Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Have Gun, Will Unravel

"Grrrrr! Say hello to my little friend!"

I had told myself that I wouldn't post anything about Dick Cheney's hunting mishap (after all, the phrase "shooting fish in a barrel" comes to mind), but it is difficult not to be astonished by the jaw-droppingly horrible PR response from the White House. After keeping a lid on the story for more than 24 hours, the veep's office, as of this writing, still has not issued even the most mealy-mouthed response. How hard would it be to fire out the following release: "Vice President Cheney said his thoughts and prayers are with his good friend, Harry Whittington, whom the vice president accidentally shot in a hunting accident, blah, blah, blah ..."?

Cheney's conspicuous absence on the matter is compounded by the fact that the White House's only real verbosity has come from blaming the veep's makeshift prey, Harry Whittington, as somehow culpable for the shooting. So much for the NRA's oft-repeated mantra that "guns don't kill people -- people kill people." According to Deadeye Dick Cheney, people don't kill people, either ... "people who get in front of guns kill people."

Balloon Juice is skeptical of the non-PR PR from Cheney's handlers:

"Is this why communication is so bolloxed during events like, say, Hurricane Katrina? Or why intelligence regarding the status of WMD in Iraq was so distorted? Is this symptomatic of dysfunctional communication throughout the entire White House?

"Or was this political calculus? Let it blow up and drive everything off the news media’s plate, like the wiretapping issue, the scathing report from House Republicans regarding Katrina, the 4 dead kids in Afghanistan, etc.

"Or was it just hubris and a reflexive desire for secrecy? They like to keep their cards close to their collective chests, and hate letting out any information about anything- even when it could be to their advantage. Is this just the WH and the VP’s staff doing business as usual?"


At 1:25 PM, Blogger Cassandra D said...

It's rather telling. If Cheney won't even admit any responsibility for his shooting his friend, he will never admit any responsibility for any less obvious (but more lethal) mistakes.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Daniel Gale-Grogen said...


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (CNN) -- The fellow hunter who was shot and wounded by Vice President Dick Cheney has suffered a "minor heart attack" after a piece of birdshot migrated to his heart, a hospital spokesman said Tuesday.

By Cheney and the VP's office remaining silent, every minute that passes makes them look like even bigger asshats than before.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Cassandra D said...

Yeah. What a Dick.

At 7:28 PM, Blogger Brit said...

Have you read Vidiot's questions about the "official account"?

At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Red Dirt said...

It would have been so astonishingly easy and effortless just to have Cheney show up at the guy's bedside for a photo opp, show plenty of concern and contrition ... I'm starting to have a queasy feeling about this. Accidents happen, but still. This has the feeling of a scene from some 70s conspiracy flick.

At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Brett said...

The release of information in this whole mess was remarkably clumsy, and almost every reason I could think of to make it so doesn't hold much water. At best, they're klutzes. At worst, they're stupid-trying-to-be-sneaky klutzes.

That said, the reaction of the White House press corps (and David Gregory, I'm talking to you) is laughable: "You told the Corpus Christi local newspaper before you told us? But dammit. we're important! We're the White House press corps! We're supposed to get all the important news first! Do you think we've got time to go out and get it, or to have a press presence somewhere near the Vice-President of the United States when he's away from Washington?"

Silly asses.

At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Greta McInerney-Spinoza said...

David Gregory had a good point. Informing the Corpus paper and not the white house press corps was a calculated attempt to try to keep the news quiet for as long as possible. And worse, it wasn't the veep or white house that released the news, it was the ranch's owner, who surely realized that word was going to get out.

The press corps issue had more to do with the attempted cover-up. There are too many unanswered questions. The first news stated that the victim was "peppered" by birdshot. Then we learn he was actually shot, and a pellet lodged in his heart. The Texas docs make it sound like no big deal. This IS a big deal and the victim is in physical danger -- otherwise, he wouldn't be back in ICU.

A number of hunters are puzzled that if Cheney hit the man from a distance of 30 years, the tiny pellets probably would not have penetrated to this degree.

It's always the same -- the cover-up gets people in trouble. In this case, we have a vice president who not only thinks he's above the law, he really IS.


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