Public Nuisance

Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.

The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

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Friday, July 23, 2004
 
Watching the Berger story unfold has been amusing - sort of like a bit of 90's retro. Almost makes you want to go out and rent a few Pauly Shore movies. But that would be over-reacting - much better to watch a few extra re-runs of "Friends" which, like the job market, was actually good back in the Clinton years.

The Republicans are using the tried and true tactics of spreading wild rumors and discussing every rumor that they spread as a known fact. Get that misinformation out and widely repeated. The retractions will come eventually, but they'll be quiet, as usual.

The idea that Berger would shove documents in his socks when he could have just slipped them into his briefcase is preposterous, but the very absurdity makes for a memorable story, much better propaganda than reporting what really happened. The story is one that investigators don't seem to take seriously - Breuer, Berger's attorney, never heard about it before it was leaked. But these guys have never cared if they were telling the truth.

In all the grave reporting and stern faces on the news, everyone has known not to say, not to even hint at the one obvious point: "This is approximately the 358th time that we have reported to you that a member of the Clinton administration is being investigated for misconduct, as well as the 358th time we have declared that, although the facts were not yet fully known, we were pretty certain that something awful had been done. In a few of these previous cases, we turned out to have been wrong. OK, technically in all of them. But we're blowing this up into a huge deal because we're confident that this time is different. Just as confident as we were the last 357 times."

Yes, it is possible that there is really something here. Every time that Lucy swears she's really going to keep the ball in place, there is a chance that she means it this time. But don't count on it.


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