|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|
|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|
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
"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
by Jamie Portman
February 8, 2000
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."
by Karin Lipson and
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
"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
"Our India invaded Kashmir two weeks before the real one did" - Aaron Sorkin
"Media Talk: Television Meets Reality in a Drama on Pardons"
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
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