Saturday, February 25, 2006

Dumb and Dumber

At one point, so I am told, the Washington press corps was held in such esteem by the public, that if it appeared bewildered or confused by a politician's actions, it signified a diabolical coverup. Only careful, sinister planning could subdue those guys!

So I am told.

I haven't seen it myself, since for most of my life they've been held in growing contempt.

This astounding drivel over the Vice-President's shooting accident is going to send their reputation into freefall. We've got to admit, most Americans hear conservatives complain of the MSM's liberal bias, and either don't care who wins, share the liberal worldview, or stand with KPacifica against all capitalist pigs.
But that same majority can fully appreciate how lazy, ignorant, and stupid the press is acting here.

Lazy, because they expect and demand politicians to call the press and out their own carelessness.

Ignorant, of firearms facts known to 13-year-old Boy Scouts.

Stupid, because they make their ignorant sloth the top story.

Hugh Hewitt spotlighted David Gregory's thoughts on his own performance:
[Vice-President Cheney] also chose to allow a witness to this accident and the White House press secretary to spend three days portraying this as the fault of the shooting victim...Wednesday, Mr. Cheney changed course and took the blame.
Weak! Cheney issued statements of regret which the press ignored in their rush to condemn his "silence". Anybody not totally ignorant of firearm safety knew Cheney, as the shooter, was responsible for the discharge of his weapon. Mr. Gregory is suggesting here that the Vice-President had an obligation to halt the media stampede off the cliff.
If you believe an accidental shooting by Vice-President Al Gore would not be met with the same press scrutiny, I think you are not being honest with yourself.
I remember the Bitburg SS-cemetary scandal, the Iran-Contra scandal and its offshoots, the Keating Five scandal, the Weinberger pardon hoopla, the House Bank scandal, the House post office outrage, the Speaker Wright book deal imbroglio, Kimba Wood's Nannygate tiff, Waco, Ruby Ridge, Vince Foster, the midnight seizure of Elian Gonzalez, the Cisneros FBI perjury scandal, Whitewater and its sideshows, the Chinese donations scandal, the Lewinsky eruption, the Marc Rich pardon scandal, etc. I never before now heard the mainstream press push the notion that a principal actor was drunk, or ask him to prove he wasn't, or ask his doctor on live TV what his blood-alcohol level had been at the time of admission.

But maybe I'm not being honest with myself?

On Hugh's show, Lawrence O'Donnell bragged of starting the furor over the alleged presence of alcohol on the shoot, but insisted that pushing the probability of drunkeness wasn't the same as suggesting it. He actually got sillier than that:
There's no criminal investigation whatsoever. None. There is... no criminal investigation has been initiated. If there was one, that man's wounds would be being examined by forensic scientists who would determine for you, was that gun six inches from his face? Was that gun six feet from his face? Was that gun sixty feet from his face? We don't know.
Well...since Mr. Whittington was admitted with a head on his shoulders, you could consider the question of his being six inches from the barrel of a discharging shotgun as settled...Fellow BFL member Cobb has the word: reconstruction of the event by media-hired experts says Cheney's story is consistent with the spread pattern. Cobb calls that level of skepticism "hate"; I dunno, but at least these guys did something beyond stand in the briefing room and whine that they got scooped.

At first the DC Press Corps reminded me of the Maytag repairman, idle until somebody phoned in a job for him. But that's inapt, because if you called the Maytag repairman, he'd know what to do beyond arguing "What kept you?"

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