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Let Bartlet Be Bartlet

Original Airdate 04-26-00 Rerun 08-09-00 and 08-01-01

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Problems facing the staff include a memo criticizing the President that Mandy wrote while working for the opposition, plus meetings about gays in the military and campaign funding.
From NBC:
Rumors percolate about a scathing memo that outlines the weaknesses of President Bartlet's (Martin Sheen) administration for his political rival and grip the White House, until C.J. (Allison Janney) learns it came from one of the trusted staff. Now in someone else's possession, C.J. finally tracks it down to one reporter and tries to dissuade him from publishing it. Meanwhile, Sam (Rob Lowe) and Toby (Richard Schiff) meet with opposing military officers and congressmen to discuss amending the current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy towards gays in the armed forces. When two members of the Federal Election Commission resign, Josh (Bradley Whitford) sees opportunity and moves fast to meet with contentious senator's staffers to suggest that the President appoint two campaign finance reformers as replacements instead of those wanted by the Senate leadership. Leo (John Spencer) not only has trouble with the White House's faulty e-mail system, he confronts the President and issues a challenge that could define or destroy his administration.


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
John Amos as
Admiral Percy "Fitz" Fitzwallace Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Guest Starring    
Timothy Busfield as Danny (Daniel) Concannon (Washington Post) Reporter
Janel Moloney as Donna (Donnatella) Moss Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff
Paul Provenza as Steve Onorato Works for Senate Majority Leader
Renee Estevez as Nancy Mrs. Landingham's Assistant
Richard Penn as Blakely in Josh's meeting
Aaron Lustig as Jerry Graham in Josh's meeting
James DuMont as Major Thompson in Sam's meeting
Ted Marcoux as Major Tate in Sam's meeting
David Brisbin as Congressman Ken in Sam's meeting
Andy Buckley as Congressman Mike Satchel in Sam's meeting
Kathryn Joosten as Mrs. Landingham President's Secretary /
Delores (first name)
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
Kim Webster as Ginger Assistant to Communications Director
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
Charles Noland as Steve Reporter
Kris Murphy as Katie Witt (last name) / Reporter

Information Links



Emmy Awards

Submitted for consideration for Outstanding Drama Series Win

Media Quotes

Veteran actor Martin Sheen admits it took him a while to warm up to West Wing director Laura Innes.

For starters, Sheen had no idea that Innes had already made a name for herself playing ER's sassy Dr. Kerry Weaver when she signed on to direct NBC's White House drama. "But my wife sure knew who she was, and boy, did I get a beating for that," he tells TV Guide Online.

"My wife asked me who was directing, and I said, 'Some little girl. Hell, she looks about 14 years old, I don't know her name,' " recalls Sheen. "She looked at the call sheets and said, 'You a------! Laura Innes is directing! She's the best thing on ER, man. You'd better go back and behave yourself.' So I did what my wife told me, and I listened to everything [Innes] had to say."

Now Sheen has nothing but kudos for the 'little girl' who is directing him and his West Wing co-stars. He recalls one scene in which he and John Spencer were over doing it during a fight: "She let it go for about six or eight takes. And then she came in and began to take all the decorations away and said, 'Just go right to the heart and just make it personal.' I saw the scene get smaller and smaller, and by the end of the evening we were just looking at each other and talking the truth and responding. It was phenomenal what she did."

Innes seems pretty amused by Sheen's transformation. "So, Martin's wife is why he was so nice to me?" she asks us. "I guess I'll have to send her flowers or something."

"Martin Sheen's Change of Heart"
by Jeanne Wolfe
May 3, 2000
TV Guide Online

An unseen yet key character on recent episodes of NBC's The West Wing has been a woman named Patricia (second reference Patty) Calhoun, President Josiah Bartlet's (Martin Sheen) nominee for the Federal Election Commission.

Bartlet wants Calhoun on the commission because she'd be a key supporter of campaign finance reform.

Denver, of course, has a notable Patricia (Patty) Calhoun, the editor of Westword.

So did The West Wing use the name Patty Calhoun out of familiarity? Co-producer John Wells is a Denver native, and Aaron Sorkin, the series' creator and head writer recently was featured in an article in the journalism monthly, Brill's Content, as was Calhoun.

An NBC spokesman called the naming of The West Wing character "a remarkable coincidence."

So what would Denver's Patty Calhoun do if she were appointed to the Federal Election Commission?

"I would condense the presidential campaign to about a day," Calhoun says, adding that she'd also advocate some sort of televised, winner-take-all mud-wrestling event, with advertising revenues going to a worthy cause.

"Channel 9 studies 10 p.m. audience loss"
by Dusty Saunders
May 15, 2000
Rocky Mountain News

Is it strange to quote NBC characters at policy meetings?

A few weeks ago, I participated in a serious roundtable discussion at the University of Toronto's venerable Massey College. The subject was whether a guaranteed annual income could be a viable campaign for the left. A group of political theorists, economists and activists debated the question, divided over whether the idea was too pie in the sky.

Which is when the TV show came up. "Well, to quote a recent episode of The West Wing," one of the policy experts said, "we need to raise the level of debate in this country."

"Prime time's political sedatives"
by Naomi Klein
May 17, 2000
The Globe and Mail

"As president, just as in a marriage, you need one person who tells you the truth," says Sheen. "That is the thing between a president and a chief of staff." In the hands of Sheen and Spencer, friends off-screen as well, the relationship between these men can be both heartbreaking and heated; in one episode, McGarry shouts angrily at Bartlet about selling out the presidency for higher approval ratings. Sitting in his spacious office, John Podesta smiles when asked if he yells at the president. "I could," says Podesta mischievously. "I'm tough with the president, but I am never condescending. But if he's wrong, I'll fight him. And he's pretty good about accepting that. If he respects you, he expects you to fight."

"House Call"
by Mary Murphy
July 22, 2000
TV Guide (American edition)

Q: Do you and Martin Sheen ever have any interchanges about the differences in your height?

A: Martin's never made a comment about it. I can tell when men are threatened by my height, and they don't act like Martin does. But as C.J., when she stands near the president, she tries to look shorter. C.J. has a little problem with being taller than the president. And there are a couple of episodes where he says, "Are you taller than usual?" - Allison Janney

"Janney stands tall in drama's talented cast"
by Phil Kloer
October 4, 2000
Atlanta Journal Constitution

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