The Newsroom | Season 1 | Episode 5


TV-MA | 54 MIN

Written by Aaron Sorkin
Directed by
Daniel Minahan

As protests unfold against the Egyptian government, Elliot reports from his hotel room in Cairo. Don gets visibly frustrated by the lack of access and live footage, but it's too dangerous for Elliot to report from the ground. Maggie comes in with news about protests taking place in Wisconsin against the governor, and the show juxtaposes the footage of the two protests together.

After the show, MacKenzie convenes the staff to find someone who can report from on the ground in Egypt. Neal knows just the guy-a young blogger who goes by the name Amen and has been covering the protests on his blog. After an internet phone call with the 'News Night' brass, Amen agrees to disclose his identity and report the story for them.

Will has Jim look into possible connections between the Tea Party, the Koch brothers and the Citizens United ruling-and he finds plenty of them. Knowing full well that this is the kind of story Leona would like them to drop, Will and Charlie decide to pursue it.

Mac has been asked to appear on a panel discussion about cable news coverage of the economy even though she doesn't know anything about it. She enlists Sloan to help her understand the basics of modern finance, but Mac keeps getting hung up on parallels between how the country repealed the laws that brought it prosperity and how she ruined her perfect relationship with Will.

After receiving a talking-to from a frustrated Don, Elliot goes out on the streets of Cairo and is beaten up. When Elliot returns home, bruised and battered, Don wants to put him on air to show the world what really happens to journalists in the field. Charlie refuses to allow it, and Don is upset that the rest of the world regards them as "a bunch of effete assholes."

A story appears in TMI alleging that Mac has been booking her boyfriend Wade on the show to raise his profile in advance of a run for Congress. MacKenzie, who didn't know that Wade had already begun setting his run into motion, is distraught and avoids Wade's calls. When he comes into the office, she accuses him of using her for access, and he counters that she was never going to get over Will anyway, so he figured he'd get something out of the relationship while he could. Mac tells him to leave, lose the election, and go to hell.

Gary informs Will that TMI takes protection money to keep people's names out of the headlines. TMI is getting ready to run another piece, this time alleging that MacKenzie is a reckless and incompetent producer. Will meets with Nina Howard, who asks him to invest $50,000 as a silent partner in her restaurant in exchange for her silence. As he's about to write the check, Nina says "Hey, we're journalists," and Will stops in his tracks. He goes off on Nina and rips up the check, telling her, "I'm a middle-aged man who hasn't lived up to his potential; you don't want to be on the wrong side of me when I do."

Maggie and Don have plans for Valentine's Day and not wanting Lisa to ruin it, Maggie arranges for Jim to spend a romantic evening with her that night. Unfortunately, Jim forgets about the dinner and leaves Lisa waiting at the restaurant. When Lisa storms into the office looking for Jim, Maggie comes to his defense.

Amen goes missing and everyone in the office calls on their contacts to find him. Frustrated and worried, Neal punches a computer screen when he sees a video of Rush Limbaugh mocking missing journalists in Egypt. In an effort to get Corporate involved, Don tries to barge into Reese's office and sprains his shoulder. Elliot finds out that the Egyptian military has Amen, and they're demanding $250,000 for his release. Will says he'll have Corporate wire the money, but Mac and the staff realize that he paid for it out of his own pocket. Beginning with Neal, the entire staff lines up one by one outside Will's office to contribute to the fund for Amen's release.