The vice president shot someone whilst hunting quail ... and now the press have gone hog-wild after a wild goose. Or a whole flock of them.
If your name is not Whittington, the Cheney shooting expedition is rife with possibility. Possibility for Jon Stewart ("The vice-president is standing by his decision to shoot Harry Wittington."), for Saturday Night Live ... Even for wise-cracking pols. As HuffPo colleague Marty Kaplan suggested, the incident has become an instant analogy for Bush-Cheney critics everywhere.
But really, is this worthy of the media obsession it has become? What, with all else that Cheney and co. have done, there's nothing more to get upset about?
A bit befuddled, I posed the question to my wife -- who, in addition to being more lovely and smarter than me, is less inclined to be partisan (though no fan of either POTUS or Vice) and thus a good reality check. Her reaction was immediate and vehement.
'Is this going to fix the budget?' she asked (I'm paraphrasing here). 'Is this going to solve Iraq? Or is this just going to distract us from real issues?'
Indeed. What's the end-game here? Where ultimately is this leading? Does the ground-down media collectively think they have their best chance to finally make someone in the Bush administration admit to making an error without being accused of being evil-doers?
It's great joke fodder, but does this deserve the Lewinsky/Levy/shark-attack/OJ treatment it's getting?
As Arianna noted:
Channeling Dr. Phil for a moment, I couldn't help but wonder: is the press really this worked up about being kept out of the shooting loop for 18 hours or are there bigger issues at play? What the relationship gurus call "baggage."
... It was only a few days ago we learned that Cheney might have authorized Scooter Libby to leak classified information to reporters -- and that story didn't generate a tiny fraction of the coverage.
And Cheney and the Bush White House have been blatantly lying to the press -- and the American people -- for over five years now. Lying about WMD, Saddam's links to 9/11, looming mushroom clouds, being greeted as liberators, the insurgency in its last throes, the war being able to pay for itself, torture, NSA wiretaps, Plamegate, and on and on and on.
But this is the story they are shouting "How could you?!" over.
It's like being involved with a serial philanderer. You find out that he had sex with your sister -- in your bed -- and you live and let live, so as to not rock the boat. Then you find out about the secret love child he had with his secretary, and you take it and hope that your kids will like their new half-sibling. Then he gambles away your life's savings and puts you in debt, and you let him slide with a promise to never do it again.
Than comes Valentine's Day... and he gives you a box of milk chocolate when he knows damn well that you love dark chocolate and can't stand milk chocolate. How dare he! All hell breaks loose: "You don't have to yell." "I will yell!" And you finally kick him and his milk chocolates out of the house.
So give the guy a break. He just shot someone -- that has to be fairly traumatic. Let Scotty M. change the subject. Chances are there will be something to cry foul (as opposed to crying fowl) about it before too long.