February 14, 2006 2:50 PM PST

Blogosphere declares open season on Cheney

Comedians and left-leaning political pundits opened fire on Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday, sparking enormous chatter among both Republican and Democratic bloggers.

Cheney's accidental shooting of an attorney friend during a quail hunting foray in Texas on Saturday prompted quips from late-night television hosts such as Jon Stewart, David Letterman and Craig Ferguson. The jokes offended or tickled audiences, depending on their political beliefs, and skittered around the Web on Tuesday.

Click here to Play

Video: Gates' cheap shot at Cheney?
During his keynote at the 2006 RSA Conference, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates took a tongue-in-cheek shot at the vice president.

"You can understand why this lawyer fellow let his guard down," Ferguson said. "Because if you're out hunting with a politician, you think, 'If I'm going to get it, it's going to be in the back.'"

On the "Late Show," David Letterman tied the shooting to another one of the administration's past controversies to poke fun at Cheney.

"Good news, ladies and gentlemen, we have finally located weapons of mass destruction: It's Dick Cheney...but here is the sad part--before the trip Donald Rumsfeld had denied the guy's request for body armor."

Cheney accidentally fired bird shot that struck 78-year-old attorney Harry Whittington in the face, neck and chest as the pair hunted for quail, Texas law enforcement officials say.

Controversy grew out of the vice president's expired hunting license and his failure to speak with police until 18 hours after the incident. The tone of the blogs turned gloomier when word came that a piece of bird shot circulated to Whittington's heart, causing a minor heart attack.

There was also speculation about whether the vice president had been drinking, an accusation Cheney denied.

"How do we know there was no alcohol?" Lawrence O'Donnell, a television producer and Democratic commentator, asked on The Huffington Post. "Cheney refused to talk to local authorities until the next day. No point in giving him a breathalyzer then. Every lawyer I've talked to assumes Cheney was too drunk to talk to the cops after the shooting. The next question for the White House should be: Was Cheney drunk?"

The Washington Post reported that both the Kenedy County, Texas, sheriff's department and the state have determined that alcohol did not appear to be a factor.

Los Angeles Times columnist Patt Morrison, also on The Huffington Post, lamented that the "law and order administration" can justify hunting without proper licenses as well as eavesdropping on Americans without court orders.

"Anyone sense a pattern here?" Morrison wrote.

Some of the more notable bloggers on the right were quiet about the incident on Tuesday. There was nothing about the Cheney shooting on the Web sites of commentators Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter or Bill O'Reilly.

On Blogs for Bush, bloggers blamed the escalating controversy on the media.

"I can only wonder how different the reaction would be to this incident had it been a Democrat vice president," wrote Matt Margolis.

On the same site, Mark Noonan pointed out that Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank wore an orange hunting jacket on Keith Olberman's MSNBC show as proof of a liberal bias in the media.

"Imagine for a moment," Noonan wrote, "if a Republican commentator had worn a blue dress with a white stain back during Clinton's administration."

See more CNET content tagged:
vice president, controversy, blogger, administration, blogosphere

150 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Liberal Press Gunning for Republicans?
What's up with the Republicans always characterizing the press as liberal? It always seems to come in response to properly earned negative press. Have they forgotten the press Democrats received during the Clinton administration so soon?

Here's the difference between conservatives and liberals: conservatives want to put us all in jail, liberals--God forbid--want to rehabilitate us.

One law--one justice.
Posted by Pete Bardo (687 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Knee-jerk reponse
Calling the media liberal is just a way of blowing them off. It's
akin to a character assassination. Both attack the messenger as
a means to invalidate the message. Apparently liberal cannot
equal correct, or so goes the reasoning.

It's logically nonsensical.

But, it works pretty well, apparently.

I'm a moderate swing-voter... but... It seems the right nearly
always prefers character attacks to logical rebuttals.
Posted by mgreere (332 comments )
Link Flag
NO REPUBILCANS ARE GUNNING FOR REPUBICANS
is more like it... no Democrats got shot in Texas...
Posted by Blackspeak (42 comments )
Link Flag
Cheney's defenders will be angry
Read that in an article at the NYT earlier. It seems that the White
House finally realized ducking and dodging was not doing it any
good. But, the GOP faithful on the Internet will likely keep right on
blaming the victim and the media.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Link Flag
THIS DISCLOSURE...
shows the utter cowardliness of Cheney... Rather than stand up and take responsibility of reporting the incident like a "MAN", he shirks this responsibility off on a woman... What a sleezebag...
Posted by Blackspeak (42 comments )
Link Flag
Body Double...
That is just creepy!! Did you see that guy! Amazing how this sinister evil government can get someone that is such an amazingly accurate body double for the guy that Cheney killed! Creepy, Scary! I preferred it when we just had a pervert in the white house instead of this master mind Bush guy&
Posted by AxeTracks (7 comments )
Link Flag
Editorial error (I hope)?
This piece close with the following:

"Imagine for a moment," Noonan wrote, "if a Republican commentator had worn a blue dress with a white stain (on the) back during Clinton's administration."

Was the parenthetical "(on the)" in the original blog (Noonan's piece isn't showing there) or did Greg Sandoval add it?

I think the word "back" goes with "during the Clinton administration," meaning "back in the days of the Clinton administration." I don't think the word "back" goes with "white stain," meaning that the white stain was on the back of the dress....please, let's hope not....
Posted by Remarkability (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Thanks
Frank,

Thanks for the help. It's been fixed.

Greg Sandoval
Posted by sandonet (318 comments )
Link Flag
Dick shoot hunter
I'm not surprised that Dick broke the #1 hunting law or that it took a day to report. Dick had a historical record of thinking he's above the law and tells lies.
All one has to do is see how Osma Bin Laden is responsible for 9/11 and yet we find ourselves in Iraq removing one U.S. puppet regime of Saddam Hussien and replacing it with another. Guess Ronald Reagan's "Freedom Fighters" didn't live up to their expectations.
I doubt that Dick will have his expired hunting liscense revoked, wouldn't want a Texas D.O.W. employee being the scapegoat for "Quailgate".
I'm surprised that Dick was using a shotgun and not the N.R.A. designated hunting assult rifle instead.
What else should we expect from a fat old drunk gimp with a bad heart!
Posted by Stanimal (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
do not pass go
Lets think for a moment.
A simple armed robbery gets multiple charges, all for the use of a weapon during the commision of a crime. Hunting without a proper license is a criminal offence. Shooting someone while during a crime is another crime in itself.

WHY IS CHANEY NOT UNDER ARREST.
Posted by R Me (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Is that a rhetorical question?
because the Gomer Pyle and Barney Fife sheriff lack the balls to do it...
Posted by Blackspeak (42 comments )
Link Flag
Foolish Question
You want to know why an armed robber, intent on committing a crime, using lethal force to take another person's life is treated differently than a hunter who made an unfortunate mistake?

Give yourself a break, pal. Cheney and company received the proper action when they were found to be lacking a migratory bird stamp... which they paid for, but the outfitter did not provide, according to my research. No other crime was committed.

You remind me of the guy I rear-ended in traffic a few years ago. Wet rainy day and he slammed on his brakes in the middle of an intersection. Sure, I hit him. Sure, it was my fault. But the luny old kodger couldn't understand why I wasn't being arrested. How about.... Because no crime was committed!

Crimes require intent. Can you prove that Cheney INTENDED to shoot his friend? If so, you may have a point. If not, you are just another confused and angry anti-Cheney mouth-spouter who also probably has an irrational fear of guns.

Arrested for mistakes.... LoL.... that's rich.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Why goes back a long way
Why was Kennedy not arrested and charged with murder, or at least manslaughter, when he drunkenly drove off the bridge, climbed out of the car, left the scene, and didn't report it for 10 hours? There was a traumatic death associated with this--drowning of an innocent woman. Put your had in a plastic sack, close it off and you'll get a sense of how this woman felt. That was by a long shot worse than the wounding of a hunter who takes to the field knowing the risks. Cheny was stupid and should not be allowed to hunt again unless he takes a passes a stringent hunter safety course. You also need to pull your head out of a Democratic shadow spot, learn some law especially as regards misdeamenors or felonies, and recognize that stupidity runs rampant in politicians of all types; more crimes, with more serious consequences, are committed in the civilized halls of Congress on a daily basis than this isolated hunting incident.
Posted by kenny-J (53 comments )
Link Flag
accident?
>>Cheney accidentally fired bird shot that struck 78-year-old attorney Harry Whittington in the face, neck and chest as the pair hunted for quail, Texas law enforcement officials say.
>>

Chaney did not accidentally fire anything. He pulled the trigger on purpose. That some might term his hitting something other than what he intended and accident, I would call it a clear case of personal negligence.

The handling of the incident after it took place is a case of Administrative misconduct and shows a clear case of cover-up. The only reason that's concievable is that Chaney was not in any kind of shape to talk to the authorities. Again the only concievable reason is that good ol' Dick had a few too many and would have been arrested on the spot. His only concern was that the old man would die and his kin would take him and the ranch to the cleaners.

Secret service: Its OK sir. We have the authority to deny entry to any law officer. We also have the authority to legally shoot them if they attempt to gain entry. Or for that matter if we feel threatened enough, after all, they might really be terrorists, sir.

Dick: Very good then. I think I'll have a night-cap and retire.
Posted by R Me (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ACCIDENT!
You didn't say a word about the fact that Harry Whittington walked in front of Cheney as he was about to fire. Why is this I wonder?

LK
Posted by larrykron (4 comments )
Link Flag
accident?
Yore credubillidee mite bee bettor iff ewe culd spel the VP's name, or figger out the "i before e except after c" rule of spellling. Gud luk.
Posted by bilcarter (10 comments )
Link Flag
Never have I seen so many reporters....
...making complete ***** of themselves in puffed feather
outrage
over not getting the complete disclosure of an essentially none
event that no one really cares about. It was a minor hunting
incident, one most people would just ignore are go on with their
lives. But in Washington, there is a press corps of flaming idiots
for
whom a hangnail is a global incident. And to think that someone
actually pays their salaries.

And now we have the Cnet responses, once again trying to make
a non-event into something more than nothing. How dumb can
people get?

Hang on, we're about to find out.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
In Truth...
I'm surprised that you'd be shocked or outraged by this base type of reporting. When this type of reporting was happening almost daily to Clinton, Gore, Kerry, and Dean, people weren't nearly so shocked or outraged. It seems like Bush, Cheney, Rove, and Rumsfeld are getting a good dose of their own medicine now with this "new breed" of reporters. Suddenly, people such as yourself display "outrage"...as more people should have done years ago, before this type of reporting became standard practice. It seems you're a bit late to stop the trend. So you might as well join the bandwagon and enjoy the ride.
Posted by Michael G. (185 comments )
Link Flag
I thought the same thing
If this had been Billy-Bob and Bubba it would have been a minor
back page story in the local paper. Probably not more than a
note in the police blotter. Because it was the Vice President it's
suddenly THE most important story in the world. So large it
seems to have its own gravitational field.

And the Washington Press Corps shows that it has no common
sense whatsoever by whining about not getting details for some
twenty hours after the fact. Gee, could it be that the Vice
President was busy making sure his friend, whom he'd just
accidentally shot, was going to survive the incident?

That's the national news media, though. It's all about ratings and
scandal sells big on both sides of the aisle.
Posted by nightveil (133 comments )
Link Flag
Earl Benser, GOP flack?
Your efforts to rationalize Cheney's negligence seem to be without
bounds, Earl. You actually seem to think that calling the top news
story a 'non-event' will make it one. If it were a non-event you
would not be here making multiple comments about it. Speaking
of payrolls, are you on the GOP's?
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Link Flag
Not an accident when using firearm...negligence
This was negligence. Cheney wasn't being cautious enough. It is the hunters reponsibility not to shoot anyone. They should take his guns away. He can't handle them and does not deserve to use them.
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Another 'expert' heard from...
nt
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
YES - An Accident
The fact that a firearm was involved has no bearing on whether or not this was an accident. YOu have it wrong, plain an dsimple.

It is a driver's responsibility not to lose control of their car and kill another driver, is it not? Yet when it happens accidentally, do we tell them they can never drive a car again?

Stop trying to demonize guns and Cheny. This was an accident plain and simple. Could he have been more cautious? Probably. Could drivers who try to visit the grocery store in the snow be more intelligent about their desicsion? Probably.

Unless Cheney committed a crime, there is no reason or justification for punishing him by revoking his constitutional right to own and use a firearm. Get over it.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Cheney's Responsibilities...
At the very least, Cheney should be responsible for the medical bills of his hunting partner. I also believe that Cheney needs to see an optometrist, as his glasses might be out of prescription. That, or in the heat of the moment he fogged them up before firing his gun.

Cheney should leave hunting to folks that can shoot straight and stick to getting some actual productive work done. Then again, if by Cheney's age you can't shoot straight you probably never will.

Perhaps Cheney would have fared better if he had fired blanks for the thrill. Better for the birds, better for his friend, better for the nation.
Posted by Michael G. (185 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Cheese with that Whine?
<<Cheney should leave hunting to folks that can shoot straight and stick to getting some actual productive work done.>>

1. Cheney and his gun shot perfectly straight. There were no boomerang bullets.

2. Hunting in modern America is not about getting work done - it is about recreation and conservation. There is no expectation of work.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
This Issue Could Die ...
Last night at church several of the more conservative members (most of them except me; I'm a moderate) we're reciting some of the same complaints that I'm reading on this thread from the apparently more conservative participants. My response was the issue doesn't have much traction; it was an unfortunate hunting accident and the public is quickly losing interest.

However, it would seem I was wrong. And it would appear that the folks who are causing it to have the greatest public interest are the protesters that the public (through the media) has any right to have any interest at all!

My suggestion to you conservatives out there: Just let it die a natural death. The media didn't shoot a weapon wounding someone. And posters to the blogosphere and this discussion group didn't either. The VP did and he deserves at least a some harranguing for that. He also deserves at least some grief over a decision to delay reporting the incident to the media and to his boss (Bush, that is); he's too public a figure to expect otherwise.

So all you conservatives out there .. sit back and watch. It'll die if you let it. Just stop trying to shift the blame and attention somewhere else (a tactic used a lot by this administration). You look silly doing it (just as the administration does whenever it tries).

mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Seriously...
It was an accident.

Cheney is supposed to be interviewed in a few moments. I hope he
doesn't continue to let the blame rest with Whittington. That would
be disgraceful.
Posted by mgreere (332 comments )
Link Flag
Good post..
Mark D... Cheney's recalcitrants doesn't help either... 4 DAYS have passed since this incident and he's just now coming forward... The conservatives certainly aren't taking your advice...
Posted by Blackspeak (42 comments )
Link Flag
How is any of this important?
That's the question I keep asking myself over this whole thing. Look at the world today:
-Iran is suspected of being capable or close to enriching weapons-grade fissible materials.
-Many followers of Islam around the globe are outraged over tasteless and baseless depictions of their key religious figure, considered by many to be horrible blasphemy.
-The PS3 may finally be unveiled (!!) at the Taipei Game Show.
-The freaking Olympic games!

And that's just a quick inventory of four of the things in this world that are many orders of magnitude more important than a hunting accident and the American media's apparently bruised ego.

It was fantastic for a quick laugh, but for the love of God, move on. As of 2:21 PM CDT, the Cheney story had 4,509 news hits on Google News. The riots have 1,248. Doesn't anyone else see anything wrong with this?
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's not important....
... that's the whole point..

It's a micro incident, but then the micro minds get all upset.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
IMPORTANT !!!
how many times has the VP of the USA shot someone?... jaded as most American are, I'm not suprised you so little important in this event... with the attention span of a nat...
Posted by Blackspeak (42 comments )
Link Flag
Important to see real Dick Cheney
Some people, most of them Right Wingers, claim that the
hunting incident is not important. They are, of course, wrong.
The incident is important because it reveals the belief system of
this administration -- that its members can do no wrong.
Whether the member is Cheney negligently shooting a
companion, Michael Brown making reservations at an elite
restaurant while people die in New Orleans, an Ohio
representative introducing legislation written by Jack Abramoff,
etc., the pattern is the same. These people engage in wrongful
acts and then deny any responsibility for having doing so.

Anyone who has not watched the newly added video of Bill Gates
joking about Cheney's stand-by shooting should. It is funny.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bush&Co are ALL FULL OF SOUND AND FURY...
and signify NOTHING... They're ALL empty shells inside... For them to admit wrong would reveal just hoe shallow they really are... Full of bluster and bull... draft-dodging cowards who like to PLAY tough... Not REAL MAN among 'em...
Posted by Blackspeak (42 comments )
Link Flag
Cheney accepts full responsibiltiy...as he should
Cheney accepts full responsibiltiy as he should. This was the negligence of a hunter (who happens to be the VP) breaking safe hunting codes. No one else to blame except for Cheney. This is not a Democratic or Republican issue. It is an issue of a hunter that broke safe hunting rules.
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HAD CHENEY NOT DODGE THE DRAFT...
30 years ago, he could have learned how and when to shoot... and at the RIGHT people...LOL!!!!
Posted by Blackspeak (42 comments )
Link Flag
Exactly-
Cheney's accident should be a private matter- What benefit does the public get from this accident? It obviously wasn't intentional.

If the media (& the DNC) had it's way, Cheney would be followed around with a cameraman 24/7- so one lucky network would make a reality show out of it. Good ol' sensationalism- Need to make those marketing $.
Posted by Bevo4138 (20 comments )
Reply Link Flag
...but he is a very public figure and it IS news
This is news, however there is spin and truth traveling the airways.
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Link Flag
And he and Bush&Co, are making way to...
EASY... they're lies and deceptions are catching up with 'em... the problem is, they don't have enough hands to cover their nakedness...
Posted by Blackspeak (42 comments )
Link Flag
Let us express some sympathy for the victim
One should express some sympathy for the unfortunate victim of this shooting incident(it is not an accident, for that implies it is an act of god without the interference of man). The injuries caused are very serious and life threatening, and his chances of making a full recovery are very low indeed!

However given the whereabouts, this is not hunting per see, for the intended targets were caged birds! on a closed range, so alas it was more like shooting fattened turkeys at a farm!(a rich man's forest shoot without the trekking, and as many victims that money can buy or bankroll!)

Given the extent of the bird shot injuries reported by the media, the shot range spread would indicate that it was close, that one would have been blind not to see the victim!

Soon, it will be time to send in the legal total cleaning team, to bankrupt the shooter!

Oh well, we only use the word accident to absolve ourselves from blame!, but unfortunately any where guns are in use, that word should never be used, as it implies the one who pulls the trigger is blame free!

As for any public figure, like the VP cheney, you get what you ask for, and ask for what you get!, like all horses for courses!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And as for the VICTIM...
He appears to hold no grudge against Cheney... almost glad you was SHOT BY THE VP OF THE USA!... hot dang!... He'll probably try selling the buckshot pellets on EBAY... Never miss the opportunity to make a profit... And thats the American Way...
Posted by Blackspeak (42 comments )
Link Flag
It Was An Accident
It **was** an accident. It was **also** an incident. But, "accident" offers several suitable definitions in my Webster's; no act of God required. I would discourage trying to read too much into anyone chosing to use either word.

mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Link Flag
wow, heartless
because that was really funny, prick.
Posted by Carmen89 (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
get it right
he did not walk in front of chaney. He was behind and slightly to the side of chaney who swung around to shoot. Now you now why, cause he never was in front.
Posted by R Me (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
sp
A bit od advice. If all you can fault with is spelling or gramatical errors you have already proven you have noting of importance to say so therefore ytou should just publish a cartoon.
Posted by R Me (196 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ONE BEER, TWO BEER, THREE BEER, FOUR..
FIVE BEER, SIX BEER, AND BOURBON MAKES MORE!...BUT WHO'S COUNTING...HUH?...LOL!!!
Posted by Blackspeak (42 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Are you aloways...
such a friggin idiot?

Just what scrap of fraud are you using for proof this time?
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
what is wrong with you people?
This is insane, do you carry on like this every time there is a hunting accident or only when there is a politician involved?
Posted by Bob Brinkman (556 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Only when it is news like the VP shoots someone!
Only when it is news like the VP shoots someone!
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Link Flag
Join the Bandwagon
As I mentioned to Earl...

You're a little bit late to change the trend. So you might as well join the bandwagon and enjoy the ride. What a show!!! Another great performance by the troupe!!!
Posted by Michael G. (185 comments )
Link Flag
No...only when an idiot VP mixes booze with hunting..
the entertainment value is.......priceless...
Posted by Blackspeak (42 comments )
Link Flag
Body Double
That is just creepy!! Did you see that guy! Amazing how this sinister evil government can get someone that is such an amazingly accurate body double for the guy that Cheney killed! Creepy, Scary! I preferred it when we just had a pervert in the white house instead of this master mind Bush guy&
Posted by AxeTracks (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.