"Law And Order": The Bush Administration episodes
by William Prendergast
I saw this article:
Rove's Newest Investigator Is Under Investigation
So naturally I think: television series. A “police procedural,” like “Law and Order”—they’re incredibly popular and they stay on the air forever. And they’re a snap to write. So here we go:
Washington, D.C., the skyline after midnight.
Jump cut to the White House, exterior at night.
Cut to: (Interior of White House. Flashlight beam traces file cabinets. Label on one of the cabinets reads—“US Attorneys”—A hand in a black leather glove traces the label, then jerks open the file drawer.)
(In the darkened office, the unseen intruder sweeps items off the top of a desk with his arm and then spills the contents of the file drawer on to the desk.)
(Close up of two of the files. The gloved hand traces its label: “US ATTORNEYS WHO’LL DO ANYTHING WE SAY.” The gloved hand pats this file approvingly, sets it aside. The label on the next file reads: “US ATTORNEYS WHO WON’T DO ANYTHING WE SAY, ESPECIALLY IF IT’S AGAINST THE LAW.” The gloved hand opens the folder, the hand is now trembling in anger. The gloved hand slams down on the file, furious. Pounds it a couple of times. In the distance a police siren is heard--the gloved hand freezes, then scoops up the file.)
“LAW AND ORDER”
“—The Bush Administration”
KARL ROVE as Karl Rove, Special Advisor the President of the United States
SCOTT BLOCH as Chief, White House Office of Special Counsel
TUESDAY, 9:15 A.M.
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES
(Music: Kettle drum goes “boom”, with moody orchestra sting.)
(Inside of door, it swings open, revealing Rove and Bloch on the porch, flashing White House I.D.s)
Rove: Attorney General Gonzales?
(Cut to Gonzales, standing in the doorway in his bathrobe, folded Washington Post in his hands.)
Rove: I’m Karl Rove, this is my colleague, White House Counsel Scott Bloch. We’re conducting an investigation, we’d like to ask you a few questions.
Gonzales: Well...what are you investigating?
Rove: Each other, mostly.
Bloch: All kinds of stuff. We're investigating him, me, you. Can we come in?
Gonzales: (suspicious, but then) Okay.
(Gonzales sits at the kitchen table in the coffee nook of the AG’s office. Rove and Bloch are seated across from him. Occasionally they take sips from coffee cups.)
Bloch: Mr. Gonzales, were you anywhere near the White House in the past couple of days?
Gonzales: Before I answer that, I have a couple of questions for you. Were you anywhere near the White House in the past couple of days?
Bloch: I work for the President. My work often requires me to show up at the White House.
Rove: Mine too.
Gonzales: Mine too. Mind telling me what this is all about, boys?
(Rove looks at Bloch, who shrugs.)
Rove: (to Gonzales) It seems that a person or persons unknown conspired to dismiss a bunch of US attorneys in good standing because they wouldn’t cooperate in a plan to use their power to bring trumped up charges against local Democrats and GOP political opponents.
Gonzales: And you suspect me?
Rove: No, I suspect me. But I suspect you, too. Our names are all over a bunch of secret emails about the firings.
Gonzales: (pointing to Bloch) Is he a suspect, too?
Rove: No, the President appointed him to investigate us. He’s under investigation for something else, though.
Bloch: That’s right. I’m being investigated for a bunch of retaliatory firings against the government officials that work for me. (indicates Rove with his thumb) That’s why I got the job investigating him.
Rove: The president figures that since we were both investigating each other, it would be cheaper if we went around together, share the same car, expenses and stuff, until we get to the bottom of this. So how about it, Mr. Gonzales?
Gonzales: (whistles, then) It’s even deeper than you think, boys. I’m also investigating you guys. And—myself.
(Rove and Bloch stare at him.)
(Gonzales meets their stare, hard-eyed, takes a sip from his coffee.)
TUESDAY, 11:30 A.M.
FBI CRIME LAB
J. EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING
(Music: Kettle drum goes “boom”, with another moody orchestra sting.)
(Editor’s note: I just saw “Law and Order” for the first time the other night, at a friend’s house. I don’t know why it’s so popular, it seems like a bunch of balls to me. They use these black-background title cards to announce the date and the time of day and where the next scene is going to be, and then a kettle drum goes “boom” and there’s a music sting—and that’s supposed to create suspense? I don’t get it. Well, anyway:)
(FBI crime analyst in white coat adds a drop of something to a test tube, shakes it up, it turns blue, big fucking deal. Gonzales, Rove and Bloch enter.)
Analyst: Hey, Al.
Gonzales: Hey, Sam. This is Karl Rove, this is Scott Bloch. We’re all investigating each other for retaliatory firings and violating laws regulating email communications between government officials.
Analyst: How do you do.
Gonzales: Got anything new for us, Sam?
Analyst: Maybe. These tests show that you were in the vicinity when the firing occurred. And I got a hair on a slide here that shows that Karl Rove knew about the firings, too—that plus his name on all those emails—well, it looks pretty bad.
Rove: That would explain why I’m implicated. But it doesn’t explain how Al got in so deep.
Bloch: Take a look at these plaster casts we made up from the White House lawn, leading into Harriet Miers’ office. They match Al’s shoe size perfectly.
Rodrigues: So that puts me at the scene. Well, it’s something, anyway.
Bloch: Me too, once you factor in all that testimony from all those former employees I fired.
(Editor’s note: I’m sorry if this all seems like just a bunch of exposition. But from what I can tell, that’s all “Law and Order” is. They get some Broadway actors who haven’t got a movie deal, pick them up for peanuts, write twenty pages of exposition and then go through it with some colored highlighters—okay, you say this line of exposition that’s highlighted in blue, then the officer with you answers with the next line of exposition highlighted in yellow, and then the guy you’re interviewing says the next line of exposition marked in pale green. And then they stick in some black background title cards and some kettle drums, and that’s a big hit, for some reason. And that’s supposed to be a script, that’s supposed to drama. Actors saying exposition to each other, and some fucking kettle drums, it makes a “Dragnet” re-run look like “King Lear.” But if that’s what people wanna watch, fine, let’s keep going:)
Rove: (answers his cell phone) What d’ya got? (listens) I’ll see what I can do. (Hangs up. To the others:) That was Harriet Miers. She’s being investigated, too. So she wants to know if she can be an investigator.
Bloch: We’re gonna need a bigger car.
Rove: (nods) Okay. Al, you call Hertz or Rent-A-Wreck. See if we can rent one of those mini-vans or something.
Analyst: How ‘bout me fellas? Can I get in on this, too?
Bloch: Are you being investigated?
Analyst: Nah. I was being investigated, but the guy I was investigating cleared me.
Rove: Then you can’t be an investigator on this. Sorry, you’ve got no stake in the outcome. But keep your ears open, Sam. There’s no telling how big this thing’s gonna get, before it’s over.
TUESDAY, 2:28 P.M.
A “DENNY’S” OFF K STREET
(Music: Kettle drum goes “boom”, with moody orchestra sting. But you know what? The hell with this.)
Labels: Rove Bloch Gonzales US Attorneys