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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Art tarnishing life
Jonathan Pait
September 20, 2001

Have you noticed how empty and meaningless television sitcoms and “dramas” have become since September 11?

I must admit that I have never watched NBC’s West Wing. I’m sorry but I just can’t get past the politics of its leading cast member. However, I saw a few seconds of the Wednesday night show. I happened upon it while looking to see if there was any news available.

The scene had “the President” walking down the aisle of the National Cathedral. It was that scene that made me take the pressure off the channel button. The recent prayer service held there was fresh in my mind. I looked at the channel and the guide and realized I was watching West Wing.

This fictional (or was it Bill Clinton) leader presented a stark contrast against the character of our real leader, George W. Bush. I’m not saying Sheen didn’t do well acting. I thought he did fine—perhaps he was typecast. My biggest beef was with the writers.

Quite frankly, the scene I saw was blasphemous. Oh, I’m sure it was just an attempt to add weight to the President’s angst in the midst of a crisis. Bartlet created a plot line of him against the goodness of God as he rubbed out his cigarette on the floor of the Cathedral. For all I know, the program ended with Bartlet setting his soul right with God. I don’t know. I didn’t hang around to see it.

Somehow I doubt God received an apology. He received my thanks before I put my head down on my pillow. “Thank you, Lord, that in reality the Cathedral was used to call for your mercy and not to express a bitter and contemptuous tirade. Thank you, Lord, that you made George W. Bush President and not Josiah Bartlet!”

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