Cheney's Chappaquiddick?

Techniguy - 02-19-2006

For the past few years we've heard that Iraq is Bush's Vietnam, now we're hearing that Harry Whittington is Cheney's Chappaquiddick. This story is being told not only by political hacks on the left, but has been amplified by their counterparts in the media. It's almost coming to the point that we have to question almost everything we hear from the mainstream press these days, and take nothing they say at face value.

Here's the story in a nutshell: Dick Cheney was involved in an unfortunate hunting accident on the Armstrong Ranch near Corpus Christi Texas where Attorney Harry Whittington was sprayed with birdshot from Cheney's shotgun. Whittington had separated from the group to recover a downed quail and was returning to the group unannounced. At the time of the shooting, Whittington was half concealed in a brush covered gully about 30 yards away from the group. Cheney did not see Whittington as he tracked a bird, turning to his right and firing. The next thing the Vice President knew, he saw Whittington falling and knew what he had just done.

Dick ran to Harry's aid and said “Harry, I didn’t know you were there”, but Whittington didn't respond. He laid there in a daze with one eye open. Cheney's security and medical staff administered first aid to the fallen hunter, emergency services were called, and Whittington was taken to the hospital. Within the hour, the local sheriff was on the scene to investigate the shooting. Dick Cheney was extremely distraught and concerned for his friend and understandably could not think clearly, he was in no condition to be interviewed. The Secret Service asked the Sheriff to come back the next morning for the interview.

The following day, the interview with Mr. Cheney and all witnesses took place and it was decided that Mrs. Armstrong, the ranch owner, would make a statement to the press. By mid day, her statement and account of the incident was posted on the Corpus Christi Caller Times Website. Whittington's condition was listed as serious but not life threatening with buckshot wounds to the chest, neck, and face. The 78 year old Whittington finally got his 15 minutes of fame on Friday when he was released from the hospital and held a press conference to make his statement. Whittington has now earned his place in history as the first man to be shot by a vice president since Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton. End of story, or is it? Not according to the mainstream media and the American Left.

It can't be as innocent as a simple hunting accident, says the left. The shooter was Vice President Dick Cheney so there must be some crime and larger conspiracy involved. I said this was going to happen one week ago when I first wrote about the incident. Over the past week, the left has had a field day coming up with imaginary scenarios in their attempts to convict Cheney of a crime and cover-up.

On Monday, Scott McClellan held a press conference where we saw the Washington Press corps becoming unhinged with their outrage over being scooped on the story by a local Texas newspaper. For 30 minutes they asked the same question over and over again; “why weren’t we notified immediately?”. They were like a group of spoiled brat children… angry, insulted, demanding, screaming and yelling, pouting and crying, and making outrageous accusations. They weren’t interested in how Mr. Cheney was feeling or how Mr. Whittington was doing, they just wanted to know why they were denied the privilege of being the first to break the story and that was their only concern. It was disgusting, to say the least, but in reality, they all showed their true colors and what they consider most important to the country; their own egos and careers.

They all were hoping Whittington would die so they could hang Cheney. One Idiot Reporter even asked: "If he had died, wouldn't that have been more serious?" Do these people even have one brain in the bunch? Well yes, there was one. I saw Carl Cameron from Fox News there who asked one sensible question, jotted down the answer on his notepad, then sat and listened in disgust to the rest of the gaggle with their distortions, outrage, accusations, and just plain stupid questions and statements. By the time they had finished, the corps had written a complete chapter for their own fiction novels.

Then it started with the news and talk shows. First it was Lawrence O’Donnell appearing on MSNBC’s Scarborough Country and posting in the Huffington Post blog. You remember Lawrence O’Donnell, don’t you? The big lefty who became unhinged and began screaming “liar, liar, liar” at John O’Neil on the same program for exposing John Kerry’s real Vietnam service record. Why Joe Scarborough ever invited this discredited maniac back on his show is hard to understand but I would guess that NBC insisted on it. This time, O’Donnell suggests that Dick Cheney must have been drunk while out hunting and that would explain why the accident wasn’t announced until the next day.

The following day on Fox News’ “The Big Story” with John Gibson, former Democratic Party chairman Terry McAuliffe appeared as a guest reiterating what O’Donnell had said but placing more emphasis on it and insisting an investigation is needed and Cheney should be charged with a crime and resign as Vice President. Then he went on to accused Cheney of a "cover-up." "This is the vice president of the United States of America who shot someone in the face," McAuliffe said. "This is about personal responsibility. He hid. He didn't get the facts out."

That night, Joe Scarborough brought on Al Franken who made the statement: "It's inconceivable that you don't go to the hospital unless there's a reason you don't go to the hospital. If you had been drinking, you wouldn't go to the hospital. Or, you're an amazing jerk, that's the other. Or both."

What has happened to Joe Scarborough? I used to respect him and enjoy his program, but no more. “Who cares if the Vice President shot a man in the face and kept it from the press for 24 hours? Well, I do” says Joe. “Shot a man in the face”? This distorted statement was repeated at least 3 times by Scarborough during the program. It attempts to give the impression that Cheney deliberately tried to blow Whittington’s head off. “Kept it from the press for 24 hours”? This too is a distortion and simply not true. A press release was made 18 hours after the incident took place, just not to the Washington press corps.  Scarborough these days is sounding more like Keith Oberman all the time.

Scarborough used to debate liberals, but not anymore. Now, instead of debating them on his program, he just sits there and lets them bloviate until the clock runs out. He invites people like Lawrence O'Donnell and Al Franken on his show and gives them uninterrupted air time to voice their distorted liberal views and lets them get away with it. I suspect MSNBC management may have had something to do with this and Joe is going along with them to keep his job. Just a hunch, but he has been much too friendly with the Left in recent months. I’ve had enough of him as I’m sure many other conservatives have too. Just another example of why MSNBC is loosing even more points in the ratings. Why waste an hour with MSNBC when you can get it all in 5 minutes from the Washington Press Corps on the front page of the New York Times?

Then comes the left wing blogs. Someone named R. J. Eskow writing for the Huffington Post, who also appeared on MSNBC’s “The Situation” with Tucker Carlson, is calling this “Cheney‘s Chappaquiddick” and suggests that Cheney had another woman on the side.  Of course Carlson didn't buy a word of it and challenges liberals the way Scarborough used to do.  In fact, he often appears on Scarborough Country panel discussions as "the conservative side" on the issues.  A side Joe used to take himself but it seems the pressures of MSNBC have been too much for him.

“The real story is already emerging, if you're willing to do a little digging. Cheney and Whittington went hunting with two women (not their wives), there was some drinking, and Whittington wound up shot. Armstrong didn't see the incident but claimed she had, Cheney refused to be questioned by the Sheriff until the next morning, and a born-again evangelical physician has been downplaying Whittington's injuries since they occurred.”

Well, now isn’t that cute! The woman Eskow refers to happens to be Pamela Willeford, the US Ambassador to Switzerland who just happened to be there with her husband. “There was some drinking”? Cheney has admitted to having one beer with lunch several hours before the hunt. When Mary Jo Kopechne was killed by Ted Kennedy, Kennedy was drunk from partying all evening and drove off a bridge with a woman (not his wife) in the car. Why did no one from the left insist that Kenney be charged with a crime and resign from politics? Here again we see another attempt by the left to impose their reckless and irresponsible values on Conservatives who do not live by the same standards. But this time, because it’s a Republican involved, he must be prosecuted and removed from office. The hypocrisy is just astounding.

Then we saw the issue mushroom out from “Cheney was drunk and with a woman (not his wife), to “the administration is keeping secrets from the people (who should know everything that’s going on in the Whitehouse), because it took a full 18 hours for the story to break in the press. "The refusal of this administration to level with the American people on matters large and small is very disturbing, because it goes counter to the way our constitutional democracy . . . is supposed to work," said Hillary Clinton, who has claimed in the past to have duck hunting experience herself.  Clinton neglected to mention any comment on the Clinton Administration's willingness to level with the people or reveal the crimes they were involved in.

It’s also interesting to note just how many on the left have confused “notifying the authorities” with “notifying the press”. Many are saying “the police weren’t notified until the press release the next day, but they’re trying to have it both ways. On one hand they say the Secret Service prevented the local sheriff from interviewing Cheney on the day of the accident, then they turn around and say the sheriff wasn’t notified until the next day. How did the Secret Service prevent police from interviewing Cheney on the ranch within the hour if they hadn’t been notified? Notifying the press is not the same as notifying the police but if you don‘t tell the Washington Press Corps, then you haven‘t complied with the law, according to the Left. The sheriff was on the scene within the hour after the shooting. What was he doing there if he hadn't been notified? The truth is he was notified by the Secret Service almost immediately after the accident.

Last year when Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid suffered a mild stroke, the press wasn’t notified until 3 days later. Asked why announcement of the event was delayed for three days, a Reid spokeswoman said, "The reason was the tests and the evaluations that they were doing. We wanted to make sure we knew what we were announcing. You need conclusive information." Isn’t that just about the same thing Cheney said about why it took 18 hours for a press release on Whittington? He stated his concern was for his friend and notifying the family. Cheney also said there were conflicting reports from the hospital on Whittington’s condition and he wanted to be sure the facts were in and accurate before making a statement. His first priority was not to notify the Washington Press Corps, or any other media for that matter, his concern was for accuracy and for his friend and his family.

On Saturday in a Fox News interview, one week after the accident, Charlie Rangel told Tony Snow that he believes Dick Cheney should resign and be sent to prison for the rest of his life. Snow asked Rangel "why?" who responded with "because he's always wrong. He's wrong on the war in Iraq, he's wrong on the energy policy...". Tony then said to Rangel "so you believe Cheney is a criminal because you disagree with his position on the issues?" Of course Rangel didn’t answer that but moved on to other rhetoric. I think that pretty well sums it up and demonstrates how far the left will go to try to undermine the administration by exaggerating and distorting the major issues of our time and judging them based on their own liberal beliefs.

Some are asking; “why didn't Cheney go to the hospital with Whittington?” The answer is because there wasn’t room in the ambulance and he would have had to take his security detail with him which would result in shutting down the hospital ICU for security reasons. The VP can't just drop into a public building without it first being secured by the Secret Service. Anyway, Whittington would be with the doctors and it would serve no purpose for Cheney to be there with his security staff creating a commotion in the hospital.

Why didn't Cheney talk to the press immediately? All we hear from them is “the administration is being overly secretive. Would you want to go through the abuse and brow beating from a gaggle of press piranhas right after accidentally shooting your friend? Cheney was in no state of mind to put up with media blood suckers who hate him anyway and would only make him feel worse than he already did. The Vice President is not bound to report to the press on his actions. The way they tell it, you would think that the Vice President was violating the Constitution by not reporting to the Washington Press Corp.

The fact is, we don't need a Washington Press corp. There is nothing in the Constitution or any law requiring the Whitehouse to report to the press. They do it as a courtesy only, and to keep the public informed of what is going on, they don't have to. Leading Democrats are trying to suggest this has something to do with Whitehouse business and should be reported immediately to the press. It isn't Whitehouse business, it has nothing to do with the government, it effects nobody’s lives other than those involved, it's a private matter, and nobody's business, lease of all, Cheney's political critics in the Washington press corps. You might say Cheney put them in their place and let them sit in it.

Some liberal Republicans who don't get it, are saying Cheney has become a "magnet for hate" and it might be better if he were replaced. This is exactly what happened to Tom Delay and the party caved in, I hope this doesn't happen with VP Cheney. President Bush says it won't but who knows? If that should happen, it would serve only to prove that all the Dems have to do throw enough hate at Republican office holders to get them removed from office.

There is a lesson to be learned from all this, for those who haven’t already learned it. Don’t take the Washington Press Corps, or the left controlled media’s word as truth on anything. Their agenda and political bias has never been more obvious than it was over the past week since Mr. Cheney’s shooting accident. They have attempted to make a mountain out of a molehill as usual with their exaggerated and distorted suggestions and accusations in the press. They have taken a simple hunting accident story and turned it into a week long diatribe on the evils of the Bush Administration. Only now that Harry Whittington is out of the hospital, looking well, and making a press statement of his own, is the MSM forced to back off from all of their weeklong ragging and ramblings and face the fact that it was just a minor hunting accident and nothing more. They can no longer mislead the public with their liberal propaganda and prophesies, at least not on this story.

Cheney was right to delay any press release on the story until noon on Sunday if for no other reason than to avoid the Sunday morning NY Times headlines and morning liberal network talk shows on tv who would have blown the story all out of proportion and without any real facts, as usual. If we want fantasy, we have the Cartoon and Disney channels, we don’t need it on our news talk shows as well. Avoiding the Sunday Morning paper & talk shows and Washington’s pool of piranhas was not being "secretive", it was being smart. Site Meter

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