The Facts of Life "The Source" Episode #59
Mrs. Garrett: What is it, Natalie?
Garrett, I had this idea. I was gonna write this really important story for the school paper. For a change!
I dont know, I really loved you up close and personal look at the bowling team!
*laughter from the audience*
Or that story on how Peekskill got its name!
* more laughter from the audience*
Natalie: Stories like that
are the reason no one reads the Eastlander anymore!
Jo: My biology class never misses an issue! Theyre great for the hamster
Natalie: Well, this story I was working on was gonna change all that. It was a blockbuster!
Tootie: You never
said anything about it.
Natalie: It was gonna be a secret. I was gonna tackle this really big issue.
Natalie: Too old fashioned.
Natalie: Too cheshay! (hahathats not how you spell it, but..whatever..)
Mrs. Garrett: BLAIR
Blair: Valentines Day!!
Mrs. Garrett: mmmmmhhhmmmm
Mrs. Garrett: Natalie, abortions a tough subject for a high school newpaper.
Blair: That IS a little touchy, dont
Natalie: Of course, but abortion is an important issue and it deserves attention. Its controversial, emotional
Mrs. Garrett: Yea, I hate to think you were doing this just to boost circulation!
Its more than that Mrs. Garrett! I wanted to make waves with this; stir things up!
Mrs. Garrett: Well, personally, I can
never get enough of your bowling articles. Theyre informative and snappy. They really bowl me over.
*laughs and notices
Natalie isnt laughing and stops*
Natalie: Dont worry, Mrs. Garrett, I cant do the abortion story anyway.
Natalie: I couldnt get anyone to talk. I couldnt find ONE solid lead!
Mrs. Garrett: Well, I know youre disappointed,
Natalie, but youll come up with something else! *taps Nats shoulder * Hey! Have you ever thought of a story about a gallant
nutitionist and her dedicated workers
*Pulls Blair and Jo closer to her *
Mrs. Garrett: Who helped her unload
a truck full of groceries?
Jo: How big a truck?
Mrs. Garrett: Come and see!
*Theme then commercial*
Cheer up, Natalie. Even Lois Lane ahs a day like this every once in a while!
Natalie: Yea, but look who she gets to come
Tootie: Are you sure theres no hope for your story?
Natalie: Ive called every clinic, Doctors office and
hospital within 30 miles!
Tootie: and you got no help?
Natalie: Just a lot of dry statistics and a cauliflower ear!
Tootie: Well, statistics are a start.
Natalie: You cant do a story on just numbers, you need a personal P.O.V! *Tootie
looks confused* Point of View. Reporter talk.
Tootie: Right. So what you really need is a P.I.A.
Tootie: Person It's About Tootie talk!
Tootie: A Louise!
Louise who? Do you know something about some girl named Louise?
Tootie: Calm down. I was just thinking about this imaginary
friend I had when I was a little girl.
Tootie: I called her Louise, and she was terrific. She
played all the games I liked to play. She took the blame whenever I was in trouble. She was anything I wanted her to be.
Tootie: Yea I wonder whatever happened to her.
Natalie: Im gonna do my abortion story ABOUT Lousie!
Natalie: Ill make it a composite of all the cases Ive read about. 40 hourse of research to create the perfect
Tootie: You cant do that!
Natalie: Oh sure I can, its done all the time!
Tootie: Well, I guess if you say in your article that you made the person up, then
Natalie: Wellno, we wouldnt
wanna to that. Take away from the storys impact.
Tootie: But thats dishonest.
Natalie: Oh, Its not like Im making
any of the important stuff up. Ive done my research. Ive got my facts.
Tootie: Yea, but Nat
Natalie: and even if I
were to use a real person Id have to change her name anyway! Tootie, this is important.
Tootie: What is Nat? The story?
Or the number of papers you sell?
Natalie: Whats wrong with a little of both? Tootie, trust me. Im a journalist. I know
what Im doin.
*Natalie coming in the cafeteria with people congratulating her on the article*
Girl 1: Natalie
I have never read anything so moving in my life. I havent been this touched since Bambi.
Jo: Hey Nat, this is powerful
Blair: I was really impressed with the style. It was strong, yet sensitive. Warm yet objective. Penetrating, yet..
Jo: She liked it too.
Terri: ummm, do you think theyll be a movie made or anything? Cause Ive done a little acting,
Natalie: Ill have my people call your people!
Blair: I cant believe that it actually happened to one of us!
and that you got her to open up like that!
Natalie: We experienced journalists have our little tricks.
getting a TENSION headache
Jo: Hey, Tootie, whatd you think of Nats article?
Tootie: Um, I thought it was veryauthentic.
Especially the statistics part.
Blair: For me it was the personal slant that made it so powerful. It wasnt just ABOUT
abortion. I felt as thought I knew this girlDo I?
Natalie: I cant say.
Blair: Oh, Come on, Nat, you can tell us.
Nono she cant.
Natalie: It would be a violation of my journalistic ethics.
Jo: Thats right! How do you think reporters
get big stories? By protecting their sources! Even if it means goin ta jail!
Blair: No ones asking her to do time! I justwant
a little hint. Like her name.
Natalie: I really cant.
Tootie: You can say THAT again.
Jo: Ya know what, I think
this piece is good enough to be entered into thatuhhigh school journalism contest they hold each year.
Natalie: Oh, I
Jo: Oh, yea, absolutely! This could win!
Tootie: Well, what do you think of THAT Natalie?
Well, I hadnt really thought about it, but now that Jos mentioned it.
Jo: Journalism is a tough racket! Ya gotta be a
killer! You think Barbara Walters LIKES bein pushy? Come on, Nat, enter the contest! Just think, you could win an electric
typewriter! A dictionary with thumb tabs on it! As a summer job as a club reporter!
Natalie: OhIll do it, Ill do it!
Mrs. Garrett: Oh, its happening again!
Blair: Mrs. Garrett, did you read Natalies article? What
Mrs. Garrett: Youre telling me! Natalie, Mr. Parker is on his way over here.
Jo: Ah! He want to congratulate
her on the piece?
Mrs. Garrett: Not exactlyHesoh, why does he always do this to me? His exact words were, Tell Natalie
we HAVE a problem.
Natalie: We do?
Mrs. Garrett: He demands, in no uncertain terms, that you tell him the name of
that girl in your article. He said, you have 24 hours to do it, or youll have to leave school.
Garrett, Mr. Parker, and Natalie in the lounge *
Natalie: But Mr. Parker! I CANT tell you the girls name!
Parker: Natalie, I understand your position. Id like for you to try and understand mine!
Natalie: But whats at stake here,
is the right of a journalist to protect her sources!
Mrs. Garrett: Natalie, Im sure Mr. Parker respects the rights of
a free press. Dont you?
Mr. Parker: Well of course I do! But in this case, theyre beside the point!
principles are okay, as long as they dont inconvience you!
Mr. Parker: Ive had nothing but frantic phone calls all day
wanting to know if its THEIR daughter that had the abortion! I think they deserve a better answer than, Well, you guess is
as good as mine!
Mrs. Garrett: Mr. Parker, I know youre concerned about this girl, but
Mr. Parker: Yes, I AM! Shes
been through a terrible experience.
Natalie: Shes come through it fine! Believe me, shes a brick!
Mr. Parker: Natalie,
I cant let you be the final judge of whats best for this girl. Thats MY job.
Natalie: I cant tell you who she is.
Parker: Then, youll have to leave school.
Natalie: Ill be expelled?
Mr. Parker: Suspended. Youll be able to come back
when youre willing to tell us the girls name.
Natalie: Ill be expelled.
*Mr. Parker leaves*
I'll try to talk to him. *leaves *
Jo: Ok, Nat, we heard everything. We dont have to take this!This is a clear-cut infringement
of our first amendment rights! Wellwell call the Washington Post! The New York Times! Even Heraldo Rivera himself.
To be tickled by that moustache!
Jo: Cases like this go to the Supreme Court! Dont they Tootie?
Blair: Or, you COULD
just tell Mr. Parker what he wants to know
Natalie: Its not quite that simple.
Tootie: You bet it isnt. Natalie, were
talking about your suspension!
Jo: Look at it this way, theres a lot of kids out there who look uip to ya for bein kicked
outta school. Youll be a celebrity!
Tootie: Great, Youll be famous AND STUPID!
Blair: Ya know, my mother use to date
a judge. Ill ask her to give him a call.
Jo: Ok, you contact your mother, Ill try Heraldo!
*Blair and Jo leave
*Natalie and Tootie in the girls room.*
Tootie: Natalie, I cant believe youre actually leaving! I cant believe
youre letting things go THIS far, just to save yourself a little embarrassment.
Natalie: I can handle a LITTLE embarrassment!
Its humiliation I have trouble with.
Tootie: But if you leave everything willwill change.
Here, I think this is yours, its the one with the article claiming Shawn Cassidys really an alien.
Tootie: Natalie if
Annie: Hi Tootie, Natalie.
Natalie: Hi Annie
I didnt get a chance to congratulate you on your article.
Annie: Ya know, its all everybodys been
talking about.It was so.well written.
Natalie: Ya think so?
Tootie: I dont believe it. *leaves *
Annie: Souh I
guess that rumor about you being suspended is true, huh?
Natalie: I guess it is.
Annie: Ya know,what youre doing is
so noble, Natalie. Taking a stand for a principle.
Natalie: Yea, well.
Annie: I mean, how many people would find the
courage to just turn their backs on the only way of life theyve ever known. Just, walk away from theirtheir school, their
friendstheir future. Did you ever think it would cost this much?
Natalie: No, Annie, not until you spelled it all out
for me. Do you know what my life will be like at home? My parents will probably hand me a Samari Sword and say, here, you
know what to do!
Annie: Natalie, dont crumble. Im counting on you.
Natalie: For what?
Annie: Come on, Natalie,
you dont have to pretend anymoreits just us.
Natalie: Pretend about what?
Annie: Ya know, I was afraid that this would
happen. That youd end up telling that it was me.
Natalie: ANNIE! *softly * Louise
Annie: Ya knowhow did you find out
Natalie? There are things in that article, that I didnt think anybody knew about. I mean, who couldve told you?
Dont worry. No one at school knows.
Annie: Natalie, if you tell Mr. Parker, hes gonna tell my parents.
Annie: You dont know my parents. Ya know, once, when I was learning how to drive, I scratched the door
of my fathers station wagon. Just a teeny little scratch. To this day he flinches everytime he sees it.
I didnt mean to make trouble for you.
Annie: Ya know, when I first read your articleitwell, it really upset me. It was
like, going through the whole thing all over again. But it was comforting too. I mean, well, I felt like there was someone
out there who understood what I was feeling. And it really helped.
Natalie: Please dont make me out to be some kind of
Annie: Natalie, look, I know that I have no right to ask you not to tell, but Im asking. I gotta go
*Natalie in the cafeteria and Mrs. Garrett comes in.*
Natalie: I have been looking ALL over for you!
Garrett: Oh, I had to take my car into the garage.
Natalie: You didnt tell me.
Mrs. Garrett: Im sorryit was just one
of those mad cap spur of the moment lube jobs.
Natalie: I have a decision to make.
Mrs. Garrett: I know.
But its not quite the decision I thought it was gonna be.
Mrs. Garrett: What do you mean?
Natalie: I dont wanna leave
Mrs. Garrett: Oh Natalie, I spoke to Mr. Parkerand he just WONT BUDGE. He insists on having the name of that
girl in your article.
Natalie: Mrs. Garrett, there was no girl in my article. I lied about Louise, I made her up!
Natalie: I couldnt get anyone to talk, and I didnt want all my statistics to go to waste. I thought I was
being a good reporter.
Mrs. Garrett: Natalie, thats not reporting, thats FICTION! Do you realize all the worry and concern
Natalie: Im really sorry.
Mrs. Garrett: Well, youre just gonna have to explain it to Mr. Parker, and,
and hope that he understands. Youll have to tell himthat there was no Louise.
Natalie: I wouldexcept there is a Louise.
Mrs. Garrett: Now wait a minuteIm getting confused.
Natalie: Mrs. Garrett, I just found out that someone right here
at Eastland went through almost EXACTLY what I wrote in my article. Mr. Parkers been hounding me for a name and all of a sudden
Ive got one. Just one nameand Im off the hook!
Mrs. Garrett: Are you Natalie? You lied, Natalie. You wrote something you
knewwasnt true. The fact that a Louise, HAPPENS to exsist doesnt change that.
Natalie: I didnt think I was really lying.
Mrs. Garrett: well, what do you think now?
Natalie: I was REALLY lying.
Mrs. Garrett: Youre making progress.
Mr. Parker: Natalie, I think we should talk.
Natalie: Of course, you do!
Mrs. Garrett: Well,
I better leave you two alone.
*Natalie waves her hands in the air and has a "PLEASE STAY!" look on her face*
Garrett: Oh, as soon as I gather up my things.
Mr. Parker: Natalie, Ive been thinking about our conversation this afternoon,
and uh, there are a few things I want to make clear to you.
Natalie: I thought I had 24 hours to make up my mind?
Garrett: 24 hours, shes absolutely right, Mr. Parker, you said TWENTY FOUR HOURS!
Mr.Parker: Edna, this isnt Dodge City.
Im not ordering her out of town. As a matter of fact, Im not even suspending her.
Natalie: You're NOT?!
*excited* Why NOT!? *puts hand over mouth *
Natalie: Mrs. Garrett, ya done with that?
Mrs. Garrett: ALMOST.
Parker: See, Natalie, I was hoping that you would cooperate with me on this, but I can see its a matter of principle with
you, and as my uh, wife says, what kind of a person would I be if I didnt respect that.
Natalie: Thank you Mr. Parker.
Mr. Parker: Dont mention it. So it seems that Ill have to find out who this, Louise is without your help.
How can you do that?
Mr. Parker: Well, Ill have to do some leg workuhinterview students, check absentees recordsIt wont
be easy, but eventually Ill find her.
Natalie: No you wont. There is no Lousie.
Natalie: I wanted
to get a good story, something that would really sell papers. So I invented her.
Mr. Parker: I find that hard to believe,
I read your article.
Natalie: What can I say, Im a dynamite writer!
Mr. Parker: Edna?
Mrs. Garrett: Shes a dynamite
Natalie: Mr. Parker, I plan to print a full retraction. Do you think Id humiliate myself like that if I didnt
Mr. Parker: You mean, you made up that whole story? Well, itll take more than a retraction, Ill have to ask you
to resign as editor.
Mr. Parker: Natalie, Im very disappointed in you.
Natalie: Join the club.
Mr. Parker: Im also relieved Ill be able to put our parents minds at ease. Uh.. do you wanna know something, in the back
of my mind I suspected something like this? I mean, call it a feeling or a 6th sense, but I know this school, and I know these
girls. Something like this could never happen here.
Credits Roll at the end of the scence.