West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Episodes * #102 "Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc"
Written bt Aaron Sorkin, Directed by: Thomas Schlamme
Takes Place: One week after the pilot (Sam slept with the call girl one week before)
Broadcast: September 29, 1999
White House ©2001-www.arttoday.com

Humor and how it can get one in trouble plays a part in this episode as when Toby says to, Mrs. Landingham, the President's secretary:
"Sarcasm's a disturbing thing coming from a woman of your age, Mrs. Landingham."
"What age would that be, Toby?"
Toby swallows hard while trying to think of a way out of this. Finally, he says, "Late 20s."
"Atta boy, Toby."
"Can I have a cookie?"
"No." Just then Sam walks up and she says, "Have a cookie, Sam,"

A few minutes later C.J., who's trying to put out a fire caused by a joke the President told, tells him:
"Sir this may be a good time to talk about your sense of humor."
"I've got an intelligence briefing, a security briefing, and a 90 minute budget meeting all scheduled for the same 45 minutes. You sure this is a good time to talk about my sense of humor?
"...It's just that this isn't the first time it's happened."
"...She's talking about Texas, Sir," Toby says.
"...USA Today asks you why you don't spend more time campaigning in Texas and you say 'cause you don't look good in funny hats."
"It was 'big hats'," Sam corrects her.
"...The point is we got whomped in Texas," she says.
"We got whomped in Texas twice," Josh adds.
"We got whomped in the primary and we got whomped in November."
"I think I was there."
"And it was avoidable. Sir."
"C.J. on your tombstore, its going to read, Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc."
"Okay, but none of my visitors are going to be able to understand my tombstone."
"Twenty-seven lawyers in the room, anybody know Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc," he asks. When no one answers, he calls on Josh like the professor he claims he has been. Josh fumbles with the little Latin he knows. The President calls out "Next!" but he gets no volunteers so he calls on the one person he knows would know. Leo hasn't volunteered, but when called on he translates:
"After it, therefore because of it."
"...It means," the President lectures, "one thing follows the other therefore it was caused by the other. But it's not always true in fact it's hardly ever true."

Sometimes the rows these people hoe are rough:
"This administration doesn't even need an opposition party, you know that? We do fine by ourselves," Toby says at one point.

And then they get rougher. The President's doctor and a dozen other Americans are shot down on their flight to Jordan, and Leo reports that intelligence is saying the order came from the Syrian Defense Ministry. The President calmly tells Leo:
"I am not frightened. I'm going to blow them off the face of the earth with the fury of God's own thunder."

For some additional conversations from this episode see:

For anyone interested in guest stars of this episode, let us recommend the West Wing Episode Guide.

28 Amendment
Don't miss Neal Rechtman's election thriller The 28th Amendment in which an actor
who portrays a fictional US President on television gets drawn into real-world politics
Previous SiteMap  Help Us  Home Next

Quotations & some other material copyrighted to John Wells Productions, et al.
Email westwing@bewarne.com to report mistakes, make comments, ask questions
(note: above email address doesn't reach anyone connected to the show itself).
An introduction to the BBC's "Blake's 7" (from Fantasy Empire), and
A guide to the 70's series "Kung Fu" are also available.