Wednesday, February 15, 2006

White House Briefing -- News on President George W Bush and the Bush Administration

Jim VandeHei and Sylvia Moreno
write in The Washington Post about new
details that show that "the White House allowed Cheney to decide when and how to
disclose details of the shooting to the local sheriff and the public the next


White House Coverage

Anne E. Kornblut and Ralph Blumenthal
write in the New York Times: "At the
White House, Mr. Cheney made no statement on Monday and remained out of public
view. At the beginning of a meeting with Secretary General Kofi Annan of the
United Nations, Mr. Bush laughingly told Mr. Cheney that reporters would later
enter the room; the vice president left before the journalists arrived."

Bill Plante
on CBS this morning: "The vice president's office did what they
wanted. . . . In any other White House that I've covered -- and that's several,
as you know -- the vice president would never have this kind of power. But if it
were up to Dick Cheney, he wouldn't tell us if our shirts were on fire, for
heaven's sakes. He likes to hold things close and he and his office drove this."

Mike Allen
writes on "The Vice President was the press strategist,
and Karl Rove was the investigative reporter. Vice President Cheney overruled
the advice of several members of the White House staff and insisted on sticking
to a plan for releasing information about his hunting accident that resulted in
a 20-hour, overnight delay in public confirmation of the startling incident,
according to several Republican sources."

John Dickerson writes
in Slate.


About Deciding
to Call the Press

VandeHei and Moreno
write in The Washington Post: "In a telephone interview,
[Katharine] Armstrong said that she, her mother and her sister, Sara Storey
Armstrong Hixon, decided on Sunday morning after breakfast to report the
shooting accident to the media. 'It was my family's own volition, and the vice
president agreed. We felt -- my family felt and we conferred as a family -- that
the information needed to go public. It was our idea,' Armstrong said."

CBS News's

Mark Knoller
reports: "Ranch owner Katharine Armstrong said no one discussed
notifying the public of the accident Saturday because they were so consumed with
making sure [Harry] Whittington was OK. She said the family realized in the
morning that it would be a story and decided to call the local newspaper, the
Corpus Christi Caller-Times. She said she then discussed the news coverage with
Cheney for the first time."


Nicholas Riccardi and James Gerstenzang
write in the Los Angeles Times that
Anne Armstrong, co-owner of the ranch, "said Cheney had spoken with her Saturday
evening about disclosing the incident to the public. 'We knew word would get
out,' she said. He urged her to tell friends and family first, before word
leaked out to the media."



The Press

Marc Sandalow
writes in the San Francisco Chronicle: "The White House
struggled Monday in the face of an aggressive press corps to explain why it took
nearly a full day to disclose that Vice President Dick Cheney had shot a fellow
quail hunter.

"The uproar over a matter as straightforward -- some would say trivial -- as
a hunting mishap demonstrated the long-standing tension between the media's
presumption that it be kept promptly informed and the Bush administration's
insistence on managing the news."

Alan Freeman
writes in Toronto's Globe and Mail: "After five years of
largely accepting the Bush administration's version of events on everything from
Iraq's illusory weapons of mass destruction to the bungled response to hurricane
Katrina, the White House press corps suddenly turned aggressive yesterday,
refusing to accept spokesman Scott McClellan's explanations of why the public
had been left in the dark about Mr. Cheney's hunting mishap."



Associated Press
has a wrap-up of last night's late-night humor at Cheney's


The Daily Show with Jon Stewart": "Now, this story certainly has its humorous
aspects. . . . But it also raises a serious issue, one which I feel very
strongly about. . . . Moms, dads, if you're watching right now, I can't
emphasize this enough: Do not let your kids go on hunting trips with the vice
president. I don't care what kind of lucrative contracts they're trying to land,
or energy regulations they're trying to get lifted - it's just not worth it."Salon's
War Room
transcribes Stewart's dialogue with "correspondent" Rob Corddry on
the Daily Show


Matea Gold
in the Los Angeles Times and

Brooks Barnes
also offer humor wrapups.

offered ABC views a

pastiche of the late-night humor at Cheney's expense. Here's a

of the Daily Show.

Lance Gay
writes for Scripps Howard News Service: "The Internet sprouted
with offerings of 'Dick Cheney hunts people' T-shirts and comments about calling
the vice president 'Deadeye Dick.' There also was a version of the
vice-presidential seal featuring a shotgun-wielding Elmer Fudd in hunting gear,
with the inscription: 'Be vewy vewy quiet, we're hunting I-wackies.'"

Mark Leibovich
writes in The Washington Post about the inside-the-beltway
jokesters: "Democratic staffers on the Hill could be heard singing a parody of
Aerosmith's 'Janie's Got a Gun,' using the words 'Cheney's got a gun.' Or
marveling at how 'Republicans really don't like lawyers, do they?' or
circulating a quote from Bush, in a 2000 interview with the Houston Chronicle,
in which he hailed Cheney as 'somebody who is going to shoot straight with the
American people.' "


An amazing outpouring from the nation's political cartoonists.

Here are

Tom Toles

Mike Luckovich

Ben Sargent

David Horsey

Doug Marlette

Stuart Carlson

Chan Lowe

Bob Engelhart

Kevin Siers

Richard Crowson
; and much more from
Daryl Cagle
's cartoonist index.

Tabloid Humor

The cover of the
New York Daily News
calls it "Birdgate!"

The New York Post
cover depicts Cheney as Elmer Fudd.

Deborah Orin
writes: "The White House took heavy flak yesterday for waiting
a vewwy, vewwy long time before revealing that wascally Vice President Dick
Cheney had shot a fellow hunter."


In this fascinating video, Corpus Christi Caller-Times photographer
recreates the accident -- by shooting a human-sized target from 90
feet with a 29-gauge shotgun.

The Victim's

Dave Michaels and Todd J. Gillman
write in the Dallas Morning News: "Sally
(Whittington) May said her father does not recall a lot of the incident, nor was
he involved in how or whether information about the incident was released: 'He
didn't know at the time if he was going to the hospital or the mortuary.' "

Opinion Watch

Mike Leggett
, the outdoors writer for the Austin American-Statesman,
writes: "You shot a guy. At least stay in town until he's out of the hospital.


"Stand up. Take responsibility. Be a man. You shot a guy."

Eugene Robinson
writes in his Washington Post opinion column that
"out-of-control is the way this whole administration operates: Ready, fire, aim.
Global war on terrorism, global war on poultry, what's the difference? You see
something moving, shoot it."

John Podhoretz
writes in National Review's Corner


Washington Monthly blogger

Kevin Drum
writes: "Now, 48 hours after the shooting, Cheney still
hasn't talked to the press or even issued a statement saying he feels
terrible about what happened, but he has released a statement saying that after
learning he didn't have the right permit for shooting quail he has 'sent a 7
dollar check to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which is the cost of an
upland game bird stamp.'

"Can this episode get any more ridiculous? The Veep's office can't rouse
itself to say even a single word about what happened, but somehow they have the
time to assure us that Cheney is good for the seven bucks he failed to pay for
an upland game bird stamp?"


Washington Post editorial
: "Mr. Cheney did not check his official title at
the Armstrongs' front gate. That was no private citizen who pulled the trigger,
sending someone to the hospital. That act, though accidental -- and doubtless
both agonizing and embarrassing -- was committed by the country's second-highest
public official. Neither Mr. Cheney nor the White House gets to pick and choose
when to disclose a shooting. Saturday's incident required immediate public
disclosure -- a fact so elementary that the failure to act properly is truly
disturbing in its implications."

New York Times editorial
: "The vice president appears to have behaved like
a teenager who thinks that if he keeps quiet about the wreck, no one will notice
that the family car is missing its right door. The administration's
communications department has proved that its skills at actually communicating
are so rusty it can't get a minor police-blotter story straight. And the White
House, in trying to cover up the cover-up, has once again demonstrated that it
would rather look inept than open."


Credits: Great Consolidated Coverage from The Washington Post



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