Trying to Sort Out the Discrepancies in Cheney Shooting Story

The scoop on the shooting accident involving Vice President Cheney belongs to the political reporter at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times who "had built up a strong source relationship" with the owner of the ranch where the shooting occured, according to Editor & Publisher. The reporter, Jaime Powell, then confirmed the report with Cheney's office in Washington. E&P notes: "The Cheney spokesman Powell spoke with, Lea Anne McBride, would not comment on whether the White House would have ever released the information had the Caller-Times not contacted them."

That seems to be the top question, right up there with: why was there an 18-hour delay in reporting the story? It's not like the Caller-Times beat reporters weren't checking with law enforcement on their usual regular basis, E&P says.

[Beth] Francesco, at the Corpus Christi paper, said she felt it was a bit odd that her newsroom had not received any information about the shooting since "we often call law enforcement in area, even on weekends. We checked in and didn't hear anything about it."

Also odd was the story that the shooting victim, Harry Whittington, 78, was "bruised more than bloodied" according to the Houston Chronicle, and "his pride was hurt more than anything else." Yet, notes E&P, he was airlifted to a hospital and had spent more than a day in an intensive care unit. By the time the story went national, the prominent Austin lawyer was reported as being in stable condition.