Steve Bannon Getty Images

为何班农必须走人

发自华盛顿特区——在许多(如果不是大多数)美国政府机构中,总会不时有些人物冒起并让新闻界确信,如果没有他(目前还没有“她”)总统就没法干活了。事实上,一位不可或缺的助手是当代总统制最为常见的比喻之一。卡尔·罗夫(Karl Rove)是“布什的大脑”;哈里·霍普金斯(Harry Hopkins)帮助富兰克林·德拉诺·罗斯福(Franklin Delano Roosevelt)打点其规模庞大的白宫团队;比尔·莫耶斯(Bill Moyers)在杂志封面上的称号是“约翰逊总统的天使”。倘若缺少了这样一位人物,这个故事就会不出意料地出问题,政府也会变得一团糟(如果算不上一场灾难的话)。

通常,这一比喻是由那个特定的不可或缺的人物发明或鼓励的。对于记者来说,寻找一个好故事最重要,而这故事是否有切实的依据则不在考虑之列:这个人物会对一切问题予以澄清,也给新闻界一些爆料去写在文章里。这位不可或缺的助手也非常乐意透露一些关于他如何力挽狂澜,构思了一些特别巧妙的想法,或者制止了某些可怕错误的戏剧性故事。

但有时这位所谓重要人物也会玩得过火。在里根治下的白宫,接替詹姆斯·贝克(James Baker)担任幕僚长的唐·雷根(Don Regan)把自己当成了总理。他让自己出现在了里根总统和苏联领导人米哈伊尔·戈尔巴乔夫的合影中,对下属(包括记者)举止粗暴,而他的致命错误则是将千方百计想照顾自己丈夫的南希·里根拒之门外。结果雷根很快就被赶走了。

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