Funny Line

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
The press corps is outraged that the White House waited 20 hours or so to disclose that Vice President Dick Cheney had shot a hunting companion, and we can see why. Don't these Bush people understand that the coverup is worse than the crime?
• 11:27 a.m., Monday. Mr. McClellan finally holds a press conference and gets grilled. One reporter actually asks (and we're not making this one up), "Would this be much more serious if the man had died?"

For the record, Mr. McClellan replied, "Of course it would." We hope the 78-year-old Mr. Whittington recovers promptly after his heart attack yesterday. As for the Beltway press corps, it has once again earned the esteem in which it is held by the American public. — (Opinion Journal)


David Thomson said...

I am convinced that Dick Cheney is in a no-win position. There is absolutely nothing he can do to avoid criticism. The Republican hating MSM will employ any excuse to filth on the Bush administration. What if he had reported this ho-hum incident immediately? In that case, Cheney would be accused of worrying more about damage control than the condition of his buddy. He would be described as a cold blooded manipulator of public opinion. After all, what else can one expect of a former CEO of Hallibuton?

Buddy Larsen said...'s some other great one-liners, from an email circulating 'round:

"I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here." --- Stephen Bishop

"A modest little person, with much to be modest about." -- Winston Churchill (about Clement Atlee)

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." --- Irvin S. Cobb

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." --- Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." --- William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

"He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others." --- Samuel Johnson

"He had delusions of adequacy." --- Walter Kerr

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." --- Groucho Marx

"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge." --- Thomas Brackett Reed

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." --- Forrest Tucker

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." --- Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." --- Mae West

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go." --- Oscar Wilde

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." --- Oscar Wilde

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." --- Billy Wilder

Fresh Air said...

Oh, just wait. The media has stepped in it once again. As soon as Whittington gets out of the hospital and has a statement or two to make about what shmucks they've been making of themselves.

As Ann Coulter says, liberals always take the bait.

Seneca the Younger said...

I firmly predict he'll say something about having cut himself worse shaving with a straight razor. Or some other good-ole-boy metaphor.

Knucklehead said...

I suspect when we hear from Whitington it will be along the lines of, "A man's gotta know when to duck. And one of those times is when my buddy, Dick, is swinging his bird gun 'round yer way."

Buddy Larsen said...

I agree--also--the pic circulating of Cheney wearing those ear protectors--all of us who've hunted in a moving group know the need to hear is pretty important for situational awareness and. Somebody oughtta say something about those ear-protectors.

Buddy Larsen said...

Cheney talking live to FoxNews in a few minutes, says CNBC.

terrye said...

Hugh Hewitt did a good take down of the media on this.

And while everyone from Glenn Reynolds to Dana Milbank can give Cheney a hard time on how he handled this...I tend to agree with David. I think they would have crucified him no matter what he did or said and no doubt there would have been all kinds of people claiming they would have handled it differently.

I heard it was actually 14 hours to official notice of press.

Knucklehead said...

I haven't followed the MSM blathering about this much. For those who have, has anyone asked any MSM luminary how the 24 hour (or less) delay in their awareness of this story mattered? Other than having descended on the hospital like a bunch of vultures, camping out at the hunting ranch, and shrieking like hens fighting over a bit of corn, what would be different?

Melissa Nelson said...

Byron York at NRO wondered how long Cheney planned to sit on the story if his hostess hadn't reported it to the Corpus paper (supposedly with Cheney's approval). This seems like a legitimate question to me. Other than that, it's a non-story (assuming Whittington recovers, and I surely hope he will), and this is really about Beltway reporters miffed at losing a big scoop to a (gasp!) small, local red state paper. The nerve!

terrye said...


Hey, that is their J.O.B.

Screeching like hens.

Can't you see Gregory sticking a mike in the face of a scared and upset relative and asking how it feels to have Dad gunned down by the VP?

JB said...


I mean, c'mon, absolutely.

Heads they win, tails the administration loses. Any grade schooler could see it coming.

Knucklehead said...


I supect Cheney would have "sat on it" until he got a call telling him Whittington was out of the hospital. This was not a case of a gaping hole blown into the guy.

I have no inside info but I guess that Chaney's take on this was along the lines of, "Damn, Whit, I just shot you in the face (you look like hell BTW). The least I can do is try and keep the vultures at bay until you get the birdshot plucked and get back home."

The notion of a "cover up" is patently silly. Everyone involved had to know that the story would hit the press. Cheney probably got a longer lead time than he anticipated. And what did he have to lose by letting it go as long as it lasted. It isn't as if they MSM portrays him as anything other than a cloven-hooved Mephistopheles anyway.

Buddy Larsen said...

Also coming to light is the time it took to run down Whittington's far-flung family, and heads-up them before the headlines hit 'em outta the blue.

Buddy Larsen said...

o/t, but the man who stole "Forrest Gump" is sure a decent feller.

Melissa Nelson said...


I agree that was probably what Cheney was thinking - "I'm gonna protect this guy and his family from media vultures for as long as possible." And I also agree with you that the MSM wasn't going to cut him an inch of slack no matter what he did.

I don't support any notion of a cover-up. I don't believe that's what was going on. I'm just not sure it was wise to allow the news to be reported to the media by his hostess rather than by Cheney himself, because frankly, it looks bad. It looks like Cheney wanted to keep it quiet but his hostess refused.

However, if part of the delay involved getting news out to family members, that is completely reasonable. I hope Cheney makes that case to Brit Hume tonight.

Again, I do agree with y'all that this is a tempest in a teapot. I personally just would have preferred it if Cheney had gotten out ahead of the story a little more quickly rather than hunker down and wait for it to blow over.

Peter UK said...

Nobody seems to be considering the fact that Cheney has a bad heart and the shock of shooting his friend probably sent his heart rate through the roof.A lttle realism would be useful here.

terrye said...


I got the impression that is was Cheney's idea to contact the press, he just let the ranch owner do it because while she may be Miss Nobody to the folks in the Beltway she is somebody down there in Texas.

Melissa Nelson said...

You guys have convinced me. This must have been an awful personal experience for the VP, and likely he felt that taking the heat and shielding his friend from the media was the least he could do. Especially since he knew that he would be skewered by the MSM regardless of how he handled the situation.

Terrye, I didn't get the impression that it was Cheney's idea for Ms. Armstrong to contact the press, but that's what I get for reading MSM accounts. It's possible he was leaving the decision up to her, which is close to the same thing.

For the record, I live in Austin, so I think it's a total hoot that the Corpus paper got to scoop the Washington press corps.

Buddy Larsen said...

Hey, Melissa--go Horns, I'm just a little west of ya, between Blanco (home of Shelly Duvall) and Dripping (home of Lance Armstrong) Springs. I used to work around Corpus, and know the Caller well. Good paper, much, much better than NYTimes or WaPo.

Peter UK said...

Hey Buddy,how did Algore get a mouth like that,did his mother stick him on the refrigerator door when she was tidying up?

Buddy Larsen said...

Actually, I just isolated that feature in the 'paint' program and enlarged it (nothing Mr. Gore doesn't do himself, on an almost baily dasis). Had to 'draw' the schnozz, tho--also in 'paint'. Al P. Nocchio.

Melissa Nelson said...

Thanks, Buddy - I thought I remembered from some of your posts that you lived in the area. I envy you your Hill Country location. Boy, it must be nice out there this time of year.

Ahh, the Longhorns. It's been a great couple of months to live in Austin. I work at UT, too, and am technically an alum (master's degree), so that adds to the satisfaction.