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Lord John Marbury

Original Airdate 01-05-00 Rerun 04-19-00

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As India prepares to invade the Pakistan-held Kashmir territory, Bartlet seeks the advice of an India expert (Roger Rees); meanwhile, Josh testifies at a hearing.
From NBC:
The Kashmir border powderkeg becomes more explosive when the Indian army invades Pakistani-held territory, making the threat of a nuclear confrontation frighteningly real to President Bartlet (Martin Sheen), who calls in Lord Marbury (Roger Rees), an eccentric British diplomat with ties to both warring nations -- and a weakness for booze. An angry Josh (Bradley Whitford) is subpoenaed to testify as the investigation into substance abuse among White House staffers grinds on towards its inevitable target: chief of staff Leo McGarry (John Spencer). Mandy (Moira Kelly) floats a trial balloon among the staff to test their reaction to her notion of representing a liberal Republican. The President is surprised when Charlie (Dulé Hill) asks him if he can date his willing daughter Zoey (Elisabeth Moss).


Rob Lowe as Sam (Samuel Norman) Seaborn Deputy Communications Director
Moira Kelly as Mandy (Madeline) Hampton Public Relations Consultant
Dulé Hill as Charlie (Charles) Young Personal Aide to the President
Allison Janney as C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg Press Secretary
Richard Schiff as Toby (Tobias Zachary) Ziegler Communications Director
John Spencer as Leo Thomas McGarry Chief of Staff
Bradley Whitford as Josh (Joshua) Lyman Deputy Chief of Staff
Martin Sheen as
Jed (Josiah Edward) Bartlet President of the United States
Special Guest Stars    
John Amos as Admiral (Percy "Fitz") Fitzwallace Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Roger Rees as
Lord John Marbury  
Guest Starring    
Janel Moloney as Donna (Donnatella) Moss Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff
Elisabeth Moss as Zoey Patricia Bartlet Bartlets' youngest daughter
John Diehl as Larry Claypool Freedom Watch Lawyer
James Hong as David Chinese Ambassador
Eric Avari as Pakistani Ambassador Habib
David Doty as Military Officer  
Clyde Kusatsu as Joe DOD
Iqbal Theba as Indian Ambassador  
Kathryn Joosten as Mrs. Landingham President's Secretary /
Delores (first name)
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
Bill Stevenson as Jarworski  
Charles Hoyes as Thompson  
Ryan Cutrona as CIA Director Rollie  
Gary Cervantes as Bobby Civilian Advisor
Ralph Meyering Jr. as Tom  
J. David Krassner as Jack  
Christopher Kriesa as Mitch Officer
Bill Duffy as Larry Congressional Liaison
Peter James Smith as Ed Congressional Liaison
Tom Hall as Officer Mike
Dafidd McCracken as Security Officer Mike
Charles Noland as Reporter #1 Steve
Colin Gray as Bruce Reporter
Roger Ranney as Civilian served subpoena

Information Links


Media Quotes

Finally, there's Larry Klayman, a "one-man litigation explosion," as the online magazine Slate once tagged the conservative leader of Judicial Watch, a nonprofit firm. While Hearsay covered the legal beat, Judicial Watch filed about a dozen lawsuits, and Klayman sued his mother. (They settled out of court when she agreed to pay him $15,000.) Klayman also sued Hearsay for libel. (The case is pending.)

Even Hollywood has taken note. The NBC series "West Wing" has created a Klayman-clone named "Harry Klaypool," the head of a litigious watchdog group called "Freedom Watch." Klayman referred to the character in a press release on Wednesday, and also helpfully pointed out that the show would air at 9 that night.

"Hearsay: The Lawyer's Column"
by David Segal
January 17, 2000
Washington Post

"She [Zoey Bartlet] is a lot different from me in the sense that she's very outgoing and supremely self-assured. I don't mean that I have a confidence problem, but she has this extra bit of gumption. For example, she asks a guy out on a date -- and that's something I would never do!" - Elisabeth Moss

"Top Secret"
by Jamie Portman
February 8, 2000
Calgary Herald

C.J. holds a press conference in which she belittles a reporter's information about an India-Pakistan flare-up-only to find out the next morning that an attack has, indeed, occurred, and that she alone among senior staffers was left out of the loop.

Did that ring a bell for Myers? "Yeah, of course. I think it happens to every press secretary. It certainly happened to me." Myers' C.J.-type incident occurred in January, 1994, after an assassination attempt on former President George Bush in which Iraqi involvement was suspected. In her Friday press briefing, Myers told reporters that the FBI was still looking into whether Saddam Hussein was involved and would eventually issue a report to Clinton; On Saturday, the U.S. bombed Baghdad, the president having already received and read the report.

Did it affect Myers' credibility? "Yeah, of course, what do you think? You have to go out there and raise a little hell, and go back to the press and say you've gotten some assurances that it will never happen again." But C.J. hasn't really raised hell or gotten those unequivocal assurances, something that actress Allison Janney is acutely aware of. "I tend to take up what my characters are going through, and I felt really angry. I said how can you do this to her?" says Janney. "I sort of wish that there would be some backlash from that, and also I hoped it would carry through to the NEXT-what it's like to go into the press room after having that happen."

"High-Stakes TV"
by Karin Lipson and
Frank Lovece
February 27, 2000
New York Newsday

Myers's involvement can prompt the show to relive, and rewrite, history. Take an episode featuring an India-Pakistan conflict that aired January 5. One subplot turns on how the president and his top men keep C.J., the press secretary, in the dark about troop movements.

"This is coming from my life," Myers says. Her worst moment in the White House came after the assassination attempt on former President Bush in 1993. Myers told reporters one Friday that the FBI was still looking into whether Saddam Hussein was involved; President Clinton would decide what to do once he reviewed the FBI's report. It turns out President Clinton already had the report and had decided to respond by bombing Baghdad the next day. Myers was out of the loop. She came into work Saturday and put "a lid" on, slang for assuring the press there would be no more news coming out of the White House. An hour later, with U.S. missiles flying, she found herself paging reporters who were on their way to a Baltimore Orioles game, her credibility in tatters.

In The West Wing, C.J., similarly in the dark, gives reporters a flip answer about there being no troop movements at the India-Pakistan border. As the press soon learns, C.J. doesn't know what she's talking about. "I wanted to make her more angry," Myers says. "I wanted there to be some resolution, in order to preserve the strength of her character, where she calls 'the boys' on the rug." Instead, Leo McGarry, the chief of staff (played by John Spencer of L.A. Law), brushes C.J. off by saying, "Just tell them you spoke without being informed." "I ran back," Myers recalls, "and said [to Sorkin], this is like saying, 'I'm an idiot; you can't trust me.'"

Sorkin concedes that he could have allowed Myers to live a little more through C.J. "I dropped the ball," he laments, sorry not to have done Myers's story justice.


On this sunny afternoon in November, director Kevin Sullivan (How Stella Got Her Groove Back) looks impatient on the porch outside the Oval Office. He's waiting to shoot a scene in which the president and his aides discuss the troops Pakistan has moved to its border. "It's a big day," he says to an assistant. "It's a ten-page day. I'd like it if we were shooting instead of standing around."

The cliché seems true: Acting is hard work. A scene taped earlier that will come to 10 seconds on TV took 15 takes and an hour to shoot. "Josh, I didn't expect you back so soon," asks Donna, Josh's secretary. "Did everything go okay?" "No, actually," Josh replies, "it didn't." Half the time they shoot again to perfect the performance; the rest because the picture or sound isn't quite right.

They're ready in the Oval Office. Sullivan steps out from behind the TV monitor where he directs the action, and he crisply leads Sheen, Lowe, Schiff, Spencer, and Bradley Whitford (Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman) through a rehearsal. They work out some tricky business concerning who stands where and who looks at whom as the actors close in around the president's desk. Sullivan at one point actually strikes that classic director's pose: one eye closed, head cocked, looking between his outstretched hands to imagine the frame. Someone yells "Mark!" and a woman runs in to tape spots on the floor that the actors need to hit. Another sneaks Schiff some "sides" -- tiny photocopies of the script -- so he can check his lines. During a pause Sheen asks Spencer which episode is airing that night: It's a Wednesday, after all, and The West Wing is on. Between actors and crew there are 21 people in the room, making it feel like Clinton's chaotic real-world Oval back in his early days.

Finally they shoot. The news out of Pakistan is bad. The Security Council is meeting. The CIA has photos showing 20,000 troops near the northern border.

The president, Leo, Toby, Josh, and Sam plot strategy in the Oval Office. With a sudden knock, C.J. sticks her head in. The men turn suddenly and fall silent, as if she's intruding. She asks the question. Leo hesitates. Sure, he says, go ahead, put a "lid" on. (You can just hear Dee Dee Myers screaming.) The president's men eye each other, realizing what has just happened. C.J. exits. The tension breaks. "I'll brief her tomorrow," Leo tells the president. He shrugs.

"Cut!" Sullivan says. "Print it."

"The Real White House"
by Matthew Miller
March 2000
Brill's Content

"She [Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State for President Clinton] said it was one of the best expositions on foreign policy on TV that she'd seen," - Patrick Cadell

Last month, while sitting in the Oval Office monitoring a briefing session with Clinton and his Mideast advisers, chief of staff John Podesta jokingly slipped a note to [Joe] Lockhart that read, "If this were West Wing, C.J. wouldn't be at this meeting."

"You Could Call It the Wonk Wing"
by Jay Branegan
May 15, 2000
Time Magazine

"Our India invaded Kashmir two weeks before the real one did" - Aaron Sorkin

"Media Talk: Television Meets Reality in a Drama on Pardons"
by Unknown
February 26, 2001
New York Times

Klayman's publicity-hungry nonprofit--fictionalized as "Freedom Watch" on NBC's "West Wing" -- has filed numerous lawsuits over the past seven years against Bill and Hillary Clinton and their staffs, and now is tormenting Vice President Cheney's office.


Klayman told us he has trademarked the name "Freedom Watch" for his own use.

"The GOP's Secret Weapon"
by Lloyd Grove
January 28, 2003
Washington Post

The West Wing's [John] Spencer, sipping on club soda, refers to the parallels between his early alcohol problems and those scripted for White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry. "It was weird. I really wasn't acting."

"Pitch and catch"
by Dusty Saunders
January 24, 2004
Rocky Mountain News

Dee Dee Myers had such problems in the Clinton White House. Later, as a West Wing consultant, "I got to take things that happened to me and change the ending a bit."

In one episode, C.J. realizes she knows less about an issue than the reporters questioning her, and confronts the president.

"Is 'West Wing' idealistic or realistic?"
by Jill Lawrence
May 10, 2006
USA Today

For more information about this episode:
Continuity Guide to "The West Wing"
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