Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Wow, is this a hostile AP story about the VP

If this were a legal brief, any good lawyer would be all over it, like a fly on honey. This AP story purporting to show discrepancies in the VP's hunting accident is one of the shoddiest bits of work I've ever seen. It begins with an extraordinarily biased opening, which hunts at dark, nefarious doings, and lies akin to "I did not have sex with that woman":

Vice President Dick Cheney said he didn't immediately disclose his hunting accident because he wanted the confusing details to come out right. Instead, authorized accounts came out slowly — and often still wrong. The result: a week of shifting blame, belatedly acknowledged beer consumption (not "zero" drinking after all) and evolving discrepancies in how the shooting happened, its aftermath and the way it was told to the nation. "There's a reason they call this crisis management," said corporate damage-control specialist Eric Dezenhall, "and that's because it's a mess."
That's harsh. Let's see where this article goes after this opening statement. First, it says that everyone lied about where blame belonged:
In the first days after the vice president wounded attorney Harry Whittington while shooting at quail last Saturday in Texas, blame was placed on the victim for not announcing his presence to fellow hunter Cheney.
You'd think after this opening sentence, that the article would go on to introdcue evidence that Whittington was hooting and hollering his whereabouts, and that eye witnesses saw Cheney deliberately aim at his friend and shoot. Well, not quite:
The about-face came Wednesday when Cheney made his first public comment on the accident. "It was not Harry's fault," he said. "You can't blame anybody else. I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend."
In other words, because the VP, in an old-fashioned way, took ultimate responsibility for what occurred -- since he was not injured and his friend was -- that's tantamount to an about-face on the unchanged story that Mr. Whittington failed to announce himself. As the Professor in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe keeps tutting, they are not teaching people logic nowadays. The reporters are also all a'twitter about their claim that the VP lied about not having consumed any alcohol during the hunt. In fact, he didn't. They admit that there was no alcohol during the hunt, corroborating Armstrong's contention that, as to alcohol, it was "No, zero, zippo." This statement is absolutely unrebutted by the VP's admission that, hours before, at lunch, not on the hunt, he had a single beer. I don't know what kind of rarified world the reporters live in, but in the real world, when a grown man has a single beer five to six hours before an event, he is not even marginally near being under the influence of alcohol. Regarding the victim's condition, the same reporters appear to think that the following two sentences are inconsistent:
Initial reports had him treated at the scene, then taken by ambulance to the hospital, where in no time he was cracking jokes with the nurses. It turned out that after being taken to the emergency room of a local, small hospital, he was flown by helicopter to the intensive care unit of the larger hospital in Corpus Christi.
I seem to remember Ronald Reagan, who was truly severely injured, cracking a joke too. Again, perhaps only those of us who know brave, old school gentleman, rather than whiney, effete reporters, can accept that someone can crack jokes and still be injured. The same illogical, warped view continues with regard to the license issue. The article makes it sound as if the VP was doing the hunting equivalent of driving without a license. As the reporters themselves are forced to admit, "Cheney was legally hunting with a license he bought in November." The problem was a minor one, in that he hadn't gotten a stamp from the local game department (and the reporters conveniently neglect to inform their audience that this is a $7.00 stamp, akin to the fee hikers pay to go on a nature trail). There's also the usual whine about "how dare they not tell us sooner," but the reporters, unsurprisingly, are unable to raise even the semblance of dirt with regard to this one. All they do is report that the VP's office worked slowly, and that Armstrong eventually took it upon herself to tell the hometown paper -- something that she told the Veep. In other words, despite the opening paragraph about discrepancies and falsehoods, the reporters don't introduce evidence of a single falsehood or even a shading of the truth. This is a smear article, plain and simple. It has nothing to do with anything but defaming the VP and casting unwarranted doubt in people's minds. If this were a trial, I'd be pointing out to the jury that the prosecution utterly failed to prove the facts asserted in the opening statement -- and I'd win. Talking to Technorati: , , , , , ,