In individuals, wallowing is regarded as a character flaw. But when the giant collective does the same thing, it somehow becomes sanctified, imbued with religious fervor. And the flock adores its priests.
The frustration of the powerful but primitive urge to obtain expiation through the ritual sacrifice of a scapegoat is an unholy transgression. Those responsible are infidels, heathens. Like the scapegoat itself, despised for cheating the faithful out of salvation through their rightful slaughter, they are outcasts. Anathema.
Seriously. How else can this phenomenon possibly be interpreted? If this had anything to do with truth or falsehood, evidence, knowledge, crime, punishment, due process, justice – or even such lesser concerns as winning and losing, as if the whole thing were some highly choreographed ego contest – the losing prosecutor wouldn’t be cashing in and the winning side wouldn’t be shunned. But that is what is happening. Even Scott Sternberg in Hollywood can’t unload the hot potato.