C.J. Cregg Hijacks White House Press Conference

Allison Janney surprised White House reporters by taking to the real White House press room rostrum Friday as her alter ego C.J. Cregg, press secretary to President Josiah Bartlet on NBC's West Wing.

Janney, apparently in town for the White House Correspondents' Association dinner Saturday night—West Wing cast members were popular guests at the dinner during the run of the show—greeted the surprised reporters with the news that "Josh" was out with a root canal.

She was referring to real press secretary Josh Earnest, though might have as easily been referring to Joshua Lyman, the West Wing character who once bungled badly given a shot at stepping in for Cregg.

"Let's be honest about this, I am better than he is anyway," she joked. Janney joked that the President was still working on his jokes for the dinner and that at half-past five she would be doing "The Jackal" in her office—an inside joke from the show.

Before she could take questions, Earnest stepped in with the notation: "This is not your show anymore."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.