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Never Mind The Man Who Got Shot! Dick Cheney’s The Real Victim!

Reported by Ellen - February 16, 2006

Only on FOX News would a Vice President who went hunting without the proper permit, accidentally shot his companion and concealed it from the press be portrayed as the real victim of the situation. So long as the Vice President was a Republican, of course.

Sean Hannity started off the discussion on last night’s (2/15/06) Hannity & Colmes by dismissing the story as a partisan distraction from the serious issues. However, that didn’t stop him from trying a bit of partisan distraction of his own. “We’re in the middle of a war on terrorism, we’ve got troops in harm’s way, we’ve got the New York Times revealing secrets about our national security, kids are dying and the Democrats want to focus on the fact that the Vice President had an accident, took responsibility for it, handled it properly, got the proper medical attention. Is (sic) this just show how superfluous now this party has become?”

It must have been one of those superfluous Democrats who barged onto the set and forced FOX News to make Dick Cheney the top story of the hour and forget about the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s hearings into the Department of Homeland Security’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Gosh, there wasn’t even time last night to analyze the case of Neil Entwhistle or Jennifer Kesse, the latest missing blonde!

Hannity defended Cheney nobly, in the only way he knew how, by trying to make Democrats look worse. At the beginning of the discussion, I jokingly wondered if he was going to figure out a way to blame the shooting on Clinton. Sure enough, he did, albeit in a roundabout way. First, we saw a clip of Hillary Clinton criticizing the Bush Administration for its “refusal to level with the American people.” Hannity said, “Unlike the Clintons, (the Bush Administration) didn’t hide billing records for a couple of years, they didn’t cover up the issues involving Vince Foster, this wasn’t about campaign finance revelations hidden or stopping the pursuit of a lawsuit… What is the big deal here?”

Bob Beckel put in another pathetic showing representing Democrats in the pursuit of helping his FOX News buddies - in this case giving out their latest dose of Republican Rehab to Dick Cheney. Beckel started out by saying that both Dick Cheney and Harry Whittington were the victims. Beckel said that Cheney’s a victim because “he’ll never forget what he saw” but didn’t spend any time dwelling on what Harry Whittington might never forget he felt. In fact, poor Mr. Whittington never got mentioned again.

Beckel added he no longer finds any humor in the situation. “I think the White House Press Corps went overboard. It’s time to put this behind us.”

Hannity picked up the theme of “poor Dick Cheney” and ran with it. Hannity said that he knew Beckel’s heart and that he would feel so terrible “I don’t think the first thing you would have done is run to the press. You would have taken care of your friend.” Probably so, but Beckel isn’t the Vice President, who had a PA on the scene administering to Whittington as well as a PR machine in place to deal with just these kinds of events.

Beckel did allow as how Cheney could have handled things better but “this press corps’…hissy fit over this two days…I have never seen anything quite like it.” Oh, come on.

Alan Colmes broke in to make the arguments Beckel should have made. Colmes started off by saying that it’s not a partisan issue and that David Gergen, Marlin Fitzwater, and Ari Fleischer had all said the issue had been mishandled. Colmes noted that even Scott McClellan indicated that the president would have handled it differently. “To say that this is all about the horrible Democrats trying to make political hay here - and I don’t think people are mad at Dick Cheney for having an accident – I think they‘re concerned about whether this White House, overall, is secretive and this is the way they choose to handle things.”

G. Gordon Liddy, himself a beneficiary of FOX News’ Republican Rehab, chuckled as he made a nasty joke. “I can’t tell you how delighted I am that you have finally come out in the open and admitted that the White House press corps are quote horrible Democrats.”

As he began to speak, the “FOX FACTS” at the bottom of the screen read: Hospital: No comment on blood alcohol level.

Liddy’s defense was that because Dick Cheney is not a candidate for re-election, “he doesn’t have to kiss press butt.”

Evidently, the public doesn’t count either.

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