1.20: Mandatory Minimums (with Kathleen York and Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson)

Kathleen "Bird" York (@birdyork) talks to us about playing Congresswoman Andrea Wyatt, and Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson (@karenaboutgary), former CEO of The National Association of Drug Court Professionals and current mayor of Gary, Indiana, talks to us about mandatory minimums.

footnotes —
Bird York's music: birdyork.com
National Association of Drug Court Professionals: allrise.org
"Gary, Indiana" from The Music Man: video
The Hamiltome 
Cabin scene from The Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera: video

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1.19: Let Bartlet Be Bartlet (with Under Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy)

This episode of the West Wing represents the lowest point so far for the Bartlet team, but perhaps the highest point so far for the series. Josh and Hrishi are joined by The Honorable Patrick Murphy (@USAMurphy), Under Secretary of the Army. While he was a Congressman from Pennsylvania, Secretary Murphy helped overturn Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

addendum —
We noted the unusual music cue (with its arpeggiated synthesizer part) at the end of the episode. Some astute listeners pointed out a musical similarity to the start of  "Baba O'Riley" by The Who, and others pointed out that the final chapter of the episode on the DVDs is called "Out Here in the Fields," a lyric from that song. (And also read that "Out Here in the Fields" was the working title of the episode.) So, we asked Music Supervisor Ann Kline if she remembered what the deal was. She said:

Oh, I DO remember. Aaron was listening to Baba O'Riley when he was writing that episode, and he wanted to license the song for the end scene. It was odd, because there is usually no problem licensing it, but the use was flat out denied. I never could get an answer on why. The show was still new, and Pete Townshend didn't know what it was yet. Aaron wasn't super disappointed though, he really thought Snuffy captured the feel he wanted.

When they couldn't get the rights to the song, the title must have changed to "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet." (Eventually, Aaron was able to use the song for another climactic moment — but in The Newsroom.) Thanks to Ann and all of our brilliant listeners for making the connection.

footnotes —
Let Reagan Be Reagan campaign button
Martin Sheen interview about director Laura Innes in TV Guide

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1.18: Six Meetings Before Lunch

The Good: a conversation about reparations; the Bad: Mandy and pandas; and the Ugly: Josh and Sam dancing (?) to “The Jackal.” Plus, a few words from West Wing music supervisor Anne Kline (@theannkline). 

footnotes —
“The Case for Reparations,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, in The Atlantic
“The Jackal,” by Ronny Jordan, featuring Dana Bryant (full song) 

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1.17: The White House Pro-Am

If you don't like this episode, just be wrong. Just stand there in your wrongness and be wrong and get used to it. Plus, Hrishi brings back a field report from the Democratic National Convention, with thoughts on The West Wing from former DNC CEO Amy Dacey (@AmyKDacey), Senator Chris Coons of Delaware (@ChrisCoons), and Zeke Miller of TIME (@ZekeJMiller).

Correction:
A couple astute listeners have pointed out that the "hundred years ago thing" is, in fact, a real book: When My Grandmother Was a Child, by Leigh W. Rutledge. The title and author are mentioned in the diner scene with Zoey and Charlie, but their dialogue overlaps with Gina saying some Secret Service stuff. Apologies for missing it.

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