Scandal: an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage (Oxford Dictionary)
Recently, in Missouri, President Obama said that phony scandals are part of an endless parade of distractions.
He said that Washington is not keeping its collective eye on the real issues, but instead is being caught up in these phony scandals; this week, he repeated the statement.
Yesterday, during a White House briefing, Mark Knoller of CBS News asked Press Secretary Jay Carney: “Can you tell us what phony scandals he’s (President Obama) is talking about?’
Here is an excerpt of Carney’s response:
“I think we all remember a few weeks ago when Washington was consumed with a variety of issues that, while in some cases significant, there was an effort underway to turn them into partisan scandals. I don’t think anybody here would doubt that. And what we’ve seen as time has passed and more facts have become known — whether it’s about the attacks in Benghazi and the talking points, or revelations about conduct at the IRS — that attempts to turn this into a scandal have failed.
And I think our views — and I would wax poetic on it if you want — our views on the Benghazi issue are well known, and I think that other issues fall into that.
KNOLLER: So you mentioned two — the IRS and Benghazi.
CARNEY: Well, I’m not going to catalogue — again, I think there was a period where there was — a lot more energy and focus was paid by some in Congress as well as in the media on issues that, while important, are not of the highest priority to the American people, and they were not scandals.”
So, there you have it: Right from the mouthpiece for the President of the United States.
Benghazi is a “phony scandal”.
The IRS conduct is a “phony scandal”.
Anything else that puts the White House in a bad light … is a “phony scandal”.
That’s because any action or event highlighted, exposed, investigated or just questioned by the opposition … is simply for political gain.
We have seen other politicians make similar claims while under attack:
Ted Kennedy: Chappaquiddick / Wilbur Mills: stripper Fanne Foxe
Ronald Reagan: Iran – Contra / Marion Barry: crack
Arnold Schwarzenegger: baby’s daddy / Rod Blagojevich: corruption
Clinton: I did not have sex with that woman. / Weiner: That’s not me in those pictures.
Okay, enough of the list. If I left off your favorite political scandal … well, maybe yours is just a “phony scandal”.
Again, keep in mind, they all claim “phony” … insisting, That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
But in each case I listed … in the end, there was nothing phony.
I’m sure most noticed there is one really big politician I left off the list: Nixon.
I interviewed President Richard Nixon … twice.
The first time was in Houston during Watergate.
The President decided to get out of DC and away from all the “scandal” he was facing so he made a trip to NASA Headquarters.
During my interview, he talked about the “can do” spirit of NASA, Texans and the country; he suggested “real” Americans know what’s true.
The second interview was when the then resigned Nixon appeared at a closed dinner in the St. Louis Club in Clayton. Since I was not allowed inside, my photographer and I waited hours in the garage where I was planning to get him for a few remarks.
The plan worked and while our talk was brief, he left me with the impression that he still didn’t consider Watergate in the same light as the rest of the nation.
During the 2008 campaign, while addressing a crowd in Virginia, Barack Obama poked fun at McCain and Palin’s new “change” mantra.
It was reported that candidate Obama told the cheering crowd: “You can put lipstick on a pig — It’s still a pig.”
I agree with that statement, but Obama’s remark and the current events remind me of a quote from Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray):
“I love scandals about other people, but scandals about myself … do not interest me.”