Debate Camp (Episode 405)
First Aired: Wednesday, 16th October, 2002
Teleplay: Aaron Sorkin
Story: William Sind and Michael Oates Palmer
Director: Paris Barclay











What Did You Think, We Go To War And Hercules Rockets Come Flying Out Of The Rose Garden?
Corridors of the West Wing / Bullpen. Josh approaches Donna in the corridor.

DONNA: Hey. I don't think there is a WW 160.
JOSH: Yeah, hey. (smirks) How do you do?
DONNA: What?
JOSH: Guess what I have here? It's a copy of 21 magazine. It's for "Generation Now."
DONNA: Is my thing in there?
JOSH: Uh-huh.
DONNA: What?
JOSH: (reads) "In sleek Celia Yang slacks and a classic DKNY buttondown, she's not afraid to bring a note of lets-do-drinks-after-work to the office."
DONNA: That's totally untrue, but I do like the sound of it.
JOSH: "But, much as we love her style, we worry about her inexperience and Bambiesque naivete. 'There's so much to learn,' says Moss. 'I didn't even know there was a nuclear missile silo under this place.'"
DONNA: I didn't.
JOSH: There's not!
DONNA: There is!
JOSH: Who told you that?
DONNA: Jeff, when I met him for lunch!
JOSH: (beat) Let me take a guess at something--Jeff set you up with a reporter, right?
DONNA: His girlfriend.
JOSH: You probably didn't even bring this up, right? The girlfriend led you there?
DONNA: Bambiesque?
JOSH: As does pertain to Bambi. There's a reason why we keep these missile silos way out the hell in the middle of nowhere--it's because they're working with some pretty nasty materials. Also, there's not much point in keeping nuclear secrets from China when all they have to do is take the free tour! Did it really sound right to you, when he said it? What did you think, we go to war and Hercules rockets come flying out of the Rose Garden?
DONNA: The Eisenhower Putting Green.
JOSH: Oh, my God!
DONNA: I'm too stupid to live!
JOSH: This is just like when I played the lead in Lil' Abner in eighth grade, and rehearsals are going fine, and all of a sudden there's sets and lights and costumes and everyone's tripping all over themselves except me. You all walked into the building and got freaked by the lights. I walked in here and, you know, something else happened.
DONNA: Well, we can't all be you.
JOSH: You could all try a little harder to be.
DONNA: For sure I'm not taking the iodine tablets.
JOSH: I should be sitting at my desk right now. Do I have a desk yet?
DONNA: No.
JOSH: Okay. Then i'll just walk around some more ... see if I can get into a pick up meeting.








She Doesn't Know About Missles--She's From Wisconsin!
Josh's office. Josh works at his desk as Donna enters.

DONNA: Josh.
JOSH: Yeah?
DONNA: There's a Mr Michael Gordon here to see you?
JOSH: Does he have an appointment?
DONNA: No, he's with the NSA.
JOSH: NSA?
DONNA: Yeah.
JOSH: Send him in.
MICHAEL: (enters) Mr Lyman? Michael Gordon.
JOSH: Donna says you're with the NSA.
MICHAEL: I'm not here to bug your office.
JOSH: Yeah, but you wouldn't tell me if you were, right?
MICHAEL: It's about Ms Moss, as a matter of fact.
JOSH: What's the trouble?
MICHAEL: Probably nothing, but a few days ago, a teen magazine published a short interview with her?
JOSH: Yeah--look, the old guys were playing a joke on her. I realise it's not a good idea for a White House staffer to be saying there's a missile in the Capitol--
MICHAEL: The problem is, joke or not, she hit a little close to home for our comfort.
JOSH: What do you mean?
MICHAEL: Obviously, I can't elaborate.
JOSH: She hit a little close to home?
MICHAEL: Yeah.
JOSH: (beat) You trying to tell me--
MICHAEL: Mr Lyman, you don't have code word clearance--we need to stay professional.
JOSH: Yeah.
MICHAEL: How long has she been working for you?
JOSH: Listen--this is silly. She was just duped--it was a joke!
MICHAEL: How long has she been working for you?
JOSH: This is a giant misunderstanding!
MICHAEL: Mr Lyman--
JOSH: I would vouch for Donna with my life! She doesn't know about missles--she's from Wisconsin!
MICHAEL: I'm simply asking how long she's been working for you.
JOSH: (long beat) No. Look, I'm sorry. I'm sure your intentions are good ... and this is just routine, but it could get tricky and I'd like to have her talk to somebody.
MICHAEL: A lawyer.
JOSH: Yeah.
MICHAEL: Suit yourself. But until this is straightened out, I'm going to need to revoke her credentials.
JOSH: She's my assistant. For how long?
MICHAEL: As long as it takes.
JOSH: (beat) All right.
MICHAEL: Thank you.
(he leaves, and a visibly upset Josh calls out to Donna at her desk)
JOSH: Donna ...
DONNA: What was that?
JOSH: You've got to go home.
DONNA: Why?
JOSH: That idiot interview you did popped a red flag at NSA. They're revoking your credentials until it's straightened out.
DONNA: I don't believe it ...
JOSH: I'm talking to someone in Conkrin's office.
DONNA: What am I supposed to do?
JOSH: Take a few days off--go home, go to the beach.
DONNA: It's February second.
JOSH: Then I wouldn't go to the beach.
DONNA: You've got a meeting in Leo's office.
JOSH: Don't worry about this. We're going to fix this.








It's Going To Be Bambi, Isn't It?
Corridors of the West Wing / Bullpen. Josh and Sam walk and talk about Donna's situation.

JOSH: Listen--I've got a weird problem.
SAM: What?
JOSH: Remember Donna had lunch with Mac's assistant a few weeks ago? He told her there's a missile silo on the grounds. She repeated it to a magazine, and an NSA guy came to see me just now and he said she struck too close to home, and they want to investigate. In the meantime, they've revoked her credentials.
SAM: Struck too close to home--what does that mean?
JOSH: It means somehow she ... there's some kind of weapons system, right here on the White House, or ... intelligence gathering--wait a minute. This doesn't sound right. (beat) ... Huhhh .... (he starts to say something then stops, mulling it over, then suddenly bursts through the Bullpen doors, where he finds Donna sitting at her desk with the NSA guy) Hi!
DONNA: Hey! Just hanging with my friend Michael. He works in the Staff Secretary's office. Plus, he's got his own band. (beat) By the way, you know what your name is for the next month?
JOSH: It's going to be Bambi, isn't it?
DONNA: Yeah ... it's going to be Bambiesque. But on your good days I'm calling you Abner, because you stepped into the White House and didn't flinch.
JOSH: (mutters) I'm making phone calls.




Many thanks to The West Wing Collection for the wonderful screencaps!