to the kid and he says, "Kid, if you stop shredding paper, your parents will stop dragging you to doctors." And the kid turns to his parents and says, "Why didn't you just say so?"
Mac: Well, all right, then.
Will: The point of the story is that the kid could make himself happy by just stopping. I think that's the point. I don't know. I've been trying to figure it out. But I didn't return it. Because I'm in love with you.
Mac: What did you say?
Will: And because of-- Will you marry me?
Mac: Wait.
Will: I said will you marry me? And before that, I said I'm in love with you. That's-- that's-- That's what I'm getting at. I feel like I can do this so much better if I can have a second.
Mac: What in the fuck is happening right now?
Will: If-- if I-- I don't ever want to not be-- No. I love you. I'm gonna go back to that. And will you marry me? And let me just say I really think you should. I think you should say yes. But no matter what you say, there's no chance I am ever gonna hurt you again. And no matter what you say, I'm gonna be in love with you for the rest of my life. There's no way out of that. That's just a physical law of the universe. You own me. No matter what you say--
Mac: Yes.
Will: I will never stop--
Mac: Yes.
Mac: I'm saying yes.
Will: You're saying yes?
Mac: Yes.
Will: Thank God.
Mac: Took you long enough.

[Announcing, to the office, their new engagement]
Will: I'd like to present the future Mrs. Mackenzie Morgan McHale McA- that's not going to work.

Season 3


Boston [3.01]

Charlie: He got knocked down. We didn't get taller.

Judge: [Don asks to be excused from jury duty] All of these people have someplace else to be, I'm sure your network can do the news without you.
Don: You're probably right but I'd hate my boss to find that out.
Judge: Take your seat.
Don: Uh-huh. [turns to one lawyer] Look, you don't want leaders on the jury, right? Anyone who can take charge during deliberations? I run a news broadcast five nights a week with a staff of sixty and I bend them to my will. [turns to other lawyer] Plus, I'm currently a defendant in two lawsuits being brought by the same person so, even though I bought your clients bagel-slicer at three a.m. and it nearly took my fingers off, there is simply no way in hell that I am finding for the plaintiff-
Judge: Get out of here!
Don: Thank you!
Will: You know who did great this week? The police. The FBI. The DOJ. Homeland Security. In less than 100 hours, they found two needles in a haystack the size of the world. You know who sucked? Everybody else. Two times in 24 hours, law enforcement officials 00:19 had to publically disclose information before they wanted to because either a paper or website put someone's life in danger. So I'm not so easily surrendering to citizen journalists or citizen detectives.

Run [3.02]

Don: I was gonna get the buffet.
Sloan: I don't know why, if given a choice, anyone wouldn't get the buffet. Under what circumstance would you order off the menu?
Don: If the menu had a five pound lobster and the buffet was soy themed, all you can eat assorted soy.
Sloan: Here's what I need you to do...
Don: Why does there have to be an assignment?
Sloan: Hey, are we in this buffet thing together?
Don: Yeah, we tell the waiter we're getting the buffet.
Sloan: I did a Q&A in Shape about my healthy diet.
Don: You lied.
Sloan: In a big way. And I'm really hungry so I need you to get food for me and I'll get food for you.
Don: Got it.
Sloan: Crab claws, as far as the eye can see. Mushroom, Swiss cheese omelet. And I can't emphasize this enough, waffles.

Don: Would you consider us a couple?
Sloan: I don't understand the question...
Don: Yeah you do cause this is exactly how I act in the same situation. Suddenly I pretend I'm stupid and hearing impaired. Do you consider us a couple?
Sloan: Do you consider us a couple?
Don: I do that too, Socrates.
Sloan: We are...
Don: Yup?
Sloan: Okay, let me say...
Don: Go ahead.
Sloan: Here's what we are...
Don: Bring it.
Sloan: I love spending time with you.
Don: H-ho, oh man...
Sloan: Wait.
Don: I can't believe I'm being Don Keefered.
Sloan: You're not! I would never Don Keefer you.

Will: How often are you sleeping when I'm talking to you at night?
Mackenzie: I really have no way of knowing that.

Main Justice [3.03]


Contempt [3.04]

Mackenzie: Don't you know that anything that can be proven by courage and character you've proven to me a long time ago?

Oh Shenandoah [3.05]

[As Jim and Maggie's flight to Cuba, which Edward Snowden failed to board, prepares to leave, and they discover his empty seat is opposite theirs]
Jim: We had seats across the aisle from him. The honeymooners had two seats across the aisle from Edward Snowden. Boris and Natasha had the golden tickets. We'd have had him the whole flight, except for one thing -
Maggie: [concurrently with him] He's not on the plane.
Jim: You know where he is?
Maggie: Probably back in the airport.
Jim: Yeah. So we are flying 600 miles an hour away from the story... FUCK!!!
Maggie: [after a short pause] Why didn't you call her?
Jim: What?
Maggie: Why didn't you call Hallie?
Jim: You're a noodge, Maggie. You know that?
Maggie: I'm just asking. If you really like her, it's a stupid thing to -
Jim: [cutting her off] I like you... And I don't know why you don't know that.
Maggie: [after a moment of shocked silence] Beca- Because if you wanted to be with me, you'd be with me.
Jim: That's just... not at all true. You were with Don when I met you.
Maggie: [angry] You never called me from New Hampshire.
Jim: Yes I did.
Maggie: No you didn't. Ever! And you knew I'd split up with Don, and you knew why - you went through Lisa, you went through Hallie, and you never called me from New Hampshire, so it's really not as obvious as you think it is, and it's also probably not true.
Jim: You may be right... It's not, but it had... Potential. But the last thing was unambiguously wrong.
Maggie: What language are you using?
Jim: I do like you. I like you, and I'm glad I said it. Even though... now I wish I'd... said it at the end of a 13-hour flight.
Maggie: Yeah, this is going to be uncomfortable. [goes to unbuckle her seat belt] I'm gonna switch seats with someone.
Jim: I'll switch seats. I'll sit in Snowden's seat.
Maggie: That's not far enough. It's gonna be weird if we can see each other.
Jim: Okay.
[He gets up, picks up his bag and moves a few rows back, where he asks someone to switch seats, leaving Maggie looking visibly shaken by their argument]

[Jim is watching Star Trek on his iPad, when Maggie's fingers appear and tap the screen, getting his attention]
Maggie: Follow me. [seeing he hasn't heard, she pushes his headphones back] Follow me.
Jim: Where are we going?
Maggie: Exactly where you think we're going.
[He gets up and follows her]
Jim: I don't know what... I'm confused.
[As they shuffle down the aisle, the plane jerks, and a flight attendant approaches]
Flight attendant: We're running into turbulence. You have to go to your seats and put your seat belts on.
Maggie: [as she squeezes past the attendant] This is awkward.
Jim: I was sitting far away from you. I was watching episode four.
Maggie: [to the man that Jim switched seats with] Excuse me, would you mind trading back?
Man: We are in the middle of turbulence.
Maggie: It's nothing. It's due to the action of molecular viscosity called laminar flow.
Man: [tiredly] Okay.
[He gets up and leaves]
Jim: Where did that come from?
Maggie: Sit down. Put on your seat belt.
[They sit down and put on their seat belts. Without another word, Maggie kisses Jim]

Sloan: And we're joined now by Bree Dorrit, Editor of ACN Digital and Father of the Engage app. Thanks for joining us, Bree.
Bree: Hi Sloan.
Sloan: We saw it in some of the package we just played, but tell us about Engage.
Bree: It's a map that tells you where celebrities have been sighted in New York and Los Angeles, and soon we'll be expanding to Vegas and South Beach. Anytime you want, you can scroll around and see, you know, Jude Law was shopping for condoms at Duane Reade on 57th or...
Sloan: So people are out there, and they can post a message to us and say "Kristen Bell and her kid are at the 4pm showing of How to Train Your Dragon at the Arc Light?"
Bree: And it goes right on our map instantly.
Sloan: So that when Kristen Bell and her kid come out of the movies, there are a dozen sociopaths waiting for them?
Bree: [chuckles nervously] I don't think that's likely.
Sloan: Why not?
Bree: Well, it's the price of fame, isn't it?
Sloan: No. It's not. It's a punishment for it. Celebrities have been stalked, and celebrities have been murdered. What this app is best at is assisting in that, right?
Bree: I'm sorry you feel that way. Engage is citizen journalism.
Sloan: Can you talk about the vetting the "citizen journalism" undergoes?
Bree: The vetting?
Sloan: People can post more than locations. They can post observations.
Bree: That's right.
Sloan: I'm asking if those posts are fact-checked.
Bree: This is one specific element of the site -
Sloan: [cutting him off] For instance, in a post today, a citizen journalist tells us that [reads her notes] Jimmy Kimmel was visibly intoxicated last night in the Soho House in West Hollywood.
Bree: That's right.
Sloan: Jimmy Kimmel was with his family in Cabo San Lucas last night.
Bree: [faltering] People don't read this with the expectation of it being true. Everyone's -
Sloan: Excuse me?
Bree: Everyone -
Sloan: People don't have an expectation that what they're reading is true?
Bree: They read it for the immediacy.
Sloan: But you're using the word "journalism" which means that there is an expectation that what they're reading is true. But let me take it a step further. Let's pretend it was true, that Jimmy Kimmel was intoxicated last night at the Soho House in West Hollywood. It's not true, but we don't care, so let's pretend it is, since that's what we're doing anyway. Why does that belong on our website?
[In the production room, an operator raises a hand to get Mac's attention]:
Mackenzie: Leave her on as long as she wants.
[Back in the studio]
Bree: Honestly, I think there is a shifting definition of what's public and private space.
Sloan: There is, and we should care about that. But my question is - why should we care about a talk show host drinking at a bar?
Bree: Don't you think it's great that we're not putting people up on a pedestal and worshiping them anymore?
Sloan: I don't think celebrities are one of the bigger problems facing us, but aren't we the ones building the pedestal? You've got a map that gives us their location.
Bree: The idea is that we are acknowledging that they're real people.
Sloan: I wonder how many of us didn't already know that. But you're doing more than acknowledging they're real people. You're beating them up for it.
Bree: Aren't they protected by the piles of money they're surrounded by?
Sloan: Okay. What's the line of demarcation? You make over x dollars a year, and now you get to be treated by us as a regular person who's basically had an electronic bracelet slapped on their ankle. What does x equal?
Bree: It would be silly to name an exact dollar amount.
Sloan: You're paid $55,000 dollars a year.
Bree: Well, that's private!
Sloan: Sorry. But that's almost twice the national average for a family of four. Do your piles of cash protect you from this interview in which I'm intentionally stripping you of your dignity? And by the way, I've managed to do it without lying once. So I'm going to give you another chance to answer my question before I answer it myself: What's the value of an unsourced, unvetted story about a grown man drinking at a bar? [Bree just stares at her in shocked silence, unable to find any meaningful answer] I can't give you all the time in the world, it's entertainment. My concern isn't for the celebrities, even though as sure as we're sitting here, someone is gonna get hurt. My concern is for the rest of us, who you're turning into a wild pack of prideless punks. [turns to smile at the camera] That's news night for June 24th. I'm Sloan Sabbith, filling in for Will McAvoy. Terry Smith is up next with the Capital Report.

What Kind of Day Has It Been [3.06]

Charlie's Grandson: That's right, you play guitar on the side.
Will: I'm a news anchor on the side.

Will: You were a man, Charlie. You were a great big man.

Leona Lansing: You have a PR problem because you have an actual problem.

Will: [On Charlie] His religion was decency. He spent a lifetime fighting its enemies.