The more I think about the story of the Vice President’s accidental shooting this weekend of a hunting companion, the more I realize how the MSM bypassed a chance to show that it is not out to “get” the Bush Administration. But, so ingrained is their contempt for our man W and his team that they treat every Administration slip-up as a scandal. Indeed, they even find see policy differences (e.g., NSA surveillance of suspected terrorists) and White House staff attempts to discredit dishonest critics as scandalous.
Given the media predilection to find scandal in the White House’s every move, the Vice President’s staff should have realized that the media would have reacted exactly as they did if they delayed in informing them of the hunting accident. (That’s why I called their reaction “clumsy” in my post yesterday.) Despite its delay in reporting the matter to the media, the Vice President’s staff did not delay in contacting the local sheriff. Contrast this with Hillary Clinton’s “30-hour delay” in contacting authorities after then-White House counsel Vince Foster’s suicide note was discovered.
If the Vice President were trying to cover something up, he wouldn’t have gone to the sheriff as soon as he did. Sheriff Ramon Salinas III of Kenedy County told The New York Times, the Vice President’s team “did what they had to according to law.” (via Michelle Malkin). While the Vice President contacted authorities right away, Hillary waited 30 hours, nearly twice as long as it took the Administration to contact the media. (A shorter delay which whipped the MSM into a sustained frenzy.)
And yet, the media remains in a state of high dudgeon. Yesterday on ABC radio, Anne Compton lamented that the “local sheriff was notified, the media was not.” While some reporters were saddened by the Administration’s failure to cater to their self-importance, others were hysterical. Lorie Byrd found NBC’s David Gregory “to be the most disrespectful and theatrical [of White House reporters]. . . . He did not even resemble a real reporter.
The media’s over-the-top reaction will negate any political damage to the Administration from this incident. At National Review Online’s The Corner, Andrew McCarhty though it would either be “a wash or a slight bump up for the administration. . . . Because the media and the most partisan Democrats can always be relied on to turn opportunity into damage.”
If anyone is damaged by this, it will be the MSM as it shows (once again) that they are more focused on getting the Administration than in getting the facts. And I think that’s why the MSM’s reaction to the Vice President’s hunting mishap has so amused conservative bloggers. It’s just another sign of the ongoing decline of the MSM.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
UPDATE: In her column on the matter, Michelle Malkin notes that she doesn’t “recall the mainstream media melting down over the 30-hour delay — presided over by Hillary Clinton, according to internal records — in releasing the late White House counsel Vincent Foster’s suicide note to authorities and her own husband.”
Tony Blankley finds that the coverage of this incident shows that “we have in the White House at the most elite level of American journalism, self-absorbed, self-important men and women who stand on their prerogatives even over marginal and inconsequential matters.”
Both quotations via Michelle Malkin.