In a different conversation badly lit and shot from annoyingly far away, Woman In Blue Shirt (my sense is that I should know who she is; sorry) talks to C.J. about the fact that the First Lady apparently wore a Richard Tyler gown that sources say she accepted as a gift, when the ethics rules say she shouldn't have. Then, Carol comes in and gives C.J. a schedule. "You can't afford to ignore what even seems trivial," C.J. voices over. As she and Carol walk through what I guess is C.J.'s staff area (?), Carol says she has a call in to the First Lady's office, and they suddenly bump into Wilson Cruz (my God, Rickie, YAY!), who tells them that the minister's wife has a cold and can't make it to the podium. This apparently relates to the Ugandan business. But enough about Uganda -- it is all I can do not to stop right now and read nineteen consecutive My So-Called Life recaps. And then about a hundred other recaps from shows in PH. There's some great stuff hiding in there, you know. But don't go look now -- if you abandon me, I don't know what I'll do.
Now, we get a stirring anecdote about how one time, C.J. accidentally made a joke about dogs, and the press thought Bartlet hated dogs, and yeah, that was a really bad time for everyone. C.J. claims that there were stories for "weeks." As it turns out, there is great character development here in that C.J. used to have really appalling hair. NEXT!
Senior staff meeting. Josh, Donna, Toby, Leo. Lots of other people milling around, which they never are when we see meetings in Leo's office during the actual show, so...apparently the only meetings we've ever seen before are the unimportant ones. C.J. unfurls a string of clichés in an interview about "balls in the air" and so forth. In the meeting, Toby points out that the president is meeting with the Ugandan delegation. Toby's got a meeting on AIDS policy, blah dee blah.
Toby explains in an interview that he found C.J. working in PR when he was involved with a senatorial campaign in New York. Toby says that they were thirty-six points down when she came aboard, and thanks to her great work, they gained two or three points before losing. Hilarious. NOT. NOT NOT NOT. NOT! NEEEEEXT!
I am drowning in suck. Oh, won't someone please, please throw me a rope?
Back at the heavily populated meeting the likes of which we have never seen, chattering continues while FNG tells us that "the accelerated release of information is a concern of everyone." Except me. "They all have to consider how the message will play in the press," he says. That line was for all the regular viewers of this show who don't know that the White House staff considers how things will "play" in the "press." I know this show has sometimes been a little advanced, and I'm really grateful that they still offer the remedial class.