Last Friday night, not long after his suspension from Politico for controversial remarks and tweets, Joe Williams issued a statement essentially blaming a “small group” for his troubles. That was a not-so-subtle reference to the conservative Web site Breitbart.com, which had picked up on two things: Williams’s comments on MSNBC suggesting that Mitt Romney is comfy only around white people and some ill-considered tweets, including one in which he jumped in on a penis joke about Romney.

Williams’s strategy hasn’t evolved much since then. He told Mediaite, “ ‘I gave [Breitbart.com] the rope, they did the hanging.’ ” And in the interview above, Williams tells Current TV’s Bill Press: “The fact that I said that [on MSNBC] led . . . them to try to say, ‘Aha! We’ve got something here. Let’s go back and look at what his record is.’ ”

Correct, that’s how the system works — for politicians, journalists and anyone else who wants to serve the public.