LAST CALL: Art imitates life on 'The West Wing'

Last Call spied ex-White House press secretary Marlin Fitzwater at the Cohn & Wolfe inauguration party at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington.

Fitzwater may be sitting this administration out, but the big guy who loyally served W's dad in the White House is still spinning goings on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thanks to his consulting role with The West Wing.

Fictional president Josiah Bartlett's press secretary C.J. Cregg, played by Allison Janney, draws compliments from the old pro himself. 'She really captures the frustration and anxiety of being a press secretary. I watch her and think, 'Gee. That really happened here,' ' said Fitzwater.

He recalls events like the time Russian leader Boris Yeltsin showed up drunk at the White House. Then, names are changed to protect the guilty - so on The West Wing, the leader became the Ukranian ambassador.

When not consulting for The West Wing, Fitzwater fits in writing of his own, including a new murder mystery. However, he advises his fans the plot will not be about death by political backstabbing.

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