Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Cheney Thing

Am I the only one who thinks the press is overreacting to this whole Dick Cheney shooting an old man in the face thing? It was a hunting accident. It happens.

Cheney could have handled this better. I mean, holding a press conference to announce that you shot -- excuse me, peppered -- an old geezer with buckshot would certainly be novel, but having your host, a beltway lobbyist, give an exclusive scoop to a regional newspaper hours after the incident sure makes it sound like they needed time to get the story straight.

Here are my questions: have you ever been around quail? They're beautiful. They're small. They don't really fly. Not like ducks, or anything. When panicked, they can flap themselves straight up in the air to escape from danger (usually terrestrial predators), but they're about as aerodynamic as a chicken. What kind of sadistic fuck enjoys blasting away cute, quirky, defenseless birds with a shotgun? Answer: our Vice President.

Now, I'm not a hunter. I confess, I'm not aware of hunting etiquette. It makes sense to me that if you're around people with guns -- people who intend to use them presently -- you'd want to let them know where you are. Still...Mr. Whittington is seventy-eight years old. How fast does this guy move? I'm supposed to believe that he just appeared out of nowhere?

Despite all that, what is wrong with the media? They're clearly just out for blood. So he didn't have the $7 license to shoot caged birds. Big. Effin. Deal. Cheney's clearly deceived us on so many other issues, it's not a stretch of the imagination to think he's fibbing here, too. But let's analyze this.

There are two possibilities. A) it was an accident. B) it wasn't an accident.

Now, just for the entertainment value of conjecture, let's suppose Possibility B. What are some possible motives for the Vice President to shotgun a senior citizen? Maybe he said, "Hey Dick, I read your wife's novel. I see where your daughter gets it."

Does the press really suspect that this was something other than an accident? If it was an accident, which it almost certainly was, isn't that the end of the story? Come on, mainstream media. You've got bigger quails to fry.

20 comments:

Jon said...

My mom's theory is that they were all drunk and so they waited so long to announce it in order to avoid brethalyzer tests...

Quinn said...

Jon beat me to my comment, about waiting to get Cheney all sobered up. Curse you, jon!

Quinn said...

Or, sorry, considering this is a post about our VP, I should have said, "Go F--- yourself, Jon."

steve chapman said...

Well it defintiely seems that the coverage on Cheney has been over the top. It seems to me a lot of mistakes were made and they need to be dealt with but David Gregory makes it appear that Mr. Cheney shot the President himself.

Andy said...

Hmmm...intoxication might explain mistaking AN EIGHTY YEAR OLD ATTORNEY for an EIGHT INCH TALL FLIGHTLESS BIRD.

Trickish Knave said...

The redneck in me can understand the draw for quail hunting (or Bobwhite's where I'm from) because they really taste good after being seasoned and cooked on a spit. I have only been quail hunting a few times though because the amount of meat you get is not worth all the trouble of cleaning and preparing the bird.

Accidents do happen while hunting and I wouldn't doubt for a second a few drinks were thrown back before and/or during the hunting trip. When I was stationed in CT I remember reading about a Maine woman who was hanging up laundery in her backyeard while wearing white gloves who was shot and killed by a man who mistook her for a deer. The man was acquited.

A huge roar over this incident just quelled in my office and how ironic you devoted a whole post to it. I think that the media is fucked up in that they think they deserve a story so quickly after an accident like this happens. There h as been limited coverage of the victim sans the heart attack he had yesterday.

What people perhaps do not understnad is that the VP was fully in his right to not make a comment to the police about this incident. I think he should have said something though but it really isn't necessary so early after the incident. The Secret Service talked to the police and everyone there agreed it was an accident- a stupid, Hunting 101 accident.

I would have to take the stance of those involved in this accident in that I would not tell the press jack either. Of course if I got hit in the face with birdshot I seriously doubt it would make national news.

Esther said...

One does not have to be a sicko to quail hunt. I have quail hunted before. Generally, I prefer handling the dogs over shooting down the birds, because I don't enjoy killing and I can't shoot straight anyway. Hunting quail is not a sign of bad character, it's a hobby. Besides there are so many of the dang things that they'd overpopulate and kill us all with some sort of flu if we didn't hunt them. Quail do not fly far, but they fly farther and faster than you'd think. Usually they jump out of the brush in an arc and whiz by, landing a distance away.

On Cheney: It was birdshot, which is very different from buckshot. He was most likely turning to shoot the quail since you have to turn with the gun when aiming at a moving object. His friend could have come up over a hill or rise just out of sight and most likely did since Cheney peppered him in the face and shoulder. Cheney is an old man, he's had a couple heart attacks, his reaction time is probably fairly slow.

Most of the people discussing this instance don't know the first thing about hunting. Accidents happen when people have guns. There are hunting accidents every year and nobody ever gets all uppity about whether other people shot their buddies on purpose.

On the media: I agree. I really don't see what business it is of theirs to decide when they get notified about things. Cheney was probably very upset. I would be if I had just shot my buddy on accident. Who would want a bunch of reporters bothering one after that?

Oh wait, I forgot. Cheney is the devil . . . And the devil don't have no feelin's!

little-cicero said...

Esther, HAVE YOU EVER TASTED QUAIL?
It's delicious, it's the best poultry there is. It's lean while at the same time juicy, tender, and not as gamy as other meats. That is my only argument...you can take that for what it's worth.

Esther said...

Actually, I've never had quail, but I am sure I would enjoy eating them if I had. I suppose that's another good reason to hunt them. Why yell at me about it though? I'm not the diversity conscious person who called Cheney a "sadistic f---" for "blasting" "cute, defenseless (i.e. stupider than rocks) birds." I proved my acceptance and tolerance for people with different lifestyles when I pointed out that hunting is not that weird. ;oP

Just read Cheney's exclusive: no alcohol, Harry was not coming up over a hill, but the sun was in Cheney's eyes. Wow, what a horrible thing to have happen to you. And what a horrible way to treat the poor man who must have been in utter shock for days after watching his friend fall down from the shot he had fired. I hate the media.

Andy said...

For the record, I have had quail and it's delicious...but the birds are so small, it is rather hard work to get enough meat off the thing to make it worthwhile.

I'm just too much of a softie to really understand "hunting." No, I'm not a vegetarian, but the idea of killing animals as a form of recreation, well, let's just say that doesn't appeal to me. I would have a little more respect for the kind of hunting where I really thought there was some kind of skill involved. You know, a bow and arrow or something, or the kind of animal you have to track. Taking a shotgun to a little bitty birdy seems, well...sadistic.

little-cicero said...

Let's not get off subject people!

We're talking about the delicious taste of quail here. For example, crusted with rosemary, spatchcooked over a woodfire grill to succulent perfection. Served over a bed of rice pilaf with slivered almonds and French cut green beans. With a tall glass of sweet tea. I mean, seriously, is a little bird's life worth so much compared with such a rich bounty of nature? These are serious questions that cannot be dismissed people!

Andy said...

LC, I think you might entertain the idea of a career in menu-writing.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure that it was an accident? I mean hear me out. When was the last time you heard about the Bush / Abramoff photos – you know the ones that the White House won’t release because they (presumably) show how close the president is to our man Jack? How much coverage have the Katrina hearings got? This administration is very good a distracting the people. And I wouldn’t put anything past them -- even shooting a 78-year-old man on purpose.

Esther said...

I don't like killing animals and birds either (even though I despise birds). Now, if someone were to kill them for me so I could eat them I'd be fine with that. I shot one deer in my life and seeing it die remains one of the more scarring moments I've ever experienced.

Shooting clay pigeons is where it's at.

little-cicero said...

You're right Andy, sadly that may well have been the best writing I've ever done.

Andy said...

No offense, but it was better than your Ode to Condi. *hug*

little-cicero said...

Like I said, third grade poetry. Of course, in defense of third grade poetry, there's a certain err of innocence and simplicity about it that poets ought to consider. Maybe I will have started a new trend!

Andy said...

An err of innocence -- that's rather profound, if you think about it.

little-cicero said...

As am I!

Aethlos said...

yeah, who cares. especially considering he shot a repub, and a lawyer. i wish he could have aimed a little higher and more toward the middle. ;)