Sunday, April 02, 2006

Doin' the White House shuffle

It's the ongoing non-story story.

The magicians of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., as I called them recently, are trying to deflect attention away from all the bad news that continues to plague the White House, both at home and abroad, by creating non-news of their own. That non-news has to do with high-level personnel shuffling at the White House itself. Is it news that Card resigned? Not really. Is it news that Bolten was tapped to be his replacement? Not really. But the Washington press, the chattering class that lives and breathes all things ITB (Inside-the-Beltway), is easily lured into the trap. Who's in and who's out is sexy stuff. America doesn't really care who the chief of staff is, but the ITBers find such palace politics engrossing. These are their friends and contacts, after all, and it's all so much juicier than, say, health care policy or some complicated crisis on some distant place that they really don't know anything about.

But there's only so much media attention to go around, and more focus on personnel means less focus on policy. Who's in, who's out, who may be in, who may be out, who may move up, what it all means, if anything at all.

Yes, that's precisely what the White House wants.

I don't blame the ITBers for reporting on such matters, but there's something to be said against overkill, particularly when it's manipulated overkill, the White House pushing stories, or non-stories, that serve its own self-interest.

So it shouldn't come as any surprise that Card's resignation and Bolten's appointment to replace him has been followed by yet more of the same non-story. From the Post: "The White House is planning additional staff changes that could come as early as next week as part of a broader effort to repair relations with Congress and revive the Bush presidency, according to several Republicans familiar with the emerging strategy."

This will go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on... until the White House wants it to stop. The ITBers will eat it up -- and I suppose I'll keep reporting on it selectively here at The Reaction -- but...

Who cares? I mean, aren't there more important things going on in the world?

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home