There’s a tang in the air. Summer’s coming.
On some days, you can already see the sheen of humidity in the horizon. The birds are awake earlier, and there will be caterpillars on the sidewalks before long. Most of us feel the frozen concentrate in our body thawing out and coursing around.
But here in Washington, D.C., not everyone is feeling 22.
Summer presents a problem for the thousands of people who make their living off seeing to it that we are outraged about something rotten in the capital city. The problem for this anger industrial complex is that around this time of year, most healthy people are getting ready for the beach. They aren’t going to read the paper or watch cable. They are too happy to get mad.
Even worse, these few months are like the Dust Bowl of politics. It’s an off-year summer, when there are no big elections or narratives. You can only publish so many stories about whether Hillary or Christie will run.
But then a little rain fell. The Obama administration’s apparently poor handling of the Benghazi attacks resurfaced. That’s something to chew on for a while.
And then a real miracle: It looked like the IRS had screwed over the Tea Party.
And like manna from the sky, there was suddenly a story about the Justice Department bugging AP reporters.
One problem makes a few articles and a few nights of cable hollering. Two problems can get you through a month. Three problems all at once? That’s Christmas. Maybe two Christmases. That’s two Christmases and some visits from the Tooth Fairy.
Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal says it’s the worst Washington scandal since Watergate.” George Will of the Washington Post sees” echoes of Watergate.” Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post says: “CNN shows voters disapprove of Obama’s handling of the Benghazi scandal by a 53-to-42 percent margin.” There’s a poll of each of the scandals. There’s a poll of two of the three scandals. There’s a poll of all the polls of the scandals. In a rare show of unity, MSNBC and Fox News are both outraged about all the scandals.
It doesn’t matter if anyone knows what actually happened. What matters is that people are outraged, that people can vent about their outrage, and that there are polls measuring how people feel about their outrage. We can get outraged first and ask questions later.
There are many legitimate stories in all this muck. But the ratio of speculation, polling, declarations of the worst scandals since Watergate, and calls for impeachment to facts and reporting is running approximately 175 to 1.
Summer is the time of vacations and beaches. Right now, if you look at any media source, it also seems to be the time for packs of flies feasting at the dumpster.
The good news is that there are adults who will figure everything out. In the mean time, I wish the media would just shut up and report.