The West Wing Episode Guide -
Bookmark this Site


Original Airdate 03-26-03 Rerun 08-20-03

Previous Episode  ||  Season 4 Episode Index  |  Main Index  |  Season 4 Information Index  ||  Next Episode
Descriptions  |  Credits  |  Information Links  |  Awards  |  Media Quotes


It's Amy's first day as Abbey's chief of staff and she has quite a challenge: get the President to veto his own foreign-aid bill. (The Senate has inserted an antiabortion rider in it.) In environmental news, a college friend of Toby's (Jeff Perry) has an ethical problem involving the EPA; and a glacier in Alaska has melted, causing 14 flood deaths. And there's a social note: Zoey (Elisabeth Moss) is to be installed into the DAR at a White House fete. But Abbey's membership is being challenged because, it seems, her "qualifying" ancestor was a pirate ("a privateer, actually," as C.J. puts it).
From NBC:
Abbey (Stockard Channing) is upset when an anti-abortion rider is attached to a foreign aid bill and asks Amy (Mary-Louise Parker) to work behind the scenes to torpedo the President's (Martin Sheen) proposal while Toby (Richard Schiff) gets in a legal bind when an ex-classmate (Jeff Perry) turns whistle-blower on a lawbreaking chemical company. Meanwhile, the Daughters of the American Revolution wants to disown Abbey when they learn that her distant relative was more pirate than patriot.
From Warner Bros.:
Upset because an antiabortion provision has been attached to a foreign aid bill, Abbey asks Amy (Mary-Louise Parker) to secretly help defeat the bill, which was proposed by Bartlet. Meanwhile, Toby gets into legal trouble when a former classmate exposes a lawbreaking chemical company. Also, members of the Daughters of the American Revolution want to reject Abbey when they learn that her distant relative was more of a pirate than a patriot.


Stockard Channing as Abbey (Abigail Ann) Bartlet M.D. First Lady
Dulé Hill as Charlie (Charles) Young Personal Aide to the President
Allison Janney as C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg Press Secretary
Joshua Malina as Will (William) Bailey Deputy Communications Director
Janel Moloney as Donna (Donnatella) Moss Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff
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
Mary-Louise Parker as
Amy (Amelia) Gardner FLOTUS' Chief of Staff
Guest Starring    
Jeff Perry as Burt Ganz Whistle-Blower
Elisabeth Moss as Zoey Patricia Bartlet Bartlets' youngest daughter
Trent Ford as Jean Paul FULL NAME Zoey's Boyfriend
Amanda Carlin as Hillary Toobin Hydroclimatologist
Benjamin Brown as Mike Wayne Associate Counsel
Nathan Anderson as Matthew "Matt" Lambert Heidi Choat's Date
Andrea Savage as Heidi Choat at DAR event
Helen Slayton-Hughes as Marion Cotesworth-Haye of Marblehead / DAR member
Devika Parikh as Bonnie Communications' Aide
Kim Webster as Ginger Assistant to Communications' Director
Steven Hack as Hendricks Paul (first name) / in Leo's meeting
Gregory Linington as Don Novak Kierney-Passaic Lawyer
Eric Lemler as Nat Intern
Ivan Allen as Reporter Roger Salier
Christopher Carroll as Thomas (last name) /
Marion Cotesworth-Haye's Secretary
Robert Noble as Steward  
Michael J. London as Usher  

Information Links



Emmy Awards

Submitted for consideration after Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nomination by
Stockard Channing

Media Quotes

It's not likely you're going to hear a strong pro-life argument on the show. I have trouble getting to it; I really do. But it's possible that what you will hear on the show is that not all people who are pro-life can fit into this mean-spirited shoebox that we tend to ... - Aaron Sorkin

"A Few Good Stories"
by Paris Barclay
February 13, 2001
The Advocate

It is an urban legend that Alaska has warmed so much, so fast. No matter how much the Alaskans try to debunk it, it lives on, most recently in the fevered imagination of West Wing scriptwriters.

Last summer, The New York Times ran a story quoting unnamed "federal sources" who said Alaska had warmed seven degrees in 30 years. Then it ran an editorial denouncing the U.S. government's apparent indifference to this calamity.

The Alaskan Climate Research Center (ACRC) contacted the paper and gave it data showing no such warming had taken place. The mean temperature rose about 2.4F (about 0.4C per decade) in the 1971-2000 period. The entire increase occurred in one jump in 1976-77, probably due to a circulation realignment in the Pacific Ocean. A temperature index formed using data from Fairbanks, Anchorage, Nome and Barrow (the "FANB" index) shows, if anything, a slight cooling trend since 1979.

The Times was never able to identify a source for its claim, and it printed a retraction, sort of. It did find a scientist who figured that if you look in the right places and pick an earlier start and end date you could get a mean increase of maybe 5.4 degrees over a 30 year span. In its retraction, the Times' fudged the point a bit, saying Alaska's mean temperature went up 5.4 degrees, rather than seven, over the past 30 years.

The ACRC responded again saying that no, this is still wrong. It posted a map showing the record of all their weather stations for the 1971-2000 interval. In the accompanying text it states: "There is not a single first-class weather station in all of Alaska, which reported 5F temperature increase for the last three decades." The highest increase, 4.2 degrees, was at Barrow. One of the lowest (1.7F) was at nearby Kotzebue.

The Times dropped the story, but it has now resurfaced on the West Wing, where earnest White House staffers will no doubt run with it for a few weeks, hoping to bludgeon the oil industry and kill a few thousand jobs in oil-producing states like, say, Alaska. Once they've moved past this plot line, the seven-degree-warming-in-30-years claim will surely pop up again somewhere, but hopefully not in the real West Wing.

"Prime time fiction"
by Ross McKitrick
April 16, 2003
National Post

For more information about this episode:
Continuity Guide to "The West Wing"
Previous Episode  |  U.S. Flag Main Index 4 Cast Season 4 Episode Index U.S. Flag Season 4 Information Index  |  Next Episode