Media, War and Politics

Well, I may have called Jill Kelly et al. “a bunch of self-inflated, over-leveraged, Floridian yoga-and-pedicure arrivistes,” but at least they never killed nobody. If she and her husband and their little circle of Gulf Coast socialite lites were running a series of nested social scams, as they patently were, appending themselves to the native déclassé aristocracy of West Florida, namely, The Military, like a collection of slightly natty minor nobles pissing in the stairwells at Versailles while waiting for a chance encounter with a Bourbon, then at least they were harmless. They weren’t off in Afghanistan, sending folks to their doom. The fact that everyone in Washington seemed—and seem—to find them so offensive for having brought low several once-great men suggests that there may yet have been some redeeming social value in their grift. Oh, I am sure they’re self-entitled assholes, but at least they’re not generals . . . or senators. And remember, Petraeus himself was just a useful Press Release, an avatar of some sort of martial success to be dumped on each open-mouthed Tina Brown each time the grim facts of our “Decade at War” threatened to boil over into something like public disaffection. A stooge of a bunch of stooges brought down by the machinations of some more stooges—is anything more American than that? The Kellys can’t understand why they’d face opprobrium for what they know anyone else in their circumstances would’ve done. They wanted notoriety, not to be notorious! Sister, don’t we all.