Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cheney Tool Decries Media "Jihad"

Things got a little dicey on Meet the Press today as Cheney spokesperson, Mary Matalin, in a typical Bush administration maneuver, went on the attack, attempting to put the media on the defensive and dodge the persistent questions about inconsistencies in the Cheney hunting story. MTP host, Tim Russert, allowed Matalin to spin freely for half the show, which left prescious little time for rebuttals or follow-up questions.

Matalin, in an exchange with NBC White House correspondent David Gregory, decried the media "jihad" against Vice President Cheney. She then described NY Times columnist and Cheney critic, Maureen Dowd, who sat across the table, as "the diva of the smart set." Dowd's response was the clearest statement of the broadcast:

The reason this story has evoked such fascination is because the vice president is like the phantom. You know, we hear the creak of the door as he passes, but we don't really know what he's up to. We don't know his schedule. We don't always know where he is. We don't know what democratic institution he's blowing off at any given minute, and so this allowed us to see how his behavior and judgment operated pretty much in real time -- with the delay, but pretty much in real time. ... And it covered all the problems of the Bush/Cheney administration: secrecy and stonewalling, then blowing off the rules that are at the heart of our democracy, then using a filter to try and put the truth out in a way that would most suit their political needs, and then bad political judgment in bungling a crisis. I mean, if there's one thing the Republicans are great at since Reagan, it's damage control. But he is such a control freak, you know, he doesn't even care about the damage. ... Mary, it isn't only the press. He blows off the FISA courts, he blows off the Geneva Conventions, he blows off the U.N. to go to Iraq. He wants to blow off everything. He's got a fever of about presidential erosion just the way he had a fever about going into Iraq.

Granted, the whole story became an obsession with the press, but when you're as dark and secretive and powerful as Cheney, what do you expect? Characterizing the media attention as a "jihad" cleverly brings the language of the ever-present War On Terror to the table, which effectively shuts off any meaningful debate. Well done, Mary - you've proven an old adage to be true - dogs really do take on their owners' personality traits.

There's a pretty good in-depth piece on Cheney in the latest Newsweek, entitled: The Shot Heard Round the World.

But it's not that big a story, really. Two guys out hunting with two women - not their wives, just a couple of nice Republican women - not drinking anything. Well, drinking just a little. Then, one of the men is accidentally shot in the face and neck at fairly close range (They claim 30 yards, but could that many pellets land in so condensed a space and penetrate a hunting jacket, clothing and lodge in the liver and heart? I'm not a hunter, can anybody enlighten here?).

Later, it turns out that the "eyewitness", Katherine Armstrong (described as "eyewitness" no fewer than six times in the news conference), who at first said she didn't know what was going on and assumed Cheney had suffered another heart attack, is somehow, just a day later, able to recall viewing the entire event with some detail.

And what about the other woman, Pamela Willeford? She was reportedly standing right next to Cheney when he fired. Who is she? Where was Lynne? We know that Willeford is the current ambassador to Switzerland and that she is figurehead president of Pico Drilling Company (oil drilling equip).

Is Pamela Willeford Dick Cheney's lover? Were there semen stains on her camouflage? Does she, in fact, bear some responsibility for Dick's premature firing? Where is Kenneth Starr when you need him?


Annie said...

When have we ever been interested in what the V.P. does. Historically, the V.P. has done low level speaking engagements, grand openings and charity functions. Huge swaths of America could not even name some of our V.P.s. Now - the press is interested in the schedule of the V.P.? Give me a break! What they are really upset about is that a small hometown paper in Texas broke the story about the shooting accident before they did. Just so you know - I am not a Republican - I am a registered Democrat. Something I do not relish admitting lately.

RSmith said...

Exactly - historically, the VP has been an executive branch functionary - which is exactly why people are interested in trying to figure out the very secretive Cheney, who weilds more exectutive power than any VP in American history.
Hell, I wouldn't relish being a registered Democrat either. They haven't exactly distinguished themselves over the past six years of GOP political dominance.

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