Friday, March 11, 2011
Scriptwriting Nixon Out Of History
"West Wing" 3:9, "The Women of Qumar," is notable for C. J. Gregg's (Allison Janney) prophetic witness against U.S. arms sales to a Saudi Arabia-type country (I guess "The West Wing" didn't want to offend the Saudis, either), the beginning of the goofy flirtation between Josh Lyman and Amy Gardner (played by Bradley Whitford and Mary-Louise Parker, shown here), and President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen) asking his aides when the U.S. had "passed" the Clean Water Act and finally answering the question: 1972. Why didn't teleplay writer and series creator Aaron Sorkin say it was Richard Nixon who signed it? Maybe for the same reason Sorkin's script for "The American President" said that "the courts ruled on" instead of "Nixon signed" Title IX, granting equality to women in collegiate sports.