Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Veep Triggerman in Hunting Horror

Because I'm absolutely obsessed with the idea of the Vice-President of the United States shooting a guy in the face, I've done quite a bit of research on the topic and I'll pass the lernin' on to you...

Here are the main points of the story:

  • Cheney was "hunting" at one of those fenced in ranches where the specially bred animals sit around and wait to be slaughtered by rich old fat guys.
  • Cheney shot a guy in the face on Saturday.
  • We didn't find out until Sunday night because an eyewitness (Katherine Armstrong – the owner of the "ranch") that Cheney spoke to 90 minutes after the accident decided to break her silence at that time.
  • Ms. Armstrong called a friend at the local newspaper in Corpus Christi who wasn't there, and got some young health and fitness reporter instead. Nice break for her.
  • The White House claims that this was their intention all along. As Scotty put it: "And the Vice President felt that Mrs. Armstrong should be the first one to go out there and provide that information to the public, which she did -- and she reached out early Sunday morning to do so. ... I think we all know that once it is made public, then it's going to be news and all of you all are going to be seeking that information." That makes sense, right? Why bother contacting the press corps at the White House when some lady in Texas can call the Corpus Christi local paper? News is news, it all ends up in the same place!
  • The police came to interview Cheney on Saturday night as is standard operating procedure, but they were turned away. Might The Emperor have been piss-ass drunk? The secret service says not, but we'll never really know.
  • The Veep didn't have the proper hunting license, which is a violation of the law.
  • He was also declared at fault for the accident. "Hunter's judgment factor" was ticked off on the police report, putting the lie to Mary Matalin's claim that the old dude who got shot popped up out of nowhere. Good thing too, because something like that could have caused another heart attack.
Once again, Talking Points Memo is all over it with more detail. The most common theory to explain the delay in getting to the press was to avoid having it all across the Sunday newspapers and on the Sunday morning talk shows. I can't imagine that not to be the case. That and the fact that Dick was probably drunk and was in no shape to be talking to the press on Saturday.

So where is Cheney? How on earth does he get away with not talking with the press by now? YOU SHOT A GUY! Jesus H. Christ, what do these guys have to do?

In the meantime, read the press conference from yesterday. It's hilarious. I think McClellan feels like he got shot in the face, chest and neck. That Scotty, he's a slippery little bastard, but I'm not sure I've ever seen him slippin' and slidin' as much as during this one.

Best question in a White House press briefing ever: "Do you know whether he's taken a hunting safety course?"

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