Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Media Outrage?

As you're probably aware, the Old Media are in a state of collective apoplexy over the recent hunting accident involving Vice-President Dick Cheney. Samples of its fury can be found nicely stippled with slanderous innuendo. The masks are off; the media are enraged on their own behalf; the Bush Administration is being hauled to the dock for the unspeakable crime of putting trivial concerns such as the rights and well being of a private citizen above its sacred duty to assist the press's quest...for dirt with which to defame the Bush Administration.

The victim of Cheney's strayed shotgun round, Harry Whittington, is a lawyer in private practice. He's not a public official and never has been. By what reasoning does the press have any right to know anything about him? One might reply that the meat of the story is about the shooter, not the victim; the point would be well taken. But by what reasoning does the press suggest that the incident was being covered up?

Why, simply that Mr. Whittington's well being was placed ahead of the obligation -- obligation! -- to inform the press of the accident.

Inasmuch as no public official was harmed in any way, nor was any process of government affected, this seems a bit of a stretch.

In general, it is well that high officials remain in full view at most times. It is particularly well that they should have great difficulty concealing their uses of their official powers. But Dick Cheney was on a private hunting trip, a vacation break from the responsibilities of his office; in loosing an errant round that peppered Harry Whittington in the face and chest, he employed none of the powers nor perquisites of his office:

* He didn't dismiss his Secret Service retinue so that he could receive oral sex from an intern while discussing foreign policy;
* He didn't haul a favor-seeker into an unused side office so that he could grope her and importune her for sexual access;
* He didn't direct the Internal Revenue Service to initiate investigations of his political adversaries;
* He didn't demand access to "raw" FBI files on highly placed Republican organizers and fundraisers;
* He didn't refuse to testify before a Senate convened to try him for abuse of his powers.
* He didnt impede the investigation of a “suicide” by removing evidence of a possible motive from the victim’s white house office.

Of course, the subject of the peccadilloes above wasn't deemed by the press to be an enemy. But if it's enemies they need, how about this one: Several women who worked for Senator Robert Packwood refrained for years from accusing him publicly of sexual misconduct toward them, specifically because he was pro-abortion.

Where was the press's outrage then? Where was "the public's right to know?"

It sharpens the point to learn that the gentlemen of the press are more interested in accidents involving their enemies than in crimes committed by their friends.

The American news-consumer can no longer afford to have his information flow throttled by persons who place more importance on swaying him than on informing him. And "throttling" is just what many of our Old Media barons have in mind for us, as witness the near-absolute unwillingness among American newspapers and television broadcasters to show the twelve Jyllands-Posten cartoons over which millions of Muslims are beside themselves with shari'a-induced rage.

How about a trade? If the editors of the major American newspapers and television news bureaus will all agree to display the Jyllands-Posten cartoons prominently and at once, with a complete explanation of their context, the distortions spread about them, and the riots over them, then Vice-President Cheney will agree to make informing them his very first priority, the next time he shoots someone.

Sound fair?

ht/eternity road



Wadical said...

Sounds fair. But the media is not interested in "fair". If so they would adhere to their true journalistic code of ethics and report the truth, impartially. I don't even think they teach that in journalism school anymore. Now they're making a big deal over some 7 dollar stamp that he failed to purchase.

Here's the deal: He was careless. Both of them were. Now that it's out, he ought to just admit it and be done with it. Making it out to be just some insignificant flesh wound is just fuel for the anti-gunners. Bet yer nest egg they'll have him up as their poster child that even the most respected among us can't be trusted with guns. It's weak but it's coming, I'll guarantee it.

Fred Mangels said...

"He was careless. Now that it's out, he ought to just admit it and be done with it."

Let's keep in mind the legal ramifications of this. He's already facing the possibility of legal or even criminal charges over this. As much as we like to see people fess up to what they've done, it wouldn't be the smartest thing to do from a legal standpoint.

Wadical said...

There's no legal problems. It was a seven dollar stamp. It's been taken care of. He was licensed, he just didn't have the stamp. It happens all the time. The offender is fined and sent on their way. He paid a fine and it's over. Legally, he has nothing hanging over his head. Accidents happen,

I'm just saying all the smoke and mirrors should be put away and this be treated as just accident that could have been prevented had due caution been exercised. The absence of a stamp on his license had nothing to do with this guy getting shot.

Fred Mangels said...

No. He still faces the possibility of a lawsuit by his "friend". I also read something this morning of the possibility of a criminal complaint if the guy dies as a result of, say, a heart attack that resulted from the gunshot wound.

I seriously doubt the powers that be in Texas would charge him with manslaughter, or some such, but he still faces the possibility of legal action of some sort so it might be best to keep his mouth shut, at least for now.

Wadical said...

If that's true, then I agree. Everything I've heard until now seems to indicate his "friend" was downplaying it and holds no grudges so to speak. He was recovering well and remains in good spirits. His family may be a different story though if he's actually in any danger of dying from this. I hadn't thought of that angle.

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Latest update indicates the victim is fine. The media, are devistated by this news and continue on "death watch".

Fred Mangels said...

You never know how a "friend" might react to something. I got in a motorcycle wreck back in the '70s. I had a passenger with me. We both got banged up but survived.

The passenger's mother hired an attorney to sue the guy that pulled out in front of us. Turned out the guy didn't have insurance so the attorney wasn't too interested in the case. With that case dropped, the passenger started suggesting the wreck was my fault. Problem was, I had even less than the guy that caused the accident. I'm sure she would have gone after me if I had any assets.

Same happened about ten years ago out in front of my house. A couple motorcycle riders ended up in the street. I don't know how it happened. I saw them ride by then heard the crash and both were on the ground. The ended up fine. No ambulance needed.

Again, I don't know how that happened but a few days later one of the riders stops by the house to ask if I'd seen what happened. Turns out his "best friend" was suing him over the accident.

Just goes to show, though, what happens when the dollar signs start floating before your friend's eyes.

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