West Wing
War Crimes

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Deborah: B | 1 USERS: B+
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In For A Penny, In For A Pound

Out in the hall, Sam runs into Donna, who's just returned. He asks her how the deposition went, and she says it went fine. She clearly doesn't want to chat or get into details, and asks where Josh is. Sam pedegeeks alongside her, saying, "You know the only thing pennies interact with are those coin-wrapping machines people buy to get rid of pennies? Which kind of proves the point." Donna wants to know what point it proves. He doesn't know. He leaves as Donna sees Josh. She looks like she has to tell him she's knocked up. She walks over to him and says she needs to talk to him in his office. He closes the door and asks, "What happened?" She says, "I was asked if I keep a diary, and I said no, only I do keep a diary." He asks why she said she didn't. She says she doesn't know. Josh asks, "What do you mean, you don't know?" She says nothing in it is relevant. He asks whether there's anyone else on the witness list who knows she keeps a diary. Donna replies, "There's nobody who knows I keep a diary except the thing is...Cliff saw it." Well, and now Josh knows, and has he been deposed yet? She explains that Cliff told her he saw the diary when he was in her apartment. Josh is speechless. He walks toward his desk. Donna says, "I swear it wasn't premeditated, and nothing in it was mater--" Josh: "You don't get to decide that! You don't get to decide what's material and what isn't, Donna!" She asks him to please keep his voice down. He continues, at a slightly reduced volume, "This is how it happens: they got nothing on the President with MS, they're trolling, then you go in and hand them a..." Donna: "I know." Josh: "You were subpoenaed! You were under oath! You answer the damn questions!" Donna: "I screwed up." Josh, loudly: "You think?" He sits down in his chair and puts his head in his hands. Donna asks quietly, "What should I do?" Josh tells her firmly, "Do nothing. Do absolutely nothing." She looks distressed and leaves. From the look on Josh's face, we can tell his wheels are whirring.

Toby arrives at the Mess, where the staffers have assembled as requested. We can hear their chatter as he's walking toward the hallway. Everyone quiets down as he enters. I'm expecting him to go gazebo on their asses, but instead, he takes a different tack. He hesitates before starting, as if he's not entirely sure how to begin, and then says, "There's an old saying: 'Those who speak, don't know; and those who know, don't speak.' I don't know if that's true or not, but I know by and large the press doesn't really care who knows what as long as they've got a quote. Last Friday, we had our Week Ahead meeting in the Roosevelt Room. Some of you were there, most of you weren't, but I'm talking to all of you now. Bruno Gianelli and I were leading a discussion about whether or not the President should stop in Kansas on his way back from the West Coast, and I remarked that the Vice-President is polling better than the President right now in the Plains states." Sam pops in at the back of the room to listen. Toby continues, "And that if the President is re-elected, it's going to be on the Vice-President's coattails. That remark made its way to a White House reporter. We're a group." He chuckles mirthlessly. Toby has a lot of call to do that. "We're a team. From the President and Leo on through, we're a team. We win together, we lose together, we celebrate and we mourn together. And defeats are softened and victories sweetened because we did them together. And if you don't like this team...then, there's the door." He lets that sink in. "It's great to be in the know. It's great to have the scoop, to have the skinny, to be able to go to a reporter and say, 'I know something you don't know.' And so the press becomes your constituents and you sell out the team. So, an item will appear in the paper tomorrow, and it will be embarrassing to me and embarrassing to the President. I'm not going to have a witch hunt. I'm not going to huff and puff. I'm not going to take anyone's head off." Damn. Those things are a lot more interesting than these fatherly expressions of quiet disappointment. He concludes, "I'm simply going to say this: you're my guys. And I'm yours...and there's nothing I wouldn't do for you." He gets up and walks out, leaving them to look sad and shameful.

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West Wing

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