The US Poet Laureate (Episode 316)
First Aired: Wednesday, 27th March, 2002
Teleplay: Aaron Sorkin
Story: Laura Glasser
Director: Christopher Misiano

Bullpen. Bonnie, Ginger and Margaret gather around Donna's desk, laughing at something on her computer, as Josh walks past.

JOSH: What's going on?
GINGER: Hi, sugarlips.
JOSH: I'm sorry?
MARGARET: Donna struck gold.
JOSH: What is it?
JOSH: What is it?
DONNA: It's your fan site.
JOSH: What are you talking about?
DONNA: There's a web site devoted to all things Josh.
JOSH: You're kidding me.
DONNA: You have fans, Josh. Not many of them from the looks of it, but what they lack in numbers they more than make up for in fervour.
JOSH: What do they talk about?
DONNA: You. You on Capital Beat, you on Meet the Press, you in US news and world report--
BONNIE: Well, there's also the section called 'Sightings About Town'.
DONNA: This is reserved for actual Josh encounters of the third kind, most of which seem to have take place in restaurants and haberdasheries to which you've never been, unless you're leading a double life, and I think we both know you're not that clever.
DONNA: Right now we're viewing the section devoted to the Josh Fantasy Date. This, it should be painfully self-explanatory, is where the women--and more than a few men, I've got to say--discuss what they would do with you for... (they all giggle, except Josh)
JOSH: Can everybody who doesn't work here please go work where they work?
MARGARET: I want to work here now.
JOSH: You can get this at your own desk.
MARGARET: You better believe it.
(Margaret, Bonnie and Ginger leave)
DONNA: See you at lunch. (to Josh) All right, you've got Senior Senior staff at COS, then Senior Staff in the Roosevelt Room. There's a meeting with the economic team to pre-brief for Fed Chair and that's followed immediately by Advanced State and NSC to go over the next six months for foreign travel.
JOSH: (absorbed in her computer screen) Let me take a look at this thing.
DONNA: Josh?
JOSH: Right. Yes. Let me know when CJ's briefing starts.

I Am An Elitist, But I Have A Respect For People Who Don't Measure Up
Josh's Office. He is at his computer, reading the screen.

JOSH: Donna!
DONNA: Yeah.
JOSH: Sit down. We're going to post a response on the site.
DONNA: What site?
JOSH: LemonLyman--
JOSH: Yeah, we've got to post a response to someone.
DONNA: It's a bad idea.
JOSH: Why?
DONNA: You don't know these people.
JOSH: Neither do you.
DONNA: Oh, yes I do.
JOSH: What's wrong with them?
DONNA: Nobody knows.
JOSH: These are people taking a very healthy interest in government. They should be applauded.
DONNA: Then applaud them. But stay off the site.
JOSH: These are the people talking. I'm not an elitist.
DONNA: You are an elitist.
JOSH: I am an elitist, but I have a respect for people who don't measure up.
DONNA: People on these sites tend to be a little hysterical.
JOSH: We've got to correct something.
DONNA: What.
JOSH: Irmatrude writes, 'Three nights ago on Nightline, Josh said, "We'll be asking for a GAO study of medicare drug pricing." Apparently, no one's told Josh that only Congress can ask the GAO to do anything.' First of all, how cool is that that they know what the GAO can and can't do?
DONNA: Oh, it's cool as all giddy-up.
JOSH: Sit down.
DONNA: Please don't do this.
JOSH: Sit down. (she does, and he starts to dictate but Donna doesn't type) "Irmatrude ..." (Josh, standing behind her, shoves her chair towards the keyboard, and grudgingly, Donna begins to type) "... thanks for watching me on Nightline. Yes, I do know that only Congress can instruct the GAO. When I said 'we'll be asking' I meant Democrats, and not the White House. Thank you for your concern, Josh LemonLyman."
DONNA: (stops typing)You sure you want to sign off like that?
JOSH: It's playful.
DONNA: (under her breath) Okay.
JOSH: You could get more in the spirit of this, you know.
DONNA: The people.
JOSH: Yes.
DONNA: (sarcastic) What Josh doesn't know, is that some of these people haven't taken their medication. Let's watch what happens now. (he leans over the back of her chair as she hits 'enter')

I Believe I'll Use Capitals, Lower Case, Or Sanskrit Right Up Until The Moment The Font Police Cuff Me And Read Me Miranda
Josh's Office. He is at his computer, reading the screen again.

JOSH: Donna?
DONNA: Yeah.
JOSH: Something weird has happened here.
DONNA: What?
JOSH: LemonLyman--
JOSH: They don't seem to have taken my response in the spirit in which it was intended.
DONNA: Yeah.
JOSH: It'd be a very unusual social structure. For instance, there's a leader who seems to pride herself on her organisational skills and a certain amount of discipline.
DONNA: Right. That's what's called a control freak.
JOSH: Well, she does seem to do an awful lot of scolding: "You posted in the wrong place ... stay on topic, people ... don't use capital letters ... I don't have time to tell you twice" ... when, clearly, she does have time to tell us twice, but that's not the problem.
JOSH: (reading from the web site) "Someone needs to deal with Josh's planet-sized ego by teaching him Government 101--who made him overlord of the Democratic party?" and someone else writes, "Is Josh delusional? Or is he actively trying to destroy the separation of powers?"
DONNA: Well, are you?
DONNA: Then turn off the computer, shut these people up and and let's go back to work.
JOSH: I think I need to clarify my original post.
DONNA: Josh, there's a prime-time press conference tomorrow on a new energy policy that you have spent months shepherding down the field, and now on the one-yard line--
JOSH: Sit down in the chair.
DONNA: Has the pressure for you to get the energy package--
JOSH: Sit down in the chair.
DONNA: (she stares at him oddly, then mock-whispers) I think you've gone round the bend. (she sits at the computer)
JOSH: I'm dictating now. (Donna begins to type) "I don't think it falls under the category of outrageous to suggest that I might have friends on the other end of the Avenue who have the phone number of the GAO. Let me put this more plainly--the White House can get a GAO review of anything it wants without posing a threat to the separation of powers, and I believe I'll use capitals, lower case or Sanskrit right up until the moment the font police cuff me and read me Miranda."
DONNA: That'll show them.
JOSH: See, I think these are good people by and large, but they've come under the thumb of a dictatorial ruler, so as with a small, Central American country, my role is to incite the people to topple her.
DONNA: Josh?
JOSH: Yeah?
DONNA: You're way round the bend. Can I get you a damp towel or something?
JOSH: No, but do we have any YooHoo?
DONNA: Yeah.
JOSH: I'll take one.
DONNA: I'm on it.

It's Lord of the Flies In There!
Bullpen. Josh approaches Donna.

JOSH: The Internet people have gone crazy.
DONNA: (sarcastic) You're kidding!
JOSH: They're calling the GAO General Josh's Standing Army and saying I don't understand its mandate and purpose. They're saying if I can get a review of anything I want, I should start by reviewing the job of Deputy COS. One guy compares me to a poor man's Clark Clifford in a page and a half of posts debating whether or not I was mocking Egyptians with the Sanskrit reference.
DONNA: I told you they were hysterical.
JOSH: I thought you meant they were funny.
DONNA: They're not!
JOSH: I know they're not! It's Lord of the Flies in there!
DONNA: Well who invited you in the first place?
JOSH: It's got my name on it! Look, I don't want to hear about it anymore. I've got an energy plan in 10 minutes.

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