The Veep’s Shooting Rampaige

Vice President Dick Cheney ccidentally sprayed a friend with birdshot while hunting quail on a private ranch and the press corps went nuts:

  • What did the president know and when did he know it?
  • Why wasn’t the incident reported for 15 hours?
  • Why did the Secret Service prevent local authorities from talking to Cheney about the incident?
  • Why did Katharine Armstrong refuse to reveal that Pamela Willeford, the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, was hunting alongside Cheney and his “victim”?

The hyperbole on ABC’s “Good Morning America” was really over the top:

Charlie Gibson:

We’re going to go next to the growing political fallout from all this. Why didn’t the White House tell everyone when this accident happened? Why did they wait so long? And did that make a bad situation even worse?

What political fallout? What made it a bad situation? Was Cheney’s victim – longtime friend and lawyer Harry Whittington – in any real danger? Worse, was he going to sue?

Gibson throws it to Jessica Yellin at the White House. Yellin:

Good morning, Charlie, It took the vice president’s office nearly 24 hours to go public with news of this shooting (note the implication here). That delay has prompted some speculation online and on talk radio that perhaps Mr. Cheney was hoping to cover up the incident. But a spokesperson with Mr. Cheney’s office flatly rejects that notion, insisting that they waited to talk to the news media about the shooting because they deferred to the owner of the ranch, Mrs. Armstrong, about what had taken place on her property.

Interesting how ABC has nothing but disdain for Internet news sites, but uses the Internet in a broad sense to suggest that there might be a cover-up. “Don’t blame us. We had to report it because it was on the Internet.

Why didn’t ABC follow-up on the Oct. 14, 2001, incident at Westchester County Airport in which Sen. Hillary Clinton’s car injured a police officer after running a security checkpoint. That story was widely reported by Internet news sites and was a lot more significant.

When Ms. Clinton’s car refused to stop, Officer Earnest Dymond, believing he was pursuing a terrorist, bravely clung to the door of her black van pounding on the window. He was drug for about 100 yards before her driver finally brought the vehicle to a halt.

It seems highly unlikely that a member of her Secret Service detail would have taken it upon himself to run that checkpoint unless ordered to do so.

Did Sen. Clinton visit Dymond at the Saint Agnes Hospital in White Plains or later at his home? Did she even apologize? No!

She wasn’t even late for a plane. It was a private jet – not an airliner – that was waiting to take her to a fund-raiser.

How long was Dymond out of work and was there a cover-up? According to follow-up reports, Officer Dymond was not allowed to discuss his injuries or the accident. Where were NBC and the major news publications that have milked the Cheney story?

Isn’t running down a cop a lot more serious than accidentally spraying a friend with birdshot on a hunting trip?

And, how long did it take Sen. Edward Kennedy to report the accident that killed Mary Jo Kopechne? Presumably, long enough for his blood alcohol level to return to normal. The police took his word that he was not intoxicated even though there were many witnesses who could have been called to testify that he consumed alcohol throughout the day and night of the accident.

The very idea that he is still in the Senate and – worse still – allowed to sit on the Judiciary Committee is ludicrous! If the media had properly done its job, this would not be the case!

Mr. Whittington suffered a mild silent heart attack due to the fact that one BB landed near the heart muscle and caused some irritation. He is in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery. Any birdshot that was extracted likely was extracted with tweezers – the kind used on John Kerry’s war injuries.

Anne Armstrong, the matriarch at the ranch put the whole thing in perspective when she told the Washington Post that these things happen “occasionally down here.” Armstrong pointed out that both her ranch foreman and her daughter have embedded pellets from such accidents.

Yes, they have “real women” in Texas who aren’t afraid to go hunting.

What we need is more “real reporters” in Washington who aren’t afraid to do a little hunting of their own.

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