Thursday, February 16, 2006

"I take it you missed the bird"

I don't think Brit Hume was trying to be funny here, but that is nonetheless one of the greatest deadpan lines I've ever read.

Less funny is what Cheney reveals about his disrespect for the press in the following exchange:
HUME: Well, did it occur to you that sooner was -- I mean, the one thing that we've all kind of learned over the last several decades is that if something like this happens, as a rule sooner is better.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, if it's accurate. If it's accurate. And this is a complicated story.

HUME: But there were some things you knew. I mean, you knew the man had been shot, you knew he was injured, you knew he was in the hospital, and you knew you'd shot him.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Correct.

HUME: And you knew certainly by sometime that evening that the relevant members of his family had been called. I realize you didn't know the outcome, and you could argue that you don't know the outcome today, really, finally.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: As we saw, if we'd put out a report Saturday night on what we heard then -- one report came in that said, superficial injuries. If we'd gone with a statement at that point, we'd have been wrong. And it was also important, I thought, to get the story out as accurately as possible, and this is a complicated story that, frankly, most reporters would never have dealt with before... I still think that the accuracy was enormously important.
This is a COMPLICATED story? That most reporters, simpletons that they are, would fail to grasp? Please. I believe it was Cheney's "expert" point person Katharine Armstrong who merrily spinned it as Whittington being "peppered pretty good." Indeed. The press covers items with a hell of a lot more nuance than this. And they usually don't need 18 hours to get up to speed.

Cheney made a big deal about accuracy in the interview, dropping "accurate" six times and "accuracy" twice, usually in the context of how important it was to make sure the silly press didn't get it wrong.

Here's my favorite little nugget: "Speed has become sort of a driving force, lots of time at the expense of accuracy." Hm. Sorta sounds like something Joseph Wilson said once.

The Cheney Interview [FishbowlDC]

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