Hunting for Blame (And a Place to Pee)

Forget about Harry Whittington's assorted injuries - bloggers want talk about the enormous purple shiner the MSM is allegedly sporting.

Forget about Harry Whittington’s assorted injuries, let’s talk about the enormous purple shiner the MSM is sporting!

It’s “another black eye for the MSM,” according to Hugh Hewitt, referring to the way the White House press corps has comported itself since learning that the vice president accidentally shot a man while hunting quail over the weekend (with “preening and screaming” and talk of a “Cheney cover-up”). “The MSM is unhinged, a victim of its Bush hatred, which includes of course hatred of Cheney,” Hewitt contends, laying out damning evidence of the “MSM’s campaign against Cheney” such as today’s subjective, sensational Boston Globe headline: “Hunter shot by Cheney has a heart attack.”

Jonathan R. at GOPbloggers appreciates Tony Blankley’s efforts to blacken the MSM’s other eye in a Washington Times op-ed today. To Jonathan’s mind, Blankley has penned a “great commentary on the elitist groupthink that pervades the Washington press corps.” (You be the judge. Opines Blankley: “As I understand the profound concern of the ever-alert White House reporters, they smell a constitutional crisis because the shooting party failed to alert the media of the accidental shooting down in Corpus Christi, Texas. Well, actually, they did alert the Corpus Christi media — but that didn’t count. Unless the exalted ones have been formally informed by an official government press secretary, no public communication has technically occurred … If information isn’t hand-delivered in gilt-edged paper to [White House reporters] while they are reclined on their chaise lounges, it hasn’t been released to the public.”) This, Jonathan will have you know, is “what the hunting kerfuffle is all about.”

ScrappleFace’s Scott Ott piles on, doing his best impression of an MSM-er reporting the news. “In an ironic turnabout for the former ‘darling of the news media,’ Mr. Cheney finds himself at odds with the very journalists who helped him craft his public persona as an affable and wise man of the people … Said one unnamed source, ‘The sad thing is that this whole tragedy could have been avoided if Dick Cheney had understood that his primary obligation is to the journalists who made him what he is today.’”

Some use satire to get their point across, others rely on CAPS LOCK. At Down and Dirty, Jake Tapper sympathizes with colleagues like NBC’s David Gregory who “was trying to get to the bottom of why the White House didn’t tell anyone that THE VICE PRESIDENT SHOT A MAN IN THE FACE” while White House spokesman Scott McClellan “kept trying to make this story somehow about David Gregory.” To Tapper, “it doesn’t seem … that a TV correspondent’s aggressiveness is truly the issue here, though various conservative media are eagerly taking the bait, arguing the media are somehow at fault for caring that the VICE PRESIDENT SHOT A MAN IN THE FACE and the White House didn’t tell the American people about it.” Tapper also takes on Democrats who “weighed in, of course, smelling a story that would mebbe get them on the evening news. (As opposed to the NSA wiretapping controversy, which they picked up then quickly dropped, like a dog with a too-chawed bone.)”

All of this has Suze at Suze’s Journal wondering, “Who’s the bigger ass: Dick Cheney or White House spokesman Scott McClellan?” On the one hand, says Suze, “Cheney is a bad shot and big coward for not owning up to it”; on the other hand, “McClellan avoided answering questions on the matter today.” Suze continues: “One of the things that makes me angry about this story is the press secretary treating the media as if they are disconnected from the ‘people’ and their ‘priorities’” — as if they were lolling about on chaise lounges or something. Waxing earnest, Suze calls the media a “conduit to the people,” asserts that “reporters ask the questions they think people want or need to know” and contends that “without the media, the people wouldn’t know much about their government’s real priorities.”

Exactly. And without the New York Times in particular, the people wouldn’t know much about one Elaine Summers, who, “faced with a line outside the women’s bathroom at Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue … headed into the men’s room” in order to relieve herself.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.