Factual error: When Leo is reminding the Congressional Aides about their bosses' drug scandals, he states that Vicodin is a Schedule II Controlled Substance. At the time the episode was shot, Vicodin was a Schedule III Controlled Substance. Given his experience in this area he'd know better.
Factual error: Sam says the "state-of-the-art" oil tanker he recommends can carry 2.2 million gallons of oil and weighs 308,000 tons. The Exxon Valdez could carry over 60 million gallons (1.48 million barrels) and weighed only 211,500 tons. The writers mistakenly swapped 'gallons' for 'barrels' so that this enormous tanker carries very little oil. It would actually carry 2.2 million "barrels", which equals 92 million gallons.
Factual error: In the scene where the Secret Service chief is in the car with Bartlet and he suddenly realizes Bartlet's injured, he yells to the driver to get to GW Hospital and the limo does a screeching U-turn on what appears to be the Arlington Memorial Bridge. At the time they were supposed to be heading from Rosslyn, VA, where the event was, back to the White House. But GW is in DC, not that far from the White House, so although the U-turn looks cool, it doesn't make geographical sense. Also, in that one shot of the outside of the car, it appears to be pouring, while back at the scene of the shooting as well as ahead of them at the hospital entrance, it's not.
Factual error: When the president signs Toby's Presidential Pardon you can see his name listed as "Toby." However such a document would refer to someone by their full, legal name. In this case the document should say "Tobias" not Toby, which, although commonly used throughout the series, is still only a nickname.
Factual error: In the situation room, Colonel Chase informs Leo that a CH-47 Seahawk helicopter was dispatched from the USS Monterey. Problem is, the CH-47 is called "Chinook" while the SH-60 is the Seahawk (of which the USS Monterey carries two). See: http://picasaweb.google.com/agbeko.Dzamesi/Aircraft/photo5029495094968996146 for photo of an SH-60B Seahawk landing on the USS Monterey.
Factual error: Early in the episode, when Abby complains about who in their right mind would schedule outdoor inaugurations in January, Jed retorts by listing Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin, but inaugurations were in March until 1936 - not a mistake President Bartlett would make.
Factual error: A secret service agent goes to Leo McGarry and tells him Sharif has crossed the border from Canada into the US - he says "from Ontario into Vermont". It is about 50 miles from Ontario to the Vermont border - the only province that borders on Vermont is Quebec. At this high level of intelligence, this could not be a character error - just the West Wing writers not checking a map.
Factual error: When the British Ambassador, Lord Marbury, greets Abbey at her party, he tenders best wishes from "Her Royal Majesty", his Monarch. However, as Her official representative, Lord John should have been cognizant that the reigning British monarch is referred to strictly as "His/Her Majesty".
Factual error: In the scene when Leo tells president Bartlett that he is attending the concert, they refer to the Icelandic ambassador as a man. Leo says his name is Vigdis Olafsdottir, when is fact it is a woman's name that means Vigdis daughter of Olaf. During the concert the ambassador is portrayed by a man. They "borrowed" this name from Tom Clancy's novel Red Storm Rising, by the way.
Factual error: In the Don't Ask Don't Tell meeting, the USAF Major is wearing a JCS service badge on his right. That is the position for females. It would actually be worn below his ribbons. He is also not wearing a name tag on his blue shirt after he takes his jacket off. That is the one mandatory item required on his shirt.
Factual error: Hal Holbrook's character is called in to assist in solving an incident where a US sub has gone missing in hostile waters. Despite being elderly, he is considered an expert in such matters, and is advising the President in that capacity. Yet while relating similar historical submarine incidents, he makes two significant errors. First, he describes the "Glomar Explorer" and the K-129 Russian sub as "two subs", but the Glomar was a surface ship, not a sub (See http://www.espionageinfo.com/images/eeis_02_img0482.jpg). Then he states the USS Gudgeon was trapped by Russian ships for four days, but the entire incident took 30 hours. He is never challenged on these facts, and his advice is unquestioned. Rather than character mistakes, as the character's meant to be an expert, this is more likely bad research and embellishment by the writers.
Factual error: Leo asks how long it will be before the missile system being tested will hit the target, and is told "two minutes, ten seconds". He decides the President should see it, and leaves to fetch him. But doing so results in them both arriving back in the room exactly 3 minutes later. 7 seconds after that, they are told there are still 50 seconds to impact (but it should have occurred 57 seconds ago). After the 50 seconds pass, Leo states the impact will occur in 20 more seconds, and the moment of expected impact does pass at that time. In all, 4 minutes, 16 seconds pass from when "2 minutes, 10 seconds" to impact was announced.
Factual error: Lord John Marbury says he is "the Earl of Croy, Marquess of Needham and Dolby and Baronet of Brycey." His title according to the British peerage rules would be "The Earl of Croy" and he would be called Lord Croy in conversation. Lord John Marbury would be what one of his younger sons also named John would be called.
Factual error: At the end of the episode, a chamber music ensemble plays at the White House. One of the close-up shots is of the oboist as well as the sheet of music on her stand. The music on the stand is not the same piece as that being played, and it's not even an oboe part, but rather a piano score of some solo instrument piece, as can be told by each system having three staves, two of which are bracketed together.
Factual error: Whenever the king of Sweden is mentioned by name they always refer to him as "King Gustaf." The king of Sweden is actually named Carl XVI Gustaf. His given name is Carl Gustaf and he holds the throne as the sixteenth king Carl. Thus they should refer to him as "King Carl Gustaf" or, less common but technically correct, "King Carl." Since Bartlet has met the Swedish king in person and talked to him about Ellie's mathematical skills he ought to know the correct name.
Factual error: In the television clip introducing the bombing in Turkey, the footage almost certainly comes from a Palestinian terror attack in the vicinity of Tel Aviv, Israel. Clearly visible in the frame is a Magen David Adom (Israeli Red Cross) ambulance marked with the Hebrew word "Dan" - a term for the area around Tel Aviv. The vast majority of raging fires that MDA ambulances responded to around Tel Aviv were the result of suicide bombings.
Factual error: Near the end of episode 1 in series 6, General Alexander is briefing Leo, and the screen shows the Alpha strike headed east toward Syria from the USS Lincoln, which is depicted as being in the Mediterranean. In episode 2, he briefs the press, telling them that the strike was launched from the Lincoln in the Gulf.
Factual error: In the first shot after the recap, the overlay text reads "United States Capitol/Sunday/Inauguration Day". During this episode and the one that follows there is an inauguration day celebration and President Bartlet makes his inauguration speech. Historically, however, when inauguration day falls on a Sunday the celebrations and speeches are scheduled for the next day, a Monday. The president is still sworn in on inauguration day (March 4th until 1933, January 20th after that), but all other activities are moved back one day. The inauguration date has only fallen on a Sunday 6 times since 1798, and only twice since the current inauguration date was set, so it is understandable that this arcane but important bit of scheduling tradition was missed by the show's researchers.
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