Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc
Episode 2 of 22 within Season One. Item 2 of 158 overall.
Production number 225901.
Aaron Sorkin - Writer
Thomas Schlamme - Director
19 votes

Despite warnings from fellow office workers, infatuated White House staffer Sam Seaborn presses his luck when he continues to publicly pursue a high-priced call girl with whom he shared a night of passion.

Meanwhile, press secretary C.J. Cregg tries to defuse a potentially nasty public clash between the President and his willful Vice President concerning the Veep's quotes about a bill favored by the chief executive. Exasperated political consultant Mandy Hampton drowns her troubles when her only client ignores her advice and agrees to bottle up a key bill in committee that could have been costly for the President if put to a vote. The President forges a kinship with a young African-American Navy captain who's substituting for his regular White House physician - so much, in fact, that he asks him to assume the position on a full-time basis.

original airdate--September 29,1999  rating--9.9 million


music--Theme song--West Wing Main Title by W.G. Snuffy Walden

  1. "She's Lost Control" by Joy Division

This early episode is one of the few occasions that the main characters are among many others in a meeting in the Oval Office with the President, in the scene where the President explains to C.J. what "Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc" means:

  • Bartlet: CJ, on your tombstone it's gonna read 'Post hoc ergo propter hoc.'
  • CJ: Okay, but none of my visitors are going to be able to understand my tombstone.
  • Bartlet: Twenty-seven lawyers in the room, anybody know 'post hoc, ergo propter hoc'? Josh?
  • Josh: Ah, post, after hoc, ergo, therefore... After hoc, therefore something else hoc.
  • Bartlet: Thank you. Next? Leo.
  • Leo: 'After it, therefore because of it'.

Goof: After President Bartlett sits down (while speaking to CJ and the staff) he removes his glasses. The shot then changes to one from his back where he's wearing glasses. When the angle changes to the original, he's not wearing his glasses again.

related items

Previous episode :
001 Pilot
Next episode :
003 A Proportional Response

regional titles

Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc