The West Wing

Season 6 Episode 15

Freedonia

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Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 16, 2005 on NBC

Trivia

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  • Trivia

    • The New Hampshire scenes (for this episode and Opposition Research) were shot in Toronto Canada.

    • This was supposed to be in New Hampshire, but when Smits and Whitford leave the clothing store, across the street there is a Shoppers Drug Mart. These stores are only in Canada and not the US.

  • Quotes

    • Santos (in a live TV ad): I will never say anything about my opponents, or anything about anything, without saying it myself, right into the camera. You might not get to hear much of me, but when you do, you'll know I stand by it. I'm Matt Santos and you better believe I approve this ad.

    • C.J. (to Josh about Donna): Didn't you teach that girl not to engage a chicken?

    • Josh: We can't afford a huge, glitzy ad buy, so we run something feisty, funny, out-of-the-box. Turns our one minute of prime time into a national sensation.
      Aide: Santos on ice skates, wearing a goalie outfit, pledging to defend America?
      Josh (pause): Closer to the box than that.

  • Notes

    • Freedonia is the mythical country in the 1933 Marx Brothers film "Duck Soup". In this episode, Santos complains that political discourse has fallen so low that when one politician was asked recently about the "situation in Freedonia", he claimed he was "studying it".

      A similar situation had happened in real life. In the 1990s, a satirical magazine called Spy pulled a practical joke, in which they got several Congressional members to issue statements condemning the ethnic cleansing in Freedonia.

    • Martin Sheen, Richard Schiff, John Spencer, Dule Hill, Stockard Channing and Mary McCormack do not appear in this episode.

  • Allusions

    • Ronald Reagan: I'm paying for this microphone...

      The events in this episode are loosely based on a 1980 Republican primary debate in New Hampshire. It was originally only going to include Ronald Reagan and George Bush, who were neck and neck in the polls. A protest was lodged and it was ruled that the newspaper sponsoring the debate was making an illegal campaign contribution. So Reagan's campaign underwrote the cost of the debate. Reagan decided to invite the other candidates. Bush's campaign manager was surprised when the other candidates showed up and objected, and there was a brief impasse. As the exchange of words became heated, a representative from the newspaper that was originally paying for the debate said to turn Reagan's microphone off. Reagan snapped back "I'm paying for this microphone..." and it resulted in national coverage and an immediate swing to Reagan in the polls, virtually assuring that he would be the Republican nominee.

      It is claimed that Reagan reached out to his Hollywood roots when he said that because it is used the movie State of The Union, starring Spencer Tracy as a presidential candidate who sees corruption all around says "I'm paying for this microphone"

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