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"Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc"

Original Airdate 09-29-99 Rerun 12-29-99

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Bartlet (Martin Sheen) chooses a young Naval officer (Reuben Santiago-Hudson) as his personal physician; Cregg tries to get a point across to the Vice President (Tim Matheson); after informing his colleagues about his liaison with a call girl, Seaborn (Rob Lowe) returns to the place where they met.
From NBC:
Despite warnings from fellow office workers, infatuated White House staffer Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) presses his luck when he continues to publicly pursue a high-priced call girl (Lisa Edelstein) with whom he shared a night of passion. Press secretary C.J. Cregg (Allison Janney) tries to defuse a potentially nasty public clash between the President (Martin Sheen) and his willful Vice President (Tim Matheson) concerning the Veep's quotes about a bill favored by the chief executive. Exasperated political consultant Mandy Hampton (Moira Kelly) drowns her troubles when her only client ignores her advice and agrees to bottle up a key bill in committee that could have been costly for the President if put to a vote. The President forges a kinship with a young African-American Navy captain (Reuben Santiago-Hudson) who's substituting for his regular White House physician - so much, in fact, that he asks him to assume the position on a full-time basis.


Rob Lowe as Sam (Samuel Norman) Seaborn Deputy Communications Director
Moira Kelly as Mandy (Madeline) Hampton Public Relations Consultant
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
Reuben Santiago-Hudson as
Captain Morris Tolliver M.D. Naval Officer / President's Physician
Guest Starring    
Lisa Edelstein as Laurie (Brittany Rollins) Call Girl / Law Student
Merrin Dungey as Daisy Reese last name from script
Renee Estevez as Nancy Mrs. Landingham's Assistant
John Bedford Lloyd as Senator Lloyd Russell Mandy's client
Janel Moloney as Donna (Donnatella) Moss Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff
Suzy Nakamura as Cathy Assistant to Deputy Communications Director
Tim Matheson as Vice President John Hoynes  
Kathryn Joosten as Mrs. Landingham President's Secretary /
Delores (first name)
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
Gilles Savard as Larouche spoke French
Bill Duffy as Staffer Larry
Jana Lee Hamblin as Bobbi Reporter
Victor Love as Mike Reporter
Andy Umberger as Stevie Vice President's Chief of Staff
Rose Rollins as Suzanne  
Robyn Pedretti as Candy Aide to the Vice President
J. August Richards as Bill  
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
Peter James Smith as Ed Congressional Liaison
Mary Kay Wulf as Janet  
Tammy Tavares as Woman  
Chuti Tiu as Woman #2  
Steven M. Gagnon as Officer #1  
Eric Fleeks as Officer #2  
Chris Hendrie as Businessman  
Paul Doherty as Aide #1  
Neal Moran as Aide #2  
Bradley James as Secret Service Agent Donnie
Brad Van Grack as Pedestrian  

Information Links


Media Quotes

"As a writer, I don't like to answer questions until the very moment that I have to. In the second episode, we find out our president was a three-term congressman, two-term governor and Nobel laureate. ... That's not something I jot down on a legal pad. It comes up naturally as you explore the episodes." - Aaron Sorkin

"The brains behind the shows"
by Eric Deggans
August 17, 1999
St. Petersburg Times

Day 1 Tuesday, July 27, [1999] 8:30 A.M.

Deep inside the West Wing of the White House, in communications director Toby Ziegler's office, Ziegler's deputy, Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe), is nervously telling him about (what else?) a sex scandal. But this one doesn't involve the president - it involves the deputy himself. "About a week ago," Seaborn confesses, "I accidentally slept with a prostitute." Ziegler (Richard Schiff) is unamused. "What did you do, trip?" he asks, demanding to know who else is aware of the indiscretion, which could have consequences extending far beyond the labyrinthine White House corridors. "Cut!" yells director Thomas Schlamme, ending the first scene on the first day of shooting ...

Stepping from behind the monitor on which he has been watching the action, Schlamme walks onto the set to show Lowe how he wants the actor to pick up the cover of a glass jelly-bean dish on Ziegler's desk. "Reach for it like this," the director says, demonstrating the motion, then inadvertently slamming the glass top back down so hard that it shatters. "See? Acting isn't so easy," quips Lowe, as crew members freeze, unsure how Schlamme will react. ... "Top department?" he calls out, laughing, to the relief of the crew.


NBC is worried about the leftish leanings of the pilot, in which the president dramatically berates members of the religious right. Thus, during these all-important first hours of shooting, the notoriously hands-on Sorkin is absent from the set - he's being grilled on these issues by network executives.


Although Sorkin is at NBC headquarters, he is present here in spirit - in the form of a three-man mariachi band he hired to serenade the cast outside the sound stage upon their 2 p.m. return from lunch. "Did Aaron do this?" asks Bradley Whitford (deputy chief of staff Josh Lyman) before grabbing Allison Janney (press secretary C.J. Cregg) for a dance in the street. Says Janney, "I'd do anything for Aaron."


At 3:30 p.m., when he [Aaron Sorkin] steps onto the set for the first time, he finds Schlamme busy explaining to Lowe, Janney, Whitford, Schiff, and John Spencer (Leo McGarry, chief of staff) the movement he wants to see in a scene that takes place inside the chief of staff's office. Sorkin watches them work for a minute before blurting, "I've rewritten this. You should get the pages in about an hour. It doesn't change that much, but some of the lines are different." Cast members exchange furtive glances at Sorkin...

Four hours later, Lowe, Janney, Whitford, Spencer, and Schiff are still inside the chief of staff's office as Schlamme seeks the perfect take. As it nears 8 p.m., patience is wearing thin. "Is it too late for me to get back into features?" asks Lowe, ... "This is breaking my balls."

Sensing the tension, Schlamme jokes, "That's right. I want an uncomfortable, mean f---ing set." "Then why don't you get James Cameron to direct?" says his director of photography. Finally, at 8:30 p.m., Schlamme gets what he needs. "And cut!" he says. "That's a wrap. See you all tomorrow."

Day 2 Wednesday, July 28, [1999] 9 A.M.
Because AFTRA, the TV-actors' union, requires a 12-hour break between shooting days, things start slightly later today back in the chief of staff's office, where Schlamme is shooting what is known as "coverage."

Day 3 Thursday, July 29, 9 A.M.
Shooting resumes on Sound Stage 19, with a scene that takes place in the deputy chief of staff's office. In the scene, Seaborn tells Lyman that he wants to phone the prostitute again because, "She's not what you think."Despite his cram session yesterday, Lowe is fumbling his lines and becoming increasingly frustrated. "F--- me!" he yells, after blowing a line for the second time in a row. This throws the rhythm off for Whitford, who begins missing his lines.
Finally, at 3 p.m., after nearly 20 takes, Schlamme gets what he needs, and the cast and crew break for lunch.

At 4:30 p.m., back inside Sound Stage 19, Schlamme resumes shooting the scene involving Lowe and Whitford's discussion about the prostitute. The scene is so familiar by now that even crew members are mouthing the words.

"Politically Correct"
by Julian Rubinstein
October 1999
US Magazine

Aeden Babish, an assistant writer for the series, claims that Yeshiva University was selected randomly for the text, and that this "does not necessarily express negative sentiments toward your University...but let's face it you're not exactly known for your sports program."

"Yeshiva University Goes Prime Time"
by Commentator Staff
November 1, 1999
Yeshiva University Commentator

He then said that it wasn't a problem until the second episode, when Sam wants to go off and find Laurie and reform her, and Rob came to Aaron and said (Aaron starts a perfect Rob Lowe impersonation), "'Oh, oh no, We can't do this! We can't!' I said to Rob, 'You just did the episode where you actually SLEPT with her'. did you forget that scene?"

Posted at
by Jenn
September 26, 2000
Message 6797
Notes from the Harvard Law School Forum with Aaron Sorkin

"I was supposed to recur, but after Moira got the job at the White House, I somehow disappeared. I'm lost in the halls of the West Wing somewhere." - Merrin Dungey

"Dungey Jumping"
by Bruce Fretts
November 16, 2001
Entertainment Weekly

"[Creator] Aaron Sorkin [modeled their relationship on] the dynamic that Jack Kennedy had with Lyndon Johnson," Matheson tells TV Guide Online. "Johnson had a bit of an outsized ego and Kennedy had his group of intellectuals, and they were just different. Johnson didn't feel he was being utilized enough; I think Hoynes feels the same way. He was the majority leader of the Senate and like all senators, he feels he could be president and should be!" - Tim Matheson

"West Wing VP Disses Cable Talkers"
by Daniel R. Coleridge
July 17, 2002
TV Guide Online

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