3.19: Enemies Foreign and Domestic

A correction: Eli Attie's teacher, Mrs Morello, is alive. A reminder: Paxton Whitehead, who played Bernard, is also alive. Josh and Hrishi discuss Russians being played by non-Russians, Tom Lehrer, and the Sorkinism of having nothing to do. Plus, to accompany the story of the letter that gets sent to the President, we're thrilled to present one of our favorite episodes of 99% Invisible, “Ten Letters to the President.” It’s a perfect companion for this episode of The West Wing. Big thanks to Roman Mars (@romanmars) and the folks at Slate’s Working podcast for letting us share it with you.

Tom Lehrer - Lobachevsky
Tom Lehrer - Who’s Next?
Paxton Whitehead and his daughter Alex

[ download ]

3.17: Stirred (with Eli Attie and Fmr Deputy Labor Secretary Chris Lu)

This week we're joined by Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44), who served as the White House Cabinet Secretary during the first term of the Obama administration and the Deputy Secretary of Labor during the second term. He gives us some real-world insight into Presidential Proclamations. Plus, we use the special West Wing Weekly Hotline to call Eli Attie (@EliAttie) to get the inside scoop on the writing of this episode.

[ download ]

footnotes —
Vice Presidential Swaps Throughout History’ (ABC News)
Mr. Moto
Word by Word
Parks and Recreation

3.16: The U.S. Poet Laureate (with Television Without Pity and David Wade)

We’re joined by two of the co-founders of the website Television Without Pity, Tara Ariano (@TaraAriano) and Sarah D. Bunting (@TomatoNation), to discuss the lemonlyman.com plotline—inspired by Aaron Sorkin’s own posts on TWoP. We’re also joined by David Wade (@davideckelswade) who was national spokesman for then-Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign and who later served as Secretary Kerry’s chief of staff. We compare President Bartlet’s hot mic moment in this episode with a famous one from John Kerry when he was a candidate.

[ download ]

footnotes —
Radiotopia is conducting an anonymous listener survey across all its podcasts right now, to learn more about our audiences. Got 5-10 minutes to spare? Just go to surveynerds.com/westwing. and follow the prompts. It's an easy way to show your support for TWWW, and it would mean a lot to us
“The Schuyler Sisters” from Hamilton
“Somebody Blew Up America” by Amiri Baraka
Hrishi’s new dog Watson:

3.15: Dead Irish Writers (With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau)

In light of Donna's brief time as a Canadian in “Dead Irish Writers,” we’re honored to be joined this week by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau). (We know. We can't believe it either.) The PM discusses political idealism – both on- and off-screen – and gives us his thoughts on what The West Wing got right, his father's tenure as Prime Minister, how he feels about President Bartlet, and more. Plus, Josh and Hrishi talk about the parallels between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and The Troubles, and the value of overcoming your fear of public failure.

[ download ]

Gerald the Gorilla
Superconducting Super Collider
Encounter (Israeli-Palestinian educational organization)
Background artist sings ‘O Canada,’ then apparently loses interest
This episode’s outro music