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Six Meetings Before Lunch

Original Airdate 04-05-00 Rerun 08-30-00

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The President's daughter (Elisabeth Moss) is questioned by a writer about a party she attended; Josh discusses monetary reparations for descendants of slaves.
From NBC:
When Zoey (Elisabeth Moss) attends a college fraternity party in which one of her friends is busted for using illegal drugs, C.J. (Allison Janney) struggles to keep the embarrassing story out of the press while the White House staff celebrates the confirmation of their nominee, Judge Mendoza (Edward James Olmos, not seen), for the Supreme Court. An uncomfortable Josh (Bradley Whitford) is assigned to talk with the administration's controversial nominee (Carl Lumbly) for assistant attorney general for civil rights who advocates that African-Americans receive financial reparations for slavery. Elsewhere, Sam (Rob Lowe) crosses swords with Mallory (Allison Smith) over the issue of private school vouchers while Mandy (Moira Kelly) lobbies to secure two new pandas for the National Zoo.


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 Star
Carl Lumbly as
Jeff Breckenridge Nominee for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights
Guest Starring    
Timothy Busfield as Danny (Daniel) Concannon (Washington Post) Reporter
Jorja Fox as Gina Toscano Special Agent
Janel Moloney as Donna (Donnatella) Moss Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff
Elisabeth Moss as Zoey Patricia Bartlet Bartlets' youngest daughter
Suzy Nakamura as Cathy Assistant to Deputy Communications Director
Allison Smith as Mallory O'Brian Teacher / Leo McGarry's daughter
Lindsay Sloane as Stacy Zoey's friend
Christopher Wynne as Edgar Drumm Charleston Citizen "Reporter"
Michael O'Neill
(uncredited) as
Ron Butterfield Head of POTUS' Secret Service detail
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
Kim Webster as Ginger Assistant to Communications Director
Devika Parikh as Bonnie Communications' Aide
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
Kenneth Choi as Secret Service Agent #1 Mike
Todd Sandler as Secret Service Agent #2  
Kimiko Gelman as Secret Service Agent Kelly  
Heather Dawn as College Student #1  
Erin Leshawn Wiley as College Student #2  

Information Links


Media Quotes

"I have slavery reparations for African Americans," Sorkin says, lighting the first Merit of the workday and shuffling through four orderly piles of research on his desk, the closest his writing staff will get to actually writing anything. "I have a panda crisis--that's been around for two episodes--China won't give us a replacement panda. I like that. Then there's the president with a lesser brother, but I don't think I'll use that one. And I have public school vouchers--that's interesting, but I'm not sure how to work it in."

He flicks an ash into a tray in his casually luxurious office on the Warner Bros. lot: an overstuffed leather couch, a massive framed map, potted palms and bowls filled with candy. "Did you know we paid $1.2 billion to Japanese Americans in 1988?" he says, bemused. "Someone has calculated that the net wages owed to black Americans pre-emancipation is something like"--he scans some typed notes--"$4.4 trillion." He looks up. "And that looks like a steal to me." Pause. "Where would we get the cash?" Ahhh--a scene in the making. Sorkin half-smiles. "I'll do that. I'll look at the research and start talking out loud: 'That looks like a steal to me.' 'Where would we get the cash?' " he says. "Once you get two people to disagree about something, you have a scene."


By Tuesday, four days after Sorkin planned to complete episode 18, the cast has assembled. Shooting has begun.

The script isn't finished.

By this point Sorkin is too tired to be in an active state of panic, though that's clearly what the situation calls for. "They're shooting today and I'm not done," he says glumly. "My mind is turning to jello. My brain is not working the way I would like it to." So far he's gotten to Act 3, three-quarters of the way through the show.

Still, he resists calling on his staff of writers. He'll set pen to paper, and fingers to keyboard, and see what comes out.

"Art Meets Politics"
by Sharon Waxman
March 8, 2000
Washington Post

"I had done some impromptu lip-synching in my trailer that Aaron happened to be privy to," says [Allison] Janney, "and he wrote that into an episode. I'm kind of shy, but the more he gets to know me, the more I see familiar things in my character."

"Allison Janney: a Towering Figure"
by Frazier Moore
August 7, 2000
Associated Press

[Aaron] Sorkin, who is white, also admits he was surprised by the hate mail that came after he arranged an impromptu "walk and talk" scene last season in which Zoey and Charlie kissed. Developed on the fly to add 45 seconds to an episode, the scene draw a few ugly letters that turned the executive producer's head.

"Frankly, the most surprising thing . . . is that these people were watching our show and not WWF Smackdown!," he said, scorn rising in his voice. "In my world, such ([interracial] romances) are not particularly noteworthy. Having said that, I created an extreme case to remind us that it's not completely irrelevant."

"Too subtle for the small screen"
by Eric Deggans
February 26, 2001
St. Petersburg Times

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