Monday, February 13, 2006

The Flap Over the Cheney Accident

Michelle Malkin's got a big roundup of links on the Vice President's unfortunate shooting accident this weekend. The press, of course, is having a field day and screaming about not having been called immediately after the accident.

Byron York and John Podhoretz seem to me to have been a little too fast to pile on and wag their fingers at the Vice President.

With regard to York's concern over the length of time it took to inform the press, I'm wondering: Where was the press? (Rush Limbaugh asked a similar question on his show this morning.) And why should Cheney do a mea culpa about the shooting in front of the press, as Podhoretz wishes, when we don't even know yet if it was actually his fault? We already know he feels terrible about it. Some reports, cited in Malkin's post, indicate that Mr. Whittington may have walked into the line of fire without informing his companions. Jonah Goldberg has noted the same thing.

So: it was an accident, which may not have been the Vice President's fault, which was promptly investigated by law enforcement; and the Vice President suggested the ranch owner inform the curiously absent press of the incident within 24 hours of the event. (I wonder if the V.P. had expected word would go to the press earlier than it did, via either the sheriff's department or the hospital.) We'll learn more about all the circumstances in due course. In the meantime it seems as though everyone, conservative pundits included, needs to chill out.

The mainstream media, of course, delights in this event; their over-the-top carrying on at today's press conference was an embarrassment. Mark Levin puts it in perspective: the same press that is in a frenzy about the public's "right to know" doesn't believe the public has a right to see the cartoons which have led to violence throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Update: Andrew McCarthy thinks that moments in which the media or Democrats reveal their partisan selves may be good for the Bush Administration: "...the unrestrained glee in reaction to a mishap is over the top even by Washington standards. Normal people look at this and see in a froth over an accident the same people who couldn't summon up a pulse over President Clinton's INTENTIONAL misconduct."

Power Line also comments: "The press corps' over-the-top reaction to this event reflects two things, I think: the reporters' detestation of the administration, and their ignorance of firearms."

Over the course of the day I've been reflecting on this being yet another example of the press's rabid desire to find the next Watergate scandal -- just as long as the "scandal" involves a Republican administration, of course -- and in their quest for "Watergate," the press loses all sense of proportion.

Tuesday Update: Mark Steyn visited the Corner to take on John Podhoretz's hand-wringing. Steyn: "Democrat/media hysteria only underlines their estrangement from the average red-state male...."


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