At the Post, the big pander drags on: At the Washington Post, the pandering to David Petraeus continues.
It’s often performed in the headlines. On Sunday, a headline suggested that the great man “let his guard down” when approached by Paula Broadwell.
It must have been Broadwell’s fault!
Today, another headline kisses the general’s keister. This headline is on the Post’s front page:
“Did general stumble on strange turf?”
So the headline asks, on page one. Since Petraeus isn’t like mortal men, there must be a very good explanation for his puzzling lapse.
Reporter Greg Jaffe puzzles it out. Unable to pin the blame on the butler, he blames the whole thing on retirement—hence, that hard-copy headline:
JAFFE (11/12/12): Another theory advanced by Petraeus's most loyal staff officers is that his retirement from the Army to become director of the CIA might have led to his collapse.Have you ever seen the guild work so hard to explain a "sex scandal" away?
His military career had defined his life since his days as a West Point cadet and his marriage to his wife, Holly, the daughter of a general. In public, he seemed to miss the comfort and confidence that his uniform provided.
He recently showed up to speak at a dinner in Washington wearing a row of military medals on the lapel of his suit jacket. The brass prompted a few double takes from a crowd in which only uniformed military men had donned their medals.
Former defense secretary Robert M. Gates, a CIA veteran, had advised Petraeus not to bring his entourage of former military officers to the agency. The former general showed up for his first day at the agency alone.
At the CIA, Petraeus still retained a big staff and the perks of high office, including a staffer to accompany him on his morning runs when traveling and a standing order to ensure he had fresh, sliced pineapple on the road before he turned in for bed.
But he lost the daily and immediate connection to the military family that had sustained him over the course of the past decade of war.
As his old staff officers moved on to new Army assignments, Broadwell stayed close, going on long runs with him and helping to pick out a wardrobe of tailored suits he would wear at the CIA.
"In the Army, he had a built-in group of associates to run with him, joke with him and keep him company," said one Petraeus confidant. "He lost that when he left the Army. Maybe he should have rented some staff officers to bring to the CIA."
Poor guy! He was all alone at the CIA! Even the fresh sliced pineapple wasn’t enough! No wonder he started to wear his medals on his suit!
It can’t be that he’s just a little bit kooky. As Jaffe reports, he longer had a group of associates to keep him company and tell him jokes! No wonder he had an affair!
For better or worse, men and women do have affairs. But David Petraeus was no mortal creature! For that reason, the Post is still casting about in the water, explaining his brief lapse away.
When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way! So it is for the pitiful souls who comprise this pitiful guild.
Comparing and contrasting/buttons versus medals: When Gore wore three buttons on his suits, that was profoundly wrong. Chris found the conduct quite dirty!
When Petraeus parades about with the his medals on his suit, there must be a very good reason!