Tuesday, February 14, 2006

What Did The Quail Know and When Did It Know It??

Inquiring minds want to know. Dick Cheney shot a friend in a freak hunting accident. He was shooting a quail and facing into the sun, and his friend, returning to the pack, didn't announce himself. He got peppered, but he'll be fine. And since he's fine, it's probably ok to giggle about the fact that we're usually worried about shooting attempts on high government officials, not the other way around.

But the press is apoplectic. Not that Cheney shot a guy, but because they didn't find out right away. So they hyperventilated all over White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. But their reaction is inversely proportional to the public's concern over a bunch of reporters' bruised egos, especially when it comes to being informed on irrelevant details about a non-story that would never have received the airtime it has, had the news cycle been more exciting.

And in their ire, they are eager to turn this into another media-manufactured scandal. To wit, this:
Scott, when you consider the chronology that you've tried to go through here and all of the various wrinkles of how long it took for the primary information that the vice president was the person who shot this fellow, to get through to the president himself, is there any notion here of reviewing your own communications apparatus? I mean, this is sort of reminiscent of the levee story, frankly...
What did the President know and when did he know it? And why didn't he take steps to prevent the shooting of this person when he knew that loaded firearms were going to be present? When did the person who was shot learn that he had been shot?

And then McClellan got this painfully stupid question from an angry David Gregory of NBC that should have gotten Gregory fired:

Hold on one second. Human beings are not normally this inefficient. Was the vice president immediately clear that he had accidentally shot his friend or not? Or did that information become available later?
Nor are they normally so dumb as to have asked such a question. Try not to think that one over too hard.

But protestations of this variety, while telling us nothing about the Administration, speak volumes about a media out of control. They have no respect for anyone but themselves, and lacking much in the way of introspection, see nothing wrong with making their petty inconvenience into national headlines. And the stink which they made of such a very small matter reflects a particular arrogance. They believe that they have a right to have their noses in every event which they consider newsworthy. And the things that made this story worth more than a 5 second mention are 1) that they hate Dick Cheney, and 2) that Cheney's people had the nerve not to give them an endless supply of information to which they felt they were entitled.

They could do us all a favor and get over themselves.


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