West Wing Wiki
West Wing Wiki

PRESIDENT MUST DEAL WITH NEW SEX STUDY AND BACKSTAGE DISCORD OVER HATE CRIMES BILL CEREMONY -- While President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and his staff debate the appropriate response to a controversial new sex education study, there are concerns that the parents of a murdered gay teenager should not attend the signing of a hate crimes bill because the father might be hateful against people who are LGBTQIAP+. Josh (Bradley Whitford) and Sam (Rob Lowe) meet with an appropriations subcommittee which is investigating Josh's lack of cooperation in the White House staff drug probe -- all of which is designed to expose Leo's (John Spencer) former substance-abuse problem. Toby (Richard Schiff) relishes his verbal duel with some congressmen who have held up the newest appointments for the Public Broadcasting Corporation. C.J. (Allison Janney) is advised to save a few embarrassing stories for release on Friday to blunt the effect on the media over the weekend, but she also finds time to continue her frisky flirtation with a White House reporter (Timothy Busfield).



During a press conference, C.J. Cregg is telling the press gaggle the details of the signing ceremony for the new Hate Crimes legislation that Congress has passed. She tells them that there will be 15 pens used for the signature, and Danny Concannon questions how that can be, since "Josiah Bartlet" has only 13 letters. "You know you were the only one in the room doing the math on that, right?" Checking her notes, She tells him the President will literally dot the I and cross the Ts. "Freak boy!" She tells him the Lydells will be there for the ceremony, whose son was killed and who inspired the legislation. The press has heard rumors that they won't be there since they don't support the legislation while Mandy watches nervously. The PC ends, and Mandy tells C.J. she is nervous about the Lydells, and that she thinks his father was embarrassed by his son's homosexuality. C.J. should meet with them in the morning and judge for herself whether they will be good for PR.

Take out

Pages 27-33--A couple of things every girl should know!

Back in C.J.'s office, Josh tells C.J. that there is a new report out about sex education saying that abstinence only sex ed doesn't work and encouraging what Sam calls, "everything but." Josh adds, "By the way, pages 27-33? A couple of things every girl should know."

Act One[]

Danny asks C.J. out, but she declines, saying she has to read a report on sex education. "I'm anticipating any joke you could possibly make right now and I'm not finding any of them funny." He doesn't mind because she keeps "grabbing him and kissing him". He wants to know about an advance man for the VP who took a Navy chopper to Pebble Beach to play 18 holes of golf, a story he got from an anonymous White House source. Before he leaves her office she grabs him and kisses him again.

Donna brings Josh his takeout, and asks him about "Take Out the Trash Day." He explains that it is the day when the White House releases as many stories it does not like as it can, hoping they will be buried under the flood, and it is always a Friday since no one reads the paper on Saturday.

In Toby's office, Sam tells him that there is a town in Alabama that wants to abolish all laws except the Ten Commandments. Toby says they will have a problem with separation of church and state, and Sam tells him he wonders how they will enforce "Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife." He tells Toby that the Georgetown Hoya (the student newspaper) asked him to comment on a story that Zoey Bartlet has a racist Sociology professor. Toby wonders why Sam is bothering him with such trivialities. Leo calls them into his office. Sam starts to tell him about the Alabama town, and Leo brings up the same issue (coveting). Sam says, "Plus, if I were arrested for coveting my neighbor's wife, when asked about it I'd probably bear false witness!"

In Leo's office, he tells Josh that the sex ed report could not have come at a worse time, with an education bill and the hate crimes bill coming to fruition. Josh tells Leo that he and Sam are meeting with Congressman Bruno from one of the appropriations sub-committees, to try and avoid hearings about Leo's admission of his past drug problem. Leo tells them he hates to make them do it, but they are willing to do whatever it takes to avoid getting Leo bogged down by it.

A few of the assistants, including Donna, Carol, Margaret, and Cathy, are discussing that they might know who the White House source is. Mrs. Landingham scolds them for gossiping, and when Josh enters Donna tells him, in Sam's office, that they may know the source of the leak that outed Leo. Josh slams the door shut VERY quickly.

In C.J.'s office, Toby gives her the news. Then he tells her about Zoey Bartlet's professor, and that they are pulling her out of the class. She should dump it out with the trash.

Act Two[]

The next day, Josh gives Toby all the details about the leak. Karen Larsen was moved into the Personnel office and given a high enough FBI clearance. Toby tells Sam to talk to her after their meeting on The Hill. Leo and President Bartlet are on their way to the oval office while discussing trade rules that discriminate against poor Latin American countries. The President asks Toby to find out why Congress is holding up the appointments of 5 people to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The staff is skeptical about Toby's commitment to the issue, but he tells them he was raised on PBS and will work hard to defend it.

C.J. will meet with the Lydells, and the President doesn't want to put the spotlight on a father who was embarrassed his son was gay.
Dont give anything away

Don't give anything away before you call me!

The President talks to Josh and Sam, and tells them not to give away too much in their meeting on the hill. He doesn't want a hearing, and tells them not to take anything off the table until they talk to him.

Back in the Oval Office, the President asks Leo if Simon Blye is coming to meet with him. "How did you know?" Leo wonders. Margaret told him. The President wonders why Leo is meeting with him, and Leo tells him he is a friend. No, he is not, replies the President, and he tells Leo that the true measure of a friend is someone who stands by him in bad times as well as good. Leo tells the President that he needs all the help he can get.

C.J. meets with Danny and wants to talk with him off the record but she doesn't believe he can do so easily. She wonders to him if it is possible that a father can be embarrassed about his son being gay, even after his son was murdered, to the extent that he wouldn't support a law imposing stiffer penalties on the murderers. "Yes." C.J. wonders how that can be possible. She leaves, but there is still a lot of sexual tension between them.

At their meeting on the Hill, Bruno talks to Sam and Leo and tells them he wants to avoid hearings. Interspersed with this is Leo's meeting with Simon Blye. Bruno, having seen Josh's Claypool deposition, wants to talk to him. Simon tells Leo that he will only be a drag on the administration, and that he should resign. Leo tells him he has offered, and that the President refused. Simon tells him that there will be an editorial in The Post saying that Leo should resign. Leo: "Tell me something: Where's your great concern for Crown and Country when you're out whoring for Atlantic Oil?!" Simon leaves, clearly offended, and Leo is upset with himself that he lost his temper.

Act Three[]

The deal has been offered to suppress the sex ed report for a year, and in exchange there will be no hearings. Josh, very angry, tells Bruno that the hearings will produce nothing.
Let's make a deal

"Let's make a deal"

Bruno tells them that the content of the hearings won't matter, but what will matter is that there are hearings at all. It's the White House, it's drugs, it's sexy. He is a Republican throwing his Democratic rivals a rope, something he hopes they will remember in the future. They screwed this up from the beginning, and the President is probably waiting for their call. Josh and Sam, while clearly very angry, are forced to swallow their pride and take the deal.

Toby and C.J., meeting with Congressional aides about the situation with PBS, is asked why the government should continue funding "Television for rich people." Toby tells them that it is not that, and tells them that viewership of PBS follows the same trends as viewership of the other networks. Carol gets C.J. out of the meeting and tells her the Lydells have arrived. C.J. tells Carol to get Mandy, and tells her that Mandy is in the Oval Office having a very uncomfortable conversation with the President.

Cut to said conversation where the President is reading the sex ed report, VERY reluctantly. Mrs. Landingham enters and tells Mandy that the Lydells are in the Mural room, to her obvious relief. Mrs. Landingham wonders if the President wants to share the contents of the report and he tells her he'd rather not be in therapy for the rest of his life.

C.J. and Mandy are meeting with the Lydells. C.J. tells them that it was Mandy's impression that they are reluctant to support the President and the hate crimes legislation, and she wonders if they were embarrassed about their son's homosexuality. Mr. Lydell loses all patience and tells C.J. that he isn't embarrassed by his son, he is embarrassed by the President that he voted for. How can he take such a weak position on gay rights? They are not allowed in the military, or to adopt, or to get married. What qualities did his son lack to be able to do such things. He is not embarrassed by his son--his country is! After leaving, Mandy tells C.J. that they can't include the Lydells in the ceremony to her objections. "C.J., get it together!"

Act Four[]

The congressional aides tell Toby that the Nielsen diaries are often falsified by people wanting to appear to be more sophisticated TV viewers than they really are. Also, product licensing for toys based on PBS children's series goes to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Toby, exasperated, tells them that in a time when the public is getting increasingly concerned about sex and violence on TV, maybe now is a time for them to get behind the one TV network where it is not prevalent! Toby tells C.J. when she interrupts that there will be no hearing in Congress on Leo.

Karen Larsen is brought into Sam's office, and he tells her he has found out about her leaking Leo's story. He gets her to admit she did, and fires her on the spot.
You are fired!

Sam fires Karen Larsen

In the Oval office, the President tells C.J. that the sex ed report will be shelved until after the mid-term elections. She realizes that it was part of the deal Sam and Josh made with Bruno, and understands and agrees. Throw it out with the trash, he tells her. She leaves, but not before telling him that they could be doing a better job.

In the press room, Danny talks to C.J. She starts to give him the real story about the Lydells, but he tells her to stop before she tells him something she will regret telling him later. He doesn't want to take advantage of their relationship. He tells her that he will find the story, but she says that he won't because they've gotten good at hiding things. "Yes, you have," he agrees.

Let's give each other another chance.

Leo gives her another chance

Karen Larsen enters Leo's office, carrying the box containing her personal items. He asks her why she outed him, and when she is reluctant to answer he tells her that the only thing he can do to her is fire her, which has already been done. She admits that her father was an alcoholic. He tells her his father was too, and that it caused him to commit suicide. "Is that why you drank and took drugs?" "I drank and took drugs because I'm a drug addict and an alcoholic." She asks him how he was cured, and he tells her he will never be cured, but that he has been clean and sober for six and a half years. It is day to day. He can never have a drink, because he can never drink, because he will want ten drinks. Things aren't that bad, but he is an alcoholic.

She doesn't understand, but it is OK--few people do. She tells him he isn't like what she thought he would be like, and she tells him that her father caused a lot of problems for her. He tells her that her actions caused them problems, but they showed a bit of bravery. He tells her that maybe that they can forgive each other, and that she can keep her job. She leaves, very touched, and Leo watches the news coverage of Take Out the Trash Day on TV.


Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn[1]
Moira Kelly as Mandy Hampton
Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg
Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler
John Spencer as Leo McGarry
Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman
and Martin Sheen as President Bartlet

Recurring cast

Timothy Busfield as Danny Concannon
Janel Moloney as Donna Moss
Suzy Nakamura as Cathy
Renee Estevez as Nancy

Guest Starring

Dakin Matthews as Congressman Simon Blye
James Handy as Congressman Joseph Bruno
Ray Baker as Jonathan Lydell
Liza Weil as Karen Larsen
Linda Gehringer as Jennifer Lydell


Kathryn Joosten as Dolores Landingham
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick
Kim Webster as Ginger
Larry Sullivan Jr. as Hamlin
Bradley James as Donnie
Sheryl Arenson as Lock
Jana Lee Hamblin as Bobbi
Jacqueline Torres as Sondra
Charles Noland as Steve
Kris Murphy as Katie Witt


Leo – I'm not cured. You don't get cured. I haven't had a drink or a pill in six and a half years. Which isn't to say I won't have one tomorrow
Karen Larsen – What would happen if you did?
Leo – I don't know. But probably a nightmare the likes of which both of our fathers experienced and me too
— Disease


  • The hate crime and subsequent legislation referred to in this episode is a reference to the real world murder of Matthew Shephard.
  • The Georgetown Hoya is the real name of the student newspaper of Georgetown University. Their website is here.
  • This episode holds special meaning for John Spencer, who plays Leo McGarry. Spencer himself was a recovering alcoholic.


  • Leo tells Karen Larsen that he hasn't had a drink or a pill in six and a half years, but it is later revealed during the season 3 episode Bartlet for America that he relapsed during the final days of the first campaign after accepting a drink offered by some high level donors whose support he was courting.[2]

Notes and references[]

  1. Cast member Dulé Hill does not appear in this episode
  2. "The West Wing" Take Out the Trash Day (2000)

I PilotPost Hoc, Ergo Propter HocA Proportional ResponseFive Votes Down
The Crackpots and These WomenMr. Willis of OhioThe State DinnerEnemiesThe Short List
In Excelsis DeoLord John MarburyHe Shall, from Time to Time...Take Out the Trash Day
Take This Sabbath DayCelestial Navigation20 Hours in L.A.The White House Pro-Am
Six Meetings Before LunchLet Bartlet Be BartletMandatory Minimums
Lies, Damn Lies and StatisticsWhat Kind of Day Has It Been?
II In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part I)In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part II)The Midterms
In This White HouseAnd It's Surely to Their CreditThe Lame Duck CongressThe Portland Trip
ShibbolethGalileoNoëlThe Leadership BreakfastThe Drop-In
Bartlet's Third State of the UnionThe War at HomeEllie
Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to JailThe Stackhouse Filibuster
17 PeopleBad Moon RisingThe Fall's Gonna Kill You18th and PotomacTwo Cathedrals
III Manchester (Part I)Manchester (Part II)Ways and MeansOn the Day BeforeWar CrimesGone QuietThe Indians in the LobbyThe Women of QumarBartlet for AmericaH.Con - 172100,000 AirplanesThe Two BartletsNight FiveHartsfield's LandingDead Irish Writers
The U.S. Poet LaureateStirredEnemies Foreign and DomesticThe Black Vera Wang
We Killed YamamotoPosse Comitatus
IV 20 Hours in America (Part I)20 Hours in America (Part II)College KidsThe Red Mass
Debate CampGame OnElection NightProcess StoriesSwiss DiplomacyArctic Radar
Holy NightGuns Not ButterThe Long GoodbyeInauguration (Part I)
Inauguration: Over There (Part II)The California 47thRed Haven's on FirePrivateers
Angel MaintenanceEvidence of Things Not SeenLife On MarsCommencementTwenty-Five
V 7A WF 83429The Dogs of WarJefferson LivesHanA Constituency of OneDisaster ReliefSeparation of PowersShutdownAbu el BanatThe Stormy PresentThe Benign PrerogativeSlow News DayThe Warfare of Genghis KhanAn KheFull DisclosureEppur Si Muove
The SupremesAccessTalking PointsNo ExitGazaMemorial Day
VI NSF ThurmontThe Birnam WoodThird-Day StoryLiftoffThe Hubbert PeakThe Dover TestA Change Is Gonna ComeIn The RoomImpact WinterFaith Based Initiative
Opposition Research365 DaysKing CornThe Wake Up CallFreedoniaDrought ConditionsA Good DayLa PalabraNinety Miles AwayIn God We TrustThings Fall Apart2162 Votes
VII The TicketThe Mommy ProblemMessage of the WeekMr. FrostHere Today
The Al Smith DinnerThe DebateUndecidedsThe WeddingRunning Mates
Internal DisplacementDuck and CoverThe ColdTwo Weeks OutWelcome to Wherever You Are
Election Day (Part I)Election Day (Part II)RequiemTransitionThe Last Hurrah
Institutional MemoryTomorrow