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Vice-President Shoots A Man - Why All The Secrecy?

Reported by Donna - February 13, 2006

With a chuckling Shepard Smith telling the story on Studio B, he related to the secrecy surrounding the late disclosure of the vice-president's shooting a man on Saturday. The incident happened Saturday but it was never reported by any official of this administration but from (according to Fox) "a local rancher who told the local Corpus Christi newspaper."

In this short segment, even Smith couldn't seem to hide his incredibleness of the situation.

The following is my transcript of the vice-president's shooting incident.

Sheppard Smith: The vice-president accidentally shot a man while hunting on Saturday, sprayed him in the face and chest with bird shot. Harry Whittington, the 78 year old millionaire banker turned hunting partner is now in intensive care in the hospital, stable, joking with doctors in Corpus Christi we're told. Improving and being moved to a regular surgical floor, according to doctors a short time ago.

Scott McClellan, the White House Press Secretary took a beating (his emphasis) on the handling of the information early this afternoon in Washington. Reporters, wanting to know but not finding out, why no official told the public. In fact, it was a local rancher who told the local Corpus Christi newspaper. That's how the news of this shooting went out. The affect here -- it didn't make the early Sunday talk shows a day after the shooting.

Video clip of McClellan:

Scott McClellan: The ones who are providing that information may not have been right there physically with him and saw exactly what happened, I don't know, but I'm telling you, hang on, can I just finish? Ok. But, I'm telling you the facts as they occurred and as I know them and if there's additional information that you want you can direct those questions to the vice-president's office.

Shepard Smith: I think the point was, they wanted the information in a timely fashion. Now, the reason for the lack of communication or the withholding of the information in the early going is still unclear. Neither the vice-president's office nor the vice-president himself is talking. The locals in Texas say they are investigating but that they do consider the shooting to be a complete accident.

Comments: I don't think anyone is disputing that this was probably a hunting accident. But, why the secrecy? And, who's in charge? Does the vice-president answer to the president's office or not? Or, is it the other way around? Media Matters also commented on this press conference a couple of hours earlier with Bill Hemmer from Fox News.

And one last thing, does it take the vice-president shooting someone accidentally to get the White House Press Corps. to wake up?

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