Thank You for Smoking (2005) Script

♪ Now I'm a feller with a heart of gold ♪

♪ With the ways of a gentleman, I've been told ♪

♪ The kind of a feller that wouldn't even harm a flea ♪

♪ But if me and a certain character met ♪

♪ The guy that invented the cigarette ♪

♪ I'd murder that son of a gun in the first degree ♪

♪ Now it ain't 'cause that I don't smoke myself ♪

♪ I don't reckon they hinder your health ♪

♪ I've smoked them all my life and I ain't dead yet ♪

♪ But nicotine slaves are all the same ♪

♪ At a pettin' party or a poker game ♪

♪ Everything's gotta stop while they have that cigarette ♪

♪ Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette ♪

♪ Puff, puff, puff it if you smoke yourself to death ♪

♪ Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate ♪

♪ That you hates to make him wait ♪

♪ But you just gotta have another cigarette ♪


♪ The other night I had a date ♪

♪ With the cutest little girl in the 48 states ♪

♪ A high-bred uptown fancy little dame ♪

♪ Now, she said she loved me and it seemed to me ♪

♪ That things were just about like they ought to be ♪

♪ So hand-in-hand we strolled down Lovers' Lane ♪

♪ She was oh-so-far from a chunk of ice ♪

♪ And our smoochin' party was a-goin' real nice ♪

♪ So help me, Hannah, I think I'd a been there yet ♪

♪ But I give her a kiss and a little squeeze ♪

♪ And she said, "Tex, excuse me, please ♪"

♪ But I just gotta have another cigarette" ♪

♪ Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette ♪

♪ Puff, puff, puff it if you smoke yourself to death ♪

♪ Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate ♪

♪ That you hates to make him wait ♪

♪ But you just gotta have another cigarette. ♪

Robin Williger.

He is a 15-year-old freshman from Racine, Wisconsin.

He enjoys studying history.

He's on the debate team.

Robin's future looked very, very bright, but recently he was diagnosed with cancer, a very tough kind of cancer.

Robin tells me he has quit smoking, though, and he no longer thinks that cigarettes are cool.

Whoo!

And our final guest today is Nick Naylor.

Mr. Naylor is the vice president of the Academy of Tobacco Studies.

Now, they are the tobacco industry's main lobby in Washington, D.C. and Mr. Naylor is their chief spokesman.

Few people on this planet know what it is to be truly despised.

Can you blame them?

I earn a living fronting an organization that kills 1,200 human beings a day.

1,200 people.

We're talking two jumbo jet plane loads of men, women and children.

I mean, there's Attila, Genghis, and me, Nick Naylor, the face of cigarettes the Colonel Sanders of nicotine.

This is where I work, the Academy of Tobacco Studies.

It was established by seven gentlemen you may recognize from C-SPAN.

These guys realized quick if they were going to claim that cigarettes were not addictive, they better have proof.

This is the man they rely on, Erhardt Von Grupten Mundt.

They found him in Germany.

I won't go into the details.

He's been testing the link between nicotine and lung cancer for 30 years and hasn't found any conclusive results.

The man's a genius.

He could disprove gravity.

Then we've got our sharks.

We draft them out of Ivy League law schools and give them time-shares and sports cars.

It's just like a John Grisham novel...

You know, without all the espionage.

Most importantly, we've got spin control.

That's where I come in.

I get paid to talk.

I don't have an MD or law degree.

I have a bachelor's in kicking ass and taking names.

You know that guy who can pick up any girl?

I'm him on crack.

This is obviously a heated issue and we do have a lot that we want to cover today.

Nick, do you have a question?

Joan, how on earth would Big Tobacco profit off of the loss of this young man?

Now, I hate to think in such callous terms, but, if anything, we'd be losing a customer.

It's not only our hope, it's in our best interest to keep Robin alive and smoking.

That's ludicrous. Let me tell you something, Joan, and please, let me share something with the fine, concerned people in the audience today.

The Ron Goodes of this world want the Robin Willigers to die.

What? NAYLOR: You know why?

So that their budgets will go up.

This is nothing less than trafficking in human misery, and you, sir, ought to be ashamed of yourself.

I ought to be ashamed of myself?

As a matter of fact, we're about to launch a $50 million campaign aimed at persuading kids not to smoke.

Because I think that we can all agree that there is nothing more important than America's children.

All right, now, that's something that we're going to want to know more about.

But I have to take a short break.

Hang on, a lot more coming.

$50 million?! Are you out of your fucking mind?!

Everyone has a boss.

BR just happens to be mine.

He came from the vending machine world.

This made him tough.

The name BR came from his tour in Vietnam.

The people who know its meaning are all dead.

The deal was five million!

$5 million will get you a couple of subway posters.

It's not going to impress anyone.

That's the idea, Nick.

You'll be thanking me soon.

This'll probably get you great press.

I gotta call the captain and see if this is gonna fly.

Get your ass back to D.C.

Thank you so much for coming.

Mr. Naylor?

It's your turn.

Ah.

Joey is such a bright young man.

We all look forward to his coming out of his shell a little.

He's a bit shy.

Yeah, he gets that from his mother.

Hey, Joey.

Please don't ruin my childhood.

Come on, Joey. Trust me.

How many of you want to be lawyers when you grow up?

Right.

How about movie stars?

How about lobbyists?

What's that?

It's kind of like being a movie star.

It's what I do. I talk for a living.

What do you talk about?

I speak on behalf of cigarettes.

My mom used to smoke.

She says that cigarettes kill.

Really? Now, is your mommy a doctor?

No.

A scientific researcher of some kind?

No.

Well, she doesn't exactly sound like a credible expert, now, does she?

Don't feel bad.

It's okay to listen to your mom.

I mean, it's good to listen to your parents... Joey.

All I'm suggesting is that there will always be people trying to tell you what to do and what to think.

There probably already are people doing that.

Am I right?

Yes.

I'm here to say that when someone tries to act like some sort of an expert, you can respond, "Who says?"

So, cigarettes are good for you?

No! No, that's not...

That's not what I'm getting at.

My point is that you have to think for yourself.

You have to challenge authority.

If your parents told you that chocolate was dangerous, would you just take their word for it?

No.

Exactly.

So perhaps instead of acting like sheep when it comes to cigarettes, you should find out for yourself.

Okay, then.

Thank you, Mr. Naylor, for joining us.

Every week we meet here at Bert's.

Together, we represent the chief spokespeople for the tobacco, alcohol and firearms industries.

We call ourselves the MOD Squad.

All right.

M-O-D, Merchants of Death.

So, my day's ruined.

Why?

Dateline's doing a segment on fetal alcohol syndrome. Thank you.

Polly works for the Moderation Council.

A casual drinker by the age of 14, Polly quickly developed a tolerance usually reserved for Irish dockworkers.

In our world, she's the woman that got the pope to endorse red wine.

We're gonna get creamed.

Any ideas?

I don't know.

Deformed kids are tough.

I'm lucky my product only makes them bald before it kills them.

You could hug the kids.

They're not going to let me hug the kids.

Who's doing the segment, Donaldson or Sawyer?

Sawyer, probably.

You're fucked.

Why?

Cause she's gonna hug them.

Look, if you see her going in for a hug, maybe just box her out, get in there before she does.

Bobby Jay works for SAFETY, the Society for the Advancement of Firearms and Effective Training for Youth.

You want me to smile?

After watching the footage of the Kent State shootings, Bobby Jay, then 17, signed up for the National Guard so he, too, could shoot college students.

But the National Guard recruiter was out to lunch, so Bobby Jay ended up shooting Panamanians instead, which was almost as good as college students.

Only they shoot back.

You know, you can beat a Breathalyzer by sucking on activated charcoal tablets? Really?

Maybe we should change our campaign to.

"If You Must Drink and Drive, Suck Charcoal."

Yeah, but don't the police wonder why you're sucking on charcoal?

There's no law against charcoal.

Yet. Yet.

Dad, why is the American government the best government?

Because of our endless appeals system.

Joe, you're not writing down what I just said are you?

Mm-hmm.

Joey, stop for a second.

What is the subject of your essay?

Why is American government the best government in the world.

Your teacher crafted that question?

Yeah. Why?

Well... I'll look past the obvious problems in syntax for a moment, and I'll focus more on the core of the question.

I mean, "A," does America have the best government in the world?

And "B," what constitutes a "best government"?

Is it crime, is it poverty, literacy?

Hmm?

And America... definitely not best.

Perhaps not even better than most.

We do have a very entertaining government...

Dad.

I'm sorry.

Are you familiar with the term "B.S."?

Bullshit.

Yes, exactly.

B.S., if I may, is what questions like the one your teacher posed are made for.

Because even if America had the best government, there'd be no way to prove it.

And how many pages are you writing?

Two pages.

Two pages...

Definitely not in two pages.

So what am I supposed to write?

You can write whatever you want.

Okay.

Write about write about America's amazing ability to make profit by breaking down trading tariffs and bringing American jobs to Third World countries.

Or how good we are at executing felons.

They're all correct answers.

I can do that?

See, Joey, that's the beauty of argument.

'Cause if you argue correctly, you're never wrong.

Dad, if I finish this essay within an hour, can we stay up all night?

That's a negotiation, not an argument.

Well, Conway, see you made it.

Yeah, I guess that little voice was wrong.

I feel better.

I feel a lot better, too.

As a matter of fact, I never felt so good in my life.

How about a cigarette?

Is he...?

Yeah.

Hey.

Nick, you still own a watch, don't you?

Jill, I can't help feeling.

Joey's getting the wrong idea about his dad.

It would be great if I could spend a little more time with him, you know?

To give him a fair and balanced perspective.

Nick, you had plenty of time for that.

Now you're his weekend guardian.

Besides, he has Brad.

He still needs his father.

Nick.

You have a second?

Sure, Brad.

Nick, your job and everything aside, I hope you understand that secondhand smoke's a real killer.

What are you talking about?

I just hope you're providing a smoke-free environment for Joey, that's all I'm saying.

Brad, I'm his father.

You're the guy fucking his mom.

That was unnecessary.

Thank you all. Thank you all for coming.

Tobacco is winning the war.

The war against our children.

They like to use cartoons and symbols to hook our kids.

Well, now we have a symbol of our own.

Doctor.

It is my hope that within the year every cigarette package sold in America will carry this symbol.

Perhaps then, cigarettes will finally be labeled appropriately as poison.

I will be holding a congressional hearing to discuss the inclusion of the skull and crossbones in the next two weeks.

As usual, I extend an open invitation to big tobacco.

Perhaps this time they will grace us with their presence.

And their answers.

Thank you very much.

People, what is going on out there?

I look down this table, all I see are white flags.

Our numbers are down all across the board.

Teen smoking... Our bread and butter, is falling like a shit from heaven.

We don't sell Tic Tacs, for Christ's sake.

We sell cigarettes.

And they're cool and available and addictive.

The job is almost done for us.

This environmentalist is challenging us.

We have to have an answer.

I'm asking you, when this cocksucker puts Captain Hook on our products, what the fuck are we going to do?

BR. Yeah, Nick.

If I may.

In 1910, the U.S. was producing ten billion cigarettes a year.

By 1930, we were up to 123 billion.

What happened in between?

Three things.

A world war, dieting... and movies.

Movies?

1927... talking pictures are born.

Suddenly, directors need to give their actors something to do while they're talking.

Cary Grant, Carole Lombard are lighting up.

Bette Davis... a chimney.

And Bogart... remember the first picture with him and Lauren Bacall?

Well, yea... not specifically.

Oh, she sort of shimmies in through the doorway, 19 years old.

Pure sex.

She says, "Anyone got a match?"

And Bogie throws the matches at her, and she catches them.

Greatest romance of the century.

How'd it start? Lighting a cigarette.

These days when someone smokes in the movies, they're either a psychopath or a European.

The message Hollywood needs to send out is smoking is cool.

We need the cast of Will and Grace smoking in their living room.

Forrest Gump puffing away between his box of chocolates.

Hugh Grant earning back the love of Julia Roberts by buying her favorite brand... her Virginia Slims.

Most of the actors smoke already.

If they start doing it on-screen, we can put the sex back into cigarettes.

Well, it's a thought.

I was hoping for something a little more inspiring, but at least you're thinking.

Rest of you people, slam your fucking brains against your desks until something useful comes out.

That was awesome.

Thank you.

Nick, you've been summoned.

Captain wants to see you.

He saw the Joan show.

What'd he think?

Get your ass on the next flight to Winston-Salem.

Most people have this image in their heads of tobacco executives jet-setting around the world on private planes, eating foie gras as they count their money.

Not me.

I like to ride with the people.

Know your clients.

My people cram themselves into a tiny seat, pop a Xanax and dream of the moment they can stuff their face with fresh tobacco.

If I can convince just one of these kids to pick up smoking, I've paid for my flight... round-trip.

The Captain is the last great man of tobacco.

He introduced filters when cigarettes first got slammed by Reader's Digest.

Later, he founded the Academy of Tobacco Studies.

The club was founded by the tobacco barons in 1890 so they'd have a place to get away from their wives.

Here, the Captain is a legend...

A self-made man who started from nothing, and ended up with everything except, evidently, a son.

Nick, my boy.

You're just in time for mud.

Thank you.

Sit down there. Yeah.

Yeah.

You know the secret to a really good julep?

No, sir.

Well, you crush the mint down onto the ice with your thumb and you grind it in, see?

And it releases the menthol.

Hmm.

Now you know who taught me that?

No, sir. Who?

Fidel Castro.

Do you remember 1952?

Well, sir, I wasn't alive in 1952.

Good Lord, I was in Korea shooting Chinese in 1952.

Really?

Today they're our best customer.

Next time we won't have to shoot so many of them, will we?

No, sir.

1952 was the year Reader's Digest nailed us with the whole health aspect.

As Churchill said, that was perhaps the end of our beginning.

Tell me, do you enjoy your current work, Nick?

Yes, sir.

It's challenging...

If you can do tobacco, you can do anything.

Yes, sir, I like that.

You know, Nick, you remind me just a little bit of myself when I was your age.

Well, thank you, sir.

Like that Joan Lunden show you did.

You could have given up, cried, apologized, but you didn't.

You stayed loyal.

And you gave it to that son of a bitch good.

My pleasure.

Now, BR's come under the idea that we should start bribing producers in Hollywood to make the actors smoke on screen.

You know, like in the old days.

Say, that's, uh that's a great idea.

Mm-hmm.

Smart man, that BR.

Oh, yeah, yeah.

And loyal.

Yes, sir?

Have a seat, Ron.

You, see, Ron, I can't be everywhere I'm needed.

That's why I send people like you to speak on my behalf.

When you're there, you're not Ron Goode, the guy your friends probably like, you're Senator Finistirre's aide, and your name really doesn't matter.

So, when Ron Goode acts like a complete asshole on the Joan Lunden Show, I am being an asshole on the Joan Lunden Show.

Senator, sir, he sprang on me like...

Where in the hell did you find cancer boy?

He was supposed to be quite reliable.

The Pulmonary Council was one of his references.

Fucking nonprofits.

When you're looking for a cancer kid, he should be hopeless.

He should have a wheelchair.

He should have trouble talking.

He should have a little pet goldfish he carries around in a ziplock bag...

Hopeless.

I apologize, sir, but if it wasn't for Nick Naylor... Nick Naylor?

Don't you even think of using him as an excuse.

The man shills bullshit for a living.

You work for a fucking senator.

A senator who is supposed to be tough on tobacco.

Have a little... pride, for God's sake.

It won't happen again, sir, I promise.

All right, you're excused.

Sometimes I feel like a Colombian drug dealer.

The other day, my own granddaughter, flesh of flesh of my own loins, asked me, "Granddaddy, is it true cigarettes are bad for you?"

We got to do something, Nick.

I think you're our man.

Thank you, sir.

I want you to work on this Hollywood project.

Get out there the next few weeks, stir things up and report directly to me.

Sir, about the, the $50 million.

Anti teen-smoking advertising.

Well, shit, I sure hope it's not too persuasive.

I hope.

Nick, you're family now.

Tobacco takes care of its own, eh?

Thank you, sir.

Mr. Naylor?

Hi.

Hi. Welcome to Tobacco One.

Thank you.

The captain told me to take extra special care of you today.

So if there is anything at all I can do to make your flight more pleasant, you be sure and let me know now.

BR.

Pleasant flight?

Oh! You could say that.

Came up on the Captain's plane.

Oh, it's quite the way to travel.

I wouldn't know.

No? You never been on Tobacco One with those seats, that kitchen, that stewardess, Tiffany?

Haven't had the chance yet.

Oh, well, you really must try it.

It's the only way to travel.

What'd he think of your $50 million anti-smoking campaign?

Oh, the $50 million anti teen-smoking campaign?

Yeah.

Yeah, he gave that the go-ahead.

Oh, and he loved your idea to put cigarettes back into movies.

That was your idea. Oh, yeah?

He must have gotten confused. Hmm.

Yeah. Well, either way, he was pretty blown away.

Right. Well, get a flight to L.A.

I'll get you a meeting with Jeff Megall.

Who?

Hollywood super agent.

Entertainment Global Offices.

This guy is the entertainment business.

And you are cigarettes, BR.

Whatever.

Yeah, but it's not a vacation, it's a learning experience.

And California is one of the fastest-growing states, it's got the largest number of electoral votes in the country.

I mean, this could be a very good trip for Joey.

You know what? Don't smooth-talk me.

You're not going to take him sightseeing.

You're probably going to take him to some lung cancer symposium where a guy with an electronic voice box will tell him that his father is the devil.

That's unfair.

Unfair? What about Virginia?

And what about Virginia?

You took him to a cigarette factory.

No, I took him to a tobacco farm.

That's hardly the same thing.

This conversation's over.

Oh, fuck.

Last week we had another disgruntled postman.

Of course, an hour later the Washington Post is calling me on the phone... godless swine.

I said to 'em, I says, "Now if a plane crashes on account of pilot error, do you blame the Boeing Corporation?"

Nice.

That's a good one. Thank you.

If some booze-besotten drunk runs someone down, do you go banging on the doors at General Motors?

Tell me you didn't say that.

Mm-hmm.

Have either of you heard of a reporter named Heather Holloway?

Oh, yeah. Yeah. Irish type.

Brown hair, big blue eyes.

Nice skin.

Amazing tits.

Tits? Why are tits relevant?

Hmm, let's see.

World-class tits on a reporter interviewing a man with privileged information are relevant.

How about it, Nick? Are you a tit man?

Don't answer that. That's a trap.

Depends whose tits.

Look, just don't get screwed, all right?

Bobby, I think I can handle a good-looking girl reporter.

Thank you.

Heather Holloway.

Nick Naylor, big tobacco.

Is this kosher?

Only if I can call you "Heather."

By all means.

So, Mr. Naylor...

Nick. Nick.

Let's start with...

An '82 Margaux.

Okay. Is it good?

Good? It'll make you believe in God.

So what is the focus of your piece?

You. Really?

You want to know how I live with myself.

No. I don't imagine that's much of a problem.

I want to know how you see yourself.

I'm a mediator between two sects of society that are trying to reach an accommodation.

Interesting.

My other interviews have pinned you as a mass murderer, bloodsucker, pimp, profiteer, child killer, and my personal favorite "yuppie Mephistopheles."

Wow, that sounds like a balanced article.

Who else should I talk to?

55 million American smokers, for starters or perhaps the American tobacco farmer who is constantly being treated like a drug smuggler.

I actually do plan on speaking to a tobacco farmer.

Good.

They're fine people, salt of the earth.

Nick, why do you do this?

What motivates you?

You really want to know?

Mm-hmm.

Really?

Mm-hmm.

Population control.

You're bad.

Everyone's got a mortgage to pay.

The yuppie Nuremberg defense.

So is a mortgage that much of a life goal?

Well, 99% of everything done in the world, good or bad, is done to pay a mortgage, so perhaps the world would be a better place if everyone rented.

Then why don't you rent?

Mm. Well, I rent as well.

Really? Yeah.

My son and his mother and her boyfriend live in my house.

I live in my apartment.

What does Nick Naylor's apartment look like?

I don't know. It's nothing impressive.

It wouldn't make the real estate section.

Can I see it?

You want to see my apartment?

I'd like to see where the devil sleeps.

I know what you're probably thinking.

This is a bad idea, right?

I mean, come on.

It's not that bad of an idea.

Mom, why can't I go to California?

Because California's just not a... safe place.

And besides, I'm not sure it's appropriate for your father to bring you on a business trip.

Appropriate for who?

What?

Mom, is it possible that you're taking the frustration of your failed marriage out on me?

Excuse me?

This California trip seems like a great learning opportunity and a chance for me to get to know my father.

But if you think it's more important to use me to channel your frustration against the man you no longer love, I'll understand.

How'd you convince her?

It was an argument, not a negotiation.

That's my boy.


Nick?

Nick, Jack, Jeff's assistant. Hey.

How was your flight? Are you jet-lagged at all?

It's, like, 2:00 in D.C. right now.

You know what? Take some vitamin B.

Jeff swears by it... in fact, I'm gonna hook you up with an injection.

Who's this with you? How are you, dude? What's going on?

You guys ever been to L.A. before?

You want to head back to Jeff's office?

In fact, we probably should... He's a punctual being.

We actually had some problems at first with the exterior mirrored glass.

The reflection of the sun was causing head-on collisions on Wilshire.

Oh, is everybody all right?

Yeah, they got three-picture deals at Paramount... I'm sure they'll live.

It's a nice building. Yeah?

Hey, tell Jeff you think so, okay?

'Cause he just put a lot of himself into this building.

And you know something? It really shows.

What's up, Hiroshi?

Keep going... that sand's not gonna rake itself.

All right, come here, this is my favorite part.

That one right there? It's $7,000.

$7,000 for a fish? Yep.

Kind of makes you want to stop eating sushi, but I guess you kind of have to.

Hey, you see that big white one right there?

Swear to you... $12,000, gift from Oprah.

It's a Chamberlain... office-warming gift from Matthew McConaughey.

Generous gift.

Yeah. Right!

Don't get me wrong, Matthew is a tremendously talented individual and an extremely decent human being, however, before Jeff took him on, he was a face.

Now he's a name.

Do you hear that?

No.

Exactly.

Hey, Neal.

Neal, I'm gonna impale your mom on a spike, and I'm gonna feed her dead body to my dog with syphilis.

Aw, Jack, you got me!

That guy!

It's an inside joke.

So, as you can see, Jeff just really loves Asian shit.

Uh, Candace, is he ready?

Mm-hmm. Fantastic.

Okay, Joey, I'm gonna bring your dad in now.

Is there anything I can get you while you're waiting, like an orange juice or a coffee or a Red Bull?

No, thanks. Okay.

Wow, it's a great office.

Yeah. Jeff basically designed the whole thing.

The architect just made the drawings.

Jack, stop it.

Next you're gonna be telling him what position I played for the Bruins.

Quarterback.

Jeff Megall.

Nick Naylor.

Mr. Naylor's here to see if we can't get cigarettes into the hands of somebody other than the usual RAVs. Sure.

RAVs? Russians, Arabs and Villains.

Oh, well, then yes, I guess that is why I'm here.

Good. I think we can help.

Jeff invented product placement.

I feel I have to ask, uh...

Are you concerned at all about the, um about the health element?

I'm not a doctor, I'm a facilitator.

I bring creative people together.

Whatever information there is, exists, it's out there.

People will decide for themselves.

They should. It's not my role to decide for them.

It'd be morally presumptuous.

I could learn a lot from this man.

Now, what we need is a smoking role model, a real winner.

Indiana Jones meets Jerry Maguire.

Right, on two packs a day.

Only he can't live in contemporary society.

Why not?

The health issue's way too prevalent.

People would constantly be asking the character why he's smoking... and that should go unsaid.

How do you feel about the future?

The future?

Yeah, after the health thing's blown over.

A world where smokers and nonsmokers live together in perfect harmony.

Sony has a futuristic sci-fi movie they're looking to make.

Message From Sector Six.

All takes place in a space station.

They're actively looking for some cofinancing.

So cigarettes in space?

It's the final frontier, Nick.

But wouldn't they blow up in an all-oxygen environment?

Probably.

But it's an easy fix... One line of dialogue:

"Thank God we invented the..." you know, whatever device.

Brad Pitt.

Catherine Zeta-Jones.

They've just finished ravishing each other's bodies for the first time.

They lie naked, suspended in air underneath the heavens.

Pitt lights up.

He starts blowing smoke rings all around.

Catherine's naked, flawless body, as the galaxies go whizzing by over the glass-domed ceiling.

Now, tell me that doesn't work for you.

I'd see that movie.

I'd buy the goddamn DVD.

You know, if the academy didn't send them to me for free.

You know, you guys ought to think about designing a cigarette to be released simultaneously with the movie.

Sector Sixes.

No one's ever done it with a cigarette.

Wow.

Well, where do we go from here?

You enjoy the rest of your day in L.A. with your son while I find out the answers to these questions.

Hey, where can I get a bite to eat with my son?

You ought to try Nobu's new place.

He only serves food that's white. Oh, great.

So, you go to an office, then you go on TV and talk about cigarettes.

Then you fly out to L.A. to talk to some guy who works with movie stars.

What is that? That's my job; I'm a lobbyist.

I know, but did you study to do that?

No. No, I just kind of figured it out.

Then can't anyone just do that?

No, it, uh, requires a a moral flexibility that goes beyond most people.

Do I have flexible morals?

Well, let's say you became a lawyer, right?

And you were asked to defend a murderer.

Worse than that... a child murderer.

Now, the law states that every person deserves a fair trial.

Would you defend them?

I don't know. I guess every person deserves a fair defense. Yeah, well, so do multinational corporations.

So, what happens when you're wrong?

Well, Joey, I'm never wrong.

But you can't always be right.

Well, if it's your job to be right, then you're never wrong.

But what if you are wrong?

Okay, let's say that you're defending chocolate and I'm defending vanilla.

Now, if I were to say to you, "Vanilla's the best flavor ice cream," you'd say...?

"No, chocolate is." Exactly.

But you can't win that argument.

So, I'll ask you... So you think chocolate is the end-all and be-all of ice cream, do you?

It's the best ice cream; I wouldn't order any other.

Oh. So it's all chocolate for you, is it?

Yes, chocolate is all I need.

Well, I need more than chocolate.

And for that matter, I need more than vanilla.

I believe that we need freedom and choice when it comes to our ice cream, and that, Joey Naylor, that is the definition of liberty.

But that's not what we're talking about.

Ah, but that's what I'm talking about.

But... you didn't prove that vanilla's the best. I didn't have to.

I proved that you're wrong... And if you're wrong, I'm right.

But you still didn't convince me.

'Cause I'm not after you.

I'm after them.

Hello?

Thought I'd give you a little update.

Jeff. You still at the office?

Do you know what time it is in Tokyo right now?

No. 4:00 p.m. tomorrow.

It's the future, Nick.

Anyway, for Pitt to smoke, it's $10 million; for the pair, it's 25.

25?! Usually when I buy two of something, I get a discount.

What's the extra five for?

Synergy.

These are not stupid people; they got it right away.

Pitt and Zeta-Jones lighting up after some cosmic fucking in the bubble suite's gonna sell a lot of cigarettes.

Well, for that kind of money, my people will expect some very serious smoking.

Can Brad blow smoke rings?

I don't have that information.

Well, for $25 million, we'd want smoke rings.

Oh, one other thing... You'll be cofinancing the picture with the Sultan of Glutan.

The Sultan of Glutan?

The one who massacred and enslaved his own people?

Aren't they calling him the Hitler of the South Pacific?

No, I can't speak to that... All my dealings with him, he's been a very reasonable and sensitive guy.

He's fun. You'll like him.

I better run it by my people.

No problem.

Oh, that's London calling.

7:00 a.m. in the Old Empire.

Jeff, when do you sleep?

Sunday.


Operator. Yeah, my light is blinking.

There's a package downstairs for you. Okay, send it up.

Captain, I'm sitting in front of an open briefcase.

I don't suppose this is a raise.

Now, Nick, do you know who Lorne Lutch is?

Yeah, of course. He's the original Marlboro Man.

He's dying. He was on Sally last week.

Not exactly our biggest fan.

Well, the money's for him.

Now, he has a ranch out there in California.

I want you to bring it to him.

He's a cowboy, sir, and cowboys don't like bribes.

It's not a bribe. No, sir.

You're going out there on wings of angels, son.

You mean we're just going to give him the money?

Well, I think Christ himself would say, "That's mighty white of you boys."

No gag agreement?

Hopefully, he'll be so damn overcome with gratitude he'll... he'll have to shut up.

Hey, kiddo, I got to go do a little bit more work this afternoon, all right?

Can I come?

No. Not this time.

But I want to see what you do.


You stay here, okay?

What the fuck are you doing here?

Uh... uh...

Do you have a minute?

What do you want?

Dad!

Joey, get back in the car.

Just want to talk.

All right.

Let's talk.

Pearl, we got company.

Mister, you got a lot of nerve walking in here after...

Honey, why don't you show this young man some iced tea?

I'll be right back, tiger.

Saw you on...

Weren't you on that TV show?

Yeah. Yeah, that was me.

You're lucky you made it out of there alive.

Yeah. Tobacco used to be all over the television.

Now TV is leading the witch hunt.

Strange business.

Last year, after I was diagnosed, flew east to attend the annual stockholders' convention.

Stood up and told them I thought they ought to cut back on their advertising.

You know what your boss said to me?

He said, "We're certainly sorry"

"to hear about your medical problem.

"However, without knowing more

"of your medical history, we can't comment further."

But then they tried to pretend I never worked for 'em.

Yeah, I got the pay stubs.

But, hell, I was on the damn billboards.

I never even smoked Marlboro.

I smoked Kools.

You look like a nice-enough fella.

What are you doing working for these assholes?

I'm good at it.

Better at doing this than I ever was at doing anything else.

Aw, hell, son.

I was good at shooting VC.

I didn't make it my career.

I suppose we all got to pay the mortgage.

Your dad always bring you along like this?

No. I live with my mom.

He tell you why he's here today?

He said that your husband was the Marlboro Man.

Yeah, well, not anymore.

Hello.

Yeah. Hey, can you hold on a second?

You need anything else, grab it out of the fridge.

So I'm standing here minding my own business, filling up pill bottles...

So you're here to talk me into shutting up?

That what's in that case of yours?

Yeah, basically.

No, not basically.

That's... that's exactly it.

My dignity ain't for sale.

It's not an offer. It's a gift.

Taxes have all been paid.

You get to keep it no matter what you do.

The idea is that, somehow, your guilt will prevent you from bad-mouthing us.

Are you supposed to be telling me all that?

No, sir. Just apologize, give you the money, and leave.

Why are you telling me this?

Because, this way, you'll take the money.

Why would I do that?

Because you're mad.

Damn straight I am.

The first thing you'll do, is you'll call the L.A. Times, and CNN...

Huh? And insist on Bonnie Carlton.

She does really good controlled outrage.

Tell them, "No Bonnie, no story."

Watch it on MSNBC.

Okay. When they get here, you open up the case,

and you pour all the cash out onto the floor.

Why? Trust me.

It'll look more effective that way.

Don't forget to shake every last bundle out.

If you can, you know, give a cough or two.

Once it's all out on the floor, tell them what you're going to do with it.

What am I going to do with it?

You're going to donate it.

Yeah. Start the Lorne Lutch Cancer Foundation.

You're going to have a ranch and a fair and a 5K. A 5K is a must. Television...

Wait a minute.

What about my family?

But, Lorne, you can't keep the money.

Why the hell not?

What do you mean?

Denounce us, and then keep the blood money?

I mean, look at it.

I got to think this over.

Lorne, whoa.

News doesn't work that way.

You can't denounce us next week.

I don't suppose I can denounce you for half of it.

No, Lorne. Either you keep all the money, or you... you give it all away.

Dad, how did you know he would take the money?

You'd have to be crazy to turn down all that money.

When I saw he wasn't crazy, I knew he'd take it.

Would you have taken it?

If I were him? Sure.

So would I.

I don't think you understand, sir.

He's like a wild animal.

You'll have to be on your guard at all times.

He has this trick.

Ron, shut up.

I've tangoed with presidents, lawyers and Indian chiefs.

I think I can handle Mr. Nick Naylor.

All right, welcome back, kids.

We've got two guests on the show tonight.

First, joining us from our Washington studio I must have that tie clip!

Is the senator from the great state of Vermont.

Please welcome Ortolan Finistirre.

Welcome, Senator.

Good to be here, Dennis.

And, joining us here in our Los Angeles studio, he is the chief spokesperson for the Academy of Tobacco Studies.

Quite an august chamber, might I add?

Nick Naylor. Nick, welcome. Pleasure to be here.

All right, I understand you were on Joan Lunden's show recently.

Didn't make a lot of friends over there, did you?

I will say that I don't think I'll be getting my annual invitation to the Finistirre Labor Day Barbecue.

Well, I continue to offer an open invitation to Mr. Naylor to join us in Congress to talk about the inclusion of our new poison label which, if I might say Nick, ready to trek up the Hill and testify before Congress?

Well, I'd love to, Dennis, but not as long as the senator is calling for me to be fired.

It's not exactly a welcome invitation.

Yeah. Bit of a mixed message, Senator.

Well, not as mixed as the stance that Big Tobacco has taken about the dangers of smoking cigarettes.

Oh, no. Now what are you laughing...?

You're a wind-up artist. Give the man his due.

He's got a bit of a point there, doesn't he?

Sorry. I just can't help myself, Dennis.

I... I... I'm just tickled by the idea of the gentleman from Vermont calling me a hypocrite when, uh... this same man, in one day, held a press conference where he called for the American tobacco fields to be slashed and burned, then he jumped on a private jet and flew down to Farm Aid where he rode a tractor onstage.

Oh, come on. As he bemoaned the downfall of the American farmer.

Care to comment, Senator?

He... I... No.

Eloquent in its brevity.

Emotional issue.

Let's take some phone calls now.

Herndon, Virginia. Go ahead. You're on the show.

Dennis, has anyone ever announced that they're going to kill someone live on your show?

My demo's been called quirky but, no, at this point, we're not skewing to the emotionally unstable.

Then it's your lucky day.

Because I'm here to tell you that, within a week, we're going to dispatch Mr. Naylor from this planet for all the pain and suffering he's caused in the world.

As I said, emotional issue. We're going to break now.

I got to fire a call screener.


Let's go.


This is Nick Naylor telling you kids, "Don't do drugs, smoke cigarettes."

That's really great.

It's like I'm looking in a mirror.

Cigarettes for the homeless.

We'll call them "hobos."

Uh, that's awful.

Any better than "Sector Sixes"?

Right.

Oh, my God, Nick, you're on TV.

"Lobbyist on the lookout."

You got to be kidding me.

I want to fuck you while I watch you on TV.

And they call me sick.

Hurry.

Before your segment ends.

All right.

Tell me more about Los Angeles, baby.

Huh?

He says he wants to trail me everywhere, I said, "Who's paying for it?"

He says the tobacco company's paying for it.

I said, "I don't need a bodyguard."

I'm a man of the people.

Rock on, Kennedy.

Listen, we're all going to need bodyguards soon enough.

Did you see the coverage the fetal alcohol people got themselves over this weekend?

They made it seem like we were encouraging pregnant women to drink.

I'm surprised I didn't get kidnapped on my way to work this morning.

I don't think people from the alcoholic beverage industry need to worry about being kidnapped just yet.

Pardon me?

Look, I mean, nothing personal, but tobacco generates a little more heat than alcohol.

Oh, this is news.

My product puts away 475,000 a year.

Oh, okay, now 475 is a legit number.

Okay, 435,000.

That's 1,200 a day.

How many alcohol-related deaths a year?

Well, does that... 100,000 tops?

That's, what, 270 a day?

Wowee.

270 people, a tragedy.

Excuse me if I don't exactly see terrorists getting excited about kidnapping anyone from the alcohol industry.

Well, you haven't even Okay, taken into account the number of deaths let's just breathe. How many gun deaths a year in the U.S.?

11,000.

11,000, are you kidding me?

30 a day.

That's less than passenger car mortalities.

No terrorist would bother with either of you.

Okay, look... stupid argument.

I'll say.

I'm sure both of you warrant vigilante justice.

Thank you.


Hey... please. Stop... hey.

Who are you guys?

And freedom means that we can do what we want.

And that's really important.

Because otherwise, we couldn't be free.

And that's why America is the best government in the world.

Whoa, hey, hey, hey.

Hey, no need for that, no need for that.

Whoa, whoa, hey.

Hey, wait.

Can we get a dialogue going here?

Nick, we want you to stop killing people.

So many people.

Half a million people a year in the U.S.

That, there's no data to support that.

Nick... you're not on TV anymore.

Okay, Joey, it's your turn.

Hey!

Nick, how much do you smoke a day?

Hey, what are you doing?

According to the box, each one of those patches contains 21 milligrams of nicotine.

That's, like, what?

One pack?

Our industry has been working hand in hand with...

Nick! Just listen, all right?

What makes America the best government?

The passion that doesn't exist anywhere in the world.

Says here there are many adverse reactions from those things.

Let's see, "arrhythmia", "constipation, dyspepsia, "nausea... My industry does $48 billion in revenue.

Pharyngitis, sinusitis..."

Sure you can call it capitalism, a free market, a celebration of tariff breakdowns

"dysmenorrhea"

I don't even want to know what that means.

Hey, look, I guess you could start by, you know, asking for five million, working your way up from there.

But I don't want any money, Nick.

Well, what do you want?

I mean, I'm all ears here.

I have another word for it...

Love.

What does any man want?

The love of a woman, crisp bacon an average life span over 80 years.

Oh, Nick

you don't look so good.

If you should smell smoke, please dial zero for the operator.

Before leaving the room, check the door for heat.

Find your nearest emergency exit, then soak a washcloth and cover your nose and mouth.

Do not remove your washcloth.

Try at all times to avoid breathing in the smoke.

If necessary, crawl on your hands and knees to avoid the inhalation of smoke.

Do not be alarmed.

There are still no conclusive studies that link smoking to emphysema.

You woke up.

Perhaps a bad choice of inflection.

Is she implying that I could've just as easily not?

I was so scared.

Hey, Joey.

What happened?

No nonsmoker could've ever withstood the amount of nicotine you had in your bloodstream.

Hate to say it, but cigarettes saved your life.

Can I quote you on that, doc?

You're a real trooper, my boy.

Hey, Captain, where are you?

Winston-Salem General.

Damn heart failing me again.

I thought we could be roommates.

Nick, before we get sidetracked, there is one thing.

All right, don't get all dramatic on me, doc.

You can't smoke.

That's no problem.

I've quit before.

I did during the pregnancy.

How long, you think?

I don't think you understand.

It's a miracle you came out of this alive.

Any smoking... one cigarette...

Could put you right back into a paralytic state.

Your body just can't handle it.

Nick, I don't want to put any more pressure on you, but we got a camera crew waiting out there.

If we want to make the evening news...

You want to unhook me here?

This just goes to prove what I've been saying for so long.

These nicotine patches are just deadly.

Smoking saved my life.

Considering your condition, will you still be able to appear before Senator Finistirre's subcommittee hearing on the usage of poison labels on cigarette packaging?

Oh, I think now more than ever it is imperative that I be there.

Nothing will keep me from testifying.

Fucking kidnapping.

I don't understand, sir.

Aren't we considering the kidnapping a good thing?

Well, he didn't die.

He was almost killed, sir.

That's the point.

Now he looks like a victim, lucky bastard.

The way I heard it, D.C. police found you naked laying in Lincoln's crotch covered in nicotine patches with a sign across your chest that said... He doesn't need to hear the details.

It was some pretty fucked up shit.

Shh!

How are you feeling?

I don't know.

First time I'm thinking these cigarettes are pretty dangerous.

You might be right about that.

What are you doing?

It may be small, but it'll do the trick.

One shot, bam.

Listen, Nick is not going to shoot anyone.

Cool.

Yeah, huh?

I mean, uh guns are to be treated with respect, you understand that?

You'll make a great father.

Thanks.

Hey, there he is!

Hey, he's back!

Hey!

Welcome back.

You okay? Great.

Good, 'cause you're booked on all the Sunday talk shows.

For once we got public sympathy on our side.

We can start our own little celebrity victim tour.

I mean, we couldn't have planned this thing better ourselves.

Oh, maybe next time I can lose a lung.

Oh. Uh, I heard the, uh Heather Holloway article is coming out tomorrow.

Really?

Yeah, anything I should be worried about?

Uh, yeah, the Cancer Association.

Apparently, they have it in for us.

Fuckers.

What?

I got a call from the paper.

Really? What'd they want?

They wanted the correct spelling of my name and job title.

You didn't tell her about us, did you?

Who?

Heather?

No.

I mean, maybe in passing, I...

In passing.

Oh, God, he fucked her.

I tried to warn you.

Hey, he didn't fuck her. You didn't fuck her, did you?

When?

In passing.

Look, she's a really nice girl.

Oh, God.

We're really fucked.

"Nick Naylor, lead spokesman for big tobacco, "would have you believe he thinks cigarettes are harmless."

"But really, he's doing it for the mortgage."

The MOD squad... meaning, of course, merchants of death...

Is comprised of Polly Bailey of the Moderation Council and Bobby Jay Bliss of the gun business's own advisory group, SAFETY.

As explained by Naylor, the sole purpose of their meetings is to compete for the highest death toll as they compare strategies on how to dupe the American people.

The film, Message from Sector Six, would emphasize the sex appeal of cigarettes in a way that only floating, nude, copulating Hollywood stars could.

This did not stop Nick from bribing the dying man with a suitcase of cash to keep quiet on the subject of his recent lung cancer diagnosis.

Nick's own son, Joey Naylor, seems to be being groomed for the job as he joins his father on the majority of his trips.

I have Heather Holloway on line one.

Heather.

Hey, Nick, what did you think?

Heather, uh... I I mean, there's a lot of information in here, Heather, that is off the record.

You never said anything about off the record.

I presumed anything said while I was inside you was privileged.

Nick...

If you wanted to talk on a plane or at a movie or over dinner, that would have been fine.

But you wanted to fuck.

That's fine by me.

You used me.

Oh, Nick, come on.

Now we're being children.

Look, we both love our jobs.

I'm just a reporter, and you're just a lobbyist.

How can you do this to me?

For the mortgage.

Bitch.

Whore.

You should have been more careful, Nick.

You've destroyed all the good will created by your kidnapping.

Well, we'll work up a rebuttal.

Heather Holloway isn't the only reporter in town.

No, there isn't going to be any rebuttal.

What do you mean?

Don't talk to anyone.

We're pulling you from the congressional hearing.

No, no, no. You can't pull me from the congressional hearing.

All you'll be doing is giving credence to her article.

I'm ready to testify.

Look, Nick, half of my job is damage control.

Today, that consists of distancing ourselves from you entirely...

Letting you take all the heat on this article.

Your job relied on your ability to keep secrets and spin the truth.

I just cannot imagine a way in which you could have fucked up more.

There's just no way I could possibly keep you on staff.

Then I assume you've run this by the captain.

Captain died this morning.

♪ Where do they go, those smoke rings I blow each night? ♪

♪ Ooh ♪

♪ Oh, what do they do, those circles of blue and white? ♪

♪ Why do they seem to picture a dream of lovin'? ♪

♪ Why do they fade that phantom parade of love? ♪

Mr. Naylor, this is Pete in Security from the Academy.

Your things are waiting for you at the information kiosk in the lobby.

Look, if you don't pick your stuff up by Friday, we're instructed to throw it out.

Mr. Naylor, this is Special Agent Johnson with the FBI.

Having not found any leads in your kidnapping investigation, we're going to be handing over the case to the local D.C. police, so please refer to them in the future for any updates and questions.

Nick, Jack in Jeff Megall's office.

Jeff really enjoyed meeting you the other day and he's just... he's torn up about the fact that you two couldn't find a project to work on.

He's really just... I don't know.

So, listen, but we should hang, at least, so you drop me a line whenever you're in town.

Uh... my e-mail is, uh...

♪ Take me with you. ♪

Who is it?

It's me, Nick.

Jill, this is a bad time.

Let me in.

No.

I brought someone who needs to talk to you.

Hey, buddy.

Hey, Dad.

Coke in the fridge.

So, this Heather Holloway, she must have been pretty hot.

Yes. She's pretty hot.

Don't take it so hard.

A few flaws can be appealing.

Makes you human.

Who wants to be human?

Well, I know one person who still thinks you're a God.

Why did you tell that reporter all your secrets?

You're too young to understand.

Mom says it's because you have dependency issues and it was all just a matter of time before you threw it all away on some tramp.

Well, that's one theory.

Why are you hiding from everyone?

It has something to do with being generally hated right now.

But it's your job to be generally hated.

It's more complicated than that, Joey.

You're just making it more complicated so that you can feel sorry for yourself.

Like you always said, "If you want an easy job, go work for the Red Cross."

You're a lobbyist.

Your job is to be right, and you're the best at what you do.

You're the sultan of spin.

"Sultan of spin"?

Mom subscribes to Newsweek.

Who cares what the Brads of the world think?

He's not my dad.

You are.

And right there, looking into Joey's eyes, it all came back in a rush.

Why I do what I do... Defending the defenseless, protecting the disenfranchised corporations that have been abandoned by their very own consumers...

The logger the sweatshop foreman the oil driller the land mine developer the baby seal poacher...

Baby seal poacher?

Even I think that's kind of cruel.

All right, you're missing the point.

I must be, because I thought you were apologizing.

I'm getting to that.

When?

Look.

The two of you, you're basically my only friends, and the last thing that I would ever want to do would be to hurt you.

And, I can only imagine...

Why are you smiling?

Why is he smiling?

He won a hundred bucks off of you.

I bet Polly you'd spill the beans to that reporter.

That goes against everything that we stand for.

Oh, please! You've ratted us out to some reporter with tits!

Glorious tits.

Only after you created a betting pool testing my incompetence?

Do you have any idea the beating I'm taking at Moderation?

Well, look, I'm sure both of you are under a lot of scrutiny.

You know what? You can stop using the plural.

The guys at Safety actually liked the name "Merchants of Death."

They're gonna have some bumper stickers made up.

I'll make sure you get one.

Thank you.

That is disgusting.

It's American.

Can I have a bite?

Mmm.

So I guess this means you won't be appearing at Finistirre's subcommittee.

Hmm. I was kind of looking forward to it, too.

It's kind of cool in a Jimmy Stewart sort of way.

More like an Ollie North sort of way.

Finistirre would have torn you a new asshole in a House of Parliament, no less.

I could have taken him.

Yeah. Oh, yeah? What would you have said?

I don't know.

I'd just like him to feel immeasurable pain, humiliation.

Yeah, well, that would be kind of tough.

I mean, he's already a Senator.

I mean, how would you get back in even if you wanted to?

Uh-oh.

You're not gonna like this.

Hello. Thanks very much for coming.

First of all, I'd like to say a few words to all the people who are mentioned in the recent newspaper article.

Please take comfort in knowing that I will not rest until your names are cleared.

This experience has taught me an important lesson...

Having sexual affairs with members of the press is just unfair.

It's not unfair to me, mind you, but to all the people in my life whose only crime is knowing me.

It was your names, not mine, that suffered from a meaningless affair with a seductress in the form of a young brunette Washington reporter whose name I won't mention because I have dignity.

Mr. Naylor!

Are you still planning on testifying at tomorrow's subcommittee hearing on tobacco?

I'm glad you asked that question.

There have been wide accusations of me dropping out of tomorrow's hearing.

Let it be known that unless Senator Finistirre has withdrawn my invitation to speak, it is my plan It's called a subpoena.

To be in Congress tomorrow to share my knowledge of big tobacco and all those who enjoy its products.

Thank you very much. I'll see you tomorrow.


Still feel like Jimmy Stewart?

Good.

Why don't you all go ahead?

This could be a while.

If we could, um... if we could take our seats, please.

Gentlemen, ladies.

If I may call this meeting to order.

We'll do everything we can to keep things brief and concise so that we can all get out of here on time.

The skull and crossbones means one thing:

Poison.

Thus, the message is quite clear.

Like any other product that carries the branding, if you take it, you will die.

Yes, but isn't this overkill?

Why don't we just use words, as we currently do?

Something that describes the dangers of cigarette smoking.

Well, the American public is not affected by masthead anymore.

They need images.

We've done studies which show that consumers react up to 80% more to imagery rather than words.

The stats are there.

It's just sad that the Academy of Tobacco Studies did not release this type of information earlier.

When you say the Academy of Tobacco Studies, you're referring to...

Yes.

To the coalition...

Yes, the coalition.

The big... big tobacco that is represented by...

By, um...

And specifically.

Mr...

Um.

Mr., uh, Nick Naylor.

Nick Naylor?

Thank you very much.

The current use of words instead of imagery is an obvious move against the non-English-speaking population of the United States.

The skull and crossbones speak loudly in all languages.

By not using it, they're saying they want those who can't read English to die.

Hmm. Senor Herrera, could you clarify "they"?

Let it be known, the public beating has not gone out of style.

Nick Naylor, please step forward.

You go sit with him.

Please state your name, address and current occupation.

My name is Nick Naylor.

I live at 6000 Massachusetts Avenue and I am currently unemployed, but until recently, I was the vice president of the Academy of Tobacco Studies.

Mr. Naylor, as vice president of the Academy of Tobacco Studies, what was required of you?

What did you do?

I informed the public of all the research performed in the investigation on the effects of tobacco.

Mm-hmm, and what, so far, has the Academy concluded in their investigation into the effects of tobacco?

Well, many things, actually.

Why, just the other day they uncovered evidence that smoking can offset Parkinson's disease.

I'm sure the health community is thrilled.

Mr. Naylor, who provides the financial backing for the Academy of Tobacco Studies?

Uh... Conglomerated Tobacco.

That's the cigarette companies.

For the most part, yes.

Do you think that might affect their priorities?

No, just as I'm sure campaign contributions don't affect yours.

Ohh.

Senators, Mr. Naylor is not here to testify on the goings-on of the Academy of Tobacco Studies.

We're here to examine the possibility of a warning logo on cigarettes.

Now, Mr. Naylor, I have to ask you, out of formality, do you believe that smoking cigarettes, over time, can lead to lung cancer and other respiratory conditions such as emphysema?

Yes.

In fact, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who really believes that cigarettes are not potentially harmful.

I mean, show of hands, who out here thinks that cigarettes aren't dangerous... Mr. Naylor.

There's no need for theatrics.

Sir, I just don't see the point in a warning label for something people already know.

The warning symbol is a reminder, a reminder of the dangers of smoking cigarettes.

Well, if we want to remind people of danger, why don't we slap a skull and crossbones on all Boeing airplanes, Senator Lothridge?

And all Fords, Senator Dupree?

That is ridiculous.

The death toll from airline and automobile accidents doesn't even skim the surface of cigarettes.

They don't even compare.

Oh, this from a senator who calls Vermont home.

I don't follow you, Mr. Naylor.

Well, the real demonstrated number one killer in America is cholesterol, and here comes Senator Finistirre, whose fine state is, I regret to say, clogging the nation's arteries with Vermont cheddar cheese.

If we want to talk numbers, how about the millions of people dying of heart attacks.

Perhaps Vermont cheddar should come with a skull and crossbones.

That is lud...

The great state of Vermont will not apologize for its cheese.

Mr. Naylor, we are here to discuss cigarettes.

Not planes, not cars... cigarettes.

Now, as we discussed earlier, these warning labels are not for those who know, but rather for those who don't know.

What about the children?

Gentlemen it's called education.

It doesn't come off the side of a cigarette carton.

It comes from our teachers, and more importantly, our parents.

It is the job of every parent to warn their children of all the dangers of the world, including cigarettes, so that one day, when they get older, they can choose for themselves.

I look at my... son who was kind enough to come with me today, and I can't help but think that I am responsible for his growth and his development.

And I'm proud of that.

Well, having said that, would you condone him smoking?

Well, of course not. He's not 18.

That would be illegal.

Yes, I-I heard you deliver that line on 20-20, but enough dancing.

What are you going to do when he turns 18?

Come on, Mr. Naylor.

On his 18th birthday, will you share a cigarette with him?

Will you spend a lovely afternoon, like one of your ludicrous cigarette advertisements?

You seem to have a lot to say about how we should raise our children.

What of your own?

What are you going to do when he turns 18?

If he really wants a cigarette, I'll buy him his first pack.

Thank you for your testimony, Mr. Naylor. You're excused.

I'll meet you outside, okay?

Great.

Well done, my boy.

Were you in the same room as me?

The whole personal choice thing?

They ate that shit up.

Just checked the whip count.

That bill is going down in flames.

Your speech was unorthodox, but you did it, boy.

You crushed the fucker.

That's good news for you guys.

Oh. Whoa, whoa.

We're still a team, right?

What about damage control?

Look, Nick.

Winston-Salem is ready to do whatever it takes to keep you on board.

Nick, will you continue fighting for cigarettes?

Of course he will.

This man here is our general.

We're not just gonna let him retire.

Is that correct, Nick?

You're sticking with tobacco?

Now, I know what you're probably thinking.

What a great opportunity for me to teach Joey how to use leverage against a backstabbing boss.

But I actually meant what I said about responsibility.

Some things are just more important than paying a mortgage.

So I did the only responsible thing I could.

I turned down the job.

And my timing couldn't have been better.

Within a few months, the cigarette companies settled with the American smoker to the tune of $246 billion.

And the Academy of Tobacco Studies was permanently dismantled.

For the first time in decades, BR found himself out of work.

Otherwise, not much has changed.

The MOD squad still meets every week.

Nice.

We even added a few new members.

The things I could learn from you, Bobby Jay.

Right.

Stick around. Stick around.

Senator Finistirre is still fighting for his causes.

What do you say to the people who claim you are destroying cinema classics?

Mmm, no. All we're doing is using digital technology to tastefully update movies of the past by removing cigarettes.

I believe that if these stars were alive today, they would agree that we're doing the right thing.

But, in essence, aren't you changing history?

No, I think we're improving history.

Even Heather is still reporting.

The whole town has been evacuated.

They're calling this the storm of the century.

Not much changes at all.

And this year's Foggy Bottom Debating Society Champion is Joey Naylor.

Yay! Yay!

Joey!

Joey!

Joey, Joey!

That's my boy.

Hold it up. Hold it up.

And me?

Well, there's still a place for guys like me.

So, be straight with me.

Is it true?

It could be. Come on.

We know of very few cases.

There's no scientific proof at all.

There was an unfortunate incident out in Iowa...

It's really a complicated situation.

Gentlemen, practice these words in front of the mirror.

"Although we are constantly exploring the subject, "currently, there is no direct evidence

"that links cell phone usage to brain cancer."

Michael Jordan plays ball.

Charles Manson kills people.

I talk.

Everyone has a talent.

♪ Some people say I'm a no count ♪

♪ Others say I'm no good ♪

♪ But I'm just a natural-born travelin' man ♪

♪ Doin' what I think I should ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ Doin' what I think I should ♪

♪ And I don't give a damn about a greenback dollar ♪

♪ Spend it fast as I can ♪

♪ Oh, a wailin' song and a good guitar ♪

♪ The only things that I understand ♪

♪ Poor boy ♪

♪ The only things that I understand ♪

♪ When I was a little baby ♪

♪ My mama said, "Hey, son ♪"

♪ "Travel where you will and grow to be a man ♪

♪ "And sing what must be sung ♪

♪ "Poor boy ♪

♪ Sing what must be sung" ♪

♪ And I don't give a damn about a greenback dollar ♪

♪ Spend it fast as I can ♪

♪ For a wailin' song and a good guitar ♪

♪ The only things that I understand ♪

♪ Poor boy ♪

♪ The only things that I understand ♪

♪ Now that I'm a grown man ♪

♪ I've traveled here and there ♪

♪ I've learned that a bottle of brandy and a song ♪

♪ The only ones who ever care ♪

♪ Poor boy ♪

♪ The only ones who ever care ♪

♪ And I don't give a damn about a greenback dollar ♪

♪ Spend it fast as I can ♪

♪ For a wailin' song and a good guitar ♪

♪ The only things that I understand ♪

♪ Poor boy ♪

♪ The only things that I understand ♪

♪ Some people say I'm a no count ♪

♪ Others say I'm no good ♪

♪ But I'm just a natural-born travelin' man ♪

♪ Doin' what I think I should ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ Doin' what I think I should ♪

♪ And I don't give a damn about a greenback dollar ♪

♪ Spend it fast as I can ♪

♪ For a wailin' song and a good guitar ♪

♪ The only things that I understand ♪

♪ Poor boy ♪

♪ The only things that I understand ♪

♪ The only things that I understand ♪

♪ Poor boy ♪

♪ The only things that I understand. ♪