Or maybe a conspiracy of sorts
Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies -- Honore de Balzac
They are one of the most unpleasant races in the Galaxy. Not actually evil, but bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous. They wouldn't even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders – signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters. – Douglas Adams
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people":
The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization. – Jerry Pournelle
First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.
Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.
Q: Which group shows up on cable news shows as “respected” experts?
The system they are defending has failed America repeatedly. From Iraq to the 2008 financial crisis to the opioid epidemic to China to the COVID pandemic – their system has produced death, impoverishment, misery and despair.