Cliches for David Petraeus

David PetraeusFor much of the media, the David Petraeus story never gets old. In fact, it seems that some of them are still hoping that they can convince the country that he has been unfairly victimized. There have even been calls to put him back in charge of the CIA. You see: he’s blackmail proof. (Did you know that the only things people are ever blackmailed over are affairs? And that Petraeus could never have another affair? Neither did I.)

Let’s take the basic facts of the Petraeus affair and see how we can turn it into the most cliched story imaginable. The story itself is really very simple and a cliche in its own right: an old married man has an affair with a younger woman. Now let’s expand this into five all new cliches:

  1. He ended the affair because it was the right thing to do.
  2. He’s a great guy—really.
  3. The wife is standing by her man just like the great gal he married.
  4. He was never a skirt chaser—this is an anomaly.
  5. It wasn’t his fault—he just fell for the younger woman’s charm.

This is the story we get from New York Post writer Chuck Bennett in his article, David Petraeus Says He ‘Screwed Up Royally’ in Letter to Old Army Buddy. It doesn’t get better than this!

In addition to being a laundry list extramarital affair cliches, it tends toward the hagiographic. Even after the mighty hero’s fall, the mainstream media just can’t let go. We are still greeted with pieces saying nothing other than, “Petraeus is great and what he did was minor.” I agree about his affair being minor. He has committed far worse sins in public view to applauding media. But since we will never get this kind of discussion, we can at least hope that reporters will shut the fuck up about the man.

Petraeus has retired. It is time for the press to let him go.

H/T Reed Richardson

Update (29 November 2012 9:46 pm)

Michael Stickings at The Reaction where I blog has a slightly different take on this news, Petraeus: “I screwed up royally.”

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Cliches for David Petraeus

  1. [quote]I agree about his affair being minor. He has committed far worse sins in public view to applauding media.[/quote]

    It’s very fucked up that people are outraged over him having an affair, but, not only are they not angry about what he did overseas, he’s a hero for his "success" as a military commander. It goes back to what I’ve brought up before: our society is obsessed with violence and war, but afraid and shameful of sex.

    I’m so sick of hearing about Petraeus and his affair. As you said, I wish the media would just shut the fuck up about it.

  2. @Mack – That’s about it. It is hard not to conclude that our societal shame regarding sex manifests in our public fetishisation of violence. It is important to remember that we are all animals first. As Sarah Vowell put it in other words: we were all once potty trained, even our heroes.

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