Hogan's Alley

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Cheney Shooting

I was fascinated to watch the press' feeding frenzy yesterday in the White House briefing room when they pounced on the hapless Scott McClellan about the failure of the Vice President to reveal his involvement in the accidental shooting of Whitington for nearly 24 hours. The media itself was apparently also taken with the scene and replayed portions of it on their newscasts and in the hourly news cycles of the cable networks. I'd like to see the daily White House briefing televised live every day. After all, the fourth estate is an essential part of our democracy, as they keep telling us. However, I don't expect to see that soon. It's a bit like sausage, you don't want to know what goes into producing the product. It's too ugly. The press would never allow us to see them at work, unedited.

To be clear, Cheney was foolish not to issue a press release ASAP. I leaves one with the impression that he harbored the hope that it could be kept quiet.

On the other hand, the issue is about an act of carelessness, not about the man's conduct of his role as VP. Also, I have never shot a friend in the head with a shotgun. If I had, I might be very upset and not think terribly straight. And now we learn that one or more of the pellets migrated into the man's heart. This was hardly a flesh wound. It must have been very ugly and frightening.

I'm not a hunter, but I can't imagine why someone in a quail hunting party isn't accidentally shot on every hunting trip. After all, the birds take off suddenly from cover and fly in any direction. They probably don't always cooperate by flying out only to the front of an entire group of hunters, not to mention the cadre of Secret Service and communications staff that accompany the VP. Anyone know how many bird hunting accidents occur each year?