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Broadcast News Movie Script

Writer(s) : James L. Brooks

Genres : Comedy, Drama, Romance

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       Broadcast  News

               by 

       James L. Brooks.







	FADE IN

	EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

	A restaurant supply truck is curbside, near a small 
	restaurant.  GERALD GRUNICK, forty-one, is closing the back 
	door of his truck, feeling good about the world, a common
	state for him.  He moves towards the cab of the truck and gets
	inside as we SUPER:

		KANSAS CITY, MO. - 1963

	INT. TRUCK - DAY

	As he sits down beaming over his recent good fortune... now we
	REVEAL his twelve-year-old son, TOM, seated quietly beside him. 
	He seems a bit down.  Gerald glances at his son.

				GERALD
		I don't know a recent Saturday I've
		sold more.  You didn't think I'd
		sell that health restaurant, did you?

				TOM
		No.  Not even you.

				GERALD
		Why so glum?

				TOM
		I don't know.

				GERALD
			(a beat)
		Go ahead.

				TOM
		No, nothing.  I've got a problem,
		I guess.

				GERALD
		Were you bothering by those
		waitresses making a fuss?

				TOM
		No.  But, honest.  What are you
		supposed to say when they keep
		talking about your looks?  I don't
		even know what they mean -- "Beat
		them off with a stick."

	Gerald stiffs a grin.

				GERALD
		You know, Tom, I feel a little
		proud when people comment on your
		looks.  Maybe you should feel that
		way.

				TOM
		Proud?  I'm just embarrassed that
		I like when they say those things.

				GERALD
		As long as that's your only problem
		you're...

				TOM
		It's not.

	He looks directly at his father and talks quietly, and sincerely.

				TOM
		I got my report card.  Three Cs,
		two Ds and an incomplete.

				GERALD
		Oh my.  I see you studying so hard,
		Tom.  What do you think the problem is?

				TOM
		I'll just have to try harder.  I don't 
		know.  I will.
			(talking himself
			 into it)
		I will.  I will.  I will.

	He shakes his head for emphasis, glad he's received this pep
	talk from himself -- he hands the card to his father.

				TOM
		Thanks, Dad, this talk helped.  Will 
		you sign it, please?

				GERALD
			(as he signs)
		Would it help if I got you a tutor?

				TOM
			(suddenly hopeful)
		That would be great.
			(worried)
		It better help.  What can you do with
		yourself if all you do is look good?

	SUPER THE LEGEND -- "FUTURE NETWORK ANCHORMAN"

							FADE OUT

	FADE IN

	BOSTON, MASS. - 1965

	INT. HIGH SCHOOL - AUDITORIUM - DAY

	AARON ALTMAN, looking almost preposterously young in his
	graduation gown -- is delivering his valedictory.  He is a
	rare bread -- a battle-scarred innocent.

				AARON
		...and finally to the teachers of
		Whitman High School, I don't have the
		words to express my gratitude which
		may have more to say about the quality 
		of the English Department here than 
		my own limitations...

	He awaits a laugh and gets only the weird sound of collective
	discomfort.

				AARON
		...that was, of course, not meant to
		be taken seriously.  A personal note.  
		I am frequently asked what the special 
		difficulties are in being graduated 
		from High School two months shy of my 
		fifteenth birthday.  I sometimes 
		think it was the difficulties 
		themselves which enabled me to do it.
		If I'd been appreciated or even tolerated
		I wouldn't have been in such a hurry to
		graduate.  I hope the next student who
		comes along and is able to excel isn't
		made to feel so much an outcast.  But
		I'm looking forward to college; this is
		the happiest day I've had in a long
		time.  I thank you and I forgive you.

	This is very little applause.

	ANGLE ON TEACHERS

				MALE TEACHER
		I'm always so confused by Aaron.
		Is he brave and earnest or just
		a conceited little dick-head?

	BACK TO AARON AS WE SUPER: "FUTURE NETWORK NEWS REPORTER"

	ANGLE ON STAGE

	As Aaron walks to his seat past three full grown tough looking
	semi-literate high school graduates.

				YOUTH #1
		Later, Aaron.

	EXT. SCHOOL YARD - DAY

	Clusters of graduates at the fence bordering the sunken school
	yard looking down as the tough cap and gowners seen earlier
	cuff Aaron around.

	CLOSER IN

	Aaron feeling from a blow -- his lip bleeding -- his teeth
	covered with blood...as he gets to his feet.  He is livid --
	something primal triggered by this brutality.

				AARON
		Go ahead, Stephen -- take your
		last licks.
			(points at his
			 face)
		But this will heal -- what I'm
		going to say to you will scar you
		forever.  Ready?  Here it is.

	He dodges as they come after him.  They catch him by the hair
	and hurl him to the ground.  As he gets up he hurls his
	devastating verbal blow.

				AARON
		You'll never make more than
		nineteen thousand dollars a year.
		Ha ha ha.

	They twist his arm and grip him -- his face scraped on the
	concrete.

				AARON
		Okay, take this:  You'll never
		leave South Boston and I'm going
		to see the whole damn world.  You'll
		never know the pleasure of writing
		a graceful sentence or having an
		original thought.  Think about it.

	He's punched in the stomach and sinks to the ground.  As the
	Young Toughs walk off Aaron catches a phrase of their
	conversation.

				YOUTH TOUGH
		Nineteen thousand dollars...
		Not bad.

	FADE IN

	ATLANTA, GEORGIA - 1968

	INT. SUBURBAN HOME - NIGHT

	JANE CRAIG, ten years old, is in her room typing.  Above the
	desk where she works is a bulletin board with letters and
	pictures tacked to each one.  Her desk has several file racks
	which contain bulging but neat stacks of air mail envelopes --
	a roll of stamps in a dispenser is to one side.  Jane types
	very well in the glare of her desk lamp.

				JANE
			(voice over; as
			 she types)
		Dear Felatzia, it's truly amazing
		to me that we live a world apart
		and yet have the same favorite music.
		I loved the picture you sent and
		have it up on my bulletin board.
		You're growing so much faster than
		I am that I...

	OTHER ANGLE

	SHOWING Jane's FATHER standing near the door.

				JANE
			(voice over)
		...am starting to get jealous.
		I read in the newspapers about
		the Italian strike and riots in
		Milan.  I hope you weren't...

				FATHER
			(softly)
		Honey?...

	Jane SCREAMS, and grabs her heart, breathing heavily, babbles
	nervously at her Dad.

				JANE
		Oh God -- Daddy -- don't...don't...
		don't ever scare me like that --
		please.

	We SUPER:  "FUTURE NETWORK NEWS PRODUCER"

	Her father is himself taken aback with the shock of her reaction.
	Falling back towards the door:

				FATHER
		Jane -- For God's sake...
			(recovering)
		Look, it's time for you to go
		to sleep.

				JANE
		I just have two more pen pals and
		then I'm done.

				FATHER
		You don't have to finish tonight.

				JANE
			(he doesn't get in)
		Nooo.  This way the rotation stays
		the same.

				FATHER
		Finish quickly.  I don't want you
		getting obsessive about these 
		things.  Good night.

	We REMAIN WITH Jane who has obviously become disconcerted and
	troubled.

	INT. HOUSE - NIGHT

	As Jane moves to room at the other end of the hall -- a family
	room where her Father reads the latest Rolling Stone of the
	mid-60's -- Hunter Thompson, the New Journalism, the slim
	Jann Wenner -- Jane bursts into the room.

				JANE
		Dad, you want me to choose my words
		so carefully and then you just throw
		a word like 'obsessive' at me.  Now,
		unless I'm wrong and...
			(enunciating)
		...please correct me if I am, 'obsession'
		is practically a psychiatric term...
		concerning people who don't have anything
		else but the object of their obsession --
		who can't stop and do anything else.  Well,
		Here I am stopping to tell you this.  Okay?
		So would you please try and be a little
		more precise instead of calling a person
		something like 'obsessive.'

	She advances furiously on her Father since even this strung out,
	even with two additional pen pal letters to get off, she had
	enough sense of duty to kiss him good night before storming from 
	the room.  She exits the room INTO BLACK.

	Stay on BLACK as we begin MAIN TITLES:

	OVER EXT. SMALL MID-WESTERN CITY - DAY

	Emerging from the blackness -- Jane Craig -- now a
	twenty-eight-year-old woman -- a long speed walker wearing a
	jacket to which reflecting stripes have been glued -- the kind
	of gear only possessed by someone who runs at off-hours.  The
	Jacket itself is a wish-I-had-it souvenir from some important
	news assignment, the sort of treasure you love about all else
	yet never mention.  She stops running as she feeds quarters into
	the first of a phalanx of newspaper machines -- getting seven
	different papers before moving on.

	INT. MOTEL ROOM - DAY

	As she enters from the bathroom, having showered and dressed.
	The sun is jus now rising.  She sits next to her phone.

	INSERT:  JANE'S ROOM

	The Filofax book is almost an additional character -- a crucial
	hand-fashioned tool of Jane's trade.  She flicks at a page --
	takes down a typewritten sheet scotch-taped to it showing the
	room number of her crew and reporter.

	ON JANE

	As she dials one room number.

				JANE
			(into phone)
		Hi...It's me...

	INT. DUPLICATE MOTEL ROOM - DAY

	ANGLE ON CAMERAMAN -- his equipment in evidence though
	essentially asleep holding his bedmate's hand, as he listens
	to Jane.

				JANE'S VOICE
			(voice over)
		It's thirty minutes before you have
		to meet me in the lobby -- nudge
		your wife.

	BACK TO SCENE

				JANE
		There's probably no time to eat...
		but there's a cafeteria at the bus
		depot once we get down there.  I
		love working with you two...It 
		saves me a call.

	She dales.

	INT. DUPLICATE MOTEL ROOM

	Where Aaron is switching his TV from station to station,
	monitoring the early morning news.  His PHONE RINGS.

				AARON
		Hi.  Turn on your TV...
		Good Morning America, the
		Morning News and Today are all
		about to talk to Arnold 
		Schwarzenegger and I think he's 
		live on at least two of them.

	BACK TO SCENE

				JANE
		At six o'clock on the wake-up
		news they used the wrong missile
		graphic.

				AARON
			(Austrian accent)
		Now listen, Arnold just said that
		he's been making three million a
		movie now.  But he's not ever 
		gonna change.  He's still the same
		person when he was making two 
		million dollars a movie.  He feels
		no different.  He also bought a brand-
		new condo with Maria, they gonna
		furnish tastefully.

				JANE
		A half hour in the lobby.

				AARON
			(Austrian accent)
		Okay, I'll see you in the lobbies [sic].

	She hangs up -- takes the phone off the hook and lays it on the
	bed for a moment's solitude.  She sits stiffly, palms on top of
	her legs.  It looks like someone with unusually good posture,
	waiting for something, and now we BEGIN TO SEE the first signs
	redden and she begins to cry.  Now she sobs -- then miraculously
	shakes it off and exits quickly to the bathroom.  This crying
	episode is clearly part of her morning routine.

	INT. BUS STATION - DAY

	Jane standing behind her husband-wife - camera-sound team
	as they train their attention on Aaron; who is getting ready to 
	do a stand-up.  There is a DERELICT off to one side.  Aaron holds 
	his microphone at the ready.

				AARON
		Ready.
 
				CAMERAMAN
		Your hair's a little funny.

				AARON
		It's an ethnic curl, I can't do
		anything about it.

				CAMERAMAN
		In front of a little -- it's a bit...
		You want a mirror?

				AARON
		No -- Don't worry about it.  Let's
		do this.

	Jane nods her assent.

				CAMERAMAN
		Okay.

	AARON SEEN THROUGH CAMERA

				AARON
		In other times, for other purposes,
		there might be a band and bunting
		here at the bus depot for J.D. Singer's
		return from war.  He...

				JANE
			(interrupting)
		I'm sorry.  But look at how
		wonderful his face is.

	She points to the derelict.

				AARON
		Oh, you mean use him...That's
		nice.  Okay.

				CAMERAMAN
		I'll put him in the low corner of
		the frame -- good.

				AARON
		In other times, with other purposes,
		there might be a band and bunting
		here at the bus depot for J.D. Singer's
		return from war.  Last week he was
		decorated by a president for heroism
		in a war.  But it was the civil war --
		in Angola -- and he was in it for the
		money.

	He puts the microphone down.

				AARON
		Thanks.

	He passes a vending machine and checks the stray hair.

	INT. GATE AREA - DAY

	Jane in the distant b.g. on the phone.  Aaron and crew shooting
	as the bus pulls up, hisses to a stop and tired, rumpled
	passengers exit the bus.  J.D. SINGER, strong, 9'6" figure
	emerges and is displeased to find a camera trained on him.
	He reacts with all the grace of a short mercenary.

				J.D.
		Go 'way.

	J.D. gets his luggage from the compartment under the bus.  The
	crew shooting.

				AARON
		Just a few questions?

				J.D.
		No.

	He starts walking -- the four person newsteam staying with him.

				AARON
		We came from Washington.

				J.D.
		Move away from me.

				AARON
			(holding out
			 microphone)
		How long has it been since you've
		been home.

				J.D.
			(moving)
		Fuck.  Fuck.  Fuck.  Fuckes.  Snot...
		Fuckee.  You want to use that?

				AARON
		It depends on how big a news day it 
		is.

	They reach Jane.  She calls to him.

				JANE
		J.D.  I'm Jane Craig.  I spoke to
		you in Angola.  I gave you some
		sugarless gum and Handi-Wipes.

	As he reacts to her:

	INT. JANE'S ROOM - NIGHT

	Jane sitting next to Aaron making detailed timing notes as she
	screens the material shot that day on a portable monitor unit.

				AARON
		Where's where I asked him about
		being scared?
			(then)
		You should work on your speech.

				JANE
		No.  It makes me nervous to think
		about it.  Let's do this.

	She consults her notes and goes back to the exact spot.

				AARON
			(on tape)
		All this business of war -- do you
		get scared?

				J.D.
			(on tape; he smiles)
		Uh-uh.
			(then)
		I'm a little freaked right now about
		seeing my father though.

	He laughs self-consciously and turns briefly away.

				JANE
		I love that turn away.

	INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

	Jane is at the lectern in the darkened auditorium as two large
	monitors display some taped news pieces she has assembled.  On
	the lectern is a sign telling us we are at the Conference of
	Local Television News Broadcasters.

				JANE
			(in darkness)
		There's a point I'm trying to make
		about these pieces coming up.

	A WOMAN'S OUTLINE blacked out from behind -- her VOICE
	ELECTRICALLY DISGUISED.

				WOMAN
			(o.s.; angrily)
		I don't think any client of mine
		makes less than fifty thousand dollars
		a year which means they can afford the
		best and you're damn right I feel good
		that that includes me.

							CUT TO:

	ANOTHER ANGLE - ANOTHER WOMAN
	in blackness, her VOICE DISGUISED.

				WOMAN TWO
			(o.s.)
		No.  You'd be surprised at who a
		working girl meets.  I've been a
		working girl for what? -- over a year
		anyway and that must be a thousand
		men and I don't think there's an age
		or type that hasn't been in there.

				INTERVIEWER'S VOICE
			(voice over)
		Policemen?  -- Doctor? -- Lawyer...?

				WOMAN TWO
			(o.s.)
		Oh, sure.  Television reporters.

	A laugh from the audience.  There is a:

							CUT TO:

	ANOTHER ANGLE - FULL FIGURE
	A WOMAN in blackness.

				WOMAN THREE
			(o.s.)
		I'm seventeen now and I've been
		working the streets for two years
		and I guess to be honest -- I stopped
		thinking of it as temporary.

	The lights come up on the room.  The two screens go black...
	there is general APPLAUSE.  Jane blinks nervously.

				JANE
		Please don't applaud.

	ON AUDIENCE

	Sitting in groups of three -- NEWS TEAM from around the country,
	remarkably similar in comparison...a great looking woman, good
	looking man (either young or attractively avuncular) and a Black
	or Hispanic.  They still APPLAUD -- not yet having grasped the
	sincerity of Jane's plea which she presses with more urgency.

				JANE
		Please.  Don't!!
			(she yells)
		I gathered these pieces as an
		example of what's WRONG with local
		television news.

	The applause stops.

				JANE
		The excerpts from THREE SEPARATE
		SERIES on prostitution were
		SIMULTANEOUSLY broadcast by all
		stations in one city during sweeps
		week.  By what bend of either or
		suspension of duty is that broadcast
		news?

	She pauses half a beat for possible applause -- hearing none,
	she continues.  An anchorman sneezes -- four people shout
	"gesundheit" simultaneously -- they laugh.

				JANE
		The legacy of Edward R. Murrow,
		Eric Sevareid, William Shirer,
		David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite
		is being squandered in a desperate
		popularity contest.  Our profession
		is in danger:

	TRACKING SHOT

	As Jane continues, REVEALING that the news team now have even
	more in common.  They do not like Jane.

				JANE
		Yesterday's compliment has somehow
		managed to become today's kiss of
		death.  To be considered a serious
		journalist is no longer flattering.
		It presents the risk of being labeled
		ponderous, or worse yet, elitest, 
		right?

	SHOT CONTINUES

	Women playing with their hair, young man bored...one
	middle-aged anchorman fusses with a spot on his tie...

	ON JANE

	Briefly departing from text.

				JANE
		All of you know what I'm talking about.  
		We're all trying to act together than 
		we are.  But we care.  So, we're all 
		secretly terrified, aren't we?

	Not a peep -- she is thrown but doggedly presses on with her
	prepared speech though her throat constricts a bit, her voice
	begins to rasp.

				JANE
		We are being increasingly influenced
		by the star system.  The network
		anchormen are so powerful they 
		compromise our last best hope.  The 
		current group is clearly qualified, 
		tied still to our best traditions, but 
		who follows these men?

	TRACKING SHOT MOVES TO TOM GRUNICK

	Seated with other members of his news team, a young blonde
	woman whose hand is resting on his inner leg, a good looking
	Hispanic.  Tom feels a growing excitement -- Jane is not just
	a speaker, she seems a savior.

				TOM
		Wow.

	His female colleague looks at him.

				FEMALE COLLEAGUE
		Oh, I've known so many women like
		that.  They don't like their looks
		so they're angry.

	BACK TO JANE

	Fumbling with her cards, sunk but game -- gamer than she would
	wish.

				JANE
		I was going to talk about other
		trends but...
			(mumbling)
		...the magazine shows, news at
		profit, influence of
		Entertainment Tonight, the danger, the
		hope, the dream, the question...Oh, I
		was going to show you a tape -- a story
		that was carried by all networks on the
		same night -- the same night -- not one
		network noted a major policy change in
		Salt Two nuclear disarmament talks...
		Here's what they ran instead...Go ahead. 
		Show the tape.

	ON MONITORS

	Showing the Japanese Domino Championships as broadcast by all
	networks in the Spring of 1985.  It is quite spectacular -- the
	dominoes falling into one another provoking waves, crossing tiny
	bridges, setting off little fireworks.  JANE'S AUDIENCE applauds
	loudly and squeals with delight.

	ON SCENE

	Jane between the two monitors.  She begins to speak loudly OVER
	the AUDIENCE NOISES of approval.

				JANE
			(loudly)
		I know it's good film.  I know it's
		fun.  I like fun.  It's just not news.
			(as they continue
			 to applaud)
		Well, you're lucky you love it --
		you're going to get a lot more just
		like it.

	STRAY VOICE - SHOUT "GOOD"

	OTHER ANGLE

	Jane sitting rocked into momentary catatonia, by the event.
	Dazed as an animal stung by a tranquilizer dart.  She takes
	some irregular breaths waiting for normal life to return.

	WIDER

	Tom the last person remaining in the room.  He approaches her --
	she is totally unaware of his presence, even when he casually
	mounts the stage with an athletic leap.  It takes courage for
	Tom to fully intrude himself, which he now does:

				TOM
		Hello.

	She looks up at him.

	ANGLE ON TOM

	Earnest, nervous -- handsome...Just when she needed a mirage
	there it is.

				JANE
		Hi.

				TOM
		I just wanted to tell you  how great 
		you were.  My name's Tom Grunick.

				JANE
			(dumbly)
		Thank you.
			(then)
		They hated me.  I don't hate them.

				TOM
		Well, they say if you can reach
		even one person, it means something...
		And you did that.

	Jane looks up at his smile -- a beat then:

				JANE
		Would you like to have dinner
		with me?

	INT. HOTEL RESTAURANT - NIGHT

	Jane arrives at the maitre d' stand.  She has attempted to dress
	up to the extent that  packing for a short-day trip allows.  She
	looks for Tom.  Tom rises from a table and is immediately at
	her side.

				JANE
		Hi.  I was worried I was early.

				TOM
		I was a lot earlier.

	They are lead to a table and sit down.

				TOM
		I kept thinking what a great break
		it was for me to get to see you
		tonight.  More than a great break,
		maybe just what I needed...just when
		I needed it...Angel of mercy --
		godsend...lifesaver...what?

				JANE
			(picking one)
		I like "godsend."

				TOM
		I haven't been in news that long.
		I've just been looking for the
		right person to talk to.  I have
		about two thousand questions for you.

	He notices that her head has gone into her hands where it
	continues to rest.  He looks at her a beat.

				TOM
		It's possible now's not the right
		time.

	She lifts her head.

				JANE
		If we could just eat first.

				TOM
		Totally understood.  Totally
		wrong of me to talk shop after
		the day you've had.  Totally
		sorry.

				JANE
		Nooo.  If I could just have a
		roll, I'd be okay.

	She takes a roll from the roll plate.  He smiles at her.  She
	takes a bite.

				JANE
		Thank you.

	EXT. CONVENTION HOTEL - NIGHT

	As they walk along -- dumping occasionally and self-consciously.
	Jane is feeling a version of being turned on -- that is, a little
	adrift and temporarily free of obligations.  She is open to
	making a memorable mistake.

				JANE
		Another thing I can't stand --
		Is this dull?

	Tom shakes his head almost violently.

				TOM
		No, no, no, no...

	Jane looks at him curiously -- then:

				JANE
			(broadly)
		Another thing I can't stand is
		...when White House reporters
		bullshit with each other after
		a briefing and then one of them
		has a theory and the other quotes
		it in his story as "White House"
		sources say...

				TOM
		That actually goes on...

				JANE
		Yes.  My room is down here --
		I'm not tired.  Do you want to
		keep talking?

				TOM
		Yes, sure.

	INT. JANE'S ROOM - NIGHT

	A small good room -- her working paraphernalia very much in
	evidence...the quality briefcase...the reams of well organized
	notes...the thick contact book -- Jane is sitting on the bed --
	Tom, not far away in the room's only chair.  One lamp is on
	and it serves to place Jane in the shadows and cast Tom in an
	enormously flattering light.  MUSIC comes from her miniature
	portable STEREO system.

				JANE
		Come on...Even I'm not that
		hard on myself.

				TOM
		No, I really got this job on a
		fluke and wait till you hear where
		it ends up.

	Jane smiles a calming smile.

				JANE
		I was doing sports at the station.
		The newspaper ran this untrue story
		that I was leaving and they got all
		these tons of protest mail.  So they
		made me anchor.

				JANE
		So great -- right?

				TOM
		Except I'm no good at what I'm being
		a success at.

				JANE
		How are you at back rubs?

	Jane shifts her position so that her back is to Tom... He is
	immobilized by the sudden turn.  Jane waits, just a bit longer
	than it would take a man to run from the chair to her side before
	experiencing the ghost-like clutch of rejection.  She moves
	briskly past the moment -- grabbing a "good night" chocolate
	from the pillow and munching it as she return to his agenda.

				JANE
		It's sort of normal -- the way you
		feel.  In graduate school everyone
		thought the only mistake the
		admission committee made was letting
		them in.

	He moves to the bed.

				TOM
		Listen to me.  You keep on thinking
		I'm somebody ho lacks...confidence.
		That's not it.  I know I can talk well
		enough and I'm not bad at making contact
		with people, but I don't like the 
		feeling that I'm pretending to be a 
		reporter.
			(cont'd)
		And half the time I don't really get 
		the news I'm talking about.  It isn't
		that I'm down on myself.  Trust me,
		I stink.

				JANE
			(levelly)
		I trust you.

				TOM
		I didn't even have the chance to get
		really good at sports.  I wasn't bad.
		I thought I was starting to do
		interesting features but hockey is
		big at the station and...

				JANE
			(interrupting)
		What about the obvious remedy?
		Reversing things.  Maybe getting a
		job on a newspaper.

				TOM
		I don't write.

	Jane laughs or, more accurately, scoffs as Tom Continues.

				TOM
		But that didn't stop me from
		sending out audition tapes to
		bigger stations and the networks.

				JANE
		Well, come on -- it is your life.
		Nobody is tying you to the fast
		track.  Did you go to college?

				TOM
		One year...almost one year.

				JANE
		So, you're not well educated and
		you have almost no experience and
		you can't write.

	He nods agreement.

				TOM
		And I'm making a fortune.

	Jane laughs very briefly -- then rubs her face vigorously with
	her hands... He's making her feel a little crazy.  She gets off
	the bed.

				JANE
		It's hard for me to advise you
		since you personify something that
		I truly think is dangerous.

				TOM
		Uh-huh.

				JANE
			(holding it in)
		I agree with you -- you're not qualified.
			(letting it out)
		So get qualified.  You can insist on
		being better prepared.  You don't have
		to just leave it as...
			(mimicking him)
		'I don't write.  I'm not schooled.
		I don't understand the news I'm reading.
		But at least I'm upset about it, folks.'

	A beat, then he mumbles softly to himself.

				TOM
		Whoa, this was a mistake.

				JANE
		Just what do you want from me, anyway?
		Permission to be a fake?  Stop whining
		and do something about it.

	He gets up to leave.  She follows him.

				JANE
		Well, you don't have to start right now.

	He turns to her.

				TOM
		I hated the way you talked to me just
		now...and it wasn't just because you
		were right.

	He exits.

	INT. JANE'S HOTEL - NIGHT

	She is on the phone.

				JANE
			(into phone)
		No.  It wasn't just the speech --
		the same thing happened with this
		guy.  I have passed some line some
		place.  I am beginning to repel people
		I'm trying to seduce.

	INT. AARON'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

	As he talks with Jane.

				AARON
			(agreeably)
		He must have been great-looking, right?

				JANE
		Why do you say that?

				AARON
		Because nobody invites a bad-
		looking idiot to their bedroom.

	She smiles.

				AARON
		Okay.  Let's do me.

				JANE
		Sure.

				AARON
		Okay.  I feel like I'm slipping but
		do people who are actually slipping
		feel that way or is it always the
		really good people who are moving up
		who invariably think they're slipping
		because their standards are so high?

				JANE
		This conversation is not worthy of you.

				AARON
		I'd give anything if that were true.

				JANE
			(laughing)
		Good night.

				AARON
		Wouldn't this be a great world if
		insecurity and desperation made us
		more attractive?  If needy were a
		turn-on?

				JANE
		Call if you get weird.

	INT. JANE'S HOTEL - NIGHT

	She hangs up -- pulls back the bedspread on the double bed --
	on the other half are papers, schedules -- tapes.  She doesn't 
	clear them off so that she is literally sleeping with her work.  
	The PHONE RINGS.

				JANE
			(answering)
		I was just thinking it was the
		shortest phone conversation we
		ever had.

	EXT. PHONE BOOTH

	A deserted well-lit area.  Tom on the phone.

				TOM
		I never told you the reason I was
		telling you everything for.

				JANE
			(pleasantly surprised
			 it's him)
		Hey?

	INTERCUT:

	ON TOM

				TOM
		Those audition tapes I sent out...
		I've been hired by your network for
		the Washington bureau.  So I'll
		probably see you at work.  Sorry.

	Jane is rocked and soured.

				JANE
		What???

	EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. STREET - MORNING

	Jane and Aaron walking to work -- agitated.

				AARON
		They didn't hire Peter Stiller from
		the Times and he had a great
		audition tape.

				JANE
		You want to start going over who they
		could have gotten?  They can't take on
		people like this for network news.  For
		God's sake.  What's going on?

	INT. NEWS BUILDING LOBBY - DAY

	Tom arrives for first day of work.

	INT. ERNIE MERRIMAN'S OFFICE

	ERNIE MERRIMAN is the network's Washington Bureau Chief.  He
	is in his early 60's, has worked for the network about 40 years
	-- part of the golden age -- a family man, an honorable man,
	a good guy.  Right now he is welcoming Tom to the network
	thereby good-naturedly helping with the destruction of all he
	holds dear.  As he hands Tom his credentials:

				ERNIE
		Any particular area you feel
		strongest in?

				TOM
		To be honest, I was best at anchor.

	Ernie gives him a long look -- is he kidding?

				ERNIE
		Why don't you take a few days observing
		the system?  Then we'll put you on
		general assignment.

	EDITING ROOM - NIGHT

	Two small TV monitors -- a smallish room.  Jane goes over her
	timing notes which correspond to the time code SUPERED on the
	monitors.  BOBBIE -- an extraordinarily silent man -- is doing
	Jane's bidding.  On the monitor we SEE the mercenary piece
	which Jane is editing against a tightening deadline.  The
	PHONE RINGS periodically -- Jane conducting abrupt conversations
	which continuing to edit.  The pressure is palpable to begin
	with but builds and builds; almost like a family fight getting
	out of hand and threatening to bend lives.  Through it all, Jane
	remains remarkable calm.  Her focus is amazing; her command sexy.

				JANE
			(consulting notes)
		Go back to 316, Bobbie.  The sound
		bite in the cab -- it starts, 'I
		don't know how I'll feel...'

				BOBBIE
		We could...

				JANE
			(interrupting)
		Please, Bobbie, we're pushing.

	As Bobbie expertly reverses the tape, Tom's face appears in
	the glass doorway and then he enters the already crowded room --
	Jane's eyes click to him briefly.  She makes not a move to
	welcome him.  He pauses, but is committed and tries to find
	a piece for himself against the wall.

				TOM
		They said I should observe the...

	Jane is distracted by the noise... Tom leaning over towards her.

				TOM
		They said it would be okay if...

				JANE
			(incredulous)
		We're working here!!  You can stand
		over in the uh, uh, uh...

	She momentarily can't think of the word 'corner.'  Then back
	to Bobbie:

				JANE
		Play back the last line...

				BOBBIE
		He said something about...

				JANE
			(sharply)
		Let me hear it!

	Bobbie, taking the sharp commands with ever increasing,
	yet still repressed resentment.

	The Assistant Director, BLAIR LITTON, enters the editing room.
	She is about 26 and every night since she got her job as
	Assistant Director she has been the first to crack under pressure.

				BLAIR
		We'll need it in ten minutes.  We're
		putting it directly into...

	Jane holds up a finger of warning to Blair as she picks up a
	ringing phone and talks to Bobbie at the same time.

				JANE
			(into phone)
		Craig, just a second --
			(to Bobbie)
		Let me hear it!

	Through much of this chaos we focus on:

	TOM

	Wedged into an uncomfortable position between two tape racks --
	He is wide-eyed at this circus of tension and fear.  His eyes
	dart around constantly -- trying to take in as much as he can,
	always returning with wonder to focus on Jane.

				MERCENARY
			(voice over)
		It's been a long time since I've seen
		my folks and all but...I don't expect
		any big-deal homecoming.

				JANE
		Stop there.
			(into phone she's
			 been holding)
		I want to shoot a picture from
		a book I have in the office.

				BLAIR
		You don't have time.  Not a chance.

				JANE
			(into phone)
		I'll be right down.  It's right tight.

	She crosses out.

				BLAIR
		I've got to tell Ernie...because
		there isn't enough time.

				JANE
		Yes, there is.

	Blair leaves, as Jane gathers up her notes.  She charges out
	leaving Tom awkwardly along with Bobbie.

				TOM
		I'm Tom Grunick.  I started on
		General Assignment today.

	Bobbie stops the machine, turns in his chair and shakes hands.
	Then he smiles secretly and speaks his first full sentence.

				BOBBIE
		I don't think she's going to make it.

	Tom exits.

	INT. BUREAU NEWSROOM

	Aaron is having a theoretical discussion with Ernie and
	JENNIFER MACK, a correspondent in her early 40's, a pioneer
	beauties in news.  She is well-schooled, bred, trained and
	known... GEORGE WEIN, a black correspondent in his 40s, and
	MARTIN KLEIN, formerly with the Johnson administration --
	State Department correspondent for the network.

				KLEIN
		Okay, what about this?  Here's a
		tough ethical one.  Would you tell
		a source that you loved them just
		to get some information?

				AARON
		Yes.

				GEORGE
		Yes.

				ERNIE
		Me too.

				JENNIFER
		Sure.

				AARON
		Jennifer didn't know there
		was an alternative.

	Jennifer laughs that laugh one always hopes beautiful women
	will laugh when one says something funny.  Aaron smiles at her.

				AARON
		Here's one.  They allow us to have
		cameras at an execution in Florida.
		Do you broadcast tape of the guy  in
		the chair when they turn on the
		voltage?

				KLEIN
		Sure.

				JENNIFER
		Why not?

				ERNIE
		Absolutely.

				GEORGE
		You bet.

				AARON
		Nothing like wrestling with a
		moral dilemma is there?

	Blair enters the scene, Tom trailing several feet behind,
	continuing to monitor the budding deadline crises.

				BLAIR
		Excuse me, Ernie, we're several minutes
		to air and Jane's shooting an insert
		still for tonight's piece.

				ERNIE
		She knows how much time she has.

	Blair flashes a tortured smile -- panic is growing.

				BLAIR
		Okay.  I just wanted you to know.

				AARON
		What is she shooting?

				BLAIR
		Norman Rockwell's 'Homecoming.'

				AARON
			(thinks then)
		Oh, that's nice...
			(walking away)
		We'll need some new lines.

	INT. EDITING ROOM - NIGHT

	Jane up against it now -- but still seemingly calm.  Tom
	watching, keeps on glancing at the clock fascinated,
	impressed.

				JANE
		Okay, Bobbie, just a two-second
		dissolve to the Rockwell.

				BOBBIE
		Should I...

				JANE
			(interrupting)
		Just a two-second dissolve.

				BLAIR
			(hurting)
		Oh, Jesus, we have three minutes...
		Why do you do this to me.  Is it
		because I won an award?

	INT. RECORDING BOOTH - NIGHT

	Where Aaron is writing his last line on a folded over piece of
	paper even as he gets ready to record.  He times it with a
	stop watch.

				AARON
		Norman Rockwell's enduring portrait
		of a Homecoming  The return of a
		fighting man has always been one of
		the more moving ceremonies of war...
		Tearful women, proud men, excited
		children.  But J.D. Singer was right --
		his homecoming was no big deal.

	INT. EDITING ROOM - NIGHT

				BLAIR
		We have a minute and a half.  It's my
		responsibility to tell them we won't
		be ready.

				JANE
		Uh-uh.  We're be ready.

	Blair glances frantically at her watch.

				BLAIR
		In 84 seconds?

	ON CLOCK

	Sweeping from 28 minutes to -- 84 seconds from deadline.  Aaron
	walks in, Jane looks up.

				JANE
			(hopefully)
		Nine seconds.

				AARON
		Eleven and a half.

				JANE
		Oh, God.  Back it, Bobbie -- Bobbie?

	ALMOST SIMULTANEOUS DIALOGUE FOLLOWS.  IT BUILDS UNTIL IT
	DUPLICATE THE SOUND OF LOUD AND BAWDY SEX.

				BLAIR
		You're saying 'Oh, God..."  They are
		going to go to up and the screen will
		be black -- they're going to go to black
		because we're not there.  How about
		careers, huh?  How about careers?

	ON CLOCK

	42 seconds away.

				BLAIR
		We're not going to make it.

	Bobbie makes a small bobble -- Jane giving the merest evidence
	of the strain, scratching her face repeatedly.

				BOBBIE
		Whoops.

				BLAIR
			(unravelling)
		Whoops?!?  Whoops?!?  No, please...
		no, ooh, ahhh, ohhh.

				AARON
		Shit, shit, shit...

				TOM
			(caught up)
		You're almost there, you can do it --
		can do -- can do.

	And as the pitch reaches its zenith, 27 seconds left.  Bobbie
	hands the tape to Blair.

				BOBBIE
		Ready.

	INT. NEWSROOM - NIGHT

	Blair hikes up her skirt and takes off.

	VARIOUS SHOTS

	Our "chase scene" as Blair soars through the newsroom, leaping a
	chair smoothly, smashing her leg against a table in full flight,
	the adrenaline deadening the pain -- she arrives at a waiting
	elevator -- uses a key dangling from her neck to unlock it... jumps
	nervously during the ride and now, in FULL EXTENDED FLIGHT, barrels
	down the long corridor heading to the control room where she
	arrives; slamming the tape into a technician's hand even as it is
	introduced on the air.

	INT. NEWSROOM - NIGHT

	Aaron, Jane, the others looking at the end of the piece on the
	air -- Tom in the b.g. as Blair enters -- relaxed, almost jaunty.

				BLAIR
		I was a little nervous there for
		a minute.

				AARON
		Oh, come on -- tell us another.

	ON MONITOR

	The end of the piece -- the Rockwell painting giving way to the
	mercenary's actual homecoming which matches the portrait.  The 
	irony works nicely.  The network anchorman comes up for his close.  
	BILL RORISH, 50 years old and able to flutter much younger pulses.  
	He is able and experienced -- a reporter who has become a 
	journalistic king.

				BILL
			(on monitor, smiling)
		Bill Rorish...Thank you...Good night.

				JENNIFER
		Look at that smile.  Oh, that was
		good and oh my, Bill smiled -- he
		liked it.

				AARON
		He loved it.  Big smile.

	He gives Jane a congratulatory sock in the shoulder which she
	returns -- Tom in the b.g. of the SHOT.

				BLAIR
		I haven't seen Bill smile like that
		in weeks.

	Ernie has walked a few steps to the office.

				BLAIR
		Ernie, you missed his close... He smiled.
			(mimicking)
		Thank you...Good night.

	She smiles.

				ERNIE
		I saw the smile -- good piece.

				AARON
		I'm gonna go look at it again.

	They leave -- Aaron waving to Tom who stands in the b.g.  The
	others leave.  Tom approaches Jane.

				TOM
		I'm sorry if I was in the way.  It
		was totally impressive.  Great piece.

				JANE
			(somewhat formal)
		You weren't.  Thanks.  How does it
		feel being here?

				TOM
		I can't believe I'm really here.  No
		kidding.  If you're through work now --

				JANE
		No.  Aaron and I go to Central America
		on Wednesday -- so I'm cramming.

				TOM
		I thought you were incredible in there.
		I know how much I have to learn.  I'd
		really -- a lot -- appreciate it...if...

				JANE
		'Really a lot appreciate it...'

				TOM
		You  make me nervous.  Anyway if I
		can pick your brain --

	Jane grimaces at "pick your brain."

				JANE
		I can't help you, sorry.  I'm not
		here to teach remedial reporting.

				TOM
		And it has nothing to do with the fact
		I left your room instead of staying 
		there?

	Jane looks at him.

				JANE
		Oh, please.
			(then, almost gently)
		You're gonna have to understand
		something.  This isn't personal.

	She exits.

	EXT. CENTRAL AMERICAN JUNGLE - MORNING

	As Aaron, Jane and their CREW march along with a CONTRA SQUAD deep
	in their own conversation.  Except for the DIN of TROPICAL BIRDS
	they seem almost like a cranky married couple on their way to work.

				AARON
		I didn't sleep.  They're giving me less
		and less air time.  They don't think
		I'm at all anchor material.

				JANE
		If we don't get to their camp soon,
		we won't be able to tape the supplies
		coming in.

				AARON
		Last time Paul was sick they gave
		Connie the weekend news instead of me.

				JANE
		You spend too much time -- much too
		much worrying about that crap...
			(suddenly reacting)
		Oh good.

	They have entered a clearing where supplies have been dropped,
	the Guerrillas already tearing apart boxes with army boots
	inside.

	ANGLE ON

	A guerrilla soldier rubbing his shoeless foot.  A pair of new boots 
	sit alongside him.  Jane's Cameraman prepares to shoot, saying in 
	Spanish, then English:

				CAMERAMAN
		Put on the boot.

	Jane rushes into the scene incensed.

				JANE
		Stop!  We are not here to stage the news.
		Wait and see what he does.

	Then to the totally confused soldier.

				JANE (cont'd)
		Sir, you do whatever you want.  It's
		your choice.

	By now there is a fair-sized cluster of armed men as well as
	the news team staring at the guerrilla, who is at loss as to
	what is expected.  He looks to Jane, who can offer no help
	save her own determination not to interfere.  Finally he puts
	on the boot.

				JANE
			(to Cameraman)
		Okay.

	He shoots the scene.

	INT. HAY ADAMS HOTEL

	Tom, in shirt and tie, is on the phone.  This is a big day.

				TOM
		Okay, I'll meet the crew there then.
		Could you give me that address again?
		Great.  Yes, it's good to finally be
		getting to work.  Okay that's
		17204?  1-7-2-0-4.  Thanks.

	INT. HOTEL LOBBY - DAY

	As Tom gets directions from the CONCIERGE.

				CONCIERGE
		It's only ten minutes if you prefer
		to walk...
			(as he walks away)
		I'll look for you on the news tonight.

	EXT. HOTEL - DAY

	Tom has a real sense of the moment -- of having arrived.  The
	strange bubble of pleasure rises to the surface as he walks off
	to cover his first story.  He laughs out loud, loving his lot.

	EXT. CENTRAL AMERICAN JUNGLE - LATER AFTERNOON

	Jane in the f.g. with her crew while Aaron talks in rapid Spanish
	to the GUERRILLA LEADERS.

				AARON (in Spanish)
		Are you guys kidding or do you really
		think you'll run into something...?
		I mean, do you feel that every time
		and it never happens?  Or is it the
		first time it felt that way and it's
		going to happen?... I mean, how bad
		can it be?... Are you nervous...?
		What's the chances on a scale of one
		to ten -- that we're going to be in
		a war within the next few hours?...
		Really?

	He starts to walk towards Jane -- one of the men he was
	talking with calling after him with an added thought.

				AARON
		Thanks, you speak English very well
		too.
			(to Jane)
		Great news.  He says they've been
		engaging the Sandinistas pretty
		regularly and that he'd be really
		surprised if we didn't take fire 
		tonight.

	Jane reacts -- a flash of exhilaration.  Aaron is amazed at her
	attitude.

				AARON
		Look at her.
			(to Jane)
		If anything happens to me tell every
		woman I've ever dated I was talking
		about them at the end.  That way they'll
		have to reevaluate me.

	Jane laughs out loud, attracting the Guerrillas' attention.
	Aaron repeats his speech in Spanish.  The Guerrillas laugh.

	EXT. JUNGLE - NIGHT

	Aaron and Jane in line behind the Guerrillas.  They HEAR A SHOT.
	The head of the patrol gestures -- deploying his men.  Aaron
	grabs Jane and heads for some cover to the left.  As they run --
	more SHOTS.  Jane in work mode.  As soon as they settle.

				JANE
		Let's tape.

				CAMERAMAN
			(Spanish accent)
		Much too dark.  Black.

				JANE
		That's okay.

	ON AARON BARELY DISCERNIBLE

	As they start taping he is breathless with the nervousness of
	the nearly gunfire.

				AARON
		The first shots were fired not thirty
		seconds ago.  The Contras feel they
		must be outnumbered this is so small
		a unit:  that's a given.  Still they
		hold their ground despite the fact
		that their weapons have been acting
		up -- misfiring or jamming.  A new
		shipment of rifles is expected tomorrow --
		all they got today were the shoes.

	There is the SOUND OF GUNFIRE.

				JANE
			(to Cameraman)
		Okay.
			(to Aaron)
		Great line at the end.

				AARON
		Did you shoot their boots?

				JANE
		Of course.

				AARON
		We can cut back at the end.

				JANE
		To the pan of the supplies boxes --

				AARON
		Can you believe it?  I just risked my
		life for a network that tests my face
		with focus groups.

	EXT. GOVERNMENT BLDG - AFTERNOON

	Tom, squashed in amidst a small mob of reporters... behind a
	police line.  He HEARS a reporter next to him say:

				REPORTER
		I think he's coming out now.

				TOM
			(to his crew)
		They say he's coming out now.

	A surge.

				TOM
			(to Reporter)
		Is that him?

				TOM'S CAMERAMAN
		Yes.

	Tom checks his notes.


	INSERT - TOM'S BLACK BOOK

	The same model we've seen Jane use.  A list of questions
	written in big color highlighted letters.  As he looks down
	to study them, everyone else moves suddenly off.

	TOM'S P.O.V.

	The mass of journalists and technicians shouting questions.
	"Will you dispatch troops?" after the Ambassador they've been
	awaiting -- clumping on his limo and then being shaken by the
	movement of the vehicle.

	ON TOM

	Standing alone and forlorn as his crew trots back.

				CAMERAMAN
			(observing Tom)
		What's wrong?

				TOM
		I had a lot of questions here.  I
		missed the story.

				CAMERAMAN
		Don't worry, it's okay.  I got
		a piece of his face.

	EXT. GUERRILLAS CAMP - MORNING

	Jane is standing -- talking to her crew.  Others asleep
	in b.g. -- a drowsy, morning-after feeling.

				JANE
		Are you all packed and ready?

				CAMERAMAN
		The stuff in the dark is not good.
		Nobody wants news lit like that.

				JANE
		Will you just get packed?

	She waves him off -- then she walks several yards away, holding
	a knapsack in her hand.  She takes off a brush and runs it
	through her hair -- opens a plastic case and takes out a travel
	toothbrush, brushes her teeth and rinses her mouth with water
	from her canteen.  She puts everything back in place, then looks
	about, sobs for several beats.  One of the Guerrillas hears her
	sobbing and enters the scene -- he stands a respectful distance
	away.  Jane finishes, notices him, makes a face by way of
	explanation, and exits the scene feeling measurably better.

	INT. WASHINGTON CONTROL ROOM - NIGHT

	The Washington Control Room.  Jennifer, Jane, Aaron, Blair stand
	watching the intro to the Central American piece.  Tom stands in
	the distant b.g.  There are over a dozen monitors -- including
	one which is constantly on the anchor man, Bill Rorish.

	ON TELEVISION MONITORS

	Bill Rorish on camera -- an INSERT behind showing Aaron in
	blackness planted into a Central American map bordered by rifles.
	A separate monitor shows the INSERT alone.

				BILL (voice over)
		A fire fight along the Nicaraguan
		border...in one minute.

	The INSERT MOVES OUT AT US TO FILL THE SCREEN -- WE SEE Aaron's
	dim outline and HEAR him say:

				AARON (voice over; on camera)
		The first shots were fired not thirty
		seconds ago.

	The MUSICAL "EVENING NEWS" SIGNATURE COMES IN ever-so-briefly.
	The SCREEN GOES TO A COMMERCIAL -- as Blair screams
	enthusiastically.

				BLAIR
		Great graphic, great graphic.

	Ernie ENTERS THE  SCENE... He kisses Jane in greeting -- pats
	Aaron on the back.

				ERNIE
		You finally got a piece in a few
		minutes early and I hear Bill loved it.

	Jennifer gives Jane a mock pat on the back.

				ERNIE (continuing)
		I have somebody downstairs who one of
		the clerks brought in and vouches for.
		He says he has something to say about
		gays getting promotions at State...
		It can't hurt to tape him.

	ON JANE

	As she feels Tom staring at her -- turns and notices him
	for the first time.

				TOM
		Hi.

				JANE
		How's it going?

				TOM
		Can I buy you dinner sometime soon?

				JANE
			(thrown)
		I just got back -- I don't know
		which end is up.

				TOM
		Okay.

	In the b.g. WE MAY HAVE NOTICED Bill Rorish on one monitor as he
	picks up the phone at his anchor desk, during the commercial
	break.

				BLAIR
		Jane!  Bill Rorish wants to speak
		to you at the break.
			(as she hands it to her)
		I never heard of him handing over
		compliments in the middle of the
		show.

	There is a stillness in the Control Room as Jane speaks to the
	anchor man in New York who WE CAN VIEW on a monitor.

	ON MONITOR

	We see Bill Rorish.

				BILL
			(into phone)
		Jane?

				JANE
			(into phone)
		Yes.

				BILL
			(into phone)
		Well, darling, if it gets any better than
		that, I'm going to have to bring you up
		here to New York.

				JANE
			(into phone)
		Thanks.  I just wish you'd kept the first
		twenty seconds.

	Blair cringes at Jane's blunt reply.

				JANE
			(into phone)
		But thanks.

				BILL
			(over phone)
		Well, the visual with the boots at the
		end was just perfect.

	Jane covers the mouthpiece and turns to Aaron.

				JANE
		God, he loved the boots.

	Aaron reaches happily for the phone.

				JANE
			(into phone)
		Aaron should be hearing this so I
		have an extra witness.

				BILL
			(over phone)
		Well, you always want to give the 
		credit away, do you?

				JANE
			(into phone)
		No, I don't.  He happens to deserve
		the credit.  He's right here.

				BILL
			(over phone)
		I'll speak to you soon

	We see Rorish over the monitor.  He hangs up.

				JANE
			(to Aaron)
		He had to read over some new copy.

	We see on the monitor that this is not so.  It's a very eggy moment
	Aaron.  Tom breaks the silence.

				TOM
			(to the rescue)
		Okay if I watch you tape that interview
		downstairs?

				AARON
		Yeah.

	As he passes Jane he leans next to her and WE HEAR him WHISPER.

				AARON
		Please laugh so they think I'm not
		dying inside but have so much style
		I just said something funny.

	Jane does her part enormously well -- laughing with amusement...
	but her eyes blaze -- her friend has been needlessly humiliated.
	Blair wants desperately to be inside Aaron's joke.

				BLAIR
		What did he say?

				JANE
			(as if still amused)
		I'll never tell.

	INT. SMALL TELEVISION STUDIO - NIGHT

	BUDDY FELTON waits alone.  A CAMERA CREW watches him.  He is
	well dressed, exceedingly nervous.  He summons the courage to
	ask a question.

				BUDDY
		Could I see how I photograph?

				CAMERAWOMAN
		Huh?  Sorry?

				BUDDY
		'Cause for the interview they're
		going to use a screen and disguise
		me to protect my anonymity so could
		I see myself before that?

				CAMERAWOMAN
		Sure.

	The Camerawoman punches a button and immediately Buddy's image
	comes up on a standing monitor on the studio floor.  He's not
	happy with the image -- but works at concealing his reaction --
	gasping a bit of air -- trying to touch it.  Aaron enters.
	Tom smiles a friendly smile which flusters Buddy momentarily.
	But again he almost manages to conceal his private rush.  Buddy's
	internal drama is such he invariably finds himself covering up,
	fearful roomfuls of people will simultaneously guess his
	thoughts.

	Aaron directs him behind a screen and looks at his notes.

				AARON
		It's Mr. Buddy Felton?

				BUDDY
		Yes.

				AARON
		That's your full name?

				BUDDY
		Yes.

				AARON
		I might as well ask you the questions
		on tape.  Is that all right?

				BUDDY
		Yes.

				AARON
		You worked at one time as 
		Foreign Service Trainee in the
		State Department.

				BUDDY
		I was there two years and was promoted
		on merit nine times.

				AARON
		Eventually rising to...

				BUDDY
		Office Bimbo. 
			(curbing his amusement) 
		No, I'm sorry.

	Aaron is having a hard enough day,  He is visibly annoyed.

				AARON
		You're saying the fact that you're
		gay had something directly to do with
		your promotions?

				AARON
		Eventually rising to?

				BUDDY

		G.S.  I don't know.
			(scratches his head)
		I don't know numbers.

	Tom laughs.  Aaron shoots him a look.

				AARON
		You're saying the fact that you're gay had
		something directly to do with your promotions?

				BUDDY
		I don't like the word gay.

				AARON
		Which would you prefer?

				BUDDY
		Ravenous homosexual.

				AARON
		Stop the tape, okay.  Forget it,
		Ellen.  Let's call security and
		get him out.

	As Aaron walks out -- Tom is momentarily fixed on the sight of Buddy
	walking in small circles giving himself a talking to.

				BUDDY
			(self flagellating)
		Great time to act out, Buddy.  You
		won't be happy until you turn the
		whole world off.

	He notices Tom.

				BUDDY
		They're not really going to call
		security are they?

				TOM
		No, I don't think so.

				BUDDY
		How do I get out of here?

				TOM
		Follow me.

				BUDDY
			(dazzled)
		You talked me into it.

	INT. ELEVATOR - NIGHT

	Tom distracted -- his day has been a bit of a bummer.  Buddy
	self conscious -- the proximity creating an almost unbearable
	tension of romance and adventure.

	INT. BUILDING LOBBY - NIGHT

	A Guard on duty -- a BLACK WOMAN.  She sees Buddy.

				GUARD
		Oh, you're the gay guy.  I was just
		coming to find you.

				BUDDY
		I'm leaving.

				TOM
			(to Guard)
		It's okay.

	EXT. STREET - NIGHT

	Walking.  Buddy in step with him.

				BUDDY
		Sir?

	Tom turns.  Buddy talks rather quickly -- He cares very much
	about leaving Tom with the right impression.  The last words
	of his speech he hadn't expected to say.

				BUDDY (cont'd)
		Thank you for not shunning me and
		all.
			(more)
		I really did have all that information
		but I thought I might just be being
		vindictive to get a little hunk of
		the ol' spotlight.  I know, horrible --
		but I didn't do it, so okay?  And
		thanks again and would you like to
		have a drink -- at a regular bar?

				TOM
		Oh, sure.  Okay.

	His heart racing, Buddy attempts casual matter-of-factness.

				BUDDY
		Is there a regular bar around here?

	INT./ENT. REGULAR BAR - NIGHT

	Tom and Buddy on adjoining stools.  For Tom, the last weeks have
	been humbling, antagonistic.  He's enjoying Buddy who listens
	attentively and wholeheartedly endorses every word Tom speaks.

				TOM
		I've been doing some morning show
		stuff, but mostly radio -- that doesn't
		bother me.  I'm in no rush for
		anything.  It's just the snotty
		attitude, even if I have it coming,
		it's still...

				BUDDY
		Bad manners.

				TOM
		Yes.  That's right.

				BUDDY
		I know...I mean you didn't do anything
		special for me tonight.  You just had
		what I think are good manners, decency.
		And it really makes me want to be nice
		back and it has nothing to do with any
		homosexual thing.
			(looks right at him)
		Honestly.
			(then away)
		Because I don't know if you've
		homosexual or not and -- you're not,
		are you?

				TOM
		No...no.

				BUDDY
		One's enough.

	Tom signals for the check.

				BUDDY (cont'd)
		I wasn't doing anything.

				TOM
		I really have to go.

				BUDDY
		Okay.  At least let me show my
		appreciation.  The Secretary of Labor
		is going to be indicted on Wednesday.
		For the graft thing he supposedly did
		before he was appointed.

				TOM
		What?

				BUDDY
		Yes, it's true.  They're going to
		make it public Wednesday but isn't
		it a big deal for you to have it a
		day and a half early?

				TOM
		Yes.  How do you know?

				BUDDY
			(shrugs)
		My roommate's very social -- somebody
		from Justice was over and...I always
		hear things before they happen.  Hey,
		and from now on, so do you.

	INT. ERNIE'S OFFICE - DAY

	George Weln, the black correspondent and Tom are seated in the
	office with Ernie -- they are in mid-meeting.

				GEORGE
		I'm virtually certain it's not true.
		He may be indicted eventually, but I
		don't think it will be this month.

				ERNIE
			(to Tom)
		You want to be alone with me --
		tell me your source?

				TOM
		If I told you I'm not sure it would 
		totally convince you, but I totally 
		believe the guy.

				GEORGE
			(insufferable)
		Labor is my Department -- I can't
		conform it and my contacts go very
		deep.

				TOM
		So if it's true -- I'm terrific,
		right?

				ERNIE
		It's not even a close call.  Of
		course we can't go with it.

	INT. EDITING ROOM - FOLLOWING DAY

	Jane is working with Bobbie the editor... Snatches of the tape
	make it obvious that the Labor Secretary has been indicted --
	George Weln stands behind Jane, who is dialing a number.

				BOBBIE
		Do you want him all the way to the 
		car?

				JANE
		No stop where he's all besieged.

				BOBBIE
		Because...

				JANE
			(to Bobbie)
		Right there, Bobbie.

	Tom enters.

				TOM
		So he was indicted?

				JANE
		Yes.

				GEORGE
		We were right not to go with it.

				TOM
		But I was right -- just somebody give
		it to me.  I had a good story.

				JANE
			(to George)
		Give it to him -- so we can concentrate.

				TOM
		Ah, I don't want any credit.  Bobbie
		and I serve anonymously.

	He pats Bobbie on the back... and exits.

				BOBBIE
			(pausing in his work)
		You know, I like Tom, because hi...

				JANE
		Bobbie, please.

	INT. METRO BUS - DAY

	Crowded rush hour... Buddy and Tom stand next to each other.

				BUDDY
		...and the White House is hoping to
		keep a lid on it for a few days till
		they figure out what to do.

				TOM
		Thanks a lot, Buddy.

				BUDDY
			(brushing it off)
		Oh, please.  So they were really
		impressed with you at work.

				TOM
		Not impressed exactly -- but a break
		in the clouds.

				BUDDY
		I see the change in you -- I see it.

	INT. WHITE HOUSE PRESS ROOM - DAY

	The 10 A.M. briefing just breaking up -- Jennifer leaves her
	network seat in the front row, only to be grabbed by Tom who
	steers her outside.

	EXT. WHITE HOUSE EAST WING - DAY

	In the near distance a circular driveway and a silent armed
	MARINE GUARD, standing at attention.

				TOM
			(to Jennifer)
		So he bought this Peugeot sedan at
		a greatly reduced price while he was
		there in charge of the White House
		Advance Team.

				JENNIFER
		How come you're not chasing it down
		yourself?

				TOM
		Look, I'm junior man -- and it's
		your beat.

				JENNIFER
		Boy, that's nice...I wish we could
		all deal with each other like this.
		I'll check it.  Anything I can do
		for you?

				TOM
		This is my first time at the White House.
		Is there any chance to look at where
		he works and the rest of it?

				JENNIFER
		I didn't have the guts to ask when
		I first came up.  I'll get you a
		great tour.

	INT. BAR - EARLY EVENING

	Buddy and Tom watching the Evening News as Jennifer finishes
	her story.

				JENNIFER
			(voice over; on TV set)
		The President says it's not a violation
		but nonetheless White House sources
		say the full price will be paid for the
		Peugeot and new rules will put future
		bargain hunting off limits for
		Presidential Aides.  This is Jennifer Mack
		at the White House.

	Tom and Buddy smile at each other... energized -- up.

				BUDDY
		Forgive me, but it really is intoxicating
		being a news source.

				TOM
		Nobody else had it.

				BUDDY
		I wish it were you giving the story.

				TOM
		That's okay.

				BUDDY
		What if we just don't tell them
		anything anymore unless they let
		you do the story?

				TOM
		No.  Really...don't worry about it.

				BUDDY
		Okay.  And look, in the future I can
		call you when I have news for you.
		Don't feel you have to spend time
		with me just to get the information.
			(a breath; then
			 to himself)
		Well, that wasn't as hard to say as
		you thought, was it, Buddy?

				TOM
		What do you mean?  You're one of the
		few people in this town I can talk
		to.

	Buddy puts his hand to his heart and makes a LOUD SOUND OF
	RAPTURE.

				BUDDY
		Hoooo.

	The BARTENDER and some nearby patrons turn and look.  Tom shifts
	with discomfort.

				TOM
		Hey, Buddy, don't do that anymore.

				BUDDY
			(simply)
		Okay.

	INT. WASHINGTON BUREAU - NIGHT

	Jane waiting for an elevator... It comes and she steps on just
	as Tom clearly excited comes around the bend from Ernie's office
	calling for her.  He goes to the stairs.

	INT. WALKWAY - NIGHT

	He runs out and sees Jane in the lobby below, then takes off
	after her.

	INT. LOBBY - NIGHT

	As he enters and runs outside, looking in both directions then
	running off to the right.  A BEAT -- REVEALING Jane has stopped
	to talk with Blair -- now she exits.

	EXT. WASHINGTON STREET - NIGHT

	Tom on the street, ahead of her, thinking he's behind her...
	He runs another half a block and stops dejected... Turns to walk
	back to the office.  He keeps looking back to see if he missed
	her, so that his head is turned as Jane reaches him, says a
	fairly social:

				JANE
		Hi, how are you?

	She keeps moving -- Tom spinning after her.

				TOM
		Wait -- I need you.

	She stops.

				TOM
		I've got another story.

				JANE
		Some public official skipped a week
		on his Christmas Club?

				TOM
		The House Armed Service Committee
		has a secret report which says that
		the General Stillwell tank the Army
		has dumped a fortune into plain 
		won't work.  I have it cold,
		confirmed.  They have five million
		dollars in this thing already.

				JANE
		Billion.

				TOM
		Okay, billion...right, of course.
		They told me I could have any producer
		I wanted -- and I want you.

	As Tom savors the moment.

	INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - EVENING

	Various bureau personnel standing at their desks watching Tom's
	piece being broadcast.  We SEE a TANK MISFIRING.

				TOM
			(voice over)
		One source referred to it as a
		five billion dollar metal sculpture
		to ugly to look at and too big to bury.

				AARON
			(to Jane)
		You write this?

				JANE
		I write for you sometimes.

				AARON
		Not because you have to.

	ON MONITOR

	We SEE a General walking away from Tom.

				TOM
			(voice over)
		General Elton McGuire is in charge of
		the weapon system.

	ON MONITOR - TWO SHOT

				GENERAL
		I've been in the Army twenty-seven
		years -- so I'll let the Army ask
		the questions, not you.

				TOM
		General, I don't want to bother you
		anymore or your family.  But tomorrow
		there will be a mob of me back here --
		so, if you have anything to say, why
		not say it now, sir, the way you want?

	ON TOM

	He is a study.

	Looking at himself -- and though it's far from his first time on
	television -- it's the first time he's seen himself doing serious
	work and, by all appearances, doing it well.  As the General
	answers in the b.g. --

				BLAIR
		I think it's great of us to have left
		in what you said -- just great of us.

	Tom smiles modestly.

				AARON
		Yeah, let's never forget.  We're
		the real story.  Not them.

	Tom and Jane look over -- then Tom looks to Jane for a verdict.
	In the b.g., the news goes to a commercial.

				JANE
		Yeah, I know, I went back and forth
		on it.

				BLAIR
		I liked it.  He's not afraid to be
		human.

	Ernie ENTERS THE SCENE with his fourteen-year-old DAUGHTER
	in tow... He approaches Tom.

				ERNIE
		My youngest wanted to meet you.
		This is Ellie.

				TOM
		Hi, Ellie.

				ERNIE
		You should be honored -- she
		never cares about meeting
		anyone here.  But she liked you
		on television just now.

				AARON
			(entering scene)
		Hi, Ellie -- remember me?

				ELLIE
		I'm sorry -- from where?

				AARON
		I've been to your house a lot...

				ERNIE
			(helping)
		And Aaron went on that fourteen
		day raft trip with us last year.

				ELLIE
			(vaguely)
		Oh yes -- hi.

	INT. NEWSROOM - NIGHT (LATE)

	Tom is on the phone.

				TOM
			(into phone)
		Hi, Dad...Did you see it?  Great --
		I'll send you a tape...I'm sorry I
		haven't called.  Things were a little
		bumpy for a while.  It's not important...
		I'm fine now.
			(what he's been
			 wanting to say aloud)
		Hey, Dad -- I just may be able to
		do this job...Well, I'm glad you
		were sure.

	INT. ERNIE MARRIMAN'S VIRGINIA HOME - DAY

	Ernie is hosting the news staff for Sunday brunch -- they stand
	around drinking in small groups... Aaron is standing with Blair
	and a MAN in his fifties we have not seen before.

				BLAIR
		I don't know why we have to feel
		defensive about it.  Newspapers
		are in business to make money --
		why not us?

	Aaron looks at her in amazement.

				BLAIR
		They criticize us for supposedly
		pandering while they run WINGO
		Games.

				GREY HAIRED MAN
			(amused)
		Exactly right.  Excuse me.  I'm
		paid to mix.

	Blair and Aaron laugh appreciatively as he walks off to another
	group.

				BLAIR
		Goodbye, Paul.

				AARON
		Take care, Paul.
			(back to Blair)
		It takes a certain kind of courage
		for you to say that in front of
		the President of the News Division.

				BLAIR
		You think anyone who's proud of
		the work we do is an ass kisser.

				AARON
		No.  I think anyone who puckers their
		lips and presses it against his boss'
		buttocks and then smooches is an ass
		kisser.

				BLAIR
		My gosh, and for a while there, I was
		attracted to you.

	She walks off.

				AARON
		Wait a minute -- that changes
		everything.

	ON JANE

	At the bar getting a drink.

	Jennifer ENTERS THE SCENE... and leads Jane down the hall until
	they are standing alone.

				JENNIFER
		This is very awkward.

				JANE
		Go ahead -- what?

				JENNIFER
		Ummm -- it's dumb dorm stuff but
		I see Tom around you a lot and this
		is such a small office and I'd like
		to see him outside of work, unless
		there's some reason for you to mind...
		in which case I just won't do anything.

				JANE
		God Almighty -- Whew.  Do I mind?
		Why do I mind?  I do mind.  What
		a shock -- I don't have a right to...
		I don't think I like him.  I know
		I don't respect him...So what am
		I talking about -- what am I saying
		to you?

				JENNIFER
		You're saying stay away from him.

				JANE
			(stupefied)
		I can't be.

	She blinks in wonder.

				JENNIFER
		We don't have to settle this
		definitively right now.

	Jennifer moves toward the drinking table -- Jane, unsteadied
	by the dose of self-revelation, moves towards Aaron's circle
	and scratches his back in friendship... Tom approaches an she
	moves off -- not wanting to deal with him.  She takes a few
	breaths as she keeps walking.  We HEAR snatches of PARTY
	CONVERSATIONS, i.e:

				GEORGE WELN
		Tell me one person who ever left
		television news to work on a
		newspaper.

	She moves on; Tom still following.

				ERNIE'S WIFE
			(holding Paul's arm)
		I felt so proud when he turned
		down News Vice President so we
		could stay here.  Suddenly, after
		all these years, we have a life.

	Jane turns -- sees that Tom is still looking at her from a few
	feet away.

				JANE
			(badly)
		Hi, Tom.

	She stands there, genuinely frightened.  She must deal with him
	now.  He crosses to her.

				TOM
		It's the firs time I've seen 
		you dressed like this.  You look
		so clean and pretty.

				JANE
		What do you mean clean?

				TOM
		At work there's always this
		sort of film over you.

				JANE
		Well, thumps like me leave appearance
		to guys like you.

				TOM
		You're great at taking the edge
		off a good time.

	Jane starts twitching.  She pauses -- holds a hand lightly on
	his arm to steady herself.

				TOM
		You okay?

				JANE
		Yes.  Just don't say anything mean
		for a while.  Thanks.

	She meets his gaze for an instant -- and, in that instant, loses
	control for the first time in her memory.  She looks strange as
	she retreats from this glimpse of upheaval.

				JANE
		I've got to find someone.  It's
		important.  Excuse me.

	She walks away.

	ON AARON AND ERNIE

				ERNIE
		I had the strangest thing happen
		yesterday.  Anne and I have been
		married what? -- Thirty-six years...
		Everything fine -- two days after the
		promotion came through, I was checking
		myself in the mirror and she was
		making a face at me behind my back.
		So yesterday I looked in the mirror
		and she was doing it again.

				AARON
		You didn't say anything to her?

	He shakes his head.

				ERNIE
		My instincts tell me not to.

	Annie comes up.

				ANNE
		The office is phoning, honey.

	He EXITS SCENE as Anne watches him go.

				ANNE
		I hope he moves that fast when
		it's me on the line.

	ON JANE

	As she passes a chair with an afghan shawl on the back -- she
	picks it up and wraps it around herself, a bit chilled.  She
	sees Jennifer on the stairs and moves toward her calling in a
	too loud, anxiety-ridden voice as she goes.

				JANE
		Jennifer.  Hey, Jennifer.

	ON STAIRCASE

	Jennifer turning as Jane whips up the stairs.

				JANE
		Forget what I said -- you do
		whatever you want to with him.

	She pushes at Jennifer a little.

				JENNIFER
		Well, there's nothing I'm going
		to do right this second.

	Jane pushes her again.

				JENNIFER
		But it's a party, right?

	Jane smiles back feigning female bonding -- Jennifer goes back
	down the steps and crosses to Tom.

	FULL SCENE

	Aaron takes in Jane, who is taking in Jennifer and Tom -- then
	Aaron begins to sense a new dynamic in the room as Ernie re-enters
	and huddles briefly with Paul... The News President is intent...
	The two of them walk over to Tom and Jennifer.  We PICK UP just
	a few words:

				ERNIE
		This would be a good time to tap
		that source of yours.  He could
		have an angle or something.

	AARON'S P.O.V.

	Tom is startled but cool -- nods his head -- Jennifer is amazed
	looking at Tom with new and even prettier eyes... Paul and Ernie
	now move toward Jane, a whole flow of movement creating a new
	energy in the area.  Jane sheds her Afghan as she rises to meet
	them.

				ERNIE
			(to Jane)
		We want you to exec produce a
		Special Report...

				JANE
		What?

	Aaron has come over to join them now in time to HEAR.

				ERNIE
		A Libyan plane shot up one of our
		bases in Egypt.  It's all still
		happening.

				JANE
		Let's figure out the field.

				ERNIE
		Unfortunately, since Paul's here,
		he's made out the assignments...
		Jennifer at the White House...
		George at the Pentagon...Martin
		at State...and we need an anchor
		since Rorish is in his boat, so we're
		gonna do the whole report this
		afternoon from here...with Tom.

				AARON
		That's it.  I resign as of now.

				ERNIE
			(to Aaron)
		Stop it.

				AARON
		I'll tell you what.  I'll stay if
		Tom knows how to spell Gaddafi.

				JANE
		Ernie, as much as I like you, I
		think I have to tell Paul what I
		think, because this is really sort
		of obscenely stupid.

				ERNIE
		Jane, if you want to, go ahead.  I
		don't disagree with you.

	Jane moves quickly off, awed at the prospect of taking on the
	big boss.

	ON JANE

	As she moves past Tom who is talking on the phone, eventually
	catching up with Paul.  In the b.g. Tom has just HEARD the
	"BEEP" of an ANSWERING MACHINE.

				TOM
		Hello, Buddy.  It's 1:35 -- and
		this is Tom.  You can reach me
		at the office.  It's important.
		I can use a little help.

	Jane, because of the proximity to Tom is speaking in whispered
	intensity.

				JANE
		Tom isn't ready for the job
		you're about to hand him.  Not
		near ready.  Not by the longest
		shot.  Aaron's spent six weeks
		in Tripoli, he's interviewed
		Gaddafi -- he reported on the
		Eight-one story.  I think he's
		essential to do the job we're
		capable of and I think it's my
		responsibility to tell you that.

				PAUL
		Okay, that's your opinion.  I
		don't agree.

				JANE
		It's not opinion.

				PAUL
		You're just absolutely right
		and I'm absolutely wrong?

	She nods.

				PAUL
		It must be nice to always believe
		you know better.  To think you're
		always the smartest person in the
		room.

				JANE
			(from her depths)
		No, it's awful.  Oh my, it's awful.

				JANE
			(turning to leave)
		We'd better get moving.

	As they move out... Jane goes to Aaron... He moves with her
	towards the door.

				AARON
		What happened?

				JANE
		I'll tell you later -- where
		you going to watch from?

				AARON
		Watch? --

				JANE
		I'll come by your place, right
		after...drink, take pills...
		Love you.

	She runs out the door.  Aaron turns mean and mocks Jane's
	last words -- screwing up his face in a savage burlesque.

				AARON
		Yeah, love you, too.

	EXT. DRIVEWAY - DAY

	As Jane briefly pauses to see which war has room.  Tom opens
	the passenger seat of his car -- she gets in.  It moves off.

	INT. TOM'S CAR - DAY

	As it moves off.

				JANE
		Nervous?

				TOM
		Excited.

	Jane looks over at him -- there's no question he's just told
	the truth.

	INT. TOM'S OFFICE - DAY

	In the b.g. we SEE the Bureau Newsroom beginning to pulse with
	activity.  Tom closes the door.  He sits down behind his desk
	and opens a bottom drawer -- a clean whit shirt lies there.
	He opens the center drawer -- two ties are inside.  He picks
	one.  He reaches for a package of new red suspenders.  He takes
	off the shirt and puts on the new one -- all of this the work
	of an expert craftsman.  By the time he finishes he looks like
	the authority figure we know he's now.

	INT. BUREAU NEWSROOM - JANE AND BLAIR

	Jane is NOT hyper.  She is purposeful -- organized -- even
	calming Blair with a little physical contact -- a touch on
	the arm, to still her colleague's hysterical demons.

				JANE
		Tell George and Jessica to try
		and cover everything without
		Tom having to ask additional
		questions.

				BLAIR
		And Bobbie says...

				JANE
		Did you hear what I just said --
		do you have that?  Take a breath.

				BLAIR
			(a breath, then)
		Yes.

	In the b.g. Tom has exited his office and looks about --
	waiting for some indication as to what to do next.

				JANE
		And the most important thing
		make sure his earpiece works,
		have back-ups ready.  That's
		never been more vital.  He
		must be able to hear me at
		every second and clearly.

	Jane sees him.  She moves across the room -- takes Tom by the
	arm.

				JANE
		We have twenty minutes -- you can
		wait in the studio.

	Tom coughs nervously into his hand and takes a pen from a
	nearby desk, clips it into his inside pocket and walks off.

	GRAPHICS ROOM - DAY

	Jane is screening and asking corrections in a graphic
	representation of an F-14 shooting down a Libyan Air Force
	Mirage Fighter.

				JANE
		Put in the radar plane that spotted
		them to begin with.

				GRAPHIC ARTIST
		We have no pictures on file.

				JANE
		I can't draw -- but this is a
		rough idea.

	She uses the stylus from the ELECTRONIC PAINT MACHINE to outline
	an American Air Force E-2C Hawkeyes Radar Plane.  Her work is
	stunning.

	INT. AARON'S APARTMENT - DAY

	He has a glass in hand -- some chips on the table with a
	bottle of wine as he selects a Cassette Desk to play.  He picks
	a French song -- looks at some of his books.  He might even
	read.  He is feigning disinterest for an audience of no one.
	He SINGS ALONG with the RECORD in perfect French.

	INT. STUDIO HALLWAY - DAY

	Tom checking copy in the long hallway leading to the studio --
	there is the merest of hubbubs causing him to look up.  Buddy
	is being stopped at the other end of the hallway.

	ON BUDDY AND SECURITY GUARD

				GUARD
		I have to check first.

				BUDDY
			(a bit frantic)
		Well, then check -- but hurry --
		There he is!!!

	Buddy runs the length of the hallway to Tom's aide despite Tom's
	gestures to slow down.

				BUDDY
		Is everything all right?

				TOM
		Yes.  You didn't have to come here.
		It's just that I'm going to anchor
		this special report on this Libyan
		thing...

				BUDDY
			(delighted)
		Anchor?

				TOM
			(amused despite
			 situation)
		Yes, stop!  I wondered if you could
		find out anything about what's
		happening.
			(on Buddy's reaction)
		What's wrong?

				BUDDY
		I broke up with my roommate --
		He was really the magnet for
		everyone who knew anything.

				TOM
		Oh.

				BUDDY
		Look, I can start up with him again
		if you really...

				TOM
		No.  I'm doing fine...Look.

	Tom stands there -- a man at home in this media castle.

				BUDDY
		Good.  He's on the world's longest
		ego trip, let him take it alone.

				TOM
		Hey, okay.  Look Buddy -- I've 
		got to go to work.

				BUDDY
			(to Tom)
		...good-bye then.

				TOM
		I'll speak to you.

				BUDDY
		Well, who knows.  Just let m tell
		you what my favorite teacher ever,
		told me -- 'Don't be afraid to be
		wonderful.'

	He leans forward, gives Tom a quick embrace, a small kiss on
	the cheek.  Tom turns and walks off down the hallway to meet
	his immediate destiny as Buddy looks on.

	INT. CONTROL ROOM - DAY

	Jane mounts some steps in the control room -- she moves past
	the DIRECTOR and TECHNICAL CREW up to the next level where the
	two news execs, Ernie and Paul stand with their backs to the
	wall, and then up one more step slightly above the desk and
	table occupied by Blair.  Now she slips into the large well
	paddled throne-like seat -- as WE BEGIN MUSIC CUE.

	Literally at her fingertips is the row of buttons which provide
	immediate access to the field reporters at the Pentagon, State
	and the White House.  In front of her the bank of monitors, the
	Technical Team and past them the studio where Tom is seated at
	Anchor, a FLOOR PRODUCER and WRITER feeding him copy.

	ANGLE FAVORING BLAIR

	As she looks at Jane, poised to control the complicated apparatus
	of minds and machines comprising the big time network news.
	And Jane Craig is at the helm.  Blair experiences a flash of 
	emotion which transcends envy and verbalizes it.

				BLAIR
			(sotto to Jane)
		Executive Producer -- wow.

	Jane looks at her and, in a moment of atypical merriment, does
	a choking gesture at her own throat as the monitors flash a
	graphic reading:  SPECIAL REPORT... We HEAR an ANNOUNCER'S VOICE
	say, "This is a Special Report from..."

	INSERT:  JANE'S CONTROL PANEL

	Each of four buttons labeled so that the microphone can connect
	her to Tom and the Field Reporters.  She presses the button
	marked "Tom."

				JANE
		You hear me, Tom?  Tom?  Tom?
		Damn it...He can't hear me...
			(to Blair)
		I told you if there was one thing...

	Tom's VOICE on speakers.

				TOM
			(voice over; relaxed)
		I can hear you.  I was just teasing.

	Gulping the air in relief, she slumps nonetheless impressed by
	the macho cool as:

	Tom smiles towards her then -- poises himself just as the
	Announcer's last words clear.

				ANNOUNCER'S VOICE
			(voice over)
		...in Washington, Tom Grunick.

	He begins his report.  He seems authoritative, compelling, even
	in a low key way.  We trust him.

				TOM
		Good afternoon.  A Libyan fighter
		plane attacked a United States
		Military Installation early this
		morning and was, itself, shot down
		by American F-14 Interceptors.

	Another monitor shows the Graphic running.  In the b.g. two
	men approaches Paul.  They look out of place, decidedly
	non-business like.

				MAN ONE
		Mr. Moore, I'm Marvin Usher and this 
		is my brother, Stuart.

				PAUL
		Not now!!!
			(gesturing)
		Look.

				TOM
		The Libyan Missile destroyed an Army
		Warehouse which, just thirty minutes
		earlier, had been crowded with 
		servicemen.  No one was injured.

	INT. AARON'S APARTMENT - DAY

	Aaron is seated, feet up, drinking, listening to MUSIC -- reading
	a book, two remote controls are on the cushion next to him.  He
	SINGS OUT LOUD with the record as he reads -- at one point
	providing his own lyric line OVER THE MUSIC.

				AARON
			(SINGING LOUDLY)
		And I can read while I sing.

	He picks up the television remote-control device an puts the
	television on, the SOUND OFF.

	ON TV

	We SEE the graphic of the Libyan plane's flight route, its
	missile firing -- the U.S. planes taking off and the shooting
	down of the Mirage jet... At one point Aaron lowering the MUSIC
	and raising the TV SOUND hearing Tom.

				TOM'S VOICE
			(voice over)
		The heat seeking missile virtually
		disintegrated the  plane on...

	Aaron turns down the TV SOUND and turns up the MUSIC.

	INT. BOOTH

	Jane's hand flicks at the button marked "PENTAGON."

				JANE
		George, you're ready.

	ON PENTAGON MONITOR

	We SEE George and HEAR him through Jane's voice box.

				GEORGE
			(voice over)
		Should I cover everything or should
		I save something for Tom to ask about?

				JANE
		Cover everything!

	George nods.

				JANE
			(hitting Tom's button)
		We're going to George.  Say 'the
		Joint Chiefs are meeting -- we have
		George Weln at the Pentagon'.

	ON TOM

				TOM
		George Weln is at the Pentagon where
		the attack launched by the lone
		Libyan pilot has resulted in a massive
		movement of military might.

	INT. AARON'S APARTMENT - DAY

	Where he still balances STEREO and TV SOUND.

				AARON
		A lot of alliteration from anxious
		anchors placed in powerful posts.

	He picks up the phone.

	INT. CONTROL ROOM - DAY

	As Blair hands it to Jane.

				BLAIR
		It's Aaron.

				JANE
		Yes?

				AARON
		I think the pilot that shot down the
		Libyan in 1981 is stationed right
		here.  Maybe you could get him --
		and maybe Tom should say that our F-14
		is one of the hardest planes to fly.
		They're nicknamed 'Tomcats'.

				JANE
		Thanks.
			(to Tom)
		The F-14 is one of the most difficult
		planes to master.
			(remembering)
		Oh, you call them 'Tomcats' and in
		the 70's the first crop had a number
		of crashes.

				TOM
		George, isn't the F-14 Tomcat one of 
		the most difficult machines for a
		pilot to master?

				GEORGE
		I think you're right -- it's certainly
		one of our hottest planes.

	INT. AARON'S ROOM - DAY

				AARON
		I say it here -- it comes out there.

	He giggles.

				TOM
			(voice over)
		There was trouble with them in the
		early days -- back in the 70's.

	Aaron dials again... As we SEE Jennifer standing at the
	White House.

				AARON
			(into phone)
		Me again.  Hi.  Listen Gaddafi doesn't
		foam at the mouth or anything.  When
		you speak to him he's not at all nuts.
		He seems like a leader -- very
		impressive, self-control...that's
		what's so strange.

	ON JANE

				JANE
		Right and we have the '81
		pilot on the way in -- Nobody else
		will have him.

				AARON
			(voice over)
		You're welcome.  Sow how does it
		feel to...I know you gotta go --
		Me too.  We're very busy here.

	He hangs up -- LONG SHOT... Aaron with his remote controls.
	The picture switches back to Tom.  He turns UP the VOLUME.

				TOM
			(voice over)
		...outlaw nation but strangely those
		who have interviewed Gaddafi find
		him, in a phrase we like to use in
		this country, very 'presidential'.

				AARON
		Nice, Jane.

	INT. CONTROL ROOM - DAY

	Jane is on the phone.  The atmosphere buckling with strain.

				JANE
			(into phone)
		Just a minute.

	Her finger hits the "Tom" button.

				JANE
			(to Tom)
		To State for the message from Libya,
		then you'll have the carrier pilot
		from the Sidra in time to...
			(a sudden shriek)
		What?  No!

	ON TOM

	Jolted by the shriek in his earpiece but nonetheless continuing.

	BACK TO JANE

	As she SCREAMS INTO the phone -- this is more than volume, she
	is over-the-top livid, her face red, neck cords popping.

				JANE
		We only have ten minutes left --
		how can you talk to me about parking
		problems?  No, not you'll try...you'll
		do it -- do it or I'll fry your fat
		ass, Estelle.  Good-bye.

	As she BANGS the PHONE down.  Paul comments sotto to Ernie.

				PAUL
			(sotto)
		I had no idea she was this good.

				JANE
			(hitting Tom's button)
		Fill for a second.

				TOM
			(fluidly)
		The latest message seems to indicate
		that the Libyan pilot was acting on
		his own without authority from anyone
		else.
			(into camera directly)
		In other words, I think we're okay.

	INT. STUDIO - EIGHT MINUTES LATER

	MOVING CAMERA FROM Tom's left profile TOWARDS HIS RIGHT PROFILE,
	TAKING IN THE Production Assistant who madly shuffles pages,
	even as Tom talks on camera, the monitor through which he sees
	the subject of his interview at the Pentagon, the clusters of a
	assistants on the floor and now WE CONTINUE TO CIRCLE BEHIND him,
	beginning to SEE the Control Room in the b.g. and as we MOVE IN
	TOWARDS HIS EAR, the white ear piece firmly in place, we BEGIN
	TO HEAR, the barely audible crackle of Jane's VOICE as she tells
	him roughly what to say and how long he has to say it.

				TOM
		...So, Commander, it must have been
		a bit tougher today -- shooting down
		the French-made Mirage Jet.  The one
		you got was a SU-22...etc...

	And NOW ALL IS OBSCURED EXCEPT THE ANCHOR'S EARS, the ear piece
	and the RED LIGHT on the CAMERA and beyond... almost an abstract
	vision.

	INT. CONTROL ROOM - DAY

				TOM'S VOICE
		...Once again:  The Libyan Government
		has disavowed any prior knowledge of
		the flight.  This has been Tom Grunick
		reporting from Washington.

	The special report ended, Jane breathes a breath -- she and
	Blair momentarily grasp hands.  The first talk concerns Tom.

				PAUL
		He was brilliant.  I've never been
		as proud of one of my decisions.

				ERNIE
			(calls back to Jane)
		Great work, Jane, really -- You know?
		Really.

	She nods... totally depleted.

				JANE
		Well, there were no major gaffs anyway.

	Ernie scoffs in her direction.

				JANE
		Thanks, everybody.

	She exits the scene.

				PAUL
			(to the Usher brothers)
		This was important for Tom -- there's
		that bonding thing that happens with
		the public and an anchorman during a
		crisis.  It's not the conventions
		anymore; it's this kind of moment.

	Tom enters.  He is exuberant.

				PAUL
			(to Tom)
		What a baptismal.  Congratulations.

				TOM
		Thanks.  With all the help you get,
		it's sure easier than local.

	Paul and Ernie exchange a glance.

				TOM (cont'd)
		Where's Jane?  I'm still juiced.

	Ernie points off... as Tom exits.  The Usher brothers hover.

				ERNIE
			(to the Usher brothers)
		Can I help you?

				MARVIN
		We're here to play the new news theme.

				ERNIE
		New theme?  You don't need me for this.

				PAUL
		Stay.  Why should I be the only one
		to feel silly?

				MAN ONE
		We need a synthesizer -- but this
		will give you an idea.

				PAUL
		Go ahead.
			(to Ernie)
		Wasn't he great?

				ERNIE
		It worked.

	Man Two has the keyboard out and begins playing the prospective
	news theme:  a suite meant to have majesty and drive, a towering
	composition -- the effect of it somewhat lessened by the fact
	that the two men VOCALIZE OTHER INSTRUMENTS over the keyboard.

	INT. NEWSROOM - DAY

	As Tom makes his way across it -- crews are drifting in... He
	enters Jane's cubby, flushed with the electricity of the "win"
	the most noteworthy moment of his working life.

	INT. JANE'S CUBBY - DAY

				TOM
		You're an amazing woman.  What a feeling
		having you inside my head.

				JANE
			(a bit thrown)
		Yeah.  It was an unusual place to be.

				TOM
		Indescribable -- you knew just when to 
		feed me the next thing, just a split 
		second before I needed it.  There was a 
		rhythm we got into, like great sex.

	Jane looks at him and nods slightly -- an unconscious spasm of
	truthfulness.

				TOM
		You have to celebrate with me, don't
		you?  Everybody's going to that bar
		on the corner, 'Caps.'

				JANE
		I'm going over to Aaron's.  Maybe I'll
		hoop up with all of you later.  How
		long do you think you'll be there?

	Tom indicates that it's an impossible question to answer.  They
	enters the elevator.

	EXT. NEWS BUILDING - NIGHT

	As several people cross the street towards the bar.  Tom has
	been holding back on one question.

				TOM
		It's tempting to ask you how you think
		I did.
			(she starts to reply)
		No.  I'm enjoying myself.  Take it easy.

	He starts across the street.

				JANE
			(trying to be casual)
		Maybe I'll see you over there.

	Indicates Bar.

				TOM
		You'll never show up.

	He starts across the street -- then turns and calls to her.

				TOM
		Jane?

				JANE
		Yeah?

				TOM
		I'll wait for you till seven.

				JANE
			(shouting back)
		Okay.

	Tom races to catch up with the others -- Jane in the distant b.g.
	pauses a beat before walking off in the opposite direction.  Jane
	moving quickly along.

	SOUND OF MEN VOCALIZING NEWS THEME comes UP AND continues
	through:

	EXT. AARON'S APARTMENT - EARLY EVENING

	As Jane approaches and is surprised to find him sitting on the
	stoop outside.

	ON AARON

	Happy to see her, rising fairly soberly to his feet.  He APPLAUDS
	as she comes toward him.

				JANE
		Really?  It was good.

	He nods and APPLAUDS some more.

				JANE
		Your calling in that information --
		you're the classiest guy I know.

	He waves her off... And sits down on the stoop.

				AARON
		It was strange to watch him.  What's
		the next step?  Lip synching?

	She sits a step or two above him, waiting to gauge his mood.

				AARON
		I've been doing some of the most
		important thinking of my life.  I
		wonder if this is the right time to
		tell you about it.

	She steals a glance at her watch.

				JANE
		Well, whatever you think.

				AARON
		I figured out exactly why it is I'm so
		hung up on getting a chance at weekend
		anchor...It's because if I do that well,
		they'll pay me more, treat me great and
		my life will be better.  That's why.

				JANE
		Sounds like you may be on to something.

				AARON
		Which means I'm at their mercy and who
		wants that?...I'm not going to tell
		you where this thought led me...
		Anyway, well, why not  tell you? --
		it's a happy thing.  In the middle of
		all this I start to think about something
		that does nothing but make me feel good
		and makes immediate sense and that's you
		...And I'll stop here but, Jane, I'd give
		anything if you were two people so I could
		call up the one who's my friend and tell
		her about the one I'm in I...I don't think
		I should go any further.  Come on --
		I'll walk you to the corner.

	He tales her by the arm and leads her to the corner.

				JANE
		You know you've had a strange day...
		I'd sleep on all these things you've
		been thinking.

				AARON
		Absolutely...You go have a good time...
		You have some place to go?

				JANE
		Yes.

				AARON
		Good.

	He grabs her and hugs her exuberantly -- takes her face in his
	hands and kisses her full on the lips.

				AARON
		Well, I felt something.

	He leaves her on the corner and walks back.

	ON JANE

	As the SOUND OF NEWS THEME VOCALIZING PICKS UP ONE MORE...
	Jane moving quickly, hailing a cab.

	INT. CAB - EVENING

				JANE
		We're going to Caps Bar at
		Seventeenth and Vermont;
		Connecticut is clear on Sunday...
		take that over to Fifteenth, then
		around Vermont and we'll bypass
		the circle that way...if you don't
		go over forty we should catch mostly
		green lights.

	ON the DRIVER'S annoyed look.

				JANE
		Come on -- don't take it the
		wrong way.  I just know about
		things.

	He hits the meter.

	EXT. CAPS BAR - EVENING

	As the cab pulls up, Jane gets out and pays him.

				DRIVER
		Great route.  I never made
		anywhere near that fast before.

				JANE
		Thanks -- good driving --

				DRIVER
		Thanks.  Coming from you I
		appreciate it.

				JANE
		Thanks.

	As she turns to enter the restaurant -- Tom and Jennifer exit.
	As they confront each other:

				TOM
		I didn't think you'd make it.

				JANE
		Well, I thought I'd check if all
		of you were still here.  I'll just
		go in and join the gang and you
		two go on.

				TOM
		There's no gang in there -- We
		were the last ones.

				JANE
		Well, I'll go in and have a bite.

				TOM
			(to Jennifer)
		Jennifer, you want to have another
		drink?

				JANE
		Hey, I know how to have a burger by
		myself.  I feel like a little solitude.

				JENNIFER
			(as they move off)
		I sure know that feeling.  Terrific
		work today.

				JANE
			(too jock-like)
		Right back to you.

				TOM
		Thanks for getting me through.

	He puts his hand behind her neck in an awkward gesture of
	camaraderie.  She awkwardly disengages... waves and steps
	inside the door to the restaurant... standing there between
	the two sets of doors watching Tom and Jennifer walk away.

	ON TOM AND JENNIFER

	As they walk to his car, first exchanging a look of reflection
	over Jane... then bumping accidentally, then bumping back, a
	look, then kissing with passion, wrapped around each other.

	INT. JENNIFER'S APT - NIGHT

	As Tom and Jennifer rush in locked in an embrace, shedding
	clothes even as they enter.

	INT. JENNIFER'S APT - NIGHT

	We are aware of MOVING FORMS.

				JENNIFER
			(intense shout)
		Damn all you sons-of-bitches.  Oh
		shit, you bastards...

	They finish.  A beat, then:

				JENNIFER
		Sorry.

	ON TOM AND JENNIFER

	Tom taken aback by the outburst from this woman he's just made
	love to.

				TOM
		No, it's okay...People say different
		things.  They do...the plural threw
		me.

	She laughs.

				JENNIFER
		The last time I was with someone we
		went through this awful mutual disease
		questionnaire but I guess it beats
		getting paranoid the next day.  Okay,
		I'll go first.  I haven't...

				TOM
			(stopping her)
		It would never occur to me to worry
		at all about you.

	Jennifer is touched...

				JENNIFER
		You know something?  I'm deeply
		complimented.   Isn't it strange to
		be deeply complimented because the
		man you're with doesn't think you
		have a venereal disease?...

	Tom slides out of bed naked -- she moves quickly across the bed
	one outstretched hand reaching for his ass, a free -- even lusty
	sort of motion punctuated by her comment:

				JENNIFER
		Give me some of that.

	He dances away -- out of range -- liking the action, a stupid
	grin on his face.

				TOM
		Where's the bathroom?

				JENNIFER
		Through the closet.

	He opens the door and turns on the light in the closet.

	INT. CLOSET - NIGHT

	It is a converted room -- given over the racks of clothes and
	shoes extraordinarily well organized.  Tom stands there agape.
	Various rain coats -- clothes for all climates -- lots of
	luggage.

	She joins him in the closet -- holding out a sheet in front of
	her.

				JENNIFER
		I converted a bedroom -- this
		stuff builds up.  Wait till
		you've been doing this sixteen
		years.

				TOM
		I'm not knocking it.  It's a
		great solution.  Not only the
		storage but you can see everything
		you have.

	Jennifer laughs -- he follows her gaze and sees himself in
	silhouette against the door -- his penis prominent in outline.

				JENNIFER
		Do you do bunny rabbits?

	Tom is enjoying himself immensely.

				TOM
		Isn't this a great date?

	We HEAR the SOUND OF SCRATCHING as we:

	INT. JANE'S EDITING CUBICLE - MORNING

	Jane feeds another tape in -- she is taking editing notes alone
	and SCRATCHING her arm.  She looks worn out -- STOCK FOOTAGE OF
	STATESMEN move across the small screen.  She sighs and, without
	realizing, implores the heavens to help cure a malady she's yet
	to recognize in herself.

				JANE
			(to herself)
		God help me.

	People have begun to filter into the newsroom in the b.g.

				AARON
		Jesus, Jane.  How long have you
		been here?

				JANE
		A long time.  I was restless.
		Will you crack my neck?

	He starts massaging her neck as the phone rings.  she lets it
	ring for a beat as Aaron works on her.  As she picks up the
	receiver we HEAR a CRACK.  She reacts to it at the same time
	she utters a greeting.

				JANE
		Aaah --
			(into phone)
		-- ello.  You sure they said the
		management meeting?
			(hangs up; then
			 to Aaron)
		They want me to be at the
		management meeting.

				AARON
		They're not that dumb, after all.

	He pats her on the back.

	INT. WALKWAY - DAY

				BLAIR
		Do you know you're the second woman
		in network news history to produce?

				JANE
			(though distracted)
		No, I'm not.  I'm the fourth.
		Joan Richmond.  Pauline Fredericks
		got that credit once on a U.N.
		special and there's Susan Zirinsky.

	INT. MANAGEMENT MEETING - DAY

	Paul is running the meeting from behind Ernie's desk.
	TWO OTHER NON-EDITORIAL MEN are in attendance.  As Paul
	discusses the more pressing problems of the network news
	division, Jane sits near the window strangely unmoved by
	her first moment at the seat of power.  She has the blues.

				PAUL
		Anyway, they seem to be very serious
		about making me out eight million from
		the budget and that means massive firings.
		I'm doing everything I can... It's too
		early to make up a 'death list' but I
		just wanted you to be aware of the
		situation... We're also going to cover
		the Alaskan serial killer trial on a
		continuing basis.  I'd like it done out
		of Washington which means we've got to
		get somebody on a plane for Anchorage.
		We can't fool around anymore...Jane...

	She looks up at him -- a bit sleepy-eyed.

				PAUL (cont'd)
		This is going to be high-profile on
		the Evening News -- who do you think?
		George Weln or Jennifer?

				JANE
			(much, much too quickly)
		Jennifer.

	The men look at her curiously.  She repeats herself more
	rationally.

				JANE (cont'd)
		Jennifer.

	INT. TOM'S OFFICE - LATE AFTERNOON

	He has been reading from a respectable stack of mail -- Jane
	appears in his doorway.  For the first time, we notice that
	she is woefully ba at at least one endeavor -- flirting.

				JANE
		Come on, I'll buy you a drink.
		There's a big thing over at the
		Italian embassy.

				TOM
		I'm not sure I'd be good
		company tonight.

				JANE
			(self-conscious joke)
		I'll be the judge of that.

	INT. ITALIAN EMBASSY - NIGHT

	As they walk in -- one MAN looks at Tom with a glint of
	recognition.  Then another -- a handshake -- A WOMAN introduces
	herself.  A small knot of people form.

				JANE
		It's much too soon for you to have
		this kind of buzz around you.

				TOM
		Do I have to stand here in the middle
		and meet them all?

				JANE
		I'll get you through.  Move and smile.
			(she pushes him
			 a little)
		And smile and move...

	They start crossing the room -- he is moving now, making progress.
	But an EGYPTIAN BUSINESSMAN stops him.

				EGYPTIAN BUSINESSMAN
		Is it safe for me to fly home?

				TOM
		Yes.  We're fine now.

				JANE
		AND SMILE.

	He smiles -- people smile back.

				JANE
		AND MOVE.

	ANGLE ON STAIR LANDING

	Where Aaron (Pimm's Cut in hand -- a cucumber sticking out)
	stands with Martin Klein.  Martin is eating from a huge platter
	of appetizers.

				MARTIN KLEIN
		The Italians serve the second best
		things right after the Chinese...I
		could do an article comparing Embassy
		food...Gourmet free-loading...sell it
		anyplace.  I'm sure not getting the
		assignments.

				AARON
		Who the heck could that be?

	AARON'S P.O.V.

	From the excited group of people blocking his view,
	it's clear there is some personage in attendance.

	ON AARON

	And now he sees that it's Tom.

				AARON
		Is God testing me or something?

				MARTIN KLEIN
		Paul loves him.  I heard him give
		him the most poetic compliment in
		his command.  'He's hot.'  Sometimes
		groups of executives get together just
		to say that work back and forth...'He's
		hot, oh, she's hot.  Oh, he's really
		hot.'  Hot-hot-hot-hot-hot-hot-hot...
			(looking at Aaron)
		And here we are.

				AARON
		Martin, you're not allowed to use the
		word 'we' or I'm moving.

				MARTIN KLEIN
			(sudden thought)
		Maybe Jane would like my food idea as
		a spot...Try the one in the middle.

	He moves off to intercept Jane -- as he stops her... Tom is
	stranded -- then sees Aaron and moves over to his side.

				TOM
		Hi, Aaron...What's doing?

				AARON
		Same old stuff.  I'm watching a man
		who won three Overseas Press Awards
		pitch an hors d'oeuvre idea.

	A MAN stops and introduces himself to Tom -- shaking his hand:

				TOM
		You want to go out there --
			(indicating balcony)
		get out of this for a second?

				AARON
		Why don't you lead?  I'll just
		follow the flurry you cause.

	Tom turns -- the sharpness of the tone unsettles him.

				TOM
		What did I do to you?

				AARON
		You've made my dreams silly.

	Tom decides not to deal with the remark.  He's jolted by the
	hostility.  He leads the way out French Doors to a ground floor
	terrace, where Aaron joins him, closes the door and the two men
	stare at the party.

				TOM
			(gesturing at the
  			 party)
		Heavy hitters.

	Aaron nods.

	They look inside.

				AARON
			(several beats; then)
		How you doing?

				TOM
			(warming)
		Great.  Network news, Washington...
		I love it.  What do you do when your
		real life exceeds your dreams?

				AARON
		Keep it to yourself.

				TOM
		You know the other day I really wanted
		your reaction to how we did with the
		Libyan report -- I was going to ask but
		I guess I feel a little intimidated with
		you.

				AARON
		Oh, stop it.

	On Tom's reaction.

				AARON
		You can't talk about feeling
		intimidated when you're on top of
		the world.  It's unseemly.

				TOM
		I'm not buying into any of that.  I
		have a load to learn.  I'm not going
		to act as if...

				AARON
			(finishing for him)
		You have the job you have...

	The sudden debate is important to Tom -- but it's moving too
	fast for him.

				TOM
		Shut up a second...

				AARON
			(amiably)
		Okay.  Pretty petty party, isn't
		it, pal?

				TOM
			(picking his words)
		I made one rule for myself when this
		started and I realized I was going
		to take a lot from you people because
		of being from sports...

				AARON
		And the rule was...

				TOM
		Never to pretend to know more than
		I did.

				AARON
		Can you name all the members of the
		Cabinet?

				TOM
			(flustered)
		Okay, let's drop it.  I didn't mean
		I'd take a test for you -- I mean if
		that came up in conversation I'd...

				AARON
		We're conversing...Oh my, the names
		of the entire Cabinet has slipped my
		mind.  What are they?

	Tom is getting pissed.

				AARON
			(compromising)
		Don't name them.  Just tell me if
		you know.

				TOM
		Yes, Aaron.  I know the names of
		the Cabinet.

				AARON
		Okay.

	A beat.

				AARON (cont'd)
		All twelve?

				TOM
		Yes.

				AARON
		There are only ten.

	Aaron's suddenly a good deal happier -- damned if it
	isn't a little infectious.

				TOM
		You're feeling good, aren't you?

				AARON
			(sincerely)
		I'm starting to... We may do
		the capitols of the states.

				TOM
			(dry)
		Fifty, right?

	Aaron almost smiles.

	Tom enters the party leaving the door open.

	LONG SHOT

	Aaron in the f.g. -- his BACK TO CAMERA... Beyond him
	Tom being approached... then joining Jane.

	EXT. JANE'S STREET - NIGHT

	As Tom's car comes to a stop.

	INT. TOM'S CAR - NIGHT

				TOM
		I'm so exhausted.  Punchy.  Sick
		tired.  I can't think and I can't move.
		I'm just a dead lump of poured out
		flesh.
			(then)
		Would you like to come up?

	Tom thinks -- then:

				TOM
		Maybe we could just sit here --
		talk a little?

				JANE
		Okay.  You didn't like the party, huh?

				TOM
		Too many smart people in one room --
		it's not healthy...

	Jane's confused by this.  She looks at him.

				TOM
		I'm going to have to do a story
		from beginning to end on my own.

				JANE
		Eventually.  Does it have to be
		right now?

				TOM
			(nodding)
		Believe me, I wouldn't be doing this
		unless it was absolutely necessary.
		I have an idea for something.

				JANE
		What?

				TOM
		I just read about it in a magazine
		and it affected me.

				JANE
		Well, what is it?

				TOM
		If I tell you, can you manage not
		to put it down or tell me why it
		won't work or is in bad journalistic
		taste or anything like that?

				JANE
			(broadly)
		Yes, Tom -- I think I can manage.

	He turns towards her -- about to stick his chin out.  Hesitates.

				JANE (cont'd)
		I promise.

				TOM
		It's about women who are attacked
		by someone they know on a date...
		'Date-rape,' that's the piece...
		Well?

	Jane clamps a hand over her own mouth.

				TOM
		Okay -- good move.  Keep it there.

	She continues to clamp her mouth shut as he exits the car,
	opens her door and then begins to half carry, half pull her out.
	She keeps her hand clamped over her mouth.  Laughing from 
	behind her door and runs for it.

	ON TOM

	His spirits lifted.

	ON JANE

	Behind the door, trying to hide the glow in her eyes.

	INT. JANE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

	The phone rings... Jane's hand bounces off her nightstand to
	turn on the light knocking over and breaking the clock radio
	instead.  Three alarm clocks stand next to the clock radio...
	Finally the light comes on.  Jane's voice is so thick with
	sleep the words she utters are just barely distinguishable.

				JANE
		Hello.

				TO
			(uncertain)
		Hello?

				JANE
		Hello...Who is it?

	INTERCUT:

	INT. TOM'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

				TOM
		I'm not sure I dialed right --
		Jane?

				JANE
		Jane, yes.  Tom?  Tom, is that you?
		Is this Tom?

				TOM
		Yes.

				JANE
		I had to sleep fast so I took two
		allergy pills to help me...I'm
		sorry...Hey, you called me.

				TOM
		It's not important.

				JANE
		Says who?  Not important -- ha-ha-ha.
		I was dreaming -- Oh, no -- can't
		tell -- how embarrassing for me.
		Gosh.

				TOM
		What pills did you take?  You
		sound more like someone on a general
		anesthetic.  Maybe I'd better speak
		to you tomorrow.

				JANE
		Nooo.  Is it your story?

				TOM
		No.  Are you going to the
		Correspondents' Dinner on Saturday?

				JANE
		Why, you need me for the story?

				TOM
		No.  Were you going to you?

				JANE
		Uh-huh.

				TOM
		Maybe I'll get off work.  I'd like
		to go.

				JANE
		Oh, good.

				TOM
		We can go together.


				JANE
		So you like me, huh?

				TOM
		I like you as much as I can like
		anyone who thinks I'm an asshole.

	INT. JANE'S EDITING ROOM - DAY

	Tom editing a piece with Bobby -- He also has a little typewriter
	table set up.  He is reading from the page in the typewriter as
	he looks at the piece he has written.

				TOM
			(reading)
		But cops on the street continue to
		view it as...
		Shit -- too long.  But street cops
		say...that fits.  That last cut work
		for you, Bobbie?

				BOBBIE
		Yes, and thanks for asking.

	INT. NEWSROOM - NIGHT

	As the regulars watch the Evening News, in particular the Date
	Rape piece which is now in progress.  Tom anxiously eyeing Jane
	out of the corner of his eye as she watches the monitor.  Her
	face impossible to read as she studies the screen.

	ON MONITOR

				UNIFORMED COP
		What can you do?  If a woman invites
		a man in and he says they uh, had
		sex and she says he raped her and
		then you find out they've been out
		together two, three times...how can
		you prove a crime?

	NEW SHOT ON MONITOR

	Tom and a woman of about thirty -- dignified but fragile -- she
	looks like someone who might be cast for a church production
	of "Glass Menagerie."

				YOUNG WOMAN
		It will be a year next month since it
		happened...I never thought I'd talk
		about it outside of counseling...

	ON NEWSROOM

	As Aaron enters the scene.

				AARON
		Hi.

	He is shushed by every woman in the room, accepts this and takes
	up a position near Tom and Jane to watch them.

	ON MONITOR

				YOUNG WOMAN
		We'd gone out twice and I hadn't
		enjoyed myself that much but it gets
		to a point -- I don't know if you can
		appreciate this but where you don't
		want to sit home or be with your
		girlfriends and people had always been
		telling me that I was 'too picky.'
		I'm not.  It's just you want to meet
		a nice guy...So anyways, it was that
		'give-him-a-chance' thing.  No, it
		wasn't.  I was lonely.  So we went
		to a movie and when he brought me home
		he said could he just come up and have
		one beer and then he'd go.  How do you
		say 'no', to that?  So first it was
		this wrestling match which was awful
		enough because it got to be really
		a fight...because I'm a modest person...
		then he ripped my clothes and he 
		forced me to...make love.  He stayed in
		my apartment and forced me more times
		-- he didn't leave until...
			(she has started to cry)
		I promised myself I wouldn't cry...
		It's just hard not to --
			(ruefully)
		You sure have a sympathetic face.
			(she cries a bit more)
		...I was so sure I wouldn't do this --
		but the whole thing messed me up --
		maybe more than it should...

	ON MONITOR

	As the news piece cut to:  Tom's face -- he turns clearing a tear
	from his eyes.

	ON NEWSROOM

	These watching struck -- perhaps embarrassed but riveted.  Aaron
	is aghast.  Aaron approaches the set.

				AARON
		Can I turn on the news for a second?
		...Oh, wait a minute.  Sex -- Tears --
		This must be the news.

	Tom stares daggers at him as a public official appears on the
	monitor.

	ON MONITOR

				PUBLIC OFFICIAL
		I don't think you can overestimate it --
		on any given Saturday night tens of
		thousands of women are being attacked
		and there isn't much they or we can do
		about it...

				TOM
			(on monitor)
		The victims often remain too terrified
		to talk -- the police powerless and all
		the social welfare groups can finally do
		is monitor this epidemic of crime without
		punishment.  This is Tom Grunick in
		Annandale, Virginia.

	As his piece concludes.

	NEWSROOM

	Tom continues to glare at Aaron.

				AARON
		I'm in a pissy mood.  I'm sorry.

				TOM
		What's wrong with it?

				AARON
		Nothing.  I think you really blew
		the lid off nookie.

	Blair moans with displeasure.  Aaron exits scene.  Others start
	to congratulate Tom on the piece -- in the b.g. on the:

	MONITOR

	We SEE frozen wilderness -- men digging in the ground -- clumps
	of people watching them work.

	ON JANE

	Probing her own ambivalence -- or, to be more accurate, working
	towards a positive stance.

				JANE
			(to Tom)
		Nice work...
			(checks watch)
		I've got to get a crew off the clock.

	She starts off -- Tom stopping her.

	ON TOM AND JANE

	Now off a bit by themselves.

				TOM
		So what did you think?

				JANE
		It moved me.  I did relate to it -- I
		really did.  It was unusual for you to
		cut to yourself when you tear up -- and
		that might not have been my choice...but
		it's real and it got me...and I think a
		lot of the time I'm too conservative about
		that kind of stuff.  Okay?

				TOM
			(enormously pleased)
		Yeah.

	He walks back towards the area of the monitor.

	ON MONITOR

				JENNIFER
		Tomorrow the jury returns to this
		site as each day brings more revelations
		of horror, four more bodies now taken
		from the frozen earth...This is Jennifer
		Mack in Wota Hamlet, Alaska.

	INT. NEWSROOM - TWO WEEKS LATER (SPRING) - DAY

				BLAIR
		Ernie's been looking for you.

	As Aaron walks to his office.

	INT. AARON'S OFFICE - DAY

	As he enters and finds Ernie bent over his desk.

				ERNIE
		Oh, I was just writing you a note.
		What do you say we take a walk?

				AARON
			(puzzled)
		Outside?

				ERNIE
		Yeah --

	EXT. WASHINGTON STREET - DAY

	Ernie is silent... He's having difficulty.  Aaron is feeling knots
	form.  Finally Ernie breaks his silence.

				ERNIE
		I don't know if we have any
		younger man more respected in our
		operation than you.

				AARON
		Just tell me what's really going
		on.  I think we know each other
		well enough for me to expect that.

				ERNIE
			(agitated)
		We know each other well enough
		for me to care how I put something
		to you which could wipe you out.
		So I will phrase things the way I
		think they should be phrased.  All
		right?

				AARON
		Wipe me out?

	Ernie sits on a bench.

				ERNIE
		Anyway.  I want you to think of this as...

				AARON
		Just blunt talk, okay?  I'd really
		appreciate bluntness.

				ERNIE
		Upper management thinks you're dull.

	Aaron deflates.

				ERNIE
		Aaron, I've never seen them like
		this -- I think Paul's nervous
		about his own job and for some
		reason he thinks you only appeal to...

				AARON
		Wait.  Bullshit me a little...I'm
		beginning to appreciate it.

				ERNIE
		I'm no suggesting the worst will
		happen...but someone with your
		brilliance gets nibbles about other
		jobs and maybe, the next time that
		happens, down the road -- you should
		look into it.

				AARON
			(emotional)
		Ah, damn -- the fucking jerks -- My,
		God.  They want to fire me.

				ERNIE
		All I know is that they've got to
		fire a large number of people...
		and they're not going by seniority.
		There's a recklessness in the air.  
		They...

				AARON
			(interrupting)
		Do one thing to me?  Get me one shot
		at anchoring the Weekend News -- they've
		never seen me do it.  I think it could
		turn them around.

				ERNIE
		I could do it this Saturday -- everyone
		wants off for the Correspondents' Dinner.

	Aaron turns -- his spirit lifted by the unexpected ray of hope.

				AARON
		Do it then.

				ERNIE
		Please prepare carefully.  This
		couldn't come at a better time.

				AARON
		Prepare what?  You have Saturday's
		news handy?

				ERNIE
		It's been a while since you read
		the news -- I'll have somebody work
		with you.  Just on superficial
		performance things.

	Several beats.

				ERNIE (cont'd)
		Please.

				AARON
		Okay.  I think I'd better be alone
		for a while.

				ERNIE
		I understand.  I'll go with you.

				AARON
		Thanks.

	INT. SMALL TELEVISION STUDIO - NIGHT

	Aaron is seated behind a desk -- some old news copy in
	his hand.  An unmanned camera is pointing at him.  Tom
	is standing a few feet further back studying him.

				AARON
		This is uncomfortable for me --
		because, well, I don't mean it as
		a knock, but we approach this
		differently.

				TOM
		We sure do.  I don't mean it as a
		knock either.
			(he smiles)
		Go ahead.  I'll just say what I think
		and you can disregard it if you want.

				AARON
		It just might not work for me because
		of our different approaches.

	Tom nods and gestures that he proceed.  Aaron begins reading
	the news.  Barely a sentence in, he is interrupted.

				TOM
		Wait.

				AARON
		What?

				TOM
		Your coat jacket is rising up in 
		back.

	Aaron ignores the tip.

				TOM
		When you sit down -- sit on your
		jacket a little -- that gives you
		a good line.  Look at yourself in
		the monitor.

	Aaron looks but is unimpressed and resumes reading the news.
	Tom, not about to be ignored when he knows it's important, moves
	behind Aaron and begins to force his jacket down.

				AARON
			(very uncomfortable)
		I don't like being handled.

				TOM
		Sit on it!  Now look.

				AARON
		Just don't physically...
			(he sees himself in the
			 monitor and is suddenly
 			 enthusiastic)
		Fantastic tip -- fantastic.

	He starts to read again.

				TOM
		No.  That's not going to tell us
		anything.  Let's get this prompter
		going.

				AARON
		It's not loaded.

				TOM
		I'll find some copy.  Be right back.

	Tom exits -- Aaron looking after him, clearly taken with the
	genuine camaraderie... the unmistakable joy Tom derives from 
	helping out.  Several beats and Tom comes back with a CAMERAMAN in 
	tow.

				TOM
		I got copy, I got Ellen to heat up
		the camera and I got Master Control
		taping so you can study it later.

	He puts the roll of copy in the prompter.

				AARON
		Hey, Tom...

	Tom turns.

				AARON
		I'm very appreciative.

	SAME SCENE - LATER

	Tom totally focused on him down one knee checking him from
	various angles.  He interrupts.  Aaron reading from the prompter.

				TOM
		No.  No.

				AARON
		No?

				TOM
		Don't let your eyes go from the
		beginning of the sentence to the end
		like that.  You don't want to look
		shifty, do you?

				AARON
		Oh, God, no!

				TOM
		And the left side of your face is the
		good one.  Go again.  And try to punch
		one word or phrase in every sentence --
		punch one idea a story.  Punch -- come
		on --

	Aaron does same with the story he is reading...

				TOM
		Good...very nice.

	Aaron acknowledges the compliment in news mode.  Punching the
	first words.

				AARON
		Thank you for the compliment, Tom.

	He draws a laugh from the Cameraman as he goes right into the
	next story.

				TOM
		Try not to move your head or wrinkle
		your forehead...this is good, very
		good...

	EXT. NEWS BUREAU - NIGHT

	Aaron, tape in head, is saying his farewell to Tom.  He is facing
	his left side as he will do for the rest of his life on earth.

				TOM
		You were smokin' toward the end there.

				AARON
		The pointers were great.  I'll study
		the tape.

	Tom is into helping Aaron he finds himself delivering a locker
	room pep talk:

				TOM
		And remember -- you're not just reading
		the news or narrating.  Everybody has to
		sell a little.  You're selling them this
		idea of you.  You know, what you're sort
		of saying is, 'trust me.  I'm, uh,
		credible.'  So whenever you catch yourself
		just reading...stop and start selling a
		little.  So long.

	He moves off -- Aaron watching him go, feeling decidedly
	uncomfortable by this last piece of advice and vaguely corrupted.

	INT. JANE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

	Jane FLIES INTO FRAME, carrying her dress, two large shoulder
	pads clipped to her bra-straps.  She is obviously running a little
	late.  Now she slips on the dress -- her pace so quickened that
	it momentarily dulls the effect of seeing her in a pretty formal
	gown; the kind good girls wear on special nights.  The DOORBELL
	RINGS... She opens the door while trying to put on her necklace...
	Aaron enters carrying four bulging garment bags and a fistful
	of neckties.

				AARON
		I spilled some rum on the outfit you
		picked out.  Let me show you the
		alternates.

	She eyes the amount of clothing, goes to the phone and dials.

				JANE
			(into phone)
		Tom...why don't I meet you there?
		I've got some last minute stuff I've
		got to take care of...Hey, how did
		you resolve your dilemma -- did you
		rent the tux or buy it...I knew it.
		How much?  Wow...Okay...See you
		there...

				AARON
		I didn't know you were going with him.

				JANE
		Did you bring your grey suit?

				AARON
		Yes...I was thinking that way too...
		Which tie?

	She holds them in her hand -- indicates with the necklace that
	she wants him to help her... he fastens her necklace while looking
	over her bare right shoulder as she riffles through his tie
	collection.

				JANE
			(the clasp in place)
		Thanks.  Try this one.

	She hands him the tie and he extracts his grey jacket from a bag --
	puts it on and ties the tie... She reaches into a white paper bag
	full of fresh purchases and takes out a vial of perfume with a
	built-in atomizer and sprays the air in front of hr and walks into
	the mist.  ON Aaron's reaction:

				JANE
		I read about it -- that's how you can
		make sure you don't put on too much
		perfume...

				AARON
		Could you at least pretend that this
		is an awkward situation for you --
		me showing up while you're getting
		ready for a date.

				JANE
			(flaring)
		It's not a date.  It's co-workers going
		to a professional conclave.

	Jane, unnoticed, reaches into the paper bag, takes a small box
	of condoms and drops it into her evening bag.

	EXT. WASHINGTON STREET - NIGHT

	Jane on a public phone, Aaron standing nearby within sight
	of a taxi stand.

				JANE
			(on phone)
		How long will it tale you to send
		one?...

	She hangs up... paces... Then looks at Aaron, relaxes.

				JANE
		You look terrific.

	Aaron poses a question which he feels in his deepest core:

				AARON
		Really?

	Jane nods.

				AARON
		Because this is important -- so don't
		just be polite.  I'd really like to
		look...what's the word I'm looking for?...

				JANE
		As good as humanly possible.

				AARON
		Yes.

				JANE
		Well, the line of the jacket -- No
		really....just very nice...just right.
		I wish I could be there.

				AARON
		Me too...Hey...if it gets dull a little
		before 11:00, drop by the studio.

				JANE
		I'm not sure I'll be able to...I...

				AARON
		If...if not, I'll have the tape...I'll
		wait for you at my apartment.

				JANE
		Okay, great -- good luck.

	Before she can deal with that, a cab arrives.

				AARON
		Thanks, Jane.  Have a good time tonight.

				JANE
		You too.

	Aaron takes her in -- she looks lovely.

				AARON
		I'd hug you, but why risk mussing
		either of us?

	She half-laughs... kisses him, wipes the slight lipstick mark
	from his cheek and, in a sudden decision, takes each of her
	shoulder pads from her jacket and puts them in his -- improving
	his look while diminishing her own.  She gets in the cab.

	AARON'S P.O.V.

	Jane, leaning all the way over the front seat, giving detailed
	instructions to the DRIVER as the cab pulls away... As Aaron
	turns and walks off.

	INT. CAB - NIGHT

	Jane, in her formal, sitting back -- anticipating her date.

	EXT. WASHINGTON HOTEL - NIGHT

	A hefty percentage of the Washington journalism industry's
	men and women dressed formally for one of those evenings where
	they can finally assert their own glamour.  Jane ENTERS THE SCENE.

	INT. WASHINGTON HOTEL - ATRIUM - NIGHT

	As Jane enters, lost momentarily in the lobby -- greenhouse,
	the majority of the throng passing through in formal clothes.
	A bit of DIALOGUE OVERHEAD from TWO MEN in dinner jackets.

				MAN ONE
		The L.A. times is a great outfit.  Best
		severance pay in the business.

	Jane keeps looking for Tom -- passing another MAN, talking to
	his SHARP-LOOKING DATE.

				MAN THREE
		He was lecturing me and finally
		I just said -- I'm sorry, I refuse
		to look at it as a negative that
		I'm young and my news appeals to
		people my age.

				WOMAN
		And it's not like he just didn't
		hire a twenty-six-year-old producer
		himself.

				MAN
		No kidding, twenty-six.

	Jane moves to the steps and starts up, greeting several
	people nervously.  More bits of DIALOGUE, leaking from
	conversations of both substance and expedience.

				ANONYMOUS OLDER MAN
		Remember Brinkley's great line
		-- "It's as irrevocable as a
		haircut."

	Now, on the second level, she scans the crowd.

	JANE'S P.O.V.

	The floor below.  Tom in the world's best-fitting tux... Clusters
	of people from around him but he works his way easily through them
	as he looks for Jane and grins his greetings, men are buoyed,
	women's pulses throb.

	ON JANE

	As she silently mouths the words -- "smile and move and smile
	and move."  Which is exactly what he's doing.  Then a contract
	with the gods.

				JANE
			(to herself)
		If he doesn't see me soon, we're not
		supposed to be together.

	ON TOM

	Seeing her.  -- He does a tap step -- a brief giddy burst, the
	meaning of which is not lost on Jane.  He is acting like her
	boyfriend.

	ON JANE

	Anxiety stripped away revealing a first glimpse of Jane as a
	joyous pretty young woman.

	ON TOM

	Moving quickly up the stairs -- as she walks toward him.

				TOM
			(excitedly)
		It's incredible who's here.

				JANE
		Who?

				TOM
		Me!

	She laughs.  Almost completes an affectionate gesture -- takes
	his arm instead.

	INT. NEWSROOM - NIGHT

	Aaron seated in the main newsroom in shirt-sleeves, writing.  He
	takes the just-completed page out of the typewriter and walks over
	to the weekend news PRODUCER. (W.N.P.)

				AARON
		Want to look at this?

				W.N.P.
		Sure.

	George Weln appears...

				GEORGE
			(to Aaron)
		What are you doing here?

				AARON
			(feigning casualness)
		The weekend news...anchoring...
		anchoring the weekend news.

				GEORGE
		Way to go.

	Aaron nods, as the Producer finishes the copy.

				W.N.P.
		This is terrific news, Aaron.  It's
		a pleasure to read.

				AARON
		Thanks.  Oh, there's water on the set,
		isn't there, in case I get an attack
		of cotton mouth.

				W.N.P.
		Sure.  You'll be fine.

				AARON
			(feeling patronized
  			 and repelling)
		I'll be fine!  Yes!!  I know!!!

	INT. BALLROOM - NIGHT

	Bomb sniffing dogs, SECRET SERVICE MEN and D.C. POLICE monitoring
	the members of Washington's most trustworthy elite as they pass
	through the metal detector.  The line moves slowly -- Jane and
	Tom several couples back.

				OFF-CAMERA VOICE
			(o.s.)
		Can I have your autograph for my wife?

	Tom and Jane turn to see a grinning Paul.

				TOM
		How you doing, Paul?

				PAUL
		So this is why you wouldn't do the
		Weekend New, you can't turn down
		a free meal.

				TOM
		Yes, born to party.

	Paul enjoys the riposte, looks at Jane who is shrinking within
	herself.

				PAUL
		I'll see you two inside -- I think
		we're all at the same table.
			(sotto to Jane)
		You're finally learning to be flexible.
		Glad you changed your mind about Tom.

	He passes through the detector... Tom starts to step through it --
	she pulls him back.

				JANE
		I'm sorry.  I don't want to go in
		there and sit with everybody.
			(imagining it)
		I can't...why don't you go?

	He considers this option as she waits.

				TOM
		Suppose I go in for a little while and
		you wait in the lobby-bar.  How's that?

				JANE
		Good.  That's it...See you.

	She walks off.  He runs a few steps to stop her.

				TOM
		Jane.

	She turns.

				TOM
		You're not going to take off on
		me, are you?

				JANE
		Uh-uh.

	She steps on the escalator... Riding upwards, concern deepens,
	anxiety flows.

	ON TOM

	Watching her to up the escalator, he finds himself doing
	simplest thing, stepping onto a moving step.

	FULL SHOT

	Jane four steps ahead of him -- not yet aware of him.  He moves
	past one other man until he is standing directly behind her.

				TOM
		I just want you to know that my
		giving up the Correspondents' Dinner
		puts tremendous pressure on you.

	Jane turns and is a bit blown away by his gesture -- life
	threatens to be good.  And now Jane bumps a bit at the top of
	the escalator, regaining her balance by grabbing Tom's offered
	hand.  As they walk they continue to deliberately hold hands.

	INT. NEWS STUDIO - NIGHT

	WE are on the studio floor, FOCUSING on the activity around
	the Anchor Desk and three cameras... The FLOOR MANAGER stands
	ready to cue Aaron, the script is ready to roll on the prompter
	machine.

				FLOOR MANAGER
		Twenty seconds.

	ON AARON

	Making sure he is seated on his jacket -- taking one last look
	at the hand mirror being held by the MAKEUP WOMAN.  She starts
	off -- but Aaron regrabs the mirror almost making her lose her
	footing -- a check -- then another check -- he points to a spot
	on his forehead which she dabs with the makeup sponge... Both of
	them fuss enormously with his hair -- four busy hands.

				FLOOR MANAGER
		Ten seconds.

				AARON
		How many?

				FLOOR MANAGER
		Ten.

				AARON
		Okay.

	He watches the Makeup Woman scurry underneath a camera lens,
	resits on his jacket and finally has the moment the system has
	been denying him for years.  We can HEAR the END OF HIS CUE
	in a barely AUDIBLE CRACKLE from the Floor Manager's earphones...
	"...with Aaron Altman."

				AARON
			(on TV)
		Good Evening...In mood and language
		better suited to an espionage novel
		than the delicate world of the Western
		Alliance, the British Foreign Secretary
		today pounced on what he termed, 'The
		nest of profession spies and amateur
		traitors who were turning NATO
		Headquarters into an instrument whose
		only true function is folly.'  We begin
		our coverage with Edward Towne in London.

	Aaron looks up -- takes a breath.  He's done well -- he's
	punched his words and his one thought for the story.  His gaze
	has been steady, his voice firm but he has begun to perspire.
	He dabs with his finger at the first trickles from his brow --
	brushes some more prominent sweat from his upper lip... He
	beckons nervously to the Makeup Woman -- who comes in and dabs --
	then dabs again as Aaron feels himself under his arms...

				MAKEUP WOMAN
		Gee whiz.

				FLOOR MANAGER
		Five seconds.

	She scurries away, Aaron reaching for another Kleenex from her
	box and missing it... A graphic illustrating his next scripted
	section appears behind him.

				AARON
		...the sub-bases referred to are
		located in five countries...

	And now the moisture on his face is clearly discernible -- the
	Floor Manager and Makeup Woman grimacing at the growing specter
	as they look at a large monitor.

				AARON
		France, Belgium, the Netherlands,
		Spain as...

	And now so much moisture sprouts from his upper lip that he
	pushes his lower lip out to slurp away the sweat... The Makeup
	Woman laughs briefly out loud before catching herself...
	Aaron's eyes dart angrily in her direction.

				AARON
		We well as Great Britain...Our own
		State Department was rocked not only
		by the revelation but from the highly
		unusual persistence from the State 
		Press Corps.  Martin Klein reports on 
		the ruckus at Foggy Bottom.

	Half-beat until he's sure that he's off -- his shirt now
	showing distinct sweat stains...

				AARON
		Help me.

	The Makeup Woman picks up her Kleenex box -- then thinks
	better of it...

				MAKEUP WOMAN
		Someone finds me some big towels.

	ON AARON

	He blots his face -- some makeup streaked -- by the towel.

				FLOOR MANAGER
		Five seconds.

	ON MAKEUP WOMAN

	As she scurries away, this time entering the control room
	trotting up one stair to look at the monitor... the Director
	talking to his Camera Operators.

				DIRECTOR
		I'd go looser but we wouldn't
		see the graphic.

				TECHNICIAN
			(to other Technician)
		No -- this is more than Nixon ever
		sweated.

	The Makeup Woman now looks at the bank of monitors.

				MAKEUP WOMAN
		Can't you just die for him?

	ON MONITOR

	Aaron's makeup-streaked face.

	EXT. WASHINGTON STREET - NIGHT

	Tom and Jane walking drinks in hand, her arm around his waist.
	They stop -- he rests a drink on a ledge and boosts her up
	and then sits next to her.

				TOM
		You okay?

				JANE
		Great.

	FULL SHOT

	REVEALING that they are sitting on an anti-terrorist concrete
	abutment protecting a major government building on a beautiful
	night in our capitol.  He is still holding her hand -- and
	now he notes this.

				TOM
			(loudly to himself)
		Why can't I let go of this woman?

				JANE
		Well...

	He interrupts her with the smallest of kisses -- so mall and
	swift a kiss that she is left doing her return kisses to mid-
	air.  And then he does something he's thought about many times
	before -- he briefly caresses her breasts -- while continuing
	to look at her.

				JANE
		At least kiss me when you do
		that.

				TOM
			(a grin)
		You just can't stop editing me.
		Huh?

				JANE
		This is hysterical.

	She laughs a little -- then kisses him.  They break --
	surprised and aroused and look at each other...

				JANE
		I was half hoping I wouldn't
		have a good time tonight.  You
		know why?

				TOM
		Because you're nuts.

				JANE
		Right, right -- Isn't she fun to
		tease?

	He leans forward and speaks softly and truly.

				TOM
		More and more lately when I've
		watched you in action -- seen all
		your energy -- I've been
		wondering what it would be like
		to be inside all that energy.

	She takes a gulp of her drink -- puts a hand to feel the heat
	on her own cheek.  Then turns to him.

				JANE
		Right back at you.

	Several beats.

				TOM
		I don't remember saying anything
		like that -- exactly...I don't
		know why I just did.

				JANE
			(immediately at work)
		Oh let's see -- wait a minute, well,
		I can think of two reasons.

				TOM
		What?

				JANE
		Three...I just thought of a third...
		If you talk about it, you don't have
		to do it.

				TOM
		That's not it.

				JANE
		Good...Another is you're trying to
		make it all about sex and heat and
		nothing else.

	She looks at him -- he's thinking.

				JANE
		Or it's that great feeling that you
		don't want to hold anything back.
		You know, intimacy.

	She elbows him.  Tom takes in the choices -- then:

				JANE
			(suddenly)
		Oh, shit.  I'm a creep.

	She moves off the concrete wall.

				JANE
		I forgot all about Aaron.  I
		promised to stop by and see
		how he did.

				TOM
		I'd like to know.  I'll go along.

				JANE
		No.  I'll see you at your apartment
		as soon as I can.

	She starts to flurry with activity -- moves to the curb when
	out of nowhere Tom barks a sharp command, the first time any
	of his actions has been tinged with fury.

				TOM
		JANE!

	Thrown, she stops and turns.  He walks to her.

				JANE
		What happened?

				TOM
		Don't run off --  like everything's
		settled the minute you make up your
		mind.

				JANE
		He might be weird -- he can talk more
		freely if I go alone -- why's that so
		hard to understand?

				TOM
		It's not that it's hard.  I just want you
		to give me a minute to catch up.

				JANE
		Okay.
			(she hugs him)
		Sorry.
			(another beat)
		Don't yell at me like that again,
		you scared the life out of me.

	EXT. AARON'S HOUSE - NIGHT

	As Jane exits a cab and moves up the steps.

	INT. AARON'S APARTMENT - HALLWAY - NIGHT

	It is at the top of a flight of steps.  She KNOCKS on the DOOR.
	RINGS.  KNOCKS.  Aaron opens it.  He is wearing a sweatshirt
	and cords.

				AARON
		I was in the shower.

	She enters.

	INT. AARON'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

				JANE
		How'd it go?

				AARON
		You didn't see it or speak to
		anybody?

				JANE
		No.

				AARON
		Then it went well.

				JANE
		Did it really go well?

				AARON
		Define your terms.

				JANE
		Do you feel good about it?

				AARON
		No.

				JANE
		Do others feel that you did well?

				AARON
		No.

				JANE
		Then what was good about it?

				AARON
		I lost six pounds...

				JANE
		Aaron, will you tell me?

				AARON
		It was great...writing my little
		first rate copy, sitting on my
		jacket, punching my one thought.
		But I had this historic attack of
		flop sweat so they'll never let
		me another again.  Oh, I lost one
		of your shoulder pads -- how was
		your evening anyway?

				JANE
		What do you mean, flop sweat? --
		you're making too much out of
		it...I'll bet you were the only
		one aware of it...

				AARON
		People phoned in.

				JANE
		Stop kidding.  I want to know
		what happened.

				AARON
		I'm not kidding.

				JANE
		There were complaining phone calls
		because you were sweating?

				AARON
		No, nice ones worried that I was
		having a heart attack.

				JANE
		If all that happened, how come you're
		so chipper?

				AARON
		I don't know.  At a certain point
		it was so off the chart bad --
		it got funny.  My central nervous
		system was telling me something.
		Jane -- sweat running down my face --
		makeup falling into my eyes -- people
		turning this fusillade of blow dryers
		on me -- all so I could read
		introductions to other people who
		were covering stories which is
		what I like to do anyway.  And I'm
		chipper because you finally showed
		up.  I thought I'd cook for us.
		Tequila and eggs sound good?

				JANE
		I have to be somewhere.

	He looks at a clock reading 1:15 in the morning.

				JANE
		I told what's his name -- Tom --
		that I'd meet him.

				AARON
		Call him -- I mean it can wait, 
		right?

				JANE
			(now the plunge)
		I don't know.  I may be in love
		with him.

				AARON
			(as if he just burned
			 his hand)
		No!!!!!

	She starts for the door.

				AARON
		Don't go.

				JANE
		This is important to me.

				AARON
		Yeah.  Well...I think it is
		important for you too.  Sit down.

	She sits.  He walks to a desk and looks at her briefly... Silence.

				JANE
		What?

				AARON
			(looking at her)
		Let me think a second.  It's
		tough.

	A remarkably long silence -- her mind wanders, she takes stock...
	it is evident that he is straining to get it right, reaching
	into himself.

				AARON
		Aaach...Jane...
			(glancing at note)
		Let's take the part that has
		nothing to do with me.  Let's let
		me be your most trusted friend,
		the one that gets to say awful
		things to you.  You know?

				JANE
			(testy and wary
			 but fair)
		Yes, I guess.  Yes.

				AARON
		You can't end up with Tom because
		it goes totally against everything
		you're about.

				JANE
		Yeah -- being a basket case.

				AARON
		I know you care about him.  I've
		never seen you like this about
		anyone, so please don't take it
		wrong when I tell you that I believe
		that Tom, while a very nice guy, is
		the Devil.

				JANE
			(quickly)
		This isn't friendship.

				AARON
		What do you think the Devil is going
		to look like if he's around?  Nobody
		is going to be taken in if he has a
		long, red, pointy tail.  No.  I'm
		semi-serious here.  He will look
		attractive and he will be nice and
		helpful and he will get a job where
		he influences a great God-fearing
		nation and he will never do an evil
		thing...he will just bit by little bit
		lower standards where they are important.
		Just coax along flash over substance...
		Just a tiny bit.  And he will talk about
		all of us really being salesmen.
			(seeing he's not
			 reaching her)
		And he'll get all the great women.

	She is getting pissed.

				JANE
		I think you're the Devil.

				AARON
		No.  You know that I'm not.

				JANE
		How?

				AARON
		Because we have the kind of
		relationship where if I were the
		Devil, you'd be the only one I
		told.

	She's briefly impressed.  He has a point.

				JANE
		You were quick enough to get
		Tom's help when...

				AARON
		Yes, yes.  I know.  Right.  And
		if it had gone well for me tonight,
		maybe I'd be keeping quiet about all
		this...I grant you everything but
		give me this...he does personify
		everything you've been fighting
		against...And I'm in love with you.
			(realizing)
		How do you like that? -- I buried
		the lead.

	He pauses to catch his breath -- breathing deeply through his
	nose.

				AARON
			(an aside)
		I've got to not say that aloud;
		it takes too much out of me.

				JANE
			(thawing)
		Sit down, stop.

	Aaron slumps down -- it's been a long round.

				AARON
		I've never fought for anyone before.
		Does anybody win one of these things?

	INT. TOM'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

	A CAR DOOR SLAMS in the street below -- he goes towards the
	window which is blocked by his sofa -- puts his knees in and
	looks out.

	TOM'S P.O.V.

	A woman walking from a car.

	ON TOM

	Momentarily thinking it's Jane.  Elated.

	TOM'S P.O.V.

	It is not Jane.  The PHONE RINGS.

	INTERCUT:

	BACK TO SCENE

	As he answers and we have the following conversation between
	Jane, who is using the phone, with Aaron seen just a few feet
	away.  Tom in his apartment.

				JANE
		Hi.  It's me.

				TOM
		Where are you?

				JANE
		I can't get away just yet.  I'm 
		at Aaron's.

				TOM
		Well, when?

				JANE
		I'm not sure.  It seems like he
		had sort of a mishap on the news.

				TOM
		I know.  I taped it.

				JANE
		It wasn't as bad as he think, was
		it? -- it wasn't unprecedented or
		anything?

				TOM
		Not if you count 'Singing in the
		Rain.'  Do him a favor and don't
		treat it like a tragedy.  You want
		me to talk to him?

	Her eyes meet Aaron's.

				JANE
		Uh-uh.
			(to Aaron)
		He says you could hardly notice it.

	Aaron beckons for the phone.  Jane hands it to him, as she does
	so:

				JANE
		Don't say anything about anything.

				AARON
		Hi.  Will I ever sing again?

				TOM
		Everybody has one like that.  I
		thought it was great when you
		started to laugh at the end.

				AARON
		Yeah -- well, I'm sorry I'm tying
		up Jane, I didn't realize you two
		would be going this late.  Sorry.

				TOM
		No.  Don't worry about it.

				AARON
		I'll put her on.

	She takes the phone.

				JANE
		Hi, again.  Sorry about...

				TOM
		No.  That sounds more important.
		Let's forget about tonight.

				JANE
		I don't know if that's absolutely
		necessary.

				TOM
		I've got my father coming through
		tomorrow anyway.  I should get
		some sleep.

				JANE
			(hampered by Aaron's
			 presence)
		Uh-huh.

				TOM
		I'll see you at the office.  Good night.

	Several beats of silence.  Finally:

				TOM
			(finally)
		Hello?

				JANE
		Yes.

				TOM
		Okay.  Good night.

				JANE
			(aghast)
		Good night??!

				TOM
		Jane, I'm not some chore you have
		to finish so you can stay on schedule.

				JANE
		Okay, great, Grunick -- Easy shots
		now -- huh?  Good night.

 	She puts the phone down.  A beat -- she looks stricken.  Aaron
	looks at her.

				JANE
		He just cancelled.  He had a
		chance to think and he
		cancelled.

	She bows her head.

				JANE
		I can't breathe.
			(aghast)
		Over a guy?!?
			(then)
		But I can't -- I can't breathe.
		Damn it!

	She gulps a breath.  Her hands on her knees, leaning over --
	another deep breath.  Aaron takes in the specter.

				AARON
		Well, Jane, it was nice of you
		to drop by.

	INT. JANE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

	As she enters -- goes immediately to the phone.

	ON PHONE...

	Cradled in an answering machine -- indexes for sixteen
	one-button calls, mostly people from work -- "Parents" etc.
	Jane plays her answering tape.  It is silent -- no messages...
	She fast forwards to double-check.  Just the SOUND of blank
	tape.  She pushes the button next to the "Tom Grunick."  We
	HEAR a busy signal.

	ON JANE

	She hangs up the phone.  Then compulsively hits the "Tom"
	button again.  Busy.  And again.  Busy.  She considers for
	a moment hitting the button next to Aaron's name.

				JANE
			(stopping herself)
		Be fair.

	She presses the button next to Tom's name.  Busy.  And again.
	Busy.

	EXT. ERNIE MERRIMAN'S HOUSE - MONDAY MORNING

	As he picks up for newspapers dotting his lawn and opens the
	door of his car -- just as his wife calls from the door.

				WIFE
		Ernie, they're calling from work.

				ERNIE
		Tell me I'm on the way in.

				WIFE
		It's Paul.

	Ernie, just a bit concerned, walks back to his house -- the
	four newspapers thick enough to be an awkward carry.

	INT. ERNIE'S HOUSE

	A phone in the immaculate living room.

				ERNIE
			(into phone)
		Hello.  Yes...

	He holds the phone down at his side for a beat, composing
	himself in the face of a sudden and horrible turn of events.

				ERNIE
		Would there be any point to my going	
		to New York and talking to them?  Would
		there be any point in going over it with
		you?  No, I'm still coming in.

	He hangs up.

				WIFE
		What?

				ERNIE
		They fired me.

	She takes his hand and kisses it -- then hugs him.

				WIFE
			(weeping)
		How horrible.  We'll be fine.  You'll
		be fine.  Stay here with me -- we'll
		go for a drive, have some drinks, make
		happy plans.

				ERNIE
		No.  They're firing even more people
		than they said.  Some will want to
		talk.  It could help.

				WIFE
			(timidly)
		I could use somebody to talk to on
		a day like this.
			(on his reaction)
		Sorry. Go ahead.

	He kisses her sad face.

				ERNIE
		Bye, sweetie.

				WIFE
		Okay, sweetie.

	He walks towards the door -- picks up his newspapers on the
	tray beneath the hall mirror and does a start.

	HIS P.O.V.

	In the mirror he SEES his wife making faces at him behind his
	back.  He EXITS his home without comment.

	INT. EDITING ROOM - DAY

	Jane is sitting in her editing cubby -- it is past noon.  She
	rises and stands in her doorway looking toward Tom's office --
	the door is open, the room is empty.  Blair ENTERS carrying
	an armload of tapes.  She looks extraordinary.

				BLAIR
		I've got four hours of French
		demonstrations --

	Jane waves it off.

				BLAIR
		Some of it they use water cannons.

	Jane takes the tape.

				JANE
		What are you dressed up for?  Oh,
		that's right -- because the Evening
		News is here this week.

				BLAIR
		I spent a fortune on this.

	Blair EXITS... Jane pops the tape in, automatically making
	timing notes, then standing -- looking again towards Tom's
	door.

	JANE'S P.O.V.

	The door now closed.

	JANE

	She stops the tape -- summons herself.  She walks towards Tom's

	office and opens the door.  Tom is seated behind his desk.

				JANE
			(without passion)
		I kept trying to call you -- you
		never called me.  Were you just
		diddling me?  Is that it--?  I'm
		great if I'm helping your career.
			(mimicking)
		But when I'm a woman for a second, I
		get immediately fucked around by
		you.

	She is obviously in pain but still alert enough to catch Tom's
	answer.

	INT. TOM'S OFFICE - DAY

				TOM
		Jane, this is my Dad.

	And, now OPENING the door a bit more -- Tom's father is REVEALED
	seated across from him.

				JANE
			(that quickly)
		Please forgive what I said.
			(to Tom)
		Sorry.

	As she retreats:

				TOM
		You just light up a room and leave,
		huh?

	She laughs nervously as she exits.

	TOM AND HIS DAD

				DAD
		You want my opinion?

				TOM
		The thing that's easy to miss about
		Jane is...

				DAD
		You want my opinion?  And it's okay
		if you don't.

	Tom thinks a beat.

				TOM
		Yes, I would.

				DAD
		The way she just acted is not the
		way an affectionate person acts.

	Tom finds the comment off-the-wall enough to be thought
	provoking.

	INT. NEWSROOM - DAY

	Paul arriving with Bill Rorish.  The first time we have seen
	the multi-millionaire anchorman in the flesh.  He has the grace
	and dignity of a man who spends every waking moment working on
	grace and dignity,

	He and Paul are in the midst of an important conversation --
	muted and ominous.

				BILL
		Just when do you start, telling people?

				PAUL
		Almost immediately.

				BILL
		I'd like to take everyone out after
		the show.

				PAUL
		Bill...This is hard on all of us
		and it's no time for compliments.
		But I think it's extraordinary of
		you to come down here for this.

				BILL
		If we're not here for each other
		during the tough time, we're not a
		news organization.

	Blair ENTERS scene.  The smallest flicker of interest from Bill,
	but more than enough to justify her going into hock for the
	outfit.

				BLAIR
		Welcome back to Washington.

				BILL
		Thanks.

	A self-conscious look of greeting to Paul and she's gone.

				BILL
		I've forgotten.  Was she on the list?

	Paul nods "yes."

				BILL
		This is a brutal layoff...And all
		because they couldn't program Wednesdays.

				PAUL
			(can't resist)
		You can make it a little less brutal
		by knocking a million dollars or so off
		your salary.

	AS Bill turns:

				PAUL
		Just a bad joke.  I'm sorry.  Awful.
		It's a miserable day and that was
		some kind of totally sick-joke
		defense mechanism which does not
		indicate any of my feelings -- not
		one -- but just shows the kind of
		stress this represents for all of us.

	Tom and his Father ENTER the scene from Tom's office.  Bill
	walks to Tom.

				BILL
		Hi.  It's about time.

				TOM
		Good to see you, Bill.

	AS they shake:

	INSERT

	A great handshake.

	ON MR. GRUNICK'S FACE

	touched, as he watches the networks' most prominent journalist
	greet his son.

				TOM
		This is my father.

				BILL
		Good to meet you, sir.

	ON TOM

	Equally touched as he watches the world's most prominent
	journalist greet his Dad, who turns goofy with excitement.

				MR. GRUNICK
		Good-bye, Tom.

	He puts a big hand on his son's cheek -- a farewell pat.  Then
	whispers in his ear.

				MR. GRUNICK
		I'm going to go back home and tell
		all your old teachers.

	Tom watches his father walk off and moves immediately to Jane's
	editing room.

	INT. JANE'S EDITING ROOM - DAY

	AS Tom enters...

				JANE
		I feel terrible about what happened.
		What did he say?

				TOM
		He -- uh -- said he liked you because
		you looked like you had -- fire and
		honesty.

				JANE
			(enormously pleased)
		No.  Did he really?

				TOM
		Yes.  Then he said a really weird
		thing...

				JANE
			(so softly)
		What?

				TOM
			(he means this)
		That it would be a treat to make
		someone like you feel better...
		He gets like that sometimes.

				JANE
		That's so perfectly...It really
		makes me feel a little faint...
			(actually woozy)
		Whooo.

	Blair enters wildly into the scene.

				BLAIR
		They canned me.  Well, my brother
		will feel great -- now he's not the
		only screw-up.

				JANE
		It's started.

	Bobbie sticks his head out of his office...

				BOBBIE
		Tom -- Paul wants to see you.

	AS Tom focuses and moves off:

	INT. NEWSROOM AND HALLWAYS - DAY

	Moving with Tom.  Nervousness growing, confidence gone, he
	proceeds down the hallway.

	INT. ERNIE'S OUTER OFFICE - DAY

				SECRETARY
		He'll just be a minute.

	Tom sits down -- pats his tie in place... A beat and the door
	opens.  Paul leads out Martin Klein.  They shake hands.

				MARTIN KLEIN
		You know I'm just old enough to be
		flattered by the term, 'early retirement.'

				PAUL
		That's wonderful...what a lovely line.
		If there's anything I can do.

	They shake.

				MARTIN KLEIN
			(evenly)
		I certainly hope you die soon.

	A little smile to Tom and he's off.

				PAUL
		Tom.

	Tom enters the room.  A nervous cough in evidence as he
	crosses to a seat.

				PAUL
		We're having a severe cutback, Tom --
		17 people in this bureau including
		technical personnel and we're going
		to reorganize at the same time.
		We're going to take you out of Washington
		for a while and assign you to London.

	INT. NEWSROOM - LATE AFTERNOON

	Aaron and Ernie are off to the side in the newsroom -- People
	are packing their belongings -- as secretaries cry and embrace --
	from an office rumbles a shouted denunciation:

				ANONYMOUS VOICE
		No.  I won't keep my voice down.
		Those sons-of-bitches...They are
		worse than accountants -- they
		are bad accountants.

	Tom enters scene.

				TOM
		Have you guys seen Jane?

				ERNIE
		She's in there becoming the first
		woman bureau chief we've had here.

	Tom takes this in.

				AARON
		What did they do with you?

				TOM
		They booted me out of Washington.

				AARON
		Impossible.  There's no system that
		wouldn't value one of us.

				TOM
		Why?  What did they do to you?

				ERNIE
			(pointing at Aaron)
		It's what he did.  I'm proud of
		him.

				AARON
		They told me they'd keep me because
		they could plug me into any story
		and my salary was in line.

				ERNIE
		The cost-efficient reporter.

				AARON
		So I quit.

	A weeping woman bursts into their circle and sweeps Ernie away.
	Tom and Aaron stand there -- comrades at last -- victims of
	the same sword.

				TOM
		You packing up tonight?

				AARON
		Yes.  And I'm sorry that they're
		sending you down for a while, but
		you'll make it back...Where they
		sending you?

				TOM
		London.

				AARON
			(incensed)
		London.  That's a promotion!

				TOM
			(defensively)
		I don't think so.

				AARON
		It is.  Yes -- that's where they
		had Rorish, for God's sake, before
		they made him anchor.  I can't stand
		it -- they're grooming you for it
		all and you don't even know it.

				TOM
		Hold it down, okay?

				AARON
		Can I ask you something?  You only
		had one crew on the date rape piece,
		right?

	He extends his hand.

				TOM
		Yes.  You're not going to stick
		around for the farewell party?

				AARON
		No.  I don't know how much fun it
		will be when Martin Klein and Ernie
		have to drop off their credentials
		with the security guard.

	Aaron looks at people packing their belongings in boxes -- a
	few pockets of conversation... Ernie reading some copy.

				AARON
		This story they won't cover.  And if
		the network doesn't cover it -- it
		must not be important so why worry.

				TOM
			(eyeing him)
		I'm going to miss you -- you're a
		prick in a great way...

	Aaron taken by surprise -- laughs.

				TOM
		You know what I...

				AARON
		No, I liked the way it made me sound.
		Okay.  Be good.  So long.

	He exits.

	INT. TOM'S OFFICE - DAY

	AS he picks up a clean wastebasket and deposits his belongings.
	A scheduled book, clean shirt, two ties, cuff-links, a travel
	mirror, cassettes of his Washington reporting.  His desk clear --
	he writes on a clean piece of copy paper.  He centers it on his
	desk.

	INSERT - PAPER

	"Good luck, you'll love the bureau chief... Previous Occupants."

	INT. NEWSROOM - DAY

	AS Tom enters from his office, a wake is slowly igniting.  Tom
	moves along the edge of the room, carrying his wastebasket full
	of belongings, not really a part of the mournful festivities.

	TOM'S P.O.V.

	Jane across the room hugging one person after another.

	ON JANE

	AS she embraces an older secretary.

				OLDER SECRETARY
		You know what I always wanted to
		tell you -- that...

				JANE
		Shhh.  This isn't the last time
		we'll see each other.  It's not.

	A two-armed tight embrace of Martin Klein.

				JANE
		We'll get them back -- it's going
		to change.

	Blair is at hand as they embrace.

				BLAIR
		Except for socially, you're my role
		model.

	And now she sees Tom -- he mouths one word at her -- "London."
	She nods that she already knows and then lets her body sag a
	little.  He gestures her towards her editing room, so they can
	rendezvous.

	INT. EDITING ROOM - DAY

	AS Tom enters and waits for Jane.  When she enters he closes
	the door.

				JANE
		These people -- it's all so awful.
		It just hurts physically, doesn't
		it?  Like something's wrong with
		your bones, like your organs are
		shifting inside your body.

	She looks at him expectantly.  It's not what he's feeling.

				TOM
		Maybe I haven't been here long
		enough.
			(great)
		But, hey, congratulations on the
		promotion.

				JANE
		How can you say that to me?

				TOM
		Sorry.
			(a beat)
		I can't stand here feeing bad that
		I don't feel worse.  This has happened
		at every station I ever worked for.
		Look, I think it's crazy for you to
		come in here tomorrow and start a
		new job.  I have a week to get to
		my job.  Let's get the hell away to some
		island fast and find out how we are
		together away from this.

	A beat -- Jane takes it in.

				JANE
		Well, I just think that' an extraordinary 
		proposal.

				TOM
		That's yes?

				JANE
		That's more than 'yes' -- that's
		'you bet.'

	They kiss.

	INT. AARON'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

	The phone rings.  He answers.

				AARON
		Hello.

	INT. JANE'S OFFICE - NIGHT

	Jane -- still at the office -- it is quite late.

				JANE
		Bastard, sneak, quitter.

				AARON
		Speaking.

				JANE
		I just found out.  You didn't say
		anything to me?  You just resign?
		Will you meet me now? -- No, now!
		I'm going away tomorrow.  Please.

	INT. SIDEWALK - RESTAURANT - NIGHT

	Across the street from the bureau's building.  Aaron and Jane
	are having a beer.  They are in mid-conversation.

				JANE
		Why not try it for a few weeks?

				AARON
		Stop.  Ernie thought I was good too --
		he couldn't help.  My agent has a
		hot prospect -- the number two station
		in Portland.  The general manager says
		he wants to be every bit as good as the
		networks.  Personally, I think he should
		aim higher.

				JANE
		Tell me the God's honest truth --
		are you leaving because of me?
		Because if you are...

				AARON
		Ernie told this story.  How he used
		to write obits and when the people
		in town called him up with death
		notices, he cried.  He was till
		that way when they promoted him
		out of obits.  He says you're lucky
		if you can get out while you could
		still cry.
			(a beat)
		I should have quit this place  three
		years ago.

				JANE
		You're just trying to say all great
		stuff so I'll feel even worse that
		you're not around.

	He laughs.

				AARON
		Let's go...

				JANE
		I just want to sit here longer, I mean
		the feeling is powerful -- why's that?

				AARON
		Maybe the best part of your life is over
		and you don't want to get up and start
		the bad part.

	Jane looks at him levelly.

				JANE
		You are now required to sit here with
		me.
			(a beat; then)
		Come on...be smart for a second --
		what do you think will happen to us?

				AARON
		Okay, that's very easy.  Five, six
		years from now I'll be in town to
		collect an award representing the surge
		in foreign coverage by local stations.

				JANE
			(smile, it's like 
			 old times)
		Yes.

				AARON
		I'll be walking with my wife and two
		children -- we'll bump into you on
		the street, my youngest son will say
		something and I'll tell him...
			(deliberately)
		...it's not nice to make fun of single,
		fat ladies.

				JANE
		You won't be able to stay mad at me,
		right?

				AARON
		I hope so...
			(on her look he relents)
		No.  I'm not really mad.
			(nodding head as if
			 reciting a catechism)
		I'll miss you, we'll talk, we'll always
		be friends...we'll get hot for each other
		every few years at dinner and never act
		on it, okay?

	Jane smiles -- Aaron has grown suddenly angry.  He rises,
	walks away, then turns.

				AARON
		Jane, you know how Tom had tears in
		the piece the other night?  Ask
		yourself how we were able to see
		them when he only had one camera
		and that was pointing at the girl
		during the interview.
			(on her reaction)
		I'm fairly sure I was right to tell 
		you.

	EXT. OFFICE - NIGHT

	We LOOK THROUGH THE WINDOW as Jane enters -- in a frenzy --
	searching the stacks.

	INT. TAPE LIBRARY - NIGHT

	As she locates the cassette labelled "DATE-RAPE - 9/26 -
	EVENING NEWS - OUTTAKES."

	INT. TAPE CUBBY - NIGHT

	As she inserts the tape into the player.

	ANGLE ON JANE... AND MONITOR

	As she watches... this is what she sees...

				YOUNG WOMAN
		...but the whole thing messed me
		up more than it should.

	She cries.  We HEAR Tom.

				TOM'S VOICE
		Okay, that will do it.  You okay?

	The tape is rocky now -- the Sound Woman and Cameraman
	continue to roll as they move towards their next shot --
	at times the camera pointing towards the carpet -- but
	the sound continues.  The crew chatting -- mentioning
	that the tape is still rolling.

				TOM
		That's enough.  That's enough.

				YOUNG WOMAN
		I'm sorry.

				TOM
		Are you okay?

				YOUNG WOMAN
		Yes, I'm sorry.

				TOM
		Don't be silly.  What are you sorry 
		about?

				YOUNG WOMAN
		The way you were looking at me, I just went.

	Tom moves through the SHOT.

				TOM
		I just need you for another minute now,
		so we can shoot from behind towards me,
		and, um...

				YOUNG WOMAN
		Uh-huh.

				TOM
		...that way we have someplace to go when 
		we cut.  And I just sit here, I nod my 
		head and look nerdy.

	Young Woman chuckles.

	Jane chuckles.

				SOUNDWOMAN'S VOICE
		Tom

				TOM
		Yeah.

				SOUNDWOMAN'S VOICE
		It kills me we didn't have a second camera.  
		It was so powerful seeing your reaction.

				TOM
		Really?

				YOUNG WOMAN'S VOICE
		Yes, it is.

				SOUND WOMAN'S VOICE
		For a second there, I thought you were 
		gonna cry yourself.  That would have 
		been something.

				TOM
			(considering, then)
		Then give me a minute...

				JANE
			(fully realizing)
		You fucking...

	As Jane watches we SEE Tom work up the tears we saw in the
	Evening News piece -- as he does so:

				YOUNG WOMAN'S VOICE
		Oh, that's amazing.

	ON Jane's shocked reaction:

	EXT. BWI AIRPORT - DAY

	Jane's cab pulls up to the curb.  She gets out -- she is
	carrying no luggage.  She sees Tom who hurriedly walks up
	to her.  Jane is fighting to maintain a calm.

				TOM
		Look who's the organized one.
		I've got everything.

	He briefly opens a paper gift shop bag he is holding and shows
	her he has bought them each a bathing suit.

				JANE
		I'm not going.

	He looks at her with anticipatory distaste evident on his face.

				TOM
		Why?

				JANE
		I saw the taped outtakes of the
		interview with the girl.  I know
		you 'acted' your reaction after
		the interview.

	Tom half turns from her and moves back toward the bench.  Jane close 
	behind, stalking him.

				TOM
		I felt funny about it afterwards.  It's
		verboten, huh?  I thought since I did
		it for real the first time -- but I get
		you.  That's not the reason you're not
		coming?

				JANE
			(raising her voice)
		Of course it's the reason.  It's
		terrible what you did.

				TOM
		We disagree on how God-awful it
		was.  Why don't you come with me
		and we can disagree and get a tan
		at the same time?

				JANE
			(livid)
		Jesus, if you're glib about this
		I'm going to lose it.  I was up
		all night and...

				TOM
			(calmly)
		Jane, Jane, Jane, Jane, Jane...

				JANE
		It made me ill.  You could get
		fired for things like that.

				TOM
		I got promoted for things like that.

				JANE
		Working up tears for a new piece
		cutaway...You totally crossed the
		line between...

				TOM
		It's hard not to cross it; they keep
		moving the little sucker, don't they?

				JANE
			(distaste)
		It just proves that the difference we 
		have are...

				TOM
		This is a one-way argument.  We've got
		six days; if you go and we fight and
		we hate it -- we'll come home.  If you
		don't go?  Well, that's a much bigger
		deal.  I go to London right after that.
		So, it'd be very big deal if you stay
		here.  The plane's boarding.  You're
		good at deadline.  Here's your ticket.

				JANE
			(taking ticket)
		It's amazing.  You commit this
		incredible breach of ethics and
		you act as if I'm nitpicking.  Try
		and get this.  When you edited that...

				TOM
			(deliberately)
		I'm leaving now.  Gate 43.

	He simply turns and walks away -- looking back once as Jane
	stands there mucked up by his sudden departure -- the lack
	of resolution to their confrontation is palpable.

	INT. TERMINAL - DAY

	On Tom moving past the metal detector.  He too is frustrated
	-- pissed off at her.

	INT. OTHER TERMINAL AREA

	Jane moving quickly along towards the metal detectors.

	INT. METAL DETECTOR

	As Jane passes through and sets off the buzzer.  She stands
	there -- the heel of her hand pressed to her brow trying to
	stem the tears.  As others look on, she takes a huge key ring
	from her pocket -- deposits it in the box -- walks through
	without a buzzer and moves on.

	INT. BOARDING RAMP - DAY

	Tom waiting while in the b.g.  "People Eater" busses ferry
	passengers to the plane.

	As one full "People Eater" pulls away and another empty one arrives.

				TICKET AGENT
			(to Tom)
		This is the last one.

	Others start to board.  He sees Jane moving towards him.
	He walks to her, she gestures back towards the street.

				JANE
		That's not going to be the way
		we say good-bye.  Even though I
		think what you did was rotten --
		it's not all impersonal.  You mean
		something to me.

				TOM
			(interrupting)
		You keep coming after me and
		looking down on me.  It's starting
		to make me batty.

	She looks at him.

				TOM (cont'd)
		I can't help it that they like me.
		And I like that they like me.  And
		I think there's a lot of this job that
		I do well.  What do you think it takes
		to do this job -- the way they have
		it now?

				JANE
		I don't wan to discuss work.

				TOM
		Well, let's do a special report on
		that...I mean that's news.

				JANE
		I knew what you meant.

				TOM
		What I don't know, I can learn and
		what I know, nobody can teach.
		Excuse me for saying it about myself,
		but I think it's true.
			(old habit)
		What do you think?
			(catching himself)
		Never mind what you think.

	They look at each other.

				JANE
		You're lucky I came after you so
		you got that off your...

				TOM
		Yes, I am.  Thanks.  I mean it.

				JANE
		It's okay.

				TICKET AGENT
		Sir?

	The pressure begins to bend Jane's resolve.

				JANE
		So you have an extra bathing suit, huh?

				TOM
			(wary but hopeful)
		You want to come?

				JANE
			(totally open)
		It's just that one of the few things
		I'm not confused about is what I
		was saying downstairs, that...

				TOM
			(giving up -- sadly,
			 finally)
		Then you should stay here.

				JANE
			(softly)
		It's better when you let me say it.

	He hugs her.  Now that it's over, they can each openly care
	for each other.  While in the embrace:

				TOM
		Take it easy.

				JANE
		Why did I have to do this to
		myself?  Watch you take off.
			(then)
		Call me if you need anything.

	He kisses her lightly -- looking at her... Then heartfelt:

				TOM
		Oh, honey.

	He walks to the People Eater and gets on, still holding his
	paper bags of bathing suits.  The bus pulls away.

	ON JANE

	Watching him go.

	JANE'S P.O.V.

	Tom standing at the front window of the bus -- framed very
	much as he is when on television.

	INT. AIRPORT TAXICAB - DAY

	Jane gets quickly into cab.

				CABBIE
		Good morning.

				JANE
		Good morning.
			(after collecting herself)
		Dupont Circle, please.

	The cab pulls away.

				JANE
		Don't take the beltway, because at this
		time of day there's gonna be a lot...
			(stops herself, then)
		...Go any way you want.

	She sits back in the seat (containing herself) before finally and 
	quietly adding what she knows to be true:

				JANE
		But New York Avenue's faster.

							FADE OUT:

	FADE IN:

	EXT. CONVENTION CENTER - DAY

	Much the same place where Jane and Tom first met.  The
	words "SEVEN YEAS LATER" appears on the screen.

	A sign off to one side tells us it's the annual meeting of the
	Local Television Broadcasters... and that at 2 P.M.  Tom Grunick
	will be speaking on "Responsibilities of Broadcast Journalism
	for the '90s."

	INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

	Much the same audience, though two members of the audience
	may strike particular interest -- curly haired man seen
	from behind holding a similarly curly haired five-year-old.
	Tom is in mid-speech.

				TOM
		... when they told me Bill had decided
		to retire and offered me the Evening
		News, I thought it was the same kind
		of joke we used to pull back at the
		station -- turning off somebody's
		prompter in the middle of a show.

	Some good-natured laughter.

				TOM (cont'd)
		And then when they heard my reaction --
		they thought I was kidding.  I told them
		I'd be their anchor but I didn't want
		to be the Managing Editor -- that there
		were people better qualified than I to 
		control the content and if there 
		weren't we were all in trouble.

	The audience really enjoys this:

	SAME SCENE -- SOME MINUTES LATER

	MOVING SHOT...

	The anchor teams -- leaning forward.  They love this man,
	a humble specialist refusing the generalist trap.  Imagine
	the feeling -- you see, on the top of the mountain, a man
	not unlike yourself.

				TOM
		And now to something more
		important... I'd like to introduce
		my bride.
			(gestures to a woman in
			 the front row)
		Lila?

	A svelte, classic, warm beauty gets to her feet.

	ON CURLY HAIRED MAN AND BOY...

	Aaron and his son as Aaron cranes for a look at Mrs. Grunick.

	INT. AUDITORIUM - STAGE AREA - MOMENTS LATER

	Tom and Lila shaking hand.  Aaron, his son in his arms, wait.

	ON TOM

	As he sees Aaron... he is clearly delighted.

				TOM
		Holy shit, Aaron.

	He claps him on the back... Aaron is as pleased as he is
	uncomfortable with the attention.

				TOM
		Lila -- this is Aaron Altman.

				LILA
			(high British accent)
		Oh, yes -- you're one of Tom's
		50 or so role models.

				AARON
		Hi.

				TOM
		Well, this kid couldn't possibly
		belong to anyone else.  What's
		your name?

				BOY
		Clifford...

				AARON
			(indicating Tom)
		Do you know who this is, Cliff?

				BOY
		The big joke?

	Tom looks at him -- Aaron gives his son a disciplinary nudge.

				AARON
		I'm just bringing him over to give
		Jane a look at him --

				TOM
		I thought she'd be here.  I'll
		go with you.

				AARON
		Okay.

				TOM
			(to Lila)
		I'll see you back at the hotel.

				LILA
			(cool)
		All right.

	He starts off.  She pulls him back for an urgent communication.

				LILA
		Tom, the speech was magnificent.

				AARON
		Oh, I didn't say anything about
		your speech.

				TOM
		I appreciate it.

	INT. WALKWAY - DAY

	Tom, Aaron and the boy walking along.  Tom plays with Cliff
	as they move.  The boy is delighted.  Jane is in a park -- a
	blanket spread out -- she is wearing shorts and a top -- she
	has some wine and a small picnic -- a toy for Clifford.

	She HEARS her name being called.

	ON JANE

	Shielding her eyes from the sun -- now making out Tom.  As 
	they reach her.

				JANE
			(to herself)
		Well, why not?
			(as they arrive)
		Hey, what is this?  My life's
		rushing in front of my eyes.

				TOM
		A picnic?

				JANE
		I thought for ol' Cliff here --
		Look at you?  You're more adorable
		than your pictures.  Look what I
		got for you.

	She hands him a toy.

				AARON
		What do you say, Cliff?

	The boy kisses Jane's hand.

				AARON
		He excels at gratitude.

				TOM
			(to Jane)
		Are you any closer to a decision?

				JANE
		I think so...They've been talking
		to me about being Tom's Managing
		Editor.

				AARON
		Really?

				JANE
			(to Tom)
		I'm going to take it.

				TOM
		What a great surprise.  I didn't
		think we had a chance.  I heard
		you wanted to stay in Washington.

				JANE
		Well, there's a guy, but he says he'll
		fly up a lot.

				TOM
		Well, we should talk.  You going to
		have time for  dinner?  I'd like
		you to meet Lila.

				JANE
		I'm sorry because I was looking
		forward to that, but I' m going
		back in a few hours.

				TOM
		Okay...It's so good to see you.

	She gives him a quick kiss.  He shakes hands with Aaron.

				TOM
			(to Aaron)
		It's nice to see you.

				AARON
		Congratulations on history's longest
		winning streak.

				TOM
		If you ever get restless in Portland,
		let me know.

				AARON
		Why?

	Tom shuffles uncomfortably.

	ON JANE

	Smiling, appreciating Aaron's attitude toward a blandishment of the
	powerful.

				TOM
			(to Jane as he leaves)
		Bye...boss.

	Tom walks away.  He's a good twenty yards away when Aaron looks up
	to see his son running after Tom.

				AARON
			(calling)
		Hey!  Cliff!  Cliff!

	Tom now notices the boy, leans down and pats him.

				TOM
			(to Clifford)
		Go back to your daddy.

	The boy starts back.

				AARON
		Come on, Cliff.  Come on.

	As Clifford runs back to his father, Aaron sits next to Jane.

				AARON
			(to Jane)
		So who's the guy?

				JANE
		Well, we met about three months ago.
		He works at the surgeon general office.
		He loves boating.  So, he's been 
		getting me into water skiing.

	Aaron laughs at the very notion of Jane finding water sports a lure.
	Jane deliberately moves past this moment.

				JANE
		I like it!  So, doll, what about you
		lately?

				AARON
		Well -- my wife got this new job...

	He continues to talk.  As the two former colleagues catch up,
	their ease returns, if not their intimacy, as the frame locks and
	the scene slowly recedes into a black b.g. and we...

							FADE OUT.