In The Goldberg File email, Jonah Goldberg memorably characterizes the modern media:
When I go to Alaska to visit the Fair Jessica’s people, I’ll often hear some version of a joke about grizzly bears. The gist is, if a bear is chasing you, you don’t need to be faster than the bear, you need to be faster than the guy you’re hiking with. A similar dynamic applies in scandals of this nature: You don’t have to be blameless, you just need to be harder to blame than the other guy.
That’s because the media tends to stalk its prey like the unthinking zombie horde it so often is. Twenty miscreants, malefactors, and scalawags could be in on some scheme to defraud or bilk the public fisc, and the zombie horde will start chasing all of them, but the zombies will stop to feed on the first poor soul who can’t keep up.
Now Bill Clinton always understood this. Whenever it was necessary, he’d reassure his co-conspirators and enablers that he had their back, right up until the minute he found it necessary to handcuff them to the rear fender of a broken down Ford Pinto. Sometimes he varied his techniques, of course. Here’s a reenactment of how Bill Clinton treated Webb Hubbell. But you could always count on Bill to climb to safety over the backs of those who trusted him most.
Barack Obama, who holds a patent on a device that hurls aides and friends under a bus from great distances, also understands this. That is why Kathleen Sebelius these days looks a lot like a Soviet general on his way to brief Stalin on the early “progress” in the battle of Stalingrad.
Anyway, yesterday’s hearings were just the early try-outs. There are 55 contractors and countless nameless bureaucrats who can be thrown into the Great Pit of Carkoon (“You’re just determined to keep mixing metaphors aren’t you?” — The Couch) and given the full scope of this fustercluck, they could all be made to walk the plank before this is over.