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mrs. norman maine

You know what was more than annoying about the Dr. Laura scene? His rhetoric was taken almost word-for-word from an e-mail that had been going around for months, if not longer, by then. The old, "I worked in my garden on Sunday; should I be stoned as it says in the Bible?" routine.

Maybe there's an explanation -- Sorkin had uncharacteristically written a script way in advance and decided to use part of it as chain mail? -- but otherwise it strikes me as a shocking bit of plagiarism.


I didn't know that. Now I'm bugged even more.

mrs. norman maine

I found the skinny on this on snopes, which includes the original letter and discusses the West Wing at the end.

Here's the bit about West Wing, although it doesn't say if there was any attribution to the column in the show's credits:

"October 2000 was not Dr. Laura's month. A few weeks after she issued her apology, a version of the "Letter to Dr. Laura" was incorporated into the 18 October episode of the political television drama The West Wing. In "The Midterms," President Bartlet used his own detailed knowledge of the Bible to make a Schlessinger-esque character named Jenna Jacobs look ridiculous."


Excellent link, Mrs M. Thanks.

I had forgotten exactly what Bartlet said to his Dr Laura but I've actually received that letter myself, a number of times, from friends and relations, and that explains why it's always seemed so familiar.


Valid points all regarding the show; still, I'm with Mrs. M. on this one, for The West Wing is still about as good as network drama gets. And regarding "Dr." Laura, I don't give a damn where Sorkin drew his inspiration--she's a mean-spirited creep and deserves every brickbat that finds her noggin.


That's right, take her side. You always do.

See if you get any more post cards.

mac macgillicuddy

Face it, we're not in the demo anymore where lots of things TV are concerned. One word: "Lost."

mrs. norman maine

Kevin, while I at first thought *I* was the Mrs. M you were referring to, I have to admit that I agree with *you* about Dr. Laura.

While her power base seems to have vanished, I still think she was every bit as vicious and dangerous as Rush. Why anyone ever called into her show is beyond me.

As for West Wing, I am cautiously optimistic that it's rebounding this season. But that's something that Lance probably won't be able to weigh in on until reruns.

mac macgillicuddy

Mrs. M, I'm with you. I can't understand, either, why anyone who wasn't into SM would call her -- especially knowing that she was sure to blast them for being into SM.

As for the West Wing getting better this season, I'm optimistic, too. If I look worried it's because I'm not sure my optimism is justified.


mrs. norman maine

SM? Do you mean S&M? Picture me gasping and clutching my pearls.


I actually was pretty happy with CJ's promotion. While she was shielded from a lot of things, she also *wasn't* shielded from a lot of things; and quite unlike, say, Toby or Josh, she was very much a team player. She also came up with clever solutions to various binds the admin got themselves into. And, while she didn't usually have a direct hand in making policy, she had some input and had to report on all of it.

I'm much more upset with what they did to Leo's character (and to a lesser extent Josh's) after Sorkin left. Leo became a total jackass! Josh's snap evaluations of situations, which used to be startlingly blunt and almost always correct, are now startlingly blunt and almost always wrong. It's like he's the comic relief now. And Toby is if anything more bitter than ever.

Now that you mention it, I think Anna Deavere Smith would have made a good CoS too, although it would be seen as a direct mirroring of Condi Rice's elevation. And I suspect they wanted to jumble the core character relationships as little as possible. (Then again, based on this week's trailers, that guess might be entirely off base.)


While I agree with you on the absurdity of C.J. getting the job, the least you could have done is spell her last name correctly.


Sunuvgun! Big mistake! Thanks, Jeff. I fixed it.

mac macgillicuddy

When has a show "jumped the shark"?

When one of its main characters ends up flat in a stretcher on a 747 and an asteroid is heading for the planet.

BTW, Mrs. Maine, I guess I did mean S&M. At the time, my ampersand key was giving me trouble. Why are you gasping and clutchin at pearls?

The Heretik

Oy. I saw those asteroids headed for the Oval office and that guy's creepy voice over and I knew somewhere a shark was waiting for a jumpover. Oy. I used to watch The West Wing, but I have a hard time standing it. That Josh kid whom I presume we are supposed to identify as whitey righteous indignation is actually a just a putz.

And producer John Wells has thrown all the plots into the wind to fly wherever the ratings will take them.

As a student of myth, I like your Diana analysis of the CJ character and her appeal to middle aged former earth mamas who are now sisters just doing it for themselves. I see quite a bit of Juno in the Doctor Mrs DUI Bartlett. Not sure if your boy Sam was Apollo or Dionysius. Perhaps his appeal is a bit of both. Balance, as you said.

I like to think of Donna as Cassandra. But that's just me. Oy. Must stop watching TV shows before they turn into mere self congratulating TV shows, rather than the great cultural markers we know them to be. OY.


Great post - sorry, coming in late, but I absolutely am in the same frame of mind. I like Allison Janney, but the press secretary gets to be the CoS? Come on.

My favorite character has to be Toby - tilting at windmills all the time. If you want to see the actor in a really funny role, rent "GunShy" with Liam Nelson and Sandra Bollock. "Toby" is part of the group Liam's character sits in on. Very funny stuff.


Being a blonde myself I have to say I love this post...

watch friends online

this is so funny about the blonde. I just love the article.

watch friends online

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