The West Wing Revisited: Take out the Trash Day

This episode covers “take out the trash day”, a Friday where the White House releases all the news stories that they don’t want to get too much attention (the idea being each of the stories will compete with the others, ensuring none get too much attention). As a result, there’s quite a few items in the public eye, but in the show’s cannon, none of them get too much attention.

First up: the President is signing anti-hate crime legislation, and the parents of the teenager killed in In Excelsis Deo are scheduled to attend the bill signing. They’re ultimately not around because a family commitment requires them to be back in Minnesota.

Congressional Republicans are making abstinence only education a requirement for an education bill being discussed. A report commissioned by the White House on sex-ed comes back, the White House is reviewing it. It’s not clear if the contents of the report would be public, but it says that abstinence-only education doesn’t work (big shock).

An advance man for the Vice President took a Navy helicopter to play a round of golf on the job. He’s fired.

The George Town Hoya (student newspaper) reports that Zoey’s (President Bartlet’s youngest daughter) sociology professor is teaching racist material. She drops the class.

Several senators are holding up Presidential appointments to the Board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The exact reason for refusing to confirm the appointees is never stated, but in my life I’ve seen nearly any political appointment you can imagine held up by the Senate, but never a director of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, so this feels like a story that might get some attention.

An editorial runs in the Washington Post by a leading Democrat saying that Leo McGarry should resign as Chief of Staff, because his continued presence is hurting the party. At the same time Congress chooses not to pursue hearings into Leo’s alcohol and drug abuse (it’s not clear if it would be announced they’re not pursuing them, or if they simply wouldn’t happen).