Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cheney Fallout

It was inevitable that Dick Cheney's shotgun mishap would be fodder for late night television. The prospect of the powerful, always-in-control, Veep shooting a hunting buddy is comical (albeit at the expense of Cheney and Harry Whittington, his erstwhile victim). Even the White House got into the act this morning.

Of course, the whole thing took a more serious turn when it was revealed that Whittington suffered a mild heart attack as a result of his injuries and was moved back into the hospital's ICU. "It's all fun and games until someone has a heart attack" quips Frank over at IMAO, and he's right (no pun intended). The jokes seem somewhat inappropriate given Whittington's apparent turn for the worse. I certainly pray he recovers swiftly.

That being said, I have a few more (non-comedic) comments on the whole matter....

First, I agree that it is inappropriate for the accident itself to be used for political purposes by Bush-Cheney critics. Hunting can be a dangerous sport. There was an accident. A man was hurt. Enough said. I don't think a whole lot more can be read into the event itself.

However, the Administration's response (or lack thereof) to the initial incident.... Well, that's fair game in my book. The White House is famous for its tight lips and, for better or worse, that leaves some to ponder whether the veil of secrecy is hiding things that ought not be kept from the public. Why was there such a long delay in releasing information about the accident, and why did it take a media inquiry for the Administration to say anything at all?

The Vice President of the United States shot someone! I'm sorry, but that's news even when it's an accident. It doesn't take a PR genius to see that's the kind of thing a politico should get out in front of, and not be caught playing defense.

BTW - Clicked captures a bit of the breadth and depth of the blogosphere's coverage of the story (or non-story, depending on your point of view).

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