news inside finalEarlier today, a number of major news organizations including CNN, Fox News, and ABC mistakenly reported that an arrest had been made in connection to Monday’s horrific Boston marathon bombing.

As many on Twitter were quick to point out, this is precisely the kind of mainstream media debacle that the HBO Show “The Newsroom” loves to recreate and then correct by showing how newsrooms should have covered it. (Here’s a good clip from Episode 4 illustrating this). In fact it’s all but inevitable that “Newsroom” creator Aaron Sorkin will write an episode in which Will McAvoy and his crack team of producers refuse to report the Boston arrest before they are 100 percent sure, basically saving the world (because, you guys, there’s literally nothing more important than a TV news anchor telling you that something did or did not happen. Especially if a saccharine Coldplay song is playing in the background).

So we decided to save Sorkin the trouble by writing it for him:

INT. ACN NEWSROOM – DAY

Neal and Maggie are surfing the Internet

NEAL

Hey, Maggie, did you see that thing on Reddit?

MAGGIE

What thing on Reddit?

NEAL

That thing. The picture of Lindsey Lohan where they photoshop out her lips? Lipsey Lohan?

MAGGIE

No. Why is that funny?

NEAL

It’s not. It’s just weird.

MAGGIE

Oh, cool. Put it on our Tumblr, and have the intern (new character played by Emma Roberts) make a list of the 12 Best Celebrity Mouth Memes.

NEAL

Got it.

JIM (shouting from across the room)

Guys, I think I got something! I was sitting here thinking of a funny Breaking Bad Tweet about Obama’s ricin scare, you know because Walter used ricin in the 4th season, remember? Yeah so anyway I was doing that when I saw the AP Tweet that an arrest is imminent in the Boston Marathon bombing.

MAGGIE

Woah, how many Retweets?

JIM

A thousand. And counting. It’s all over my “social graph.”

MAGGIE

That’s quite something.

Enter MacKenzie:

MACKENZIE

What’s going on here? Why haven’t we reblogged the mouth thing yet? It’s trending, for fuck’s sake!

JIM

The AP says that they have a suspect in the Boston bombing.

MACKENZIE

Turn on CNN!

WOLF BLITZER (on TV)

And another fact about pressure cookers is… Oh, this just in. An arrest has been made in the Boston marathon bombing.

MACKENZIE lets out a blood-curdling scream, a nightmarish din that sounds like a mix between Lucille Ball and an undead coyote. The rest of the newsroom stares in disbelief.

MAGGIE

It’s ok, MacKenzie, we’ll take care of it…

MACKENZIE

It’s not that. I just realized I Snapchatted my vagina to the entire newsroom.

Enter Will, muttering to himself:

WILL

I’m a newsman, I’m a newsman, I’m a fucking newsman…

JIM

Will! AP, CNN, and Fox News all say a Boston marathon suspect is in custody.

 WILL

Who is it?

JIM

CNN says it’s a “dark-skinned individual,” but CBS says it’s a white male wearing a backwards baseball cap.

MAGGIE

How do you know that?

JIM

I’m livetweeting everything they say on the TV.

MAGGIE

Why?

JIM

Uh, because it’s my job, Maggie. I’m a newsman.

MAGGIE

Will, what are you going to say on air? You can never be totally sure of these microblogging services…

WILL

What is this, amateur hour? Look, people, it’s fine. White skin, dark skin, backwards cap, no-cap, we split the difference and say it’s a light-skinned black man wearing a sideways fedora. When do I go live?

NEAL

Uh, Will, you’re going to want to take a look at this. 4Chan’s been herdsourcing photos to find the suspect, and they say the person CNN claims is in custody did not come from their database.

WILL

What’s 4Chan?

NEAL

This miraculous herdsourced experiment that’s totally disrupting everything we know about media. It’s like Web 2.0 on crack.

MAGGIE

Isn’t 4chan just a bunch of libertarians and pedophiles?

NEAL

Shut up, Maggie. Everyone knows you don’t get web 3.0.

WILL

Well, hell, if 4Chan couldn’t find him, how could the Boston police find him? This whole story smells fishy to me.

NEAL

I know. I have a guy who’s an undercover Anonymous member. Want me to get him “on the horn”?

MACKENZIE

I’m a typical working woman in New York City and I can’t stop screaming!

Enter Reese and Don

DON

I tried to stop him…

REESE

Will, why haven’t you gone live with this Boston suspect story?

JIM

Well, Neal says that 4chan…

REESE

I don’t give a fuck about 4chan! Every second you’re not current, a thousand people are changing the channel to someone who is.

WILL

Get it the fuck together people!

A palpable silence invades the newsroom, the chords of Coldplay’s “Fix You” begin to play…

WILL

This guy on Twitter once asked, “Does it matter how a man falls down? When the fall is all that left, it matters very much.” When this team is on, it’s like watching Shakespeare the way it’s meant to be seen. I’m not going to report something unless the Internet crowdherd is 100 percent certain it happened. So gather ye rosebuds, I say. Gather ye rosebuds! And as for you, Reese, fire me or shut the hell up! I’m not “other people.”

REESE

Are you going to let him destroy this network, Don?

DON, after a long pause

It’s a suspect. The police pronounce them in custody. Not the news.

The newsroom erupts in applause as the magical refrain of “Fix You” hits its highest peak.

JIM

Will! This just in! ithinksexiscool29 just Tweeted that the Boston Police deny having anyone in custody! We did it!

WILL

Bravo! You’re all newsmen!

INTERN

Um, guys? I Tweeted that the suspect was in custody like an hour ago. Was that bad?

Cut to five months later when the ACN staff are all working in PR.

[Illustration by Hallie Bateman]