Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television's The West Wing

Front Cover
McFarland, Feb 28, 2006 - Performing Arts - 232 pages
2 Reviews
Before the unprecedented televised presidential debates of 1960, most Americans were able to relate to their leaders in little more than an historical context. In the era of televised elections, however, the media have allowed Americans to witness the paternal, moral and intellectual qualities of their president up close. Television has been so critical to this process of political socialization that, for many Americans, the televised image of the president is the president. As the acclaimed television drama The West Wing demonstrates, fictional representations of the presidency can also be significant civic forces. This book examines how film and television drama contribute to shaping the presidency and the way most Americans understand it, and particularly the processes of political education. The text discusses The West Wing's didactic potential, its representation of White House politics, and its depiction of race and gender, with commentary on how fictional representations of the presidency become important elements of American political consciousness.
 

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Review: Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television's the West Wing

User Review  - Scott - Goodreads

Essentially Crawley's grad thesis expanded into a book, but I love this show something powerful and have seen the episodes so many times that I'm ready to get meta on it. Read full review

Review: Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television's the West Wing

User Review  - Scott - Goodreads

Essentially Crawley's grad thesis expanded into a book, but I love this show something powerful and have seen the episodes so many times that I'm ready to get meta on it. Read full review

Contents

Theorizing the Presidency
17
The Media as an Agent of Political Socialization
25
Processing the Presidency
29
Communicating the Presidency on Screen
34
Broadcasting the President
40
Campaigning for the Presidency
45
The President in Television Drama and Comedy
51
A West Wing Primer
61
Reel Politics
118
Documentary Special
121
Performing the President
124
Screening the President
127
The Making of a President
138
The Paternal President
142
Campaign Discourse and the Power of the Paternal
144
Bartlet as Father Figure
146

Quality Television and The West Wing
63
A Note on the Issue of Quality
69
Staging the Presidency
70
Team Bartlet
76
Leo McGarry
78
Josh Lyman
81
Toby Ziegler
84
CJ Cregg
87
Sam Seaborn
94
True Fiction
107
Representing the White House
110
Im Not a Politician But I Play One on TV
117
The Moral President
156
The Oval Offce as Sacred Space
161
The President as Preacher
163
The Intellectual President
181
End Game
188
Reality Check
191
Character Actor
192
Episodes by Season 19992003
195
Notes
201
Bibliography
205
Index
223
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Melissa Crawley is the Lingnan Foundation Teaching Scholar in Cultural Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong where she lectures in media and cultural studies.

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