Take out the Trash Day
|"Take Out The Trash Day"|
|The West Wing episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Ken Olin|
|Written by||Aaron Sorkin|
|Original air date||January 26 2000|
|Season 1 episodes|
"Take Out The Trash Day" is the 13th episode of The West Wing.
A wide variety of unpleasant issues face the White House staffers on a busy Friday. The main problem comes from increasing calls for Leo McGarry to step down as Chief of Staff. A man named Simon, whom Leo says is his friend but whom the President feels is untrustworthy, proves the Commander-in-Chief correct when he pens an Op-ed essay calling for Leo to resign. However, Leo ends up being rescued by two separate twists of fate. The first one comes when Sam and Josh go to Capitol Hill and meet with Republican Congressman Bruno. Bruno offers a deal: if the White House shelves a controversial sex-education report, he'll stop investigating Leo. He lambastes Sam and Josh for behaving like children and reminds them to think about this the next time they're trashing all Republicans. Although C.J. is visibly unhappy at the trade off, the President goes ahead with it.
The other twist comes when an incompetent C-level advance man for the Vice President gets busted for using a Navy helicopter to play golf. The advance man, who formerly worked for the President's staff before being demoted, is about to be fired. But he leads Sam to a young staffer who admits she leaked Leo's record to the investigators. Sam fires her, but Leo later talks to her and tells her about his own father's alcoholism and subsequent suicide. In a moment of compassion, he rehires her.
C.J. and Mandy are handling the signing of a hate-crimes bill, but both are worried that the father of a murdered Minnesota teen might be against the bill because he was ashamed of his son's homosexuality. To their surprise, the father tells them he's not ashamed of his son at all--he's ashamed of the Bartlet administration's weak position on gay rights. Mandy recognizes he can't be allowed to speak to the press, for fear that he will openly criticize the administration. While C.J. initially says that he should be able to attend the signing, she realizes that Mandy is right and reluctantly uninvites him from the bill signing ceremony. Ultimately, the bill is signed into law with the father not in attendance.
Elsewhere, Toby has a great day as he convinces Congress to get over its nit-picking issues and appoint members to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Executive Board, and Donna puts together a shared "no comment" rule for the White House assistants before their paltry salaries become part of the public record.
The title refers to the Friday press briefing wherein the White House releases information about several sensitive stories, thereby preventing discussion and reducing any probable impact in the media.
Donna: What's take out the trash day?
Donna: I mean, what is it?
Josh: Any stories we have to give the press that we're not wild about, we give all in a lump on Friday.
Donna: Why do you do it in a lump?
Josh: Instead of one at a time?
Donna: I'd think you'd want to spread them out.
Josh: They've got X column inches to fill, right? They're going to fill them no matter what.
Josh: So if we give them one story, that story's X column inches.
Donna: And if we give them five stories ...
Josh: They're a fifth the size.
Donna: Why do you do it on Friday?
Josh: Because no one reads the paper on Saturday.
Donna: You guys are real populists, aren't you?
- The West Wing Episode Guide
- The West Wing Unofficial Continuity Guide
- "Sifting Through the Friday News Dump", NPR.org, June 30, 2005
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