Murphy Brown s11e12 Episode Script

AWOL

1 MURPHY: Just want to be clear, Major Stansfield, our source in Afghanistan says that the Pentagon has been deliberately inflating the number of Taliban killed while under-reporting the Afghan military who have deserted or been killed.
- But you're saying - I'm saying this country has never been safer from terrorists.
We're not talking about this country.
We're talking about Afghanistan.
Are we winning the war? What we should be talking about is the importance of our new sixth branch of the military The Space Force.
Our source in Afghanistan says that they have evidence that the Pentagon has exaggerated the claims of Taliban containment.
The talks with North Korea are historic.
Why are you dodging the question? You know, Ms.
Brown, I don't have to sit here and be hectored by you.
If you have all the answers, why don't you just interview yourself? [WHISPERING] Put a camera on Murphy.
Stay with her.
The war has been going on for 17 years, our American men and women killed, countless civilian lives lost, and billions - of dollars spent.
- Seriously?! Yeah, you just keep dodging, Mr.
Major.
- Stay with them! - This is so cool.
Last time I saw her move that fast, she was chasing a Mister Softee truck down K Street.
You're gonna answer my question if I have to tail you all the way back to the Pentagon! Where the hell is the exit? How are you gonna get us out of Afghanistan if you can't even find your way out of here? Fall back.
Fall back.
I should have gone on "Hannity.
" You can't outrun me, buster.
I've got two fake hips.
I'm bionic.
MARK: Welcome back to "Mark Clark's America.
" I'm here at Ricks' Woodworking in Sioux City, Iowa, with Aaron Ricks.
Aaron, how excited are you about the fantastic 10% tax cut the president is promising the middle class? Oh, please! You know what? If he's gonna steal my show and my persona and my beard and my glasses, at least don't let him spout propaganda like it's fact.
Fantastic tax cut? Yeah, right.
More like imaginary tax cut.
Am I right? Can you believe that hack? How you doing? You want a Pup-Peroni? Ooh, remember that trick I taught you? Touch.
- [BELL DINGS] - Ah, yes! Who's the most amazing-est dog in the world?! Do it again.
Touch.
- [BELL RINGS] - [CHUCKLING] Yes.
Yes! Avery, it's tough enough to get to sleep at the time most people are having dinner.
And then you're yelling at the TV, and Benny's calling for a bellhop.
Oh, sure.
Rub it in.
You have somewhere to be tomorrow.
You have a job.
Look, I-I know this is hard.
Leaving the Wolf Network was - Stupid? Impulsive? Crazy? - Of course not.
I mean, Wolf asked you to read a piece of propaganda on the air, and you refused.
Showing a little integrity is never a bad career move.
Well, tell that to my agent.
It's been six weeks, and the only offer I've gotten is to co-host a "New Year's Eve Ball Drop" with Gilbert Gottfried and Mike Tyson.
This is a temporary situation.
I mean, look at me.
I came back after a stint at Betty Ford.
Even Tucker Carlson survived looking like a trained bear in a bow tie on "Dancing with the Stars.
" You watch "Dancing with the Stars"? I will watch any show that humiliates both Tucker Carlson and Rick Perry.
Look, you just need to go out and keep yourself busy and, you know ohh, and maybe take a shower.
[BELL DINGS] You got to give him the treat now.
He will not be denied.
I know Pavlov's theory.
You would never have made it to school on time if I hadn't held a plate of bacon - under your nose every morning.
- Oh, yeah? How do you think I trained you to feed me breakfast in bed? [BELL DINGING] You watch him, Benny.
He's tricky.
Good boy.
[BELL DINGS] [ELEVATOR BELL DINGS] I'm looking for Murphy Brown.
Does anyone know where he is? I'm him.
Whatevs.
I don't know news people.
[CHUCKLING] Who watches TV anymore? Yeah.
I'm guessing you're my new assistant.
It's Jayden with a "Y.
" But, TBH, this is not how I want to be spending my time.
My parents ugh! got on my case to get a job after they "spent $200,000" on my degree in comparative web series.
You were supposed to be here at 5:00 a.
m.
Oh, I thought that was a typo.
No, I can't be here at that hour.
Oh, and FWIW, I have to leave early for a goat yoga class, which, if you don't get there an hour in advance, all the best goats are taken.
Actually, you can leave now BYF.
- Huh? - Because you're fired.
Okay.
Awesome! Hey, who do I talk to about getting unemployment? And can you call my parents and tell them that it's not my fault? Thank you.
Why does this keep happening to me? [ELEVATOR BELL DINGS] Okay, people, story meeting.
Gather, gather.
Whew! Smells like office in here Coffee and printer ink.
How you doing, guys? - Good! - Hey! Avery.
What are you doing here? You know, I was in the neighborhood, and I just thought I'd pop by, say hey.
We're just starting a story meeting.
It'll be about half an hour.
You could wait up in my office.
Or, you know, I could stay down here and hang out with you guys.
Oh.
Uh, during, uh, our Our our story meeting? What do you think, Murph? Well, I If it's okay with you, Miles.
Since when do you check with me to see if something's okay? I just now started.
Sure, Avery, hang out.
Great! I'm gonna grab a cup of coffee.
MILES: So, we are getting a lot of buzz off of Murphy's confrontation with Stansfield yesterday, and we have to follow up on that quickly.
How solid is your source? Ahmed Zahir He's a leading official with the Afghan intelligence operation.
FRANK: He's been increasingly disillusioned by the Pentagon officials who are misrepresenting what's actually happening on the ground.
Murphy says he has all the documentation she needs.
[WHISTLES] Wow.
Have you seen those documents? 'Cause that's pretty important.
Uh, yeah, well, it it it would be important.
I'm trying to reach him to see if we can get our hands on the evidence and hopefully get him on camera.
Ooh, it's not gonna be easy.
I imagine he's really putting himself in jeopardy, you know? Right.
Right.
Excuse me.
Excuse me.
Ahh.
- Uh - You know I hear that all the guysr in the Afghan military are going AWOL, like, left and right, and the Taliban is surging in new recruits.
- Uh-huh.
- Uh-huh.
So, this is going to be a huge story.
I'm gonna lobby Diana for an hour of air time out of our two-hour block.
Of course [CHUCKLES] never easy with her.
But it's another huge story no one's paying attention to.
Every day, our president creates another distraction.
There's always another tweet from the toilet.
You know, if he'd just add a little more fiber to his diet, we'd all be a lot happier.
But, you know, this story could be as big a deal as the Pentagon Papers were during Vietnam.
Hey, you know, if you want, I can get a copy of Neil Sheehan's book and do a report on that.
[STAMMERS, CHUCKLES] Um, you know, I-I actually have a copy that Neil gave me.
Oh.
Um, yeah, it was back in in the '70s.
We worked together at the Times.
- You got it.
- Yeah.
Yeah.
- You guys got it covered.
- [CHUCKLES] Oh, God, I'm having a flashback to being 6 years old.
You're about to take me into your office and play with Power Rangers so I'll get out of your hair.
- Aw.
- Don't be silly, "Avey"! Yeah.
We love your ideas and enthusiasm.
Don't we, guys? - Absolutely, yes.
- Wonderful.
- So bright.
- Okay, just It's making it worse, all right? I'm fine.
I'm sorry I-I interrupted.
I will let you guys get back to work.
I'll try to get home early tonight, Avery.
All right.
Thank you, Mom.
- Geez.
I've got stuff I can do.
- [ELEVATOR BELL DINGS] Ah! Avery Brown.
A little scruffy, but smart, telegenic, young - Just what CNC could use right now.
- Oh, well, I Unfortunately, you trashed your network on the air.
Executives aren't fond of loose cannons.
You're toxic.
- How tall are you? - 6'2".
6'2" of Kryptonite.
It was nice talking with you.
Let's do it again in 8 to 10 months.
[ELEVATOR BELL DINGS] Murphy, kudos on yesterday's interview and foot race.
Phenomenal buzz online.
Well, there's a lot more to come.
MURPHY: Diana, we would like to have an hour for our piece on Afghanistan.
An hour? I'm sorry.
Have I walked into 1979? We can't do an hour on anything anymore.
The attention span of the average viewer is three minutes.
Look, we've got a war that's been going on for 17 years.
Our government is telling us we're winning, but we're not.
It's Vietnam all over again, and this story can be the Pentagon Papers.
So, I'm having my morning coffee and my half a piece of dry toast and three almonds, and you want me to sit there for an hour and listen to a complicated story? I'm switching over to the "Today" show, where they're doing a piece on a 15-foot alligator terrorizing people on Trump's golf course.
If it gets us our Afghanistan story more time, I'd be happy to do a 'gator piece.
I'm from 'gator territory.
I think 'gator.
I speak 'gator.
I even lost my grandma to a 'gator.
Thank you for your sacrifice, Corky.
Diana, we need an expanded segment on Afghanistan.
Miles, tell her why she's wrong.
Yes, by all means, Silverberg, come up to my office - and tell me why I'm wrong.
- [ELEVATOR BELL DINGS] I think you know where my office is.
It's the last door before the exit.
Nothing good ever happens to me in Diana's office.
The last time I went up against her, she moved my parking space to one underneath the exhaust vent from the P.
F.
Chang's downstairs.
Getting into my car was like getting into a pork dumpling.
You're gonna have a dumpling in your own exhaust vent if you don't move it! I'll go talk to her, Miles, if you don't want to.
Look, I think one of the reasons that we butt heads so much is she's actually attracted to me.
It's kinda textbook.
I'd say kinda delusional.
Same old story men have been telling themselves ever since women invented fire.
Hey, Miles? My source in Afghanistan He still hasn't texted me back.
Well, how long has it been? Hours.
He's always good about texting me at exactly the time we agree on.
Something's not right.
Are you kidding me? I'm about to go up to hell's front office and press for an hour on a story that hinges entirely - on a source who's disappeared? - [ELEVATOR BELL DINGS] If I'm not back in a half an hour, somebody feed my cats! And cancel my HBO account.
I'll never know how "Game of Thrones" ends.
AVERY: Hey, Phyllis, can I ask you something? Unless it's "Can I order the $35 T-bone?", no.
Kinda busy.
Do you think I made a mistake quitting Wolf? I mean, the way I did? You stood up for your principles.
I admire that.
Stop waving.
I see you.
Listen, it'll all work out.
Meanwhile, this is not Starbucks, so order something besides coffee or move your keister off that stool.
Where is Miguel with the glasses?! Hello? Am I supposed to pour the drink myself? Uh, you know what? What do you need? Um, S-Scotch, neat.
All right.
Scotch.
Okay, here you go.
Uh, wait.
I'm being interviewed by Mueller in an hour.
Make it a double.
Why don't I just leave you the bottle? How about you guys? You need a couple of refills? Sure.
Two Pinot Noirs.
All right.
Two Pinot Noirs.
Hey, just wondering Do you have an opinion on that caravan that's coming up from Central America? Sorry, buddy, we're just here to enjoy our lunch.
Oh, sure, sure, sure.
But, you know, I'm just curious.
I mean, do you have an opinion at all on the president's immigration policies? Hey, aren't you the guy who went bonkers on the Wolf Network? I didn't go bonkers.
I was making a point.
Yeah, well, now you're making minimum wage.
I don't work here, all right? I'm just helping out.
Yeah, and I'm happily married.
I just choose to sleep on the couch.
[SIGHS] Can I get a coffee to go? Oh, dude, you're working as a busboy now? That is harsh.
No, no, no.
Phyllis is in the back, all right? It got busy.
I'm just helping out.
Hey, you know, we've all been there.
Three months ago, I was unemployed, sharing a one-bath apartment with six other dudes.
It was brutal.
There was so much hair on the soap.
Look at me now, though.
I'm employed, insured.
I'm paying off my student loans.
Only 19 more years, and I'll be off my mom's cellphone plan.
Congrats.
Come on, man.
You'll land on your feet.
You're young.
What are you, 24, 25? I'm almost 29.
Oh.
Wow.
[CHUCKLES] Staring down the barrel of 30 and not even a waiter yet.
Okay, I don't work here.
Keep the change.
What is this, a $10? I don't need a handout.
It's not a handout, champ.
It's a hand up.
[HORNS HONKING] Yo, Avery, what are you doing behind the bar? Oh, no, Pat needed a coffee, and, uh I-I don't know I don't have anything to do.
I guess I'm a little depressed.
Oh, yeah.
Yo, I get that.
Yeah? And here I was feeling sorry for myself because my parents were deported.
I'm living over a bar with Phyllis, who snores like a freight train because she has a deviated septum.
But by all means, tell me more about how you blew your shot at your own prime-time TV show.
Did I tell you my dog has wheels? - Yes.
- Okay.
Just gonna go sit over there.
I don't know, Miles! He's just evaporated.
I mean, he's an informant.
He probably thinks people are onto him.
He's gone underground.
Six feet under is where I'm gonna be if we don't get this story back on track.
I got us the hour, but I had to buy four tickets for a play Diana's niece is doing "The Vagina Monologues.
" Her niece is 12.
It's just gonna be very uncomfortable.
Oh, look, there's Avery! Again.
I think he feels bad about crashing our story meeting this morning.
We should invite him over here.
[INDISTINCT CONVERSATIONS] Oh, for God's sake, how long before one of you pretends to be trapped in an invisible box? Get your ass over here.
All right.
Hey, guys.
Listen, I'm sorry.
I promise that I will not stick my nose into your story again.
Well, there may not be a story.
My source has gone dark.
You're kidding.
Wow.
Do you have any more resources that Crap.
I'm doing it again.
[CHUCKLES] Well, you mean resources to track him? 20 years ago, we would have, but nowadays, we mostly have to depend on freelancers.
Back then, all the networks had bureaus all over the world, staffed with reporters who knew the territory and had Rolodexes just filled with contacts.
MILES: When I came on, they had just moved news into the entertainment division.
Those bureaus weren't "cost-effective" anymore.
Yeah, that's right.
Listen, when CBS sent Cronkite to Vietnam, it changed the course of the war.
He came back, went on the air in front of 40 million people, and told the country we were losing.
LBJ heard that.
He said, "Look, if I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America," and that started the pullout.
That's the kind of impact a journalist can have.
This story could have that kind of impact, but now we have to do it all long-distance with cellphones and computers.
God, I miss the old days.
That's when a reporter made their bones.
You'd pack in 10 minutes, hop on a flight to God knows where.
Your adrenalin was always pumping.
And then there was the camaraderie.
I mean, you could be in some crazy, dangerous place, but still, you bonded together.
You found the right bar.
[LAUGHTER] And you shared information.
You guys make it sound so exciting except the "10 minutes to pack" part.
I have never been able to pack in under a day and a half.
I need a minimum of three bags.
I lay my clothes out the night before.
I put tissue paper between the layers to avoid wrinkling.
Honest to God, I see Christiane Amanpour in some strange part of the world, and I just want to take a portable steamer to her.
I feel bad for the young journalists coming up.
They will never know what it's like to be shoved into the back of a van blindfolded and driven to an undisclosed location.
- [LAUGHS] - Oh, yeah.
- Good times.
- That was fun.
Ah.
Well, you guys, you know, I could stay here and listen to this stuff all day long, but I have a dog at home that I need to go walk.
So, thanks for letting me hang out.
- I will see you later.
- Mm-hmm.
- See, you buddy.
- Bye, Avery.
Take care, man.
Hey, uh, Phyllis, can we get some menus, please? Let me ask you something.
What the hell do you need a menu for? It hasn't changed in 40 years.
Figure out whatever the hell you want, and I will give you whatever the hell I got.
[BELL DINGS] MURPHY: [SINGSONG VOICE] Coming! What do you want now? Another Snausage? How many have you had? [BENNY WHIMPERS] [SIGHS] Okay.
This is the last one.
[BELL DINGS] I said I don't have any more! [BELL DINGS THREE TIMES] This is just abusive.
Here's a piece of cheese.
But you have to chew it like this.
This is pretty good.
What am I wasting it on you for? Avery! It's 8:00! You want to grab a burger with me? Probably has his ear buds in.
[WHEELS SQUEAKING] [KNOCK ON DOOR] MURPHY: Avery? I can come back if you're doing something private.
Well, if I were, you would have killed the mood.
Come on in.
I didn't mean to be dismissive before.
I know it's hard when you're Oh, you're packing.
You're going somewhere.
Are you gonna visit friends? That's a great idea.
Take your mind off things.
Where are you going? - Afghanistan.
- [LAUGHS] Well, who needs Fort Lauderdale when you've got Kandahar? No, really.
Where are you going? I'm not kidding.
You need someone to find your source, and I need something to make me feel like a journalist again.
Well, you don't have to go to Afghanistan to feel like a journalist.
There are tons of stories here.
And tons of journalists to do them.
Look, you know, a lot of people think that this war is over.
That's how little attention it's getting lately.
But if your story makes it to air, the truth will come out.
This is crazy.
You're walking into one of the most dangerous places in the world with no support system, no network resources, no connections.
I had a pretty busy few hours.
I got a visa through the consulate.
I made contact with the Kabul chief of police to get updates on what roads are safe.
I got a contact number for the malik just in case I need help, got a translator, got a driver.
I researched the nearby airstrips just in case I need to get evacuated.
I don't know how you guys ever did this without cellphones and the Internet.
That's it.
I am suspending your computer privileges.
Mom Avery, you can't do this.
Well, tell me you wouldn't have done the same thing when you were my age.
Well, this is different.
Why? Because you're my son.
I promise I will be careful, okay? I will call you every day to check in to let you know that I am safe.
But I need to do this.
What What about the dog? You can't leave me with him.
I just stole cheese from him.
There's no end to what I'm capable of.
I think you'll both be okay.
And so will I.
You said it yourself I'm your son.
Bye, Benny Brown.
You take care of her, okay? And if she forgets to feed you, you just chew on her leg.
It worked for me.
Avery I know.
I love you, too.
[FOOTSTEPS DEPARTING] [BENNY WHIMPERING] [DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES] [WHIMPERING CONTINUES] Tell me about it.