"The Next Truthful Moment"
Rose tells Sorkin to give him "something" about the final episode. Sorkin mentions the death of Mrs. Landingham, and that part of the episode takes place at her funeral, but that there are all kinds of other things going on at the same time: unrest and violence in Haiti; Josh is trying to secure funding for the government's suit against Big Tobacco, but most importantly, it's the moment of truth for Bartlet, when he reveals to the American people that he concealed his MS and then must attend a massive press conference where he will be asked whether he will run for re-election and must give his answer. Rose commands an offscreen technician to "roll tape" a couple of times, and the Answer A/Answer B scene with C.J., Josh, Toby and Sam is shown. When we come back to the show, we find out that Whitford has left, as he had another obligation he had to fulfill. (I'll pause while the harem collectively whines, gripes, and mourns. That's enough. Now pull yourselves together and try to soldier on.) Rose, for no real good reason I can think of, overexplains Whitford's having to leave, mentioning that that was the reason for showing the clip, and expresses his hope that Brad will come back. I'm pretty sure it's nothing personal, Charlie, although maybe he got ticked off with the constant interruptions. I'm just saying. Sheen jokes, gesturing to Janney, "When you break again, she'll be gone." Aaron Sorkin makes a point of mentioning the cast members who could not be there: Rob Lowe, Janel Moloney, and Dulé Hill. There's minimal discussion of their prior commitments.
Rose asks what Sorkin thinks of criticism that The West Wing is a Democratic show and that it is a kind of homage to President Clinton. Sorkin states that the show was never meant to be the Clinton White House and that the characters were never meant to be the well-known staffers in that administration. "The only thing that C.J. and Dee Dee Myers share in common is that they're both women, so it's sort of insidious to say that C.J. must be Dee Dee Myers. I don't...other than Dee Dee, who I know a little bit from the show, I don't know those other people -- like, I couldn't write about them if I tried. I was writing about a fictional White House and still am. I don't think that television shows, or for that matter, songs or paintings or plays or movies, can be liberal or conservative. I think they can only be good or bad. I think that it's odd that Tom DeLay sometime last year attacked the show for being kind of anti-religious. I think that it's odd that conservatives -- and they do it far less now -- but kind of were troubled about the show. Here's a show with no gratuitous violence; no gratuitous sex; it celebrates our institutions; it's a Valentine to public service; the character of the President of the United States is a devout Catholic; he has kneeled down and prayed in the Oval Office....It seems to me they have come to California any number of times and begged us to put this show on the air. It seems to me what troubles them is that the show is populated with characters who, from time to time, disagree with them politically." Burn!