West Wing
The Black Vera Wang

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Never Look a Gift Moose in the Mouth

Josh is arriving for work for the day, and is interrupted by a kindly woman named Martha. She apologizes for bothering him, but there's some sort of problem. She tells him that they (whoever "they" are) have a record of Josh receiving a gift from the Finnish Office of Protocol -- that lovely moose jerky that he gave Donna. It turns out that the yummy Box of Bullwinkle has shown up on eBay. That's a major no-no. Josh almost admits that he gave the meat to Donna, but stops short before ratting her out and promises to take care of it. Martha thanks him.

Inside, Margaret and Donna are leading an impromptu gathering of assistants. Margaret tells them that The Washington Times (ew) will be printing their annual list of assistants' salaries. A staffer wonders how they get that information. Donna explains that they have to submit the numbers to a Postal and Treasury Subcommittee, and that information is generally leaked to the press by the opposition party. Wouldn't the information be public record anyway? Salaries of public servants generally are, although I believe the individual salaries of some assistants and lower-level workers aren't subject to Freedom of Information regulations. Margaret explains to them all that they were thinking that rather than speaking to the press and complaining about how little they get paid, they instead hold their tongues for a month and try to work it out with their respective bosses first. Everybody applauds and agrees. Donna tells them all that, no matter what the story may say, they should respond that it's a privilege to serve. One staffer is still confused that the press would care what the assistants make. Donna points out that, in this story, they'll be called "White House staffers," or "prominent Democrats with close ties to the president." I think that was a dig at The Washington Times. Good. Although, I would imagine the Times would present the salary of a Democratic president's staff to make them look overpaid, not the opposite.

As the assistants all head back to their jobs, Josh comes by to talk to Donna. He calls her "Jo-Jo," for some reason. He asks her if she tried the moose meat. She starts to lie that she's saving it for a special occasion, but Josh busts out that it's up to $180 on eBay. That's not very much for a White House gift, if you ask me. Josh says he doesn't understand why she would do such a thing, knowing that it's against the rules. Donna blurts that she gave the meat to an intern. She apologizes, but adds, "If I'm going to eat moose, there's going to have to be a prize at the end of it." Well, that was a pretty nice box. I'd eat moose if Sakai from Iron Chef prepared it. Josh asks who the intern is. Donna would rather not say, and promises to take care of it. Josh tells her to fire the intern, and walks away.

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West Wing

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