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July 15, 2014 10:36 AM Getting Awkward With the Cheneys

By Ed Kilgore

At yesterday’s Day’s End post, I linked to a “queasy-making” Politico interview with Dick, Lynne and Liz Cheney, but didn’t get into the details or backstory. I wanted to leave it behind like a bad car wreck one passes on the side of the road.

But Charlie Pierce couldn’t keep himself from stopping and looking, and the experience sent him into a memorable rage, partly at the Cheneys for chuckling their way through a discussion of how the country needed to get back to that successful foreign policy of the early aughts, but mostly at Politico for choosing these subjects for a fundraising event and then writing it up like a fanzine would. After noting the heavy emphasis Politico placed in its account of the interview on the “awkward” absence of Mary Cheney from a presentation that would otherwise have resembled the Brady Bunch(!), Pierce observes:

Oh, that Mike Allen is so dead butch. The “most awkward part” of the event did not have anything to do with official mendacity, torture, and the deaths of thousands. It did not have to do with selling the country’s energy policy to your pals and then locking up the account of how you did it. It did not have to do with cashing in other people’s children as chips. Oh, no. It had to do with the internal dynamics of America’s worst family, who apparently now are fighting over issues beyond whose coffin gets the freshest earth every morning when the sun comes up.

I don’t share Charlie’s perpetual fury at what he calls Tiger Beat on the Potomac, but he’s absolutely right that this interview reflects the annoying tendency not just at Politico but elsewhere to get giggly with access to the powerful, and to suspend all judgment when it comes to letting oneself be manipulated into broadcasting their spin. Why would you want to give the Cheneys yet another platform on which to agitate for another war? I guess it’s the sheer celebrity factor. If the Kardashians are “famous for being famous,” the Cheneys are famous for being wrong. But I guess that’s enough to give them another chance to be wrong all over again.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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