Tuesday, February 26, 2002

True Stories of the FBI

ANNOUNCER: Welcome to “true stories of the FBI” featuring real actors pretending to be loosely-based composites of real agents and no cross-dressing. Ever. Tonight’s story: “NONE DARE CALL IT BOOTLEG.” We take you back in the summer of 2001. We’re deep inside the heart of the FBI’s Intelligence Analysis Division. As our story begins, an earnest, young rookie agent is just coming in from the field. He learns something. You will too.

AGENT JONES comes running in waving a file stuffed with papers.

JONES: Director! Director! You’re not going to believe…

DIRECTOR: (not recognizing him) And you are…?

JONES: Agent Jones.

DIRECTOR: (considering this – it doesn’t ring a bell) Jones. Jones? I don’t think I …

JONES: It’s been awhile, sir – six months, actually. I’ve been undercover – deep cover – but I think it’s finally paid off.

DIRECTOR: Refresh my memory.

JONES: I’ve infiltrated six different flight schools and …

DIRECTOR: (totally confused) Flight schools?

JONES: Yeah. What I found out was, they all contained disproportionate numbers of Middle Eastern nationals. Weird guys. Creepy-looking guys. Some approached me and attempted to rent crop dusters.


JONES: It adds up to terrorism, sir. A new kind of terrorism.

DIRECTOR: (scornfully) Terrorism? Six months undercover, and all you come up with is “terrorism” …? This is the FBI, Jones. We’ve got bigger fish to fry.

JONES: Like what?

DIRECTOR: Like video piracy, that’s what.

JONES: Video piracy?

DIRECTOR: Yeah. While you’re playing Junior G-Man, we reorganized the whole bureau. Today’s FBI is totally focused on video piracy.

JONES: You got to be kidding me.

DIRECTOR: I wish I was, Jones. It’s a crime wave. It’s big.

JONES: How big, sir?

DIRECTOR: International. We’re working with Interpol now. Terrorism’s just not priority.

JONES: (digesting this) Uh. Maybe it’s just me, sir, but …

DIRECTOR: Spit it out, Jones.

JONES: Shouldn’t international terrorism take priority to video piracy?

DIRECTOR: Is that what you think, Jones? Yeah, it figures. You would think that – snot-nosed academy punk. You want the headlines, the sexy assignments – “Terrorism”… “drugs” … “organized crime.” You think video piracy’s not important? Listen up, Jones. Let’s say we turn a blind eye, what happens then? They teach you that at the academy?

JONES: Uh … no.

DIRECTOR: No? No. I didn’t think so. Well they should, Jones. (tapping his forehead) Think Jones. Let’s play it your way. Let’s forget the bootleggers and go after the so-called “terrorists.” While you’re off hunting Carlos the Jackal, the pirates board and loot and have their way with Hollywood. What’s the harm? A few bootleg copies of “Zoolander,” a DVD rip of “Training Day.” What’s the harm you say?

JONES: I didn’t…

DIRECTOR: (cutting him off) I’ll tell you what the “harm” is, Jones. What happens to creative artists who don’t get fairly compensated for their intellectual property rights?

JONES: Sir ...

DIRECTOR: What happens when your local Blockbuster goes bust? Ever think about that? Barry Dillar’s out on the street – not to mention all the moms and dads at MCI and Sony with hungry mouths to feed. What happens to the studios, Jones? No subsidiary rights, no secondary income from video and DVD. They’re forced to cut back on production values – you know what that means? No more explosions for Jerry Bruckheimer. He starts doing chick flicks – lotsa talk, hugs and kisses, relationship stuff. Little Johnny grows up watching that, little Johnny grows up soft. And what about little Johnny? He can’t go down to Blockbuster anymore, let alone some Mom and Pop porno stand. Where’s he go? The street, that’s where. Back alley video. He comes home with third generation bootlegs full of scan lines, Jones. Scan lines and bad synch and bad audio to match. Johnny’s up in his room watching some knockoff of “Pretty Woman” that looks like a dirty car windshield on a rainy night ‘cause that’s all he can get. His eyes go bad, his ears go bad, and little Johnny grows up light in the loafers ‘cause he grew up watching chick flicks. Little Johnny, and all the little Johnnies across America. So America grows up soft. And before you can say “Me so horny,” the commies are drinking Starbucks in Seattle – Why? Because you’re worried about a few towelheads in cropdusters. That’s what happens if we play it your way.

JONES: I didn’t think, sir.

DIRECTOR: No. You didn’t. Ever notice that FBI warning at the end of every video?

JONES: Yeah.

DIRECTOR: Ever read it?


DIRECTOR: Well you should Jones. Read it. Memorize it. Think about it. The FBI stands behind that warning. Don’t you ever forget it. (addressing audience)And that goes for you too, America. It’s time to just say “no” to copyright violation and turn in your friends. They’ll thank you for it. So will the FBI. Goodnight, America.

ANNOUNCER: This has been a “true story” taken directly from the video piracy files of the FBI. Any resemblance to persons, places or things represented in this teleplay is purely coincidental. All rights reserved.

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