These are the twelve stages that we have come to recognize and expect.
1. Something comes out in the press that looks terribly damaging.
2. The media goes into overdrive hyping the story and focusing on it monomaniacally.
3. The lefty bloggers start drooling in glee.
4. Democratic politicians make somber, seemingly heartsick speeches denouncing the administration in increasingly vituperative language.
5. Then, after a day or so, the right side of the fence kicks into gear. The RNC starts issuing press releases to show how things are being taking out of proportion.
6. Righty bloggers start looking at the actual evidence, going back through old news stories to remind people of the historical facts. Long-forgotten little reports in the media are resurrected to exonerate the Bush people.
7. Conservatives get just as angry as those on the left.
8. The media barely reports any of the debunking of the original story. They continue with whatever storyline they established in the first days of the kerfuffle.
9. Fox News interviews someone like Byron York to show how misleading the original storyline was. Maybe there is a story in the Wall Street Journal or the New York Post, but barely anything in the Washington Post, New York Times, network news et al.
10. Conservatives get angrier and more cynical about the MSM.
11. Liberals get more gleeful, but also more frustrated.
12. The liberals are frustrated because polls come out showing that few people care about the story that has so excited both sides. The story eventually dies down with both sides convinced that dirt was done somehow somewhere. They just don't agree who did what that was dirty.
Lather (Lefty and media outrage), rinse (righty debunking), and repeat (whatever the next supposed scandal is lurking out there)
Take time to read Betsy's Page every now and again. You'll be glad you did.
UPDATE: For an example of the process, Check out the Astute Blogger's list of scandals.