Written by: Paul Redford & Aaron Sorkin, Directed by: Alex Graves
- Takes Place: April 29-May 1, 2002 (C.J.'s incoming email on Tuesday clearly says April 30, 02 - we might not have noticed except for a posting at TWoP West Wing Forum but when you think to look, it is clear)
- Broadcast: May 1, 2002
- Query: Did Saudi Arabia's religious police stop young girls from leaving a burning school?
- Query: Could a SR-71 take a picture during a routine flyover in the Gulf in 2002?
- Query: What were the three references to the Marx Brothers in this episode?
- Just before going out to a press conference C.J. is handed a news story on school girls in Saudi Arabia who were not allowed to leave a burning school since they weren't dressed properly enough for the "religious police". The Press asks her about the story and she tells them she just got it and hasn't had a chance to talk to anyone in the administration about it. When they continue to ask her if she isn't personally outraged, she finally calmly, quietly tells them what she really thinks:
- "Outraged? I'm barely surprised. This is a country where women aren't allowed to drive a car. They're not allowed to be in the company of any man other than a close relative. They're required to adhere to a dress code that would make a Maryknoll nun look like Malibu Barbie. They beheaded 121 people last year for robbery, rape, and drug trafficking. They have no free press, no elected government, no political parties. And the Royal Family allows the Religious Police to travel in groups of six carrying nightsticks and they freely and publicly beat women. But 'Brutus is an honorable man.' 17 schoolgirls were forced to burn alive because they weren't wearing the proper clothing. Am I outraged? No. . . . That is Saudi Arabia, our partners in peace."
- After these comments, C.J.'s level of hate mail: faxes, emails, etc. goes up substantially. And a series from one particular address include death threats. She's not all that concerned but Donna reads the first email from this person and calls Josh who notifies the Secret Service. The Secret Service takes the threat seriously but Ron Butterfield doesn't think it is a direct result of the comments C.J. made about Saudi Arabia.
- Elsewhere, Sam and the President are preparing for a summit with a newly elected President of Russia. And Toby is trying to arrange for a Russian journalist to cover the summit. Knowing that the new President of Russia doesn't want anyone from this paper to attend, Toby calls in an advisor from the State Department who is opposed to giving her credentials.
- "You realize," Toby tells him, "I am talking about a pencil and a pad of paper from which no one has ever died. . . ."
"Toby, this is like if they credentialed the Enquirer to cover the summit."
"If the Enquirer ever asked us, we'd credential them. Making sure the Enquirer can write whatever it wants is the only way I can be sure The New York Times is writing whatever it wants."
- After investigating, the Secret Service notifies the President about the threats against C.J. and he calls her in to tell her:
- "You're going to get Secret Service protection but I can't order it unless you sign this piece of paper. So sign this piece of paper."
"Sir, can I ask why you think this is necessary ---?"
"Because Ron says it is and around here we do whatever Ron says."
"Well, I think it might be an overreaction."
"Good for you. With all your years of training and experience in sniffing out crime, your opinion really carries a lot of weight with me."
"I don't want to appear fragile."
"Are you kidding? . . .We're talking about one bodyguard. I have 12 and that's before I leave the house. . . . Do I seem fragile to you?"
"No, Sir. . . . You're also not a woman in a man's job. To say nothing of the fact that you're required by law to be protected by the Treasury Department. You don't have a choice. . . ."
"I don't care. . . . You're part of my family and this thing is happening and I simply won't permit it. Sign the piece of paper. . . . Let me tell you something. The last time a member of my staff got a death threat, they missed him and hit me!" Still C.J. demands evidence and Ron shows her some that persuades her to sign the paper.
- The President has asked Leo to take care of something but he keeps wanting to also talk about a friend whose company has discovered a defect in 80 million chips it has sent out and needs to have a massive recall. Bartlet doesn't want to do anything that would set a precedent and he is worried because:
- "They were HUGE contributors!"
"Carelessness doesn't have to exist for a mistake to be made. . . ." Leo says. "Jake was a contributor and he's never asked for a favor, not even now. He was a contributor 'cause he knows us and we know him and we know that if a mistake happened in design or production at Antares, it wasn't shoddy; it wasn't on the cheap. You know how many chips have acted up so far? One. Dollars to donuts, he could have gotten away with it. But he wanted to warn people they may have a problem before --- I don't even know what happens when 80 million computers stop working right, but tell me this isn't exactly how we want American business to behave. I know it doesn't look good. He's a friend of ours. But there is a reason he's a friend of ours." --- Bartlet isn't persuaded but he agrees to look at numbers.
- Meanwhile, Charlie has expended quite a bit of effort tracking down an unusal letter the President received and finally comes to an unexpected conclusion and arranges a meeting to provide a long overdue photograph.
- A Secret Service agent is assigned to head a team of four agents so that one can be with C.J. at all times.
- ". . .from how far away can you do this?"
"I can respect a certain perimeter of privacy. . . . I don't need to see you naked or anything. . . . Though --- better safe than sorry is a bit of a motto with us. . . . You're the boss. . . ."
"You can't come in the Briefing Room."
"A crowded room where anyone can get credentials and you're up at the podium. No, I'm pretty sure I'll be there."
"This is what you meant by 'I'm the boss?'"
"Yeah, I guess that's more of an honorary thing. This guy isn't small-time, Ms. Cregg. You're being hunted. By the way, I can't guarantee anything except to say that if you're dead chances are, I am, too."
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