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Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Original Airdate 05-10-00 Rerun 09-06-00

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While the staff awaits the results of a poll on the President's popularity, Joey Lucas (Marlee Matlin) and Josh don't see eye-to-eye on an issue, and Sam's friend graduates from law school.
From NBC:
While President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and his staff nervously await the results of a poll to determine his favorability rating, he begins a heady transfer of ambassadors and members of the Federal Election Commission designed to kickstart campaign finance reform and defuse an embarrassing incident overseas. Specifically, wheeler-dealer Bartlet recalls the married ambassador to Bulgaria (Lawrence Pressman) who is discovered to be romancing the daughter of the country's Prime Minister, but faces another crisis at home when Sam (Rob Lowe) is photographed by a newspaper giving a graduation gift to known call girl (Lisa Edelstein). Meanwhile, C.J. (Allison Janney) anxiously paces the White House corridors and wonders if she is being marginalized by Leo (John Spencer) for past mistakes. In addition, Josh (Bradley Whitford) clashes with opinionated pollster Joey (Marlee Matlin).


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
Marlee Matlin as
Joey (Josephine) Lucas Pollster
Guest Starring    
Lisa Edelstein as Laurie (Brittany Rollins) Call Girl / Law Student
Timothy Busfield as Danny (Daniel) Concannon (Washington Post) Reporter
Thom Gossom Jr. as Ted Mitchell friend of the President
David Huddleston as Senator Max Lobell Republican
Janel Moloney as Donna (Donnatella) Moss Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff
Austin Pendleton as Barry Haskel FEC Commissioner
Lawrence Pressman as Ken Cochran Ambassador to Bulgaria
Reiko Aylesworth as Janeane Laurie's Friend
Renee Estevez as Nancy Mrs. Landingham's Assistant
Bill O'Brien as Kenny Thurman Sign Language Interpreter
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
Devika Parikh as Bonnie Communications' Aide
Kim Webster as Ginger Assistant to Communications Director
Kris Murphy as Katie Witt (last name) / Reporter
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
Justin Colvin as Rodney Dress Marine
Sherry Houston as Dan Larson Attorney General
Conrad Bachmann as Ken (Kenneth) Kato Treasury Secretary
M.G. Mills as Rob Konrad CIA Director
Bruce Wright as Ross Kassenbach FEC Commissioner
Peter James Smith as Ed Congressional Liaison
William Duffy as Larry Congressional Liaison
Don Chastain as Reporter #2  

Information Links



Emmy Awards

Submitted for consideration for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Win by
Allison Janney

Media Quotes

A small item appears about an open ambassadorship to the Federated States of Micronesia. Maybe Sorkin's West Wing needs a man there, too--if anyone can find it. "Why not?" Sorkin asks. "We need an episode next week."

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

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

[This] show, for example, where they fired an ambassador to make room for somebody else they wanted to move into that slot so they could hire somebody else in a third position, that happens often. I've been a part of those kinds of things myself, but it never happens in the White House. The president never does the dirty work himself, and the public never hears about it. But the show was able to dramatize that.


They had the president fire an ambassador and then hire a person off the Federal Election Commission to be the ambassador, so they could get an open slot on the Elections Commission for somebody else they wanted. Well, the president wouldn't get involved in that in reality. He would make the decisions to do it, but no one would ever see it. But it's exactly how the White House works. I think that's the great value of this show. It shows how the presidency works.


For example, if a president of another country calls up our State Department and says, "I don't like your ambassador. The guy just rubs me the wrong way," well, they'll find a way to get rid of him, but he's not going to be fired. It's not going to be a scene where anybody will ever know, the press and the public will never know, but that guy will suddenly be given another post, and we'll get a new ambassador. That happens quite a bit. - Marlin Fitzwater

"Popular Politics"
by Terence Smith
September 8, 2000
Online NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

Sorry about the "Sing a song"/"Got it wrong" joke. I'm surprised Marlee didn't smack me as she usually does in those situations. - Aaron "Benjamin" Sorkin

Posted at Forum
by Aaron "Benjamin" Sorkin
February 21, 2001

"The day after I won the first Emmy was one of my favorite days professionally and psychologically. Most actors are self-deprecating. We think someone will discover 'I'm not talented.' So psychologically, having that Emmy that day was a release. And I now permanently have a title: 'Four-time Emmy winner Allison Janney.' Hopefully, when this run (on "West Wing") is over, that will get me some respect as well as my next job. There are also jokes to be had from the Emmy. When you're on the set and the director is giving you notes, you can pull it out and say, 'Excuse me?"' - Allison Janney

"Waxing About the Award's Impact"
by Lee Alan Hill
May 2, 2005
Television Week

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