West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Fourth Season Episodes * #418 "Privateers"
Bartlets Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet, Stockard Channing as First Lady Abigail Bartlet
NBC Photo: James Sorensen
Teleplay: Paul Redford & Debora Cahn and Aaron Sorkin, Story: Paul Redford & Debora Cahn, Director: Alex Graves
Broadcast: March 26, 2003
Query: Did the Yale Diploma Amy was trying to hang in her new office look like a real Yale Diploma?

President Bartlet, deeply asleep in the Residence, is awakened by the phone.
"Mr. President, it's 6 am," a voice says over the phone line.
"Oh, okay. I didn't ask for 5?"
"You did, Sir, and the First Lady changed it to six."
"She's allowed to do that?" When the person on the phone doesn't have an answer, Bartlet decides to take it up with his wife who has come in after working out. The Bartlets discuss that and other things before breakfast arrives.
During breakfast, the President tells Abbey, "Foreign Ops came out of mark-up.... [with] an amendment.... stipulating that Foreign Ops dollars wouldn't go to any overseas clinics that counsel abortion...."
"...It's not that the money can't go to clinics that perform abortions. It's that it can't go to clinics that TALK about abortion.... you sent 11,000 U.S. troops to Kunhdu because in your inauguration you told us that we were for freedom of speech everywhere....What the hell kind of free world are you running?"
"I don't know, Abbey. The day hasn't started yet."

Meanwhile Josh is briefing Leo on a glacier melt in Alaska:
"Last night at 3:45 am Battle Tree Lake burst through its natural dam in what's known... as a 'glacial lake outburst'... a rushing river of ice and water and rock --- it's about 300 ft wide and it's sweeping through Kachadee which is a town on one of the sides of the lake."

After Leo agrees to get the President briefed on this emergency, Josh leaves and runs into Will who has a question for Josh,
"...I was just going to ask you if by any chance the First Lady is a distant relative of a pirate."
"Somebody call?"
"Boston Globe."
"...Talk to C.J." Then as C.J. enters, he calls out to her, "He got called by the Globe about Captain Feathersword."
"...The Globe got a call," Will explains to C.J. "from Mrs. Marion Cotesworth-Haye of Marblehead who has denounced Mrs. Bartlet's membership in the DAR.... Mrs. Cotesworth-Haye says that Mrs. Bartlet's qualifying ancestor is Thomas Broome Westergill, a pirate."
"He wasn't a pirate," says C.J. " He was a privateer."
"He was a professional pirate."
"Yes, but he worked for us and he was hired by the fathers of the Daughters of the American Revolution."
"...Mrs. Cotesworth-Haye... [is] organizing a boycott of the White House reception of the DAR." Will and C.J. decide to turn this over to Amy on her first day as Chief of Staff for the First Lady.

An old roommate of Toby's stops in to say he wants to become a whistle blower and report on the polluting (with highly carcinogenic toxins) of the company he is now working for which is sending him to lie to Congress. Meanwhile, Charlie tells Will,
"I got a 'Dear John' letter from Zoey. She's breaking up with me again. An email. It's a 'Dear John' email from my ex-girlfriend. This is going to be a high self-image day for me."
"Why is she breaking up with you again?"
"I make Jean-Paul uncomfortable. They've had a talk."
"So it's really your ex-girlfriend on behalf of her new boyfriend who sent you a 'Dear John' email."
"Yeah, that makes it better.... Jean-Paul thinks it's unnatural. And he's the son of a Count."
"Oh, who isn't?"

After Josh calls in Mike from the White House counsel's office it turns out that Toby's old roommate has roped Toby and Josh into a delicate position that Josh missed when Toby first told him what this whistle blower wanted to do.
"...you'll go to jail as a co-conspirator," Mike tells Josh.
"I don't understand. All I did was get up in the morning." Josh pauses then turns to Toby and continues, "Then I got a message to come see you,"
"How come he knows about the rule that says ---"
"Everybody knows that."
"Was something on your mind that moment in law school when they taught that rule? Were you distracted by a bumblebee?" Toby is a bit annoyed at Josh for not picking this up earlier.

Leo has a problem. A hydroclimatologist named Hillary Toobin has become convinced that the disaster in Alaska happened because of global warming. But at least 14 people died. He tells C.J. and Will
"We can't politicize it."
"We have to politicize it, it's politics."
"It's disrespectful."
"It is and we'll have to say so."
"Is Hillary Toobin ready to get publically scolded by the White House?"
"She is. She'll call for a 25% decrease in emissions over the next ten years and you'll reprimand her for politicizing the tragedy."
"What do you think," Leo asks Will.
"I think that's right but I think I should do it."
"You don't want to do this."
"I really don't but I don't think a researcher at Interior is going to jump start this the way you need."

Later that night as the President and the First Lady prepare for bed, the President hears a news cast which says,
"The White House is doing some quick backpedaling today claiming Deputy Communications Director Will Bailey was not speaking for the President when he said the flooding and deaths in Kachadee, Alaska were caused by quote reckless disregard for the issue of global warming....
"Will's a good boy."
"He fell on it?" Abbey asks. Then later she tells her husband. "I want to contribute is all. Like Will tonight screwing up on purpose."
"We don't need to ask you to screw up, Abbey, you do it ---"
"I'm not kidding around...."
"...The German thinker Max Weber said that politics is 'the slow boring of hard boards and anyone who seeks to do it must risk his own soul'.... It means that change comes in excruciating increments to those who want it. You try to move mountains --- it takes lifetimes...."
"Are you getting up at six tomorrow?"
"No, I have to get up early."

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