West Wing
A Proportional Response

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A Proportional Response

Josh pinches the bridge of his nose and declares, "You can't be mad at me for this, C.J." C.J. folds up her paper and says, "Really? Let's see if I can. Let's see if I can find it in me." Donna comes up behind Josh and says in a kind of dopey tone of voice, "Wait, she was here?" C.J. asks Donna to excuse them as Donna wonders, "How did I miss that?" Josh replies, "I don't know but you can kiss that raise goodbye." Donna leaves, reminding Josh that he has a senior staff meeting in five minutes. Josh closes the door and C.J. says incredulously, "A call girl? A call girl, Josh?" Josh makes a lame joke and C.J. asks if he grasps the seriousness of the situation. Josh asserts that he doesn't think it's all that serious, pointing out that Sam didn't know she was a call girl when he slept with her; he didn't pay her any money; he didn't witness, have knowledge of, or participate in anything illegal or unethical or immoral or suspect. C.J. listens to all this with that "oh really, Missy?" look your mother gives you when you explain how all your friends are allowed to sleep over at their boyfriends' houses. She shouts that "none of that matters on Hard Copy!" Josh tells her she's overreacting. (Tip for Josh: Never say that word to a woman who's mad at you. Especially if there's the remotest chance that she's right.) C.J. says, "Am I? As women are prone to do?" Josh replies that that isn't what he meant, and there's a bit of "did too/did not/did too":

Josh: You know what, C.J.? I really think I'm the best judge of what I mean, you paranoid Berkeley shiksa feminista! (Pauses.) Wow, that was way too far.
C.J.: No, no. Well, I've got a staff meeting to go to, and so do you, you elitist, Harvard, fascist, missed-the-dean's-list-two-semesters-in-a-row, Yankee jackass!
Josh: Feel better getting that off your chest there, C.J.?
C.J.: I'm a whole new woman.

Hee! (Although, I should probably be annoyed that it's okay to throw an insult at C.J. for being Gentile, when it seems highly unlikely C.J. would respond with an insult to Josh's Jewishness. Shiksa comes from the Hebrew word for blemish; it's not as neutral a word as a lot of goyim seem to think. ["I didn't know that." -- Wing Chun]) As they leave for the meeting, Josh says, "You look like a million bucks, by the way." C.J. snaps, "Don't try and make up with me." (I'd like to give her credit for knowing that the construction should be "try to," not "try and," but I listened to it a few times and it sounds more like "try and" to me, which is wrong. This moment of pedantry has been brought to you by the letter F and the number 0.) As they hustle off to the Oval Office, Josh says that he'll talk to Sam. C.J. says, "I'll talk to Sam." They run into Toby, and Josh asks him, "How was last night?" Toby responds: "The longest dinner of my life. The President was up from the table every five minutes, teeing off on Cashman and Berryhill. He's barking at the Secretary of State. He's scaring the hell out of Fitzwallace, which I didn't think was possible. He's snapping at the First Lady. He's talking about blowing up half of North Africa..." C.J. asks, "He's snapping at Mrs. Bartlet?" Josh tells C.J. that this may be a good time to tell POTUS about Sam and the call girl. Toby asks, "She knows?" C.J. confirms it: "I'm afraid I have that information, and I'll be in to see you, my friend, very shortly." Toby wonders, "How the hell did I get into trouble?" Josh: "Today? All you had to do was get out of bed."

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West Wing




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