What would Washington be like if there were no print reporters? That was Thursday night’s episode of ABC’s political drama “Scandal,” the show that has some Washington journalists sitting on the edge of their seats.
Crisis manager Olivia Pope is up to her usual routine — handling everyone elses’ chaos while managing her own. She’s called in to take on a case involving a woman who had an affair with a married Supreme Court nominee. Press is staked outside the woman’s home, waiting for her, her husband or her children to step out so they can ambush them with questions and flashbulbs.
Pope pulls up in a car outside the home just before 9 p.m. She “cleverly” waits until the top of the hour to exit the vehicle and enter the home because presumable at that point, it’s prime time and reporters will be too busy shooting their live shots to notice. None will be free to approach with questions. Pope slips past the preoccupied press without a hitch.
But wait. Broadcast journalists would understandably be busy. But where are all the devious bloggers and shrewd print people?
When news of Gen. David Petraeus‘ affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell emerged last year, broadcast reporters staked out her brother’s home, where she was said to be staying. But there were also reporters from Politico, WaPo, the New York Post and the Daily News, all print. WaPo‘s Emily Wax even wrote a story about it.
Here’s how things would go down in real life…
Pope would pull up just before 9 p.m. and, assuming the Supreme Court nominee is liberal, Breitbart News‘s Matthew Boyle would jump to the window of the car, shouting questions through the glass. Pope would open the door to exit the car, accidentally grazing Boyle’s stomach with the rear view mirror, which he would describe as an “assault” in his writeup.
From there, Pope would walk up the driveway and come face to waist with BuzzFeed‘s 6’5″ D.C. Bureau Chief John Stanton, who would undoubtedly be wearing a belt buckle with skulls. He’d ask Pope why her client recently deleted a tweet about her affinity for “big gavels.”
Making her way past the busy broadcast reporters to the door, Pope would finally be confronted by a HuffPost blogger trying to snap a sideboob photo.
If no sideboob shot was taken, it would at least end with local D.C. paparazzo Mark Wilkins getting a shot of Pope’s butt crack, as he did recently with actor Gerard Butler.