The Atlantic Wire is making the startling claim that the Obama administration is 20 days away from making history as the longest scandal-free presidency since 1977:
Mark it on your calendars: if President Obama has just 20 days to go — October 6! — in order to claim the record as the most scandal-free president since 1977. The prior record holder is also his predecessor: George W. Bush, who in the appraisal of Dartmouth professor Brendan Nyhan, hit the first scandal of his presidency on October 5, 2003, with the Valerie Plame affair.
Chief among reasons to find this statement “startling” would be, of course, the “Project Gunwalker” . . . debacle (if the term “scandal” is off limits). So why isn’t that a scandal? Because a wise and benevolent academic has kindly provided us with the correct definition of the word “scandal,” and that definition is a bit beyond what we of the unwashed masses are likely to come up with on our own:
The criteria for what amounts to a scandal according to Nyhan is whether a news story on the front page of The Washington Post uses that word “scandal” in the reporter’s own voice to describe the president or his administration. His study cites a other political scientists who have argued that what the Post publishes is a good measure of elite opinion, and thus, he would argue, can pinpoint the moment when a brewing controversy solidifies into a bona fide scandal.
Apparently, the fact that the Washington Post has been running active interference on the administration’s behalf on the “Project Gunwalker” . . . unfortunate situation (including fabricated hit pieces on Representative Darrell Issa, as he spearheads the congressional investigation) is to be ignored.
So on the same day that National Conservative Examiner Anthony Martin asks about “a scandal a day” (and that’s without even getting into the latest . . . difficulty), we’re told that there have been no scandals, because there cannot be one until a newspaper demonstrably in the tank for the Obama administration says it’s a scandal.
In the meantime, Bob Owens, at Pajamas Media, reports that the Department of “Justice” is not counting “gunwalked” guns as “gunwalked,” unless they meet an extraordinarily narrow (and arbitrary) definition:
Some amazing caveats that the Department of Justice has chosen to ignore and not count:
- Weapons that were purchased by both targeted and untargeted straw purchasers if the ATF was not aware of the purchase in real-time as the buy occurred;
- If the straw purchaser was not on a pre-approved and narrow (roughly 20 suspects) list of acceptable targets (some of whom were FBI informants who bought weapons and armed the cartels using taxpayer dollars);
- Any suspect or weapon that was not officially part of Operation Fast and Furious before its “official” Nov. 16, 2009, launch date;
- Any suspect or weapon from other suspected gunwalking programs alleged to originate from Houston, Dallas, Tampa, or the Midwest;
- Related scandals involving some of the same co-conspirators, such as the grenade-walking debacle.
I guess we now know where William Newell, former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) Special Agent in Charge of the Tucson field office, came by his remarkably narrow definition of “walking” guns.
So there you have it–guns weren’t “walked” unless the perpetrators say so, and there’s no scandal, unless the administration’s apologists say there is.
It’s good to be king.
Update: National Gun Rights Examiner Dan has more, in “‘Elite’ media treatment of Gunwalker is scandalous”
- A journalist’s guide to ‘Project Gunwalker’-Part One
- A Journalist’s Guide to ‘Project Gunwalker-Part Two
- A Journalist’s Guide to ‘Project Gunwalker’-Part Three
- A Journalist’s Guide to ‘Project Gunwalker’-Part Four
- A Journalist’s Guide to ‘Project Gunwalker’-Part Five
- A Journalist’s Guide to ‘Project Gunwalker’-Part Six
- Official Correspondence on the Project Gunwalker Scandal.
- Sharyl Attkisson’s stories on CBS
- Gun trafficking as compared to William Newell’s definition of ‘gunwalking’
- Then again, maybe Obama administration DID directly traffic guns to Mexico
- Well, hell. Based on this criteria Gunwalker will NEVER become an official scandal.
- Will a scandal a day keep reelection away?
- ‘Elite’ media treatment of Gunwalker is scandalous