West Wing Essay, Research Paper
The popular television show The West Wing along with being very entertaining, shows many of the political procedures that occur in the Whitehouse. The show is based around Martin Sheen, the President of the United States, and the rest of the cast, which makes up his advisory committee and his cabinet. After watching a few episodes of the program I have realized how well the show reflects the interaction between the executive branch of the United States and the press, political action committees, and attempts to have legislation passed by congress.
The West Wing is primarily consists of problems which need to be solved by New Hampshire democrat Josiah Bartlet; The President of the United States. President Bartlet cannot solve all these problems on his own; he relies heavily on his staff. In one episode news had broke into the press about a piece of legislation that the president refused to have passed. It was a bill that mirrored that of affirmative action. C.J. Cregg, played by Allison Janey, is the president s press secretary. She addresses the press before the President speaks at a conference. She is also involved in the briefing or coaching of President Bartlet. There are too many aspects of policy and procedure in which the press scrutinizes. The president counts on C.J. to help avoid a disaster publicly.
Deputy Chief of Staff John Lymann, played by Bradley Whitford, is the man behind the scenes who helps strategize the president s election and time while in office. He deals directly with many political action committees (PACs) that in the past had become large supporters of the president. In one episode the specific ness of political action committees was exaggerated. The president, in order to keep the campaign support and money from the PAC, was asked to meet wit the leaders of the wildlife federation PAC. This PAC was especially concerned with the migration patterns of a certain type of wild Canadian/northwestern wolves. The PAC was asking for over 4 million dollars from the federal government to make safe private wolf paths so they would be protected from cars and people. The president could not give this money to the PAC but was very promising that he would get something done for the committee.
In another episode I watched, one of the points focused around was getting a certain piece of legislation passed. Both the Deputy Chief of Staff John Lymann and Sam Seaborn, played by Rob Lowe, were fighting to get this bill passed in the senate. Lymann saw this bill as being able to help President Bartlet when reelection time roles around. Bartlet was more concerened with it being the right thing for the country. It showed how the president has many strong allies in the senate and many senators who oppose him. It shows the staff calling senators and somewhat lobbying to get the bill past. Eventually the bill was passed and all was well in the West Wing.
The television program The West Wing has many interesting and intriguing plots that reflect what is actively happening in the Whitehouse today. The show has been greatly acclaimed by many and is one of the most popular shows on NBC. In the few episodes I have seen, many topics were touched, specifically dealings with the press, political action committees and the passing of legislation. In is an entertaining way to show the political aspect of the Whitehouse.