The inevitable David Petraeus/Mean Girls analogies:
Mean Girls, that true classic of modern cinema, introduced America to a catty social undermining technique known as the “three-way calling attack”: A teen girl phones a friend to engage in some gossip, neglecting to mention that a third friend is listening silently on another line. It’s casual entrapment, a surefire way to gin up controversy in a small, closed social circle. But there are usually unforeseen consequences.
One week in, with more backstabbing details emerging every day, the Pentagon affair scandal has begun to seem like a giant three-way (or five-way) calling attack staged by a D.C.-military-elite version of the Plastics. The split-screen mayhem looks like this: General David Petraeus has a long-simmering affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, who gets jealous of Petraeus’s acquaintance Jill Kelley and sends her threatening, anonymous e-mails. Broadwell also dials in General John Allen, another acquaintance, sending him e-mails that describe Kelley “as a ‘seductress’ and warn[ing] the general about being entangled in a relationship with her,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Then Kelley gets an anonymous FBI agent on the line, intending that he only hear Broadwell’s attacks. But while he’s eavesdropping on that interaction, he overhears dirt that Kelley didn’t mean to expose — namely, that she was exchanging her own sexy e-mails with Allen. Oh, and that anonymous FBI agent was hot for Kelley and had sent her shirtless pics of himself. As the Plastics would say, “OMG.”
Oh, and it continues.