Why does the government do this? I’m not sure. Maybe in this particular case, the Vice President felt it would not be Vice Presidential to respond to this particular criticism personally. (Though I must say, the “senior administration official” quoted above goes on to make what seem to me to be newsworthy remarks about his recent meetings with Karzai and others in Afghanistan and Pakistan.)But it is even harder for me to understand why the press willingly goes along with the whole ruse.
Our profession could put an end to this evil practice if we would make the collective decision to do so. I hope we will.