It started last Friday, when actor Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman on The West Wing and now Danny Tripp on the new NBC series, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Asked about news from Washington, Whitford quoted an editorial from The Hill (a newspaper that covers Congress) as saying:
"Hastert and Boehner need to get on the same page or Republican troubles will continue to mount."In disbelief, I immediately looked it up on the Internet. Sure enough, there was a Hill editorial, dated October 5 and headlined "Hastert and Boehner."
I sent the link to some friends with the comment, "You can't make this kind of thing up."
The quotation got picked up on Saturday by libertarian blogger Tom Palmer (who gave me a hat tip).
Then, on Monday, the Washington Post's "In the Loop" columnist, Al Kamen, used the quotation from The Hill, under the headline: "Say Again? On Second Thought, Don't."
And it all began with a White House staffer from the Jed Bartlet administration.