Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Infobox Television episode
Title = Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics
Series = The West Wing

Caption =
Season = 1
Episode = 21
Airdate = May 102000
Production = 225920
Writer = Aaron Sorkin
Director = Don Scardino
Guests = Marlee Matlin
Lisa Edelstein
Timothy Busfield
Thom Gossom Jr.
David Huddleston
Janel Moloney
Austin Pendleton
Lawrence Pressman
Reiko Aylesworth
Renee Estevez
Bill O'Brien
Episode list = List of "The West Wing" episodes
Season list = Infobox The West Wing season 1 episode list
Prev =
Next =
"Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics" is the 21st episode of "The West Wing". The title comes from a quote of uncertain origins, frequently attributed to Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli of Great Britain or to Mark Twain, the American author and humorist: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."


The staff anxiously await poll results while potential crises flare, including the possible revelation of Sam's association with call girl Laurie. To avoid controversy, Sam cannot attend Laurie's law school graduation, but he later gives her a graduation present and a hug. The hug is captured on film after a friend of Laurie's is paid off to set up the photo opportunity, and Sam and Laurie fear that the picture will be used as part of a dirty political battle.

Toby and C.J. are both furious at Sam but Toby nevertheless defends him to the President, who says they will give Laurie a helping hand as she starts her legal career.

The President continues his crusade for campaign finance reform by following up the earlier, very pro-reform appointees to the Federal Election Commission; his efforts include a complex reassignment of diplomats that involves firing the slimy ambassador to Bulgaria (who is having an affair with the Prime Minister's daughter, and who will get a lucrative corporate job upon his eviction from the State Department) and assigning a non-fan of campaign finance reform on the FEC to a dream job as ambassador to Micronesia. This will create a new vacancy to be filled by appointing the FEC's current chair, thus enabling his replacement with a more reform-friendly member. Staff research also shows that a mild-mannered FEC member is secretly in favor of the reform plan and the President and Leo put on a White House show to get him to help them. Finally, Leo meets with a top Republican leader who agrees with the White House on campaign finance reform and nothing else, and they come to an understanding. Charlie recognizes the ambassador to Bulgaria as a member of a whites-only country club where Charlie once worked, and he relishes telling the ambassador that his government career is over.

The staff awaits the results of the latest poll on the President's popularity. C.J. is especially anxious for the poll results, after predicting an increase in the President's approval rating despite her colleagues' conservative predictions that the rating will either hold steady or decline slightly. Her faith is not only rewarded but surpassed by the final results.

This episodes confirms that there have been four Republican Presidents in the last thirty years previous to April/May 2000 when this episode is set, which is the same as the real world at that point.

Awards and nominations

Allison Janney won a 2000 Emmy Award for her performance as C.J. Cregg, based on this episode and the episode "Celestial Navigation". [;title;20 "The West Wing": Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics] at]


External links

* [ The West Wing Episode Guide]

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