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“Real Journalism” FOX News Complains Washington Press Corps Asking Too Many Questions About Cheney

Reported by Ellen - February 15, 2006

Let me get this straight. The Vice President of the United States shoots somebody while hunting without the proper permit, hushes the story up for a day or so, the victim has a heart attack as the result, the White House press secretary conceals THAT information from the press gaggle and the press isn’t supposed to ask too many questions? That’s exactly what Sean Hannity and the lone (conservative) guest on last night’s (2/14/06) Hannity & Colmes tried to argue.

Sean Hannity complained that the “very hostile media” was angry because “they weren’t told first, that they actually spent time actually working on the health of this man that was injured.” Comment: I searched a lot of news stories and I didn’t find a single one that said the reason for the delay was because everybody was too busy attending the victim. In fact, The New York Times reports that White House Spokesperson Scott McClellan gave a clear signal that there’s a definite procedure for handling this sort of PR incident and that Cheney didn’t follow it.

Kate O’Beirne, another conservative author of a hate-liberals manifesto (which I refuse to promote by naming) blamed the media and the victim. Claiming that both Cheney and the victim were at fault “which is probably why the Vice President feels so terrible,” she came up with the novel defense that the reason Cheney should have told the media sooner is because they’re so self-absorbed. “Look,” she told Alan Colmes, “Because the national media, specifically the White House press corps reaction, their self-regard, their self-absorption, their instinct to want to make themselves part of the story (unlike the modest, unassuming Hannity, I suppose), is COMPLETELY predictable, the White House should have put out a simple statement on Saturday evening because what we’ve been seeing for the past two days, as I said, is predictable.”

Colmes noted that Scott McClellan kept saying that it was time to move on, all the while knowing – and concealing – that the victim had suffered a heart attack. “Didn’t he have a responsibility to share that with the American people?”

Nope, O’Beirne called that a “medical update,” not the kind of news the White House heads should be bothered with. She did allow, however, that Cheney ought to make a public statement now because “we see what the media’s doing with this story… manufacturing a controversy where none exists but there are far more important issues that ought to be commanding the public’s attention… Oh, Alan, you can’t believe that the media has not overreacted here.”

A quick Google search of “Kate O’Beirne Monica Lewinsky” indicates that O’Beirne was far less lofty in her choice of what should be commanding the public’s attention when it was a Democrat under scrutiny. That was confirmed when the discussion broke in order to focus on “the Al Gore statements” criticizing the US while he was in Saudi Arabia. She didn't make a peep about that story getting too much attention.

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