While President Bartlet and his staff debate the appropriate response to a controversial new sex education study, there are fears that the parents of a murdered gay teenager should be excused from attending the signing of a hate crimes bill because of the father's embarrassment about his son's homosexuality.
Josh and Sam meet with an appropriations subcommittee which is investigating Josh's lack of cooperation in the White House staff drug probe - all of which is designed to expose Leo's former substance-abuse problem. Toby relishes his verbal duel with some congressmen who have held up the newest appointments for the Public Broadcasting Corporation.
C.J. is advised to save a few embarrassing stories for release on Friday to blunt the effect on the media over the weekend, but she also finds time to continue her frisky flirtation with a White House reporter.
original airdate--January 26,2000 rating--10.5 million
music--"West Wing Main Title" by W.G. Snuffy Walde
Goofs: While discussing the Board of Directors CPB, the President incorrectly states that it was members of the House that were holding up his nominations.
Trivia: The Hate Crimes Prevention Act dealt with in this episode is a reference to the real-life "Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act." The real act was named after Matthew Shepard, the University of Wyoming student who in 1998 was beaten and murdered because of his homosexuality (and whose story was the basis for the character of Lowell Lydell, whose homophobic murder figures in several The West Wing episodes); and James Byrd, Jr, who in 1998 was dragged behind a Jasper, Texas, pickup truck and murdered because he was black. The real bill was signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009, almost ten years after this episode first aired.