Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Stalking the Man of Mystery

Yes, laughing at the list of lame alibis for the infamous “delay” in reporting the “peppering” of Dick Cheney’s unlucky hunting companion, Harry Whittington, has been fun. Imagining the swaggering Cheney in a scheming frenzy with his yes-men, as the precious minutes ticked by, still makes me smile.

With each minute that passed Cheney’s problem with explaining the delay grew. I see him fretting and growling at bad suggestions. "They'll believe whatever I tell 'em to, kid. Hey, where's that bottle?"

"Sir, whimpered a squirming yes-man, "it's empty ah, and you agreed..."

OK. That's enough of my cartoon-vision.

Still, all the schemers on the Cheney team, being pros at what they do, surely knew the press would go bonkers once it got wind of what had happened. So what actually went on while the press was kept in the dark was more important than immediately doing what they all knew was the right thing.

Given Cheney’s secretive nature, I’d say there’s a good chance we’ll never know what went down during that all-too-obvious stalling maneuver. Moreover, it’s not really the most important mystery to do with Cheney that needs solving.

Laughing at avalanche of Cheney jokes, the political cartoons, the talk show rants, has neatly shifted the focus away from Cheney’s serious political problems which were dogging him before he mistook the 78-year-old Whittington for a small bird. Investigative reporter and essayist Russ Baker, examines that very angle at TomPaine.com:

“...Hence, we observe a media response which disproportionately favors the ‘sexier’ if less substantive material. We saw it in the alacrity with which all manner of news organization—local, national, print, electronic—reported what could be surmised about every aspect of the hunting accident. In particular, news organizations expressed outrage at the lack of timely disclosure. Everyone in the country, it seems, was talking about Dick Cheney’s stonewalling.

“Cheney stonewalling? Not sharing vital information? Operating secretively? Causing unnecessary pain, then walking away from the scene of the crime? That’s not the story of the last week; that’s the story of the past five years.”
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