Thursday, February 16, 2006

Newstainment Is Ridiculous

With all that's going on in the world I'm completely surprised at how the news media is completely obsessed with Dick Cheney. Listen, he made a mistake. I'm certain that he feels horrible. Move on!

The news media must have a purpose beyond trying to embarrass Cheney. Or, at least make it something that involves more people than him and the poor person he shot. How does his mistake affect me? It doesn't! Leave the humor to the comedians, they're much better at it.

This focus on Cheney is symptomatic of many issues that I will try to list:

1. There is only so much news. With the invention of "Newstainment" the 24 hour cable news stations are desperately trying to hold onto viewers. Remember, the news media is a business like any other. They care about the bottom line as much as any other business.

2. By and large, Americans do not tend to be internationalists. Pick up a newspaper in a different country, the people in those countries not only like to know what goes on in their country, but they also like to know what the world is up to. Not us, we tend to only read the international news as it effects us. And to that credit there is A LOT that goes on in America.

3. Learning about other countries requires an attention span that is quickly dwindling in the United States. Watch the news, you'll see a lot of flashing lights, you'll hear a lot of one liners and you'll see a lot of quick statistics and polling. Hey, it keeps my attention.

Here's my message to the news/entertainment industry: Leave Dick Cheney alone! Or, at least report something that has to deal with the greater public at large. A man has been seriously injured, it was a mistake. Plain and simple.


Anonymous said...

Why were Cheney and Whittington in a "hunting outing" with two other women, not their wives? If these women are married, where were their husbands? In the words of GOP apologist Peggy Noonan: "It would be irresponsible not to speculate."

Why is Lynne Cheney so silent? Where is she?

Booze. The ranch owner mentioned there were "one or two beers involved." Cheney himself has vaguely confessed he may have had "a beer for lunch" prior to the shooting.

Dick Cheney is under heavy heart medication, and wear a portable defibrillator. He also has a long history of DUI and problems with alcohol.
- Is this proper?
- Is this responsible behavior from Mr. Gravitas?
- What kind of interactions and counter-effects do these drugs produce when mixed with alcohol?
- Why is a so-called "responsible" adult with troubling health issues mixing his drugs with alcohol?
- Armstrong mentioned they got to the scene of the shooting in a car. Who was driving? Did this person drink as well?

Dick Cheney and the report submitted to the press specifies the shooting incident took place at 30 yards (about 90')... but ballistic experts (many listed in these boards) discredit that storyline as fiction: the type of shotgun and birdshot pellets used by Cheney do not support that theory. The shooting had to happen at a much closer range to produce such tremendous damage to Mr. Whittington.

Yesterday Cheney mentioned in his Fox News whitewash interview that the incident took place at 30 feet. What is it, 30 yards or 30 feet? Will the goalpost keep moving until we get the real story?

According to the reports, the private security employees of the ranch owned by Ms. Armstrong refused entry to the local authorities and turned away the local police from the scene of the shooting. The police didn't have access to the scene until much later.

- Is it normal in Texas to tell the police to turn away from a potential crime scene?
- Does the Texas police just politely apologize and walk away from the scene of a crime if they are told to go?
- Is it common in Texas for private rent-a-guards to tell policemen to go away?

Even more puzzling is the fact that when the police finally accessed the scene of the shooting, they immediately exonerated Cheney of any wrongdoing, declared no crime had been committed, and that the case would not be further pursued.

- Is this what is called "Texas justice"?
- Would the police issue the same statement if the incident didn't involve a notoriously corrupt, powerful and bullying VP from their own state?
- Would the results of their "investigation" had been the same if the shooter was a regular guy?
- Would the results of their "investigation" had been the same if the shooter was a Black or Chicano man?
- Do Texan authorities they care how badly this looks to the world?

For the first 24 hours Cheney did not inform the press about the incident, and was eventually leaked out to the press by Ms. Armstrong. Cheney didn't even inform George W. Bush about it until Monday. Cheney took 4 full days to make any public statements about the incident, and in his first comments Cheney blatantly blamed Mr. Whittington for "getting in his way" during the hunting. Later on Fox, Cheney reluctantly and uncomfortably took the blame. The whole thing was handled in secrecy, with obvious lies, misstatements, and storylines that change by the day.

The official release by Cheney's staff informed us Whittington was just "peppered" with birdshot from 90 feet away (30 yards) and was just "doing fine" and "recovering well." The doctor making these misleading statements happened to be a born-again evangelical, and strong supporter of Cheney. Later we found out his torso and face received more than 200 pellet shots. Later we find out Mr. Whittington had a mild heart attack, and that pellets are lodged in his heart and liver.

- Is this how a sitting VP should handle such a serious matter?
- Why keep such event in secret, knowing this all would come out and embarrass him even further?
- Is everything Cheney does shrouded in secrecy and manipulation?
- What else did he lie about?
- Can a doctor lose his license for purposefully lying and making misleading statements about the health of a shooting victim?

Anonymous said...

I can't help but notice that there is absolutely no sourcing to your "interesting" comment. It's comments like these that make me want to take the anonymous status off.

Bob said...

He did sourse where he copy-and-pasted it from (look at the bottom), also, while I'm not about to go and research most of the posts, you can look to the following places for information:


Emma said...

I completly agree with you, I'm getting serously annoyed with the whole Cheany thing, another thing I hate is how Big time murders get so much news coverage. I like watching world newa tonight, or the bbc, I get bord with the on going stories about cheany(it's like they're trying to make me care about it) and the murderes.

Anonymous said...

I am actually a female, not a male. It was interesting questions about Cheney and to ignore the issue before the questions are answered is ridiculous. I didn't log in because when I do that I get Republicans who track me down and harass me.

Hannah Vinson said...

I visited the 'source'. Nothing is documented on that website either. There are no warrants for half the claims, at least. I am only going to respond to one other thing mentioned in the article.

I am all for letting women go hunting and have male friends besides their husbands. It is immature to assume that married people can't have close friends of the other gender.

Seriously, this is not how we play ball. We don't make personal attacks and we don't dig to create scandals. We are issue, not people, focused. There are a lot more important un-answered questions in this country than why didn't Dick Cheney take his wife hunting. For example, what about the Downing Street Memo? Can the President authorize warrant-less wiretaps? How safe are we?

I think that that was the point of Peter's original posting. There are many stories we'd like to see covered and examined and questions. What Dick Cheney had for lunch just doesn't matter as much as how many Americans could afford lunch yesterday.

Thank you for your thoughts!

Anonymous said...

So if the vice president got drunk and shot a man, that isn't important? Why would Clinton getting a blow job be important and worth millions of dollars of tax payers money to investigate? You choose the life of public service, be prepared to explain your public and private actions.

Just because there aren't sources doesn't mean it isn't fact. And if half of it isn't true, prove it by showing some sources.

Anonymous said...


You're right, if Cheney got drunk and shot a man than that would be important and worth an investigation.

Please continue to post your comments as you see fit. However, sourcing from reputable institutions is incredibly important for obvious reasons. It provides a means for us to seperate fact from fiction.

Also, we would has that you use less graphic imagery as in your citation of President Clinton. We want this to be a "kid friendly" post. I'm leaving your comment because you bring up an excellent point but in the future I will have to delete it. I hope you'll understand.