Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Perfect Scandal

In DC, it's a welcome distraction
From each warring political faction:
Invoking, in speeches,
Security breaches
From man-on-biographer action.

It appears that the affair of CIA director David Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, is the perfect Washington scandal, giving the mainstream media just enough connection to supposed "national security issues" to justify around-the-clock coverage of a tabloid story. This was made abundantly clear today during President Barack Obama's midday press conference.  The President spoke on progress in negotiating a long-term budget deficit solution that would avoid the fiscal cliff (or "austerity bomb," as I like to call it), with special attention to his insistence on letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the top 2% of income earners.  The first question went to the AP's Ben Feller, who asked:"Can you assure the American people that there have been no breaches of national security or classified information in the scandal involving Generals Petraeus and [John] Allen?"

Now, this is a non-question, since it is already evident that there was no breach of national security, and we already know that Ms. Broadwell had classified information on her computer.  Of course, Mr. Feller's question gives him an opening to write a lede containing the keywords "sex scandal", which is much juicier than leading with "tax cuts" or the "fiscal cliff". However, this is a time when the nation needs to focus on its long-term sustainability, and the Ben Fellers of this world should be helping us to do so - as should the Dr. Geese.


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