February 15, 2006


An Arrogance of Power (David Ignatius, February 15, 2006, Washington Post)

For a White House that informs us about the smallest bumps and scrapes suffered by the president and vice president, the lag is inexplicable. But let us assume the obvious: It was an attempt to delay and perhaps suppress embarrassing news. We will never know whether the vice president's office would have announced the incident at all if the host of the hunting party, Katharine Armstrong, hadn't made her own decision Sunday morning to inform her local paper.

Nobody died at Armstrong Ranch, but this incident reminds me a bit of Sen. Edward Kennedy's delay in informing Massachusetts authorities about his role in the fatal automobile accident at Chappaquiddick in 1969.

Because, when you get right down to it, there's just not much difference between medevacing someone to the hospital and leaving them at the bottom of a river....

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 15, 2006 11:59 AM

Especially oif the person you left at the bottom of the river is a young woman and you are a married man and you were drunk.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 15, 2006 12:13 PM

I love how he equates notifying the local authorities with informing the national press. It is exactly the same.

I guess if I ever need the police, I'll call the local paper instead of 911.

Posted by: Bob at February 15, 2006 12:18 PM

Yes, "...let us assume the obvious...". Gawd.

Of course, Kennedy didn't inform the police straightaway, while Cheney did. Ridiculous.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at February 15, 2006 12:39 PM

The worst legal part about Chappaquiddick was that an autopsy was not performed. More than Kennedy's utter irresponsibility, that is why he could never be President.

Bob: Perhaps if David Gregory put his cell phone number on the crawler on MSNBC, someone could have called him. What a maroon.

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 15, 2006 12:42 PM

Except for the pain caused to the shooting victim, this whole episode is a boon.

The media posture as self-important panzies and say and write silly things.

Posted by: Luciferous at February 15, 2006 1:26 PM

Way too many reporters for the big national media outlets always feel as if their position grants them the right to be the first to receive any news. It's something the big regionals and mid-sized ones, like the Caller-Times, feel the effects of when a major event occurs in their area, and some people from the big regionals in turn try to bigfoot themselves over even smaller media outlets when it comes to a major story.

Whittington's Tuesday setback extended the life of the Cheney story by a couple of days, but what's pushing it is still not any concern for his health; it's simply anger over the Caller-Times getting the story first, combined with the fervent hope there's some sort of "gotcha" angle in their besides Cheney not buying the $7 quail stamp that they can use to make wider claims about the administration's credability (I believe the favorred theory right now, voiced by Larry O'Donnell on MSNBC on Tuesday, was that they delayed reporting the incident because Cheney was drunk when he shot Whittington).

Posted by: John` at February 15, 2006 1:32 PM

This is a brilliant piece of unintentional(?) political jujitsu!

The MSM pack is baying after Cheney, so David Ignatius takes this moment to remind us that Ted Kennedy is a feckless boozehound, who shouldn't be manning a toll booth on Jersey turnpike, much less holding a seat in the Senate.

And suddenly the story's been flipped around on the Democrats!

How many times has this happened in the past few months? The Democrats and the media throw their weight behind some story (wiretapping, Abramoff, patriot act, Hilary and Dean's anger) only to find that they've been flipped onto the defensive by a deft move or two.

Truly, the Rove mojo is powerful.

Posted by: H.D. Miller at February 15, 2006 5:48 PM