The formula for political scandal is ludicrously simple. Take Individual A, insert in Institution B, add Power C and, sooner or later, out pops a shiny, new, media-ready scandal (simply append the suffix “-gate”). Hillary and Bill Clinton are no strangers to this process; they might well be seen as two of its greatest products. Their latest scandal? They played editor at GQ magazine.
As Politico reported back in September, Bill Clinton threatened not to appear as GQ’s “Man of the Year” if the gentleman’s magazine published a story on internal strife in Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The Times’ Frank Rich referred in passing to this turn of events last fall, but the kicker is that the Atlantic has now published the piece, with updated reporting and even un-timelier timing for the Clintons, who are currently trying to cope with Barack Obama’s winning streak. All in all, it’s a victory for investigative journalism—but let’s not make a “-gate” out of it.
(Thanks, Columbia Journalism Review.)