Monday, February 20, 2006
The Shot Heard 'Round the World
Y'know, I have to think that Dick Cheney's having shot Harry Whittington on their quail hunting expedition was an accident. As a firearms enthusiast, I also have to think that the whole thing was Cheney's fault for not taking the moment to know where all the members of the hunting party were. All that's pretty much established, and pending any unexpected further revelations, the story's over.
What was really strange and really funny is the way the whole thing went down with the MSM press. Obviously, the reporters in the White House Press Corps--reporters whose photos are in the dictionary illustrating the meaning of the word "pompous"--expected Cheney to put down his shotgun and pick up his cell phone and call them, even as the unfortunate Mr Whittington lay bleeding in the dry grass.
In movies and stories of yore, we learn that the job of a news reporter is to go out, find the individuals involved in the story, interview them by hook or by crook. They might have to go to strange places; dangerous places and research the facts. They might have to eavesdrop, spy, develop ruses, pay bribes or even outright lie to get to the truth of the matter.
Not any more. You'd damn well better call a press conference and give all the reporters from all the newspapers, newswires, news magazines, radio and tv reporters and retired tv talking heads all the facts and answer every question fully until they decide they've heard enough or you, my dear politician, are dead meat. Unless your name is Clinton or Kennedy.
Why, you might ask? Because if you delegate this solemn responsibility to a mere private citizen, who'll tell it to a cub reporter on a local paper, of course they'll get it all wrong. Such unschooled oafs are not to be trusted with real news! Just ask David Gregory. He'll tell you. And tell you. And tell you.
Now, hold up your hands if you know the answer, children: How many times have we seen a big story, when told to us by Geraldo Rivera or Newsday's Tom Brune--or any of the others, for that matter--change from hour to hour, from day to day? Not changes that develop, mind you, but factual changes. Changes in which the reporter rushed off a quick story to get a scoop, before he had the facts, and was subsequently shown to be exaggerated or incomplete, or just plain wrong?
Having read news stories about which I had personal, first-hand knowledge, it happens a lot!
I heard Cheney's shotgun referred to as 28-caliber several times before I finally heard 28-gauge, for example. The press, as I've mentioned before, changes the spelling and pronunciation of Arabic words and names every couple of weeks or so. Nobody seems to understand the necessity for news people to have some degree of real-world knowledge before sending them out of the halls of ivy.
There were thousands dead, more thousands raped and robbed, hundreds of bodies floating in the New Orleans streets after the Katrina hurricane, until others were able to get into the area and give a little perspective. Yet almost no one in the MSM reported the fact that the military and the police were going house-to-house confiscating residents' legally-owned firearms, in complete violation of their Second Amendment rights. But, I digress.
I only saw bits and pieces of that embarrassing press conference in which the entire press corps tried to rake the Pillsbury Doughboy over the coals because of the "delay" in the reporting of the accident to their tender, pampered ears.
Had I been the doughboy, and were I being verbally assaulted by the likes of those dolts, I'd have closed the meeting, then told them to have their bosses send a new set of reporters: reporters who can be civil and polite while asking the tough questions. Reporters who can keep their personal psychoses and biases under wraps while working in the supposedly neutral third estate.
Were I the editor of any one of these news media, I'd have reporters actually digging and finding out what's really going on, rather than relying on what the White House dorks are being spoon-fed.
I don't trust the Administration any farther than I can throw it. I'd like somebody to find out what's really going on in that den of iniquity, so we can go back to being a Constitutional Republic once again.
Remember, VOTE FOR NO INCUMBENT!