By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Clearing the victim

Katharine Armstrong’s spin has given way to reality. The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports:

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s incident report on Vice President Dick Cheney’s accidental shooting of a hunting partner Saturday pins the blame largely on Cheney….

In evaluating “contributing factors,” the game warden checked off the box: “Victim covered by shooter who was swinging on game.”

The game warden’s report contradicts earlier claims from the White House and Katharine Armstrong, the owner of the Texas ranch where the shooting occurred. Earlier Monday, the White House cited Armstrong’s view that Whittington was at fault.

Here are the documents, from (of course) The Smoking Gun.

On the plus side for Cheney, it does appear that he stuck around until the local authorities had completed their investigation.

Not to mention the fact that his reputation as the baddest veep ever has been enhanced considerably. (Via Wonkette.)

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Cheney walks the line


  1. Anonymous

    I think people are making a big deal about this….If it was an auto accident…which you put up FOUR posts refering to it?

  2. Anonymous

    Funny how the WSJ suddenly has credibility…

  3. Specks

    Wonder why dickhead isn’t over in Iraq awaiting all those promised flowers.

  4. Wes

    we all thought that Rooster Cogburn eliminated the craven Cheney.The scofflaw Chump Cheney shows his complete disregard for his fellow citizens, including those stupid enough not to hold him in utter contempt.

  5. Bill Baar

    This story is good for jokes. That’s about it.

  6. Anonymous

    “Baddest veep ever”? What about Aaron Burr?!Bob C.

  7. mike_b1

    anon 9:39 PM: He would if it were an auto accident which Cheney caused while breaking the law, and then lied about it afterward.

  8. Anonymous

    The always illustruous and bright Bill Baar :”This story is good for jokes. That’s about it. “Again tries to minimize relevant topics that involve people he likes.And then this one here:”If it was an auto accident…which you put up FOUR posts refering to it?”I can recall one powerful and very popular congressman who lost his seat because of a conviction on an auto accident he caused that killed a motorcyclist. Hurting someone is hurting someone, with bare hands, a weapon or a car. Responsability has to be born.The VP did not intend to hurt any human being with his actions and plans. He was only planning to go hunting- like hunting or not. But in the course of doing so, he ended up hurting someone fairly seriously and almost ended his life. There is no maliceousness to his action and no intent but some recklessness. Should he be held accountable before the Law, that is not for me or anyone in the media to answer. I’d look at precedent. What happened to other hunters throughout the nation who made the same mistake and hurt someone without killing them. Let’s go by that standard.One big factor here is the victims unwillingness to go after his actions. If they are still on amicable terms, maybe the government should stay out of this.What is deplorable is yet another proof that this adminstration loves to run from bad news, hide and not stand up and account for their acts. That is very very telling and low.The congressman I am referring to was under the influence and ran a stop sign and hit a motorcyclist and killed him. He didn’t mean to kill him. He commited traffic violations just like The Veep commited errors in hunting practice. But The Rep drinking and intentionally getting behind a wheel is a felony and you can’t say much about the VP.So there are parallels and diffs.The biggest consequences seem to remain limited to media and PR losses for now.Next story, please.N.

  9. Anonymous

    illustrious, sorry.

  10. Leslie H.

    I think this story is far more than a laugh-scenario; it is a direct and unobtrusive measure of just how independent and powerful this VP’s operation (staff, activities, influence, initiative) is. Observe a VP having the balls to delegate press release (and choice of spin) of such a major story to his little hostess; observe VP staffers having the balls to report the situation in drips and dribbles to the president and/or presidential staff. And so on.

  11. Anonymous

    >>anon 9:39 PM: He would if it were an auto accident which Cheney caused while breaking the law<<Breaking the law? You mean because he hadn’t paid the $7 so that he could shoot the blue speckled sap-sucker?OK, lets say he had a traffic accident without wearing a seat belt…or without using a directional.Still….would there be six different posts about it?>>and then lied about it afterward.<<Ahem….where is the lie?

  12. mike_b1

    Shooting someone in the face is against the law. Even in Texas.As for the lie, obviously you didn’t read the story to which you are responding.

  13. neil

    Well, ya got me. I’m no Cheney fan, but I don’t see the lie either. Just the usual spin and stonewalling and there’s nothing new there.To correct N. (!) by the way, the congressman who killed a motorcyclist was Bill Janklow of South Dakota. He blew through a stop sign doing 70 and hit the biker. He was a chronic speeding scofflaw, but was not under the influence of alcohol. He was convicted of 2nd-degree manslaughter. It was a case of blatant disregard for the law so not a useful comparison I think.I don’t know. Unless some dramatic new revelation comes out of this, seems to me it’s just the shiny news object du jour. Last week it was all cartoons, now that’s apparently forgotten and it’s this for a couple of days. What’ll it be next week?Our attention span skitters along the surface of things…

  14. mike_b1

    Cheney (aka White House): It was Whittington’s fault.Game warden report: It was Cheney’s fault.Get it now?

  15. Anonymous

    >>mike_b1 said… Shooting someone in the face is against the law. Even in Texas.<<So isn’t an auto accident.>>As for the lie, obviously you didn’t read the story to which you are responding. <<I did…I just don’t see the lie.Maybe you are seeing things that are not there.

  16. Anonymous

    9:46: “So isn’t an auto accident.”Wah?

  17. Steve

    Anon 9:46 – a usage possibly related to “so don’t I” (meaning the same as “so do I”), which seems to be native to some subsets of the Boston area (but might be more widespread).See here for more info.

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