Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Plame (I hate to say it) gate
Kevin Drum reports that “the Justice Department expects the Plame investigation to take at least until the end of the year.” Right into the election season. Darn that clever Karl Rove. How can we fight such clever planning. Okay, maybe the invulnerable Karl has a plan, but, at the moment, I can’t help but look at this as good news.

The most basic rule of thumb for an American political scandal is that the cover-up always does more damage than the actual crime. If they are counting on the short attention span of the American public to get them through this, or to get them to Karl’s next media distraction, they might be surprised. That very same short attention span can work against them. The professional news media is already showing signs of being bored with the “underestimated president heroically rises to the occasion” story line that they have been peddling for two years. Some outlets seem to be trying a “Democrats rise from the ashes of defeat” line. Others are try out a “Republicans piss away sure thing through hubris” story line.

Our job, as outsiders is to keep the Plame scandal alive and lobby the professionals to keep digging. Remember, news is no longer a public service; it is entertainment. The cardinal rule of thumb of entertainment is to give the public what they want. If we let them know we want Bush scandals, we will get Bush scandals. I like to think of bloggers as the Neilsen families of the newsotainment world.

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