I just slipped this question into a WaPo chat — can’t tell if the guy knows I’m kidding or not:
Cape Cod, Mass.: Does al Qaeda represent the same kind of existential threat to our way of life that the Salahis do? Imagine if the Salahis had been packing suitcase nukes or if they knew kung fu? We could have been looking at something far worse than 9/11, don’t you think?
Ed O’Keefe: The Secret Service at least has said that they take all threats — no matter who they come from or how they happen — equally seriously. And any mistake is detrimental to the agency’s mission and VERY embarrassing.
There’s also an ENTIRE CHAT devoted to the Salahis on WaPo at noon. I’m objectively pro-reporter-chat so I don’t mean that as a criticism.
But the last few weeks of SalahiGate coverage has been giving me flashbacks to Socksgate, Travelgate, and all the other very important scandals of the early ’90s. Maybe I’m overreacting.
Update. He took this one too:
Re: Brit Hume: Have you seen any polling data on how the public would feel about waterboarding Tiger Woods? It seems to me it’s the only way to find out what he really did and didn’t do.
Thanks — I’ll be impressed if you take this one.
Ed O’Keefe: Nothing on waterboarding, but I think it’s noteworthy that several national polls — Post/ABC and Gallup — did poll Americans on their opinions of the Woods scandal. It’s like the polls had a BIG impact on AT&T and others that have dropped Woods as a spokesperson.
Imagine if national polls did this all the time! Would CBS cancel Charlie Sheen’s “Two and a Half Men”?
Update. I realize this is self-indulgent of me, but one more question I got into the second chat:
How big a scandal?: On a scale of 1 to 10 of Washington scandals, with 10 being the most important (say, Travelgate or Lewinskygate) and 1 the least important (say, torture, politicization of the DOJ, and all the bogus intel leading up to the Iraq war), where does Salahigate fall? I’m thinking about an 8.
Amy Argetsinger: Hmmmm…
Update. One more:
Baltmore, Md.: How come these kinds of made-up scandals afflict Democratic presidents so much more than Republicans? It’s really difficult for me to see how this is any worse than the saga of Jeff Gannon?
Why the weird double standard?
Amy Argetsinger: A guy of dubious credentials getting into the press corps is a story — and it WAS a story, just not as big a story as the Salahis, which I’d argue is both in proportion to their proximity to the president (the Salahis got a whole lot closer)… and also reflective of the fact that the Salahi story has a visceral appeal to a lot of readers. The Gannon thing is a little inside-baseball (most beyond-the-Beltway Americans don’t really know or care who gets to be in the press corps), while the idea of crashing a state dinner — which is supposed to be both exclusive and secure — has a significance easier to comprehend.
I’m pretty sure a lot of the other questions are from you guys, but I’m not sure, so let me know in the comments.