Although my examples are different, in my U.S. gov experience that behavior (where bureaucrats look out for politicians/politicos) is par for the course. Almost (almost!) no bureaucrat wants to go up against someone as powerful as a politician or political appointee. Plus you often feel bad for the guy/gal — and after all, it’s our job to help.
I would venture that the divergence in appearance is that in a government as large as ours the exceptions make the headlines and are better remembered.