« Whittington Speaks, Embarrasses Dems and Media | Main | The Boston Globe's "black, two Jews, and a cripple" moment? »

How Bad Did CNN Blow the Cheney Coverage?

If you work at a news organization and one of your producers has to do a story on WHY what you are reporting on is a story, it's a pretty safe bet that you've blown the coverage.

Why the Cheney shooting is a story

By Tim McCaughan
CNN Senior White House Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- If the vice president shot a man in the forest, would we hear about it?

Apparently a day later.

Well, it was more like a field than a forest, but you get the point.

Last Saturday, while out hunting quail, Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot one of his hunting partners. The victim was Harry Whittington, a prominent lawyer and Cheney friend from Austin, Texas.

From a witness account, Whittington had shot a bird, gone to retrieve his kill and had not announced his returning presence to Cheney and others. (Read full story)

Aside from the inevitable conspiracy theories, it seems the facts about the incident are not in dispute. Cheney was hunting. Cheney's friend also was hunting. They carried shotguns. They were shooting at birds. They got temporarily separated. One mistakenly fired on the other while trying to shoot a bird.

This is apparently how many hunting accidents happen -- miscommunication and misdirection.

Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah. We knew everything we needed to know about the story from reading the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, but CNN went wall to wall for almost a week - saying absolutely nothing new. Now they have to write stories telling us poor unwashed idiots why we don't understand how important this really was. YAWN.

If you are old enough (like I am) it is hard not to juxtapose this against the coverage of Clinton committing perjury; where day after the day the media kept tell us how that WASN'T a story. Every night on the cable news they kept telling us this was a non-story.... Sure the President willfully and purposely lied (under oath in a court of law) but it was a sex lie so it was OK.

Here the Vice-President is involved in an accident and the media had to explain why they pushed it so hard.

You don't suppose party affiliation had anything to do with it, do you?


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How Bad Did CNN Blow the Cheney Coverage?:

» Echoes Of Forever linked with 18 Hours

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Man shot by Cheney says it was 'accident,' leaves hospital

Comments (34)

The best I can tell, the MS... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

The best I can tell, the MSMs argument was summed up in the Hugh Hewitt/Helen Thomas interview. paraphrasing:

HH: What's the big deal about 18 hours?

HT: It was 18 hours.

HH: I know, but what's the big deal about it.

HT: You don't understand. It was 18 hours.

HH: I do understand, but I am asking why that's a big deal.

HT: It was 18 hours.

When that's your best answer. you might as well just shut up.

Steve,I like how y... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Steve,

I like how you make up words that people did not say, then tell them their argument sucks and they should shut up. Pretty sure that's the definition of a straw man. You don't get away with misrepresentation just by saying "paraphrasing".

Did you listen to the inter... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Did you listen to the interview? That was about 2/3 of the thing. Hewitt asked her why 18 hours wa bad and she kept repeating that it was 18 hours.

link please... (Below threshold)
Paul:

link please

I like how you make up word... (Below threshold)
seamus:

I like how you make up words that people did not say, then tell them their argument sucks and they should shut up.

Hey! He sounds like a conservative!

Here is the transcript<br /... (Below threshold)
susan:

Here is the transcript
http://www.radioblogger.com/#001391

and for more amusement the Lawrence "Creepy Liar" O'Donnell interview.

http://www.radioblogger.com/#001390
I hope I posted those correctly

mantis, that's not an unfia... (Below threshold)
Paul:

mantis, that's not an unfiar paraphrase up there:

======

HH: How soon after the shooting should it have occurred?

HT: Well, I think once Mr. Whittington was in the hospital and under good care, then they could have announced it Saturday evening, certainly.

HH: And what damage was done by the delay until Sunday?

HT: Well, it simply emphasized the penchant for secrecy. When anything happens to a top figure in this country, it's news. And when the Vice President shoots somebody, that's news. And you don't suppress it, because it always arouses suspicions. I don't know of any suspicions per se, but I do think that people will...I mean, the wonderment is why wait nearly a whole day?

HH: Again, I have been trying to figure out what was the harm in waiting 18 hours. What was the harm?

HT: The harm is that it indicates they will keep a secret a major, major event. And that in itself adds that this is a very, very secretive administration.

HH: How do you...

HT: And I don't think that government officials should keep those kind of secrets.

HH: So 18 hours versus...

HT: That's a long, long time. You of all people should not be asking even that question, because you operate on instancy. And we all do.

HH: Yes, but again, I don't think 18 hours is secret keeping, and especially when they release it.

HT: Oh yeah. I'm sorry, in the news business, it sure is.

HH: Now, what other...

HT: And for it to come in a different way, you know...they should have announced it. It would have really simplified everything...

HH: But again, what I don't understand Helen, I really don't understand...I'm talking to Helen Thomas, longtime UPI reporter and now with the Hearst Newspapers, what the damage was by waiting, I guess...

HT: The damage was to their reputation for secrecy.

HH: But you don't really care...

HT: And continuing...oh, yes, yes. I'm sorry, it can extend to anything, and it's part and parcel, it's their penchant for keeping everything secret. He should have announced it, his office should have announced it. It could have cleared the decks right off the bat.

HH: But Helen...

HT: If you don't the value of that, I can't understand you.

======

Actually I would have paraphrased it even more damning for Helen:

HH: What's the big deal about 18 hours?

HT: It means he's evil

HH: I know, but what's the big deal about it.

HT: You don't understand. He's a big, mean secret keeping bully.

HH: I do understand, but I am asking why that's a big deal.

HT: He's evil. Don't you get it?

But can't you understand? ... (Below threshold)
Tom:

But can't you understand? It was 18 hours! 18 HOURS!!! Do I have to spell it out for you? E-I-G-H-T-E-E-N F-R-I-C-K-I-N H-O-U-R-S!!!!!

If Cheney wasn't so damn secretive, he would have let us know right away. In fact, had it been Clinton, we would have been told about it before Whittington hit the ground.

Paul, party affiliation wo... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Paul, party affiliation wouldn't explain why you are seem to go out of the way to downplay the story? CBS has even singled you out. for defending Cheney's actions or non action. ..I think this is a great story for revealing how our high and mighty conduct themselves in what I would advisedly call a sport weekend..I think Cheney is as much fair game, as the clipped caged quailes he was so determinedly hunting,maybe more. When you shoot fish in a barrel, it will turn out to be a fish bowl, if you are the vice-president, and things go amiss.

>CBS has even singled you o... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>CBS has even singled you out.

Yeah me and 50 other bloggers. ;-)

>Paul, party affiliation wouldn't explain why you are seem to go out of the way to downplay the story?

Perhaps, Steve you need look up the difference between "news networks" and "blogs."

AND BTW- as mantis pointed out we ran 11 pieces on it... Downplaying it? I think not.

If Cheney (or any other gov... (Below threshold)
Brett:

If Cheney (or any other government officials present at the accident) had prevented reporters from writing the story for 18 hours, that would have been suppressing it. This did not happen.

If Cheney (and all other government officials present at the accident) had kept it a secret and never informed the public at all, that would have been keeping it a secret. This did not happen.

When Cheney announces the accident the next day, choosing whatever time and venue he feels like using, that fulfills any duty he may have to inform the public.

If any reporter cared enough or was good enough to find and report the story instantly, they would not have been suppressed. The fact that reporters don't bother to do their job well is not the fault of Cheney or any other member of this administration.

But Paul, how many of your ... (Below threshold)
BrianOfAtlanta:

But Paul, how many of your 11 pieces were on the fact that it was 18 hours, hmm?

The public at large that has judged this story to be yawn worthy. In not recognizing this, the MSM has made their reaction the story.

Paul,Your paraphra... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Paul,

Your paraphrasing is funnier but no more accurate than Steve's. What Thomas is saying, and what I think most journalists would agree with, is that virtually everything the President and Vice President do is news, and in today's world of 24 hour news and blogs journalists have to be very fast. Waiting a day to announce that the VP shot someone is a long time, and it does add to the perception that this administration is very secretive, especially when you consider that the VP has a press staff whose job it is to do these kinds of things, which they didn't even do until the rancher in Texas went to the press. If anyone doesn't think this is a misstep on the VP's staff's part, you are practicing some sort of willful ignorance. If Al Gore had shot someone and they waited a day and then told us about it through some intermediary there would be conspiracy theories abound.

Bear in mind I'm not saying that what amounts to a miscalculation on the part of Cheney's press staff deserved the ridiculous reaction it has gotten in the press and by many on the left. I'm just saying that if you are a journalist, it should certainly raise your eyebrows a bit.

(Hey Steve, have another listen, how many times did Thomas say "18 hours"? None? And how much of the interview was spent on that? About 2 1/2 minutes out of 14? Ok then.)

This story is only tangenti... (Below threshold)

This story is only tangentially about Cheney not going to the press for 18 hours. It is about Cheney not going to anyone for 18 hours including the police officers who picked up the accident on the scanner and were turned away by the Secret Service.

[SS the rest of this babble has been deleted. Options are up for debatebut if you get on here and spread myths, I'll simply delete you. Period. The above was debunked over 24 hours ago. -Paul]

Slough,Go read the... (Below threshold)
susan:

Slough,

Go read the police report. Find the part where the secret service turned away the police at the gate and post that link for me please.

Let's get to the meat:... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Let's get to the meat:

>Waiting a day to announce that the VP shot someone is a long time,

Depending on the report it was 17-118 hours. They waited until AFTEr the Sherrif sent someone out. Is that not reasonable?

>and it does add to the perception that this administration is very secretive,

Ahhh yes... A great talking point. I want the Dems to argue that the problem with the administration is that they can keep their mouths shut. That's not a bug, it's a feature.

>especially when you consider that the VP has a press staff whose job it is to do these kinds of things,

He didn't have any media people with him. (see also my post about his first interview)

>which they didn't even do until the rancher in Texas went to the press

see above.... There were no press people to do what you are complaining the press people did not do.

------

But my paraprase IS accurate.

The question was "What harm was the 18 hour delay?"

She had no answer, (becasue there was no harm done) so she just called Cheney "secretive" (read as "evil" wink wink nod nod)

The 18 hour delay harmed no one. But she still used it to cast dispersions. Hence my paraphrase is really accurate.

24 hours. 18 hours. 12 hour... (Below threshold)
NorthwestNeocon:

24 hours. 18 hours. 12 hours. 20 minutes.

Whatever it turns out to be, all I know is that I'll never get the time back I wasted following this yawner of a story. Shame on me.

Paul, you fucking wuss.... (Below threshold)

Paul, you fucking wuss.

You disagree with something I said. Point it out, then delete the other half of my comment? Seriously?

I realize the "official" story is that private security inadvertently turned back the police because they didn't apparently know there had been an accident. Sure. That makes mass sense.

Because the secret service totally relied on private security to secure the entrance to the ranch. And also because cops always turn around while investigating a potential murder investigation once they run into someone that doesn't know anything.

Think about that for a second.

You are a police officer. You pick up chatter about a GSV leaving a hunting ranch in an ambulance. You take the time to drive there. When you arrive, you are stopped by two security guards who apparently can neither confirm or deny that a shooting has taken place. "Good enough for me" you say, and drive off

Get real.

And there was absolutely nothing wrong with the part of my post you actually deleted.

Nothing.

I think seattle mispelled "... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

I think seattle mispelled "sluagh," which is a kind of troll. . .

Law enforcement officers were there on the scene when the accident occured. As has been pointed out, the United States Secret Service is a federal law enforcement agency, and they conducted any dealings with local police as necessary. The local police department has had no complaint whatsoever about the manner, timing, and conduct in which the notification and interview process took place.

Oh, and as someone who has worked with U.S. Secret Service and had to regretfully decline a job offer with them, I see anyone who might be referring to them as "security guards" as lower than troll dung. But if thats not what was meant, cool.

The MSM labored mightily a ... (Below threshold)
smitty:

The MSM labored mightily a brought forth a news mouse.

It would have been better if Whittington had done the right thing and died; but there he was today proclaiming what everyone knew---it was an accident.

Depending on the report ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Depending on the report it was 17-118 hours. They waited until AFTEr the Sherrif sent someone out. Is that not reasonable?

What for? The incident was considered an accident on Saturday night, as evidenced by the fact that the sheriff didn't feel the need to send anyone until the following morning.

Ahhh yes... A great talking point. I want the Dems to argue that the problem with the administration is that they can keep their mouths shut. That's not a bug, it's a feature.

Well I do think it's a bug, but then I believe in transparency in government (excepting of course sensitive national security matters).

He didn't have any media people with him. (see also my post about his first interview)

I find it surprising that you think this is an adequate explanation. We're talking about the Vice President here. Are we really supposed to believe that he or the staff travelling with him had no contact with his staff in Washington? This administration has more communication capabilities than any other in history and they aren't in contact with the White House while on a weekend trip? Bullshit. His press staff releases statements every day. His staff surely was in contact with the press people back at the WH, they simply chose not to tell anyone.

The 18 hour delay harmed no one. But she still used it to cast dispersions. Hence my paraphrase is really accurate.

Whether it harmed anyone is not the issue (regardless of what Hewitt says). Here was Thomas's first response to the question (just before where you quoted):

HH: And what damage was done by the delay until Sunday?

HT: Well, it simply emphasized the penchant for secrecy. When anything happens to a top figure in this country, it's news. And when the Vice President shoots somebody, that's news. And you don't suppress it, because it always arouses suspicions. I don't know of any suspicions per se, but I do think that people will...I mean, the wonderment is why wait nearly a whole day?

The harm, if there is any, was to Cheney's image and credibility, and by extension the administration. It's pretty clear that Thomas is saying that the response of Cheney and his staff looks bad for them, not that he's evil. If you don't think it looked bad for them, fine, but the fact remains that many do. I for one think it is a non-issue, the administration's secrecy on issues that actually do affect us is much more important to me.

btw I think you mean aspersions, not dispersions.

Oddly, I cannot imagine HT ... (Below threshold)
Toby928:

Oddly, I cannot imagine HT actually caring about something hurting Cheney's image and credibility but perhaps I blackguard her.

Tob

>HT: Well, it simply emphas... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>HT: Well, it simply emphasized the penchant for secrecy. When anything happens to a top figure in this country, it's news.

And the news was give to the CCCT which put it out ont he AP.

>And when the Vice President shoots somebody, that's news.

I don't recall anyone saying otherwise. Strawman.

>And you don't suppress it, because it always arouses suspicions.

He didn't supress it. It just dfi dnot go out int he timeline HT would like (but she failed to specify.)

>I don't know of any suspicions per se, but I do think that people will...I mean, the wonderment is why wait nearly a whole day?

OK HT, you get to wonder. Now what exactly was wrong with the way Cheney released it?


THAT"S THE POINT. HT had nothing to comaplain about but she tried to paint him as evil for it taking 17 hours. All she is doing is calling names.
-------

btw I think you mean aspersions, not dispersions.

Oh- freaking crap... that's what happens when you post on your way ot the door to dinner. ;-) call me a dumbass.

Sounds like the MSM is suff... (Below threshold)
Bob Jones:

Sounds like the MSM is suffering from a severe case of MPH.

/MPH= My Pussy Hurts

Hmmm.1. This has f... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

1. This has frankly gone beyond the boring stage and has finally ended up in zombieland.

2. I don't recollect the MSM hammering on the Clinton administration for waiting before doing press releases.

3. You guys go right ahead and keep on pushing this meme until it hurts. Every single person who has ever hunted, knows a hunter or is related to a hunter is currently laughing at you.

4. This has been a prime opportunity for Democrats to show, yet again, that they really don't have anything in common with rural Americans. That, like John Kerry in a hunting outfit, it's all a costume worn for effect, a pose, and not really a lifestyle for them.

5. Did I mention this is boring the hell out of me?

6. And just to make sure the liberal readers of this blog are kept informed on a timely basis, since this is the New New New Meme of Current Necessity, I had a nice BM this morning followed by scrambled eggs, a Mojito and will soon be smoking a very nice cigar.

BTW I highly recommend JR Cigars Counterfeit Cubans. Excellent smoke, particularly if you age them for 6 months, for a very reasonable $2 a stick.

God forbid the liberals aren't kept abreast of current events.

is that virtually everyt... (Below threshold)

is that virtually everything the President and Vice President do is news,

Excuse me, but that's not news but GOSSIP.

I realize that most media pimps have gone tabloid but for GODSSAKE do not say such obsession with the trivial is NEWS.

But then, the MSM had to get angry at something to cover up their craveness in the Danish cartoon flap.

PaulSince when are... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Paul

Since when are you deleting parts of posts that you consider myth? I see tons of misinformation on this blog all of the time, and you've never bothered to delete that. Oh, right, because it's about the Clintons. Hey, it's your blog, and you can do whatever you want, but there's very little that has been "proved" about this event, and certainly nothing that has been proved with such certainty that you have to go to the extreme measure of deleting comments. Even if the commenter was 100% wrong, why is it necessary to delete their comments?

Do your partners in this blog really support that, and can we expect to see more of that in the future? What an asshole move. No wonder you love this administration. You fit right in with them.

Congratulations Chris, you ... (Below threshold)
B Moe:

Congratulations Chris, you get the Amanda Marcotte award for proving once again that ignorance is not bliss.

(warning- typofest, I'm sle... (Below threshold)
Paul:

(warning- typofest, I'm sleepy)

Chris,

If you see any complete misinformation in the comments, you can feel free to send me a note and I will delete it. (if it is on my post that is) -- Mind you I did not say "soemthing you don't like to read" I said misinformation.

When you get on here and say the locals police were turned away by the Secret service you are either wrong or a liar - and I really don't care which. Kevin debunked that consperacy thery days ago. (go read his post)

IF you still belive it, I can't help you.

Rahter than attack me for delteing the crap you post, you should consider posting something that at least bears a resemblance to reality.

Is it that hard to understand?

Paul,You have a grea... (Below threshold)
tblubrd:

Paul,
You have a great summary of this post from ED (three or four posts back). I think he has added some well deserved and well written entertainment with his post.
You spend a lot of time debunking the left wing crazies like Chris and Mantis. You probably shouldn't but it's your blog and it sure makes for good reading.
It's a real eye-opener for me to read the left wing crap. The demand they have for the truth as only they will accept it is laughable. And the hypocrisy of the "Antique Media" is obvious, even to the left. I have found that the left seems to hate Antique Media as much as the right (makes one wonder how they still sell their crap).
Oh by the way Chris, you wrote -

Do your partners in this blog really support that, and can we expect to see more of that in the future?

God, I hope so. It will keep some of the left wing bullshit down to a manageable level.

PaulFirst of all, ... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Paul

First of all, let's leave aside the notion that the sherriff of a small town dominated by a huge ranch belonging to some of the most powerful people in the country is immune to pressure or a desire to stay on anyone's good side. After the press leaves, he still has to live with the Armstrong's. I'm not saying the guy's lying, I just don't see that his voice among all others should be taken as gospel. This is the guy who says he knew there was no wrongdoing because a ranch employee told him there wasn't.

Then he issues a report definitively stating that alcohol wasn't a factor. Not that there's no evidence that alcohol was a factor, but that his investigation has shown that it wasn't a factor. Please tell me how any investigation the next day can come to that definitive conclusion, especially when the witnesses are motivated to have him come to that conclusion?

Before everypone goes off on a rant, I'm not saying I know alcohol was involved, and I agree, as does just about every critic of the way this has been handled, that it was undoubtedly an accident. But before you condemn me for speculating, remember you're the guys who can mind read the press, and attribute all sorts of motives to reporters when they ask questions (you know, like they're paid to do). So it's a little hypocritical to demand that only irrefutable facts be put forth in response to the rampant speculation about press motives that gets posted on this board every day.

That aside, his report states that his deputy arrived at the gate, where he "made contact" with Border Patrol agents. He then told his deputy it was "all right" and that he would send someone to the ranch in the morning. In what way does this disprove the assertion that the deputy was turned away? Is the fact that it was Border Patrol rather than Secret Service that relevant? Since it's a private ranch, why was the Border Patrol there, if not because of Cheney's presence? So if a different part of Cheney's security detail turned away the deputy, that makes the whole post so demonstrably false that it requires deleting it? Plus there's this:
http://www.newscoast.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?Date=20060213&Category=APW&ArtNo=602130538&SectionCat=&Template=printart

"At least one deputy showed up at the ranch's front gate later in the evening and asked to speak to Cheney but was turned away by the Secret Service, Zahren said. There was some miscommunication that arrangements had already been made to interview the vice president, he said."

That story has since changed, not once but three times. It has variously been reported that the depouties were dispatched or showed up on their own, and that they were turned away by Secret Service agents (according to the Secret Service spokesman), Border Patrol agents and private security guards. In the midst of all these changing stories, how are you so tuned into the truth that you can declare one of the stories "false" and delete it? Face it, you're cherry picking the facts that support your side.

Sorry Paul, but I totally <... (Below threshold)

Sorry Paul, but I totally beat you to the finish line on this. Hehe.

You spend a lot of time ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You spend a lot of time debunking the left wing crazies like Chris and Mantis.

I may sit mostly on the left politically, but how exactly am I crazy? Oh, that's right, you're crazy if you're not right wing.

Tool.

And for the record, I would... (Below threshold)
Chris:

And for the record, I wouldn't call what Paul does "debunking." Both JayTea and Kevin do amuch better job of using facts to make their cases, even though I disagree with them. Paul seems to go into name-calling mode at the drop of a hat.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy