Said Charles Krauthammer, as reported at National Review, talking about the newly released documents showing that a senior State Department Official offered what somebody else called "quid pro quo" to get the FBI to mark a document unclassified.
Is "the 'camera and sausage' factor" an expression we are supposed to recognize? No. A search for the precise term got to the emblematic nothingness of "Real Haunting Caught On Camera: The Haunted Sausage":
I have to assume that Krauthammer meant to gesture at the quote: "Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made." That's the original remark from 1869, and it's less of a famous quote than a famous simile, not always specific to law: Something is like watching sausage getting made. I guess Krauthammer didn't picture himself in the sausage factory, witnessing the gruesome goings-on, but watching video of the process. So a camera is in the sausage factory.
And now, I'm actually watching the video of Krauthammer speaking, which appears at the first link in this post along with the transcription, and I am cursing from down here in this rat hole. Krauthammer did not say "the 'camera and sausage' factor." National Review mistranscribed what was in fact "the camera in the sausage factory." Ah, well, my supposition was correct, and it would have been perfectly easy to understand if it had been correctly transcribed in the first place.
I know. I know you're going to say the important thing here is the State Department and the so-called quid pro quo. Althouse got off on one of her language kicks again. She's always ready to take the off-ramp to Languageville. Stay on the super-highway of current politics, Althouse.
But why? In the future, someone Googling something will find this in the archive because they're interested in the simile that's lived and prospered for a century and a half so far and that will exist, I suspect, for as long as humanity has meat scraps that need to be made into something delicious. No one will remember the outrage of the day that was October 17, 2016.
It would be more useful to amble down another street in Languageville and talk about what "quid pro quo" really means and whether the proposed trade of favors, referred to as "quid pro quo," is really the kind of quid pro quo that we talk about when we talk about political corruption.
ADDED: The 2014 Supreme Court case McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission talks about the phrase "quid pro quo" quite restrictively:
That Latin phrase captures the notion of a direct exchange of an official act for money. See McCormick v. United States, 500 U. S. 257, 266 (1991) . “The hallmark of corruption is the financial quid pro quo: dollars for political favors.” Federal Election Comm’n v. National Conservative Political Action Comm., 470 U. S. 480, 497 (1985)...