Thursday, May 11, 2006

Reporter Moore experiences fantasy withdrawal in LA LA Land
Farewell, 'West Wing': an Open Letter

By FRAZIER MOORE
AP Television Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- I don't often dash off mash notes to the President of the United States, be he real or make-believe. Come to think of it, my last time was back in December 1999 (just a few months into the run of a fine new NBC drama, "The West Wing"), when I tipped my hat to President Jed Bartlet.

With "The West Wing" concluding Sunday at 8 p.m. EDT (following a repeat of its pilot episode at 7 p.m.), I feel like writing another open letter:

Dear President Bartlet,

I guess your mind is on many things after two eventful terms in the White House - and seven rousing seasons on TV.

Whew! It's been a long haul, huh? Including that awful assassination attempt and the kidnapping of one of your daughters! Plus your battle with multiple sclerosis (glad to see how well you're doing lately - using a cane sometimes, but otherwise in good shape).

Just this season you had a further blow: You lost your friend and right-hand man Leo McGarry (by then Matt Santos' vice presidential running mate). His death was a sad aftershock to the unexpected passing of John Spencer, who had done no less than give Leo life.

Meanwhile, of course, you've been pretty busy as leader of the free world.

But now you're handing the reins over to president-elect Santos (who looks so much like Jimmy Smits it's amazing, just as you bear a remarkable resemblance to Martin Sheen). And I'm sure you can see how the public is preoccupied not with the past, but with the future (especially the new fall TV shows, which will be announced next week). So maybe viewers are giving short shrift to all that your show, er, administration, has vigorously stood for.

Please, Mr. President, don't get me wrong. I have a tight enough grip on reality to understand that you are not, and never have been, the nation's actual chief executive… [Ed. – Writes he, after adjusting his Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie]

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