One more factor that comes to mind: the particular media addictions of the political class. I suspect that, unlike normal people, a preponderance of that class—commentators, political reporters and editors, operatives, “strategists,” aides, news producers, etc.—spends several hours of every day watching cable-news television (or having it drone and flicker in the background), reading political blogs, sending and receiving e-mails about the latest political uproar, and talking about same to other members of the same class, on the phone or face to face. Actual office-holding politicians don’t necessarily have the time for all that, but they live inside the bubble it creates. The ambient atmosphere is one of constant overexcitement, hysteria, and sometimes unbearable tension, all focussed on the story of the day. That may be a reason why the protagonists of political scandals are dispatched more quickly and more mercilessly than in the past.
Except when they aren’t, of course. Senator Vitter is still Senator Vitter. But that’s another story. MORE...
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Hertzberg on "The Sins of Anthony Weiner"
Hendrik Hertzberg (The New Yorker):