Dick Cheney sat down with FOXNews and explained, among other things, why he let the story get out to the media the way he did….
Cheney said he had agreed that Armstrong should be the one to make the story public because she was an eyewitness, because she grew up on the ranch and because she is “an acknowledged expert in all of this” as a past head of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He also agreed with her decision to choose the Corpus Christi Caller-Times as the way to get the news out.
“I thought that made good sense because you can get as accurate a story as possible from somebody who knew and understood hunting and then it would immediately go up to the wires and be posted on the Web site, which is the way it went out and I thought that was the right call,” Cheney said.
“What do you think now?” Hume asked.
“I still do,” Cheney responded. “The accuracy was enormously important. I had no press person with me.”
Cheney said he was concerned that if the story broke Saturday night when information was still coming in, some reports may have been inaccurate since it was a complicated story that most journalists had never dealt with before.
“I’ve been in the business for a long time and never seen a situation quite like this,” Cheney said. “We’ve had experiences where the president has been shot. We’ve never had a situation where the vice president shot somebody.”
He said what we all know. You know it, I know it, and every freaking reporter in the press corps knows it. If he had allowed this to get out “fast break style” the media would have screwed it up completely. Totally and completely. Can anyone blame him for not wanting the story to come out screwed up? If the media had a track record of accuracy, he wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.
If there are 2 stories the media are guaranteed to screw up, it is a story involving a gun or an airplane. (and they’re not too good at hurricanes either) There is basically zero institutional knowledge about either guns or planes in the big media. Add the complication that it was a structured hunting trip and the big media had no chance of getting it right in a timely fashion.
And Cheney gets to the bottom of why the media is having such a cow over not being told sooner.
“I had a bit of the feeling that the press corps was upset because, to some extent, it was about them – they didn’t like the idea that we called the Corpus Christi Caller-Times instead of The New York Times,” he said. “But it strikes me that the Corpus Christi Caller-Times is just as valid a news outlet as The New York Times is, especially for covering a major story in south Texas.”
Give that man a cigar. The big media got pissy because he went around them.
Which brings me to my last point… The media kept braying that it was “in the public’s interest” for him to speak to the media. I call bull shit. We were interested… But it wasn’t in our interest.
Let me ask you… Did Cheney not speaking to the media for 17 hours change your life in any way? It didn’t affect me a bit. And I somehow managed to summon the courage to go to work yesterday, overcoming the oppression of the Cheney media blackout. None of us knew the guy Cheney shot last week and none of us will even remember his name next month.
If Cheney had been shot, then the media could argue that it was in the public’s interest to know sooner but frankly this story grew to be more about the media being hissy than it was Cheney shooting someone.