Saturday, March 3, 2018

It Must Be A Coincidence! 10 Times The West Wing Predicted The Future

Today’s White House sounds like it’s full of drama, but it’s nothing compared to the one created by Aaron Sorkin in ‘The West Wing’, which ran for seven seasons between 1999 and 2006. Many fans of the show have since wished that Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen) could really be their President – funny considering the writers seemed to dream up a bunch of storylines that have subsequently come true. Did they know something we didn’t? Here are 10 of the best.

N.B. Unsurprisingly, there are lots of spoilers.

A person of colour becoming President

Following conversations with their political consultants, the writers partly based their upstart Latino Senator-turned-Democrat Presidential nominee Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) on a then-unknown politician by the name of Barack Obama.

Originally, Santos was going to lose the final season’s election to the Republicans, but the liberal-leaning staff couldn’t quite bring themselves to do it. Two years later, the first non-white commander-in-chief was elected for real.

Nominating a Hispanic Supreme Court Justice

When Jed Bartlet nominated Roberto Mendoza to be the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, he faced an uphill battle to get him confirmed by the Senate, especially when he was arrested and publicly criticised certain branches of the legal profession.

Nine years after the Mendoza episode, in May 2009, President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor as his Supreme Court justice. Despite some Republicans voting against her (they included John McCain, current Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and Trump’s Attorney General Jess Sessions), she was confirmed 68 votes to 31.

The press spokesperson giving terrible briefings

Donald Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer became something of laughing stock thanks to his car crash White House media appearances, lashing out at reporters and frustrating Democrats with his obfuscation of the facts.

But Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) was just as bad on ‘The West Wing’ when he had to fill in as spokesman, calling one journalist’s question “stupid” and sarcastically talking about the President’s secret plan to fight inflation.

A US journalist is kidnapped and killed by terrorists

In one of the show’s more eerie predictions, a season three episode depicted a reporter being kidnapped by rebels in the Congo and subsequently dying during an ambush.

The reason it was so on the nose was because it aired on 6 February 2002, just a couple of weeks after journalist Daniel Pearl was kidnapped in Pakistan. The show had been written the previous December – on 21 February, a video was released showing Pearl being beheaded by his captors.

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