RUSH: If you’re paying attention to the antique media today, you will believe that the most important stories today are these: “Vice President Cheney Hears Harsh Criticism for the Delay in the Details of his Hunting Accident… Vice President Cheney Hears Harsh Criticism for Agreeing to Admit That he Had a Beer Five Hours Before Going Hunting… Vice President Cheney Hears Harsh Criticism for Choosing Fox News Rather than Facing the Music and David Gregory in a Press Conference…” You will hear: “Secretary of State Rice Hears Harsh Criticism for Middle East Issues from Republican Senators as Well as Democrats Running for President.” You will also hear: “Homeland Security Leader Michael Chertoff Hears Harsh Criticism for the Homeland Security Department’s Handling of the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,” and of course the icing on the cake, just what the world needed: previously unreleased Abu Ghraib photos and videos.
Now, obviously those four lead stories are so far down the priority order of important news, news that affects the country, that affects our world, “kitchen table issues.” News priorities are totally off whack. They are so far out of whack that that’s news. Their priorities are so out of whack, that’s what the news is. The Iran problem has gone from worse to one step closer to high noon. The French, of all people, are saying, “We’ve had it. No more!” We have had the economy. The economy is going great, and there’s some great news about housing starts. Here’s another thing. They’ve been praying and waiting for the housing bubble. Now we’ve got housing starts at an all-time high. But yet there’s a bad omen out there, a little harbinger, because the tax cut extension has not yet been signed off on, and the economy is sweating that out. Homeland security, sweating out a patriot law extension, Patriot Act, and the Iraq war is still being held captive to liberal power ambitions.
All those senators grilling Condoleezza Rice, running for president, Biden, Hagel, Kerry, Allen, Feingold. Given the alleged important news of the day, I wonder what makes Cheney, Chertoff, Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, take on the responsibility that they do, the long hours, the endless crises. We know it’s not the money, and we know it’s not the respect. What makes a public servant be a public servant? I guess it’s the same thing that makes our troops be our troops. They can lose a leg, they’re still positive about the war, about the future, lose an arm, can I get back to continue the mission (EIB Interview). These denigrated public servants and our troops, they march to a different drummer out there, folks. The one that has the spirit of ’76. It’s an amazing thing to behold. Rasmussen has polling data on the Cheney hunting accident. Not surprising here: 27% of the American people believe that the recent hunting accident involving Dick Cheney raises serious questions about his ability to serve as vice president.
But twice as many, 57%, say, “Ah, it’s just one of those very embarrassing things, happens to all of us. No big deal;” 57% say no big deal. This will anger David Gregory and the mainstream press, because what this does is illustrate yet again their inability to shape public opinion to their wishes. They’ve gone overboard in the process. In fact, let’s start with audio sound bite number two here, because the press unloaded on Brit Hume and the Fox News Channel last night. All of this is predictable, but I just want you to hear it. Usually when a reporter lands a big interview, he or she is applauded for great work, but “No, no, no, no!” Brit Hume, who they used to mostly like when he was at ABC, they said he was fair and balanced at ABC, but now he’s just a hack! Now he’s just a hack and Cheney doesn’t have any guts. Cheney is going to a friendly interview. Cheney doesn’t have the guts to face the real media in this country. Here’s a montage of some of the reaction that Brit Hume and Fox got yesterday and last night.
JIM AXELROD: The Vice President chose to make his first public comments on Fox News Channel’s Special Report…
CHRIS MATTHEWS: He selected obviously the person to give the interview too. This has been cherry-picking of the media like I have never seen.
MARIA BARTIROMO: Clearly he is comfortable with Brit Hume.
LOUIS DOBBS: Vice President Cheney chose to break his silence, not with a press conference but in a one-on-one interview with a news organization whose location and identity we can’t disclose tonight.
KEITH OLBERMANN: Not in a news conference nor in a written statement, but rather before the more malleable cameras of Fox News.
DAVID GREGORY: The Vice President chose to speak with Fox anchor Brit Hume, a former White House correspondent, he has been outspoken in his criticism of the White House press corps? coverage of this story.
JAMES CARVILLE: Who cares? I mean he goes on Fox News. No one is going to believe anything he said.
JACK CAFFERTY: It didn’t exactly represent a profile in courage for the vice president to wander over there to the f-word network for a sit down with Brit Hume. That’s a little like Bonnie interviewing Clyde, ain’t it?
RUSH: Last one is the most famous bite going around today, that’s Jack Cafferty. They’re all bent out of shape. You know why he went to Fox? He went to Fox because it’s the most watched of all these networks where all these little people are watching and moaning and complaining, and Brit Hume’s show for an hour is the one hour of the Fox News Channel that is focused on Washington. But, you know, the point is, you want to get the story out if you’re Dick Cheney, and these guys have already made it plain as day that they think the story is about them. If you watched this Cheney interview last night, he was clearly distressed over this. In fact, Gloria Borger, CBS — and I guess she’s still at Newsweek, I’m not sure — says that she has sources who say that Karl Rove forced him out there, because he was in a meltdown.
He was just devastated over what had happened, and it was obvious to me watching last night that that’s true. And in that circumstance, and they’re also saying, by the way, “He didn’t apologize! Cheney didn’t apologize! He accepted responsibility, yes, but he didn’t apologize!” Well, maybe he didn’t, quote, unquote, apologize to Harry Whittington last night on TV. Do you think he has in person, maybe? Do you think he’s apologized to Harry Whittington by now? The idea that Cheney didn’t apologize is just absurd, and it’s a clear illustration of why it was a wise move not to go into that hornets nest. There’s nothing to be gained by it as they have made clear. In fact, last night on Joe Scarborough’s show on MSNBC, he was talking to TIME Magazine’s Joe Klein, and Scarborough says, “Do you think the press is handling this Cheney story in a responsible way?”
KLEIN: Totally overplaying it, from beginning to end. I mean, this is the kind of thing that makes people just hate us. The scrums in the White House, “Why didn’t you tell us? Why didn’t you tell us first? Why didn’t you do exactly what we wanted you to do?”
RUSH: Klein gets it. He understands it. They look like a bunch of lazy elitists upon whose mind the last thing they should do is actually have to dig for a story. They demand everything be handed to them.
RUSH: I want to illustrate for you the left continuing to overplay its hand on this Cheney circumstance. Last night on CNN, Paula Zahn Now, Chuck Schumer is the guest, and Paula Zahn says, “Look, Cheney’s apologized. He said it was his fault. He explained why he doled out the information the way he did, using the ambassador as the spokesperson. What else do you need to know?”
SCHUMER: I think he ought to hold a press conference and let the whole press corps ask questions and get finally to the bottom of this; and I think when a vice president is as powerful as Vice President Cheney is, he ought to be coming before the public. There are questions about his role in the Plame investigation. There are questions about his role in the Iraq war. There are questions about his role in countless other issues, and we never get answers to these.
RUSH: You don’t care about answers to any of it. You just want to sabotage it all, and Cheney knows that all you want to do is sabotage it. One of the things that’s made the left breathless today is a story being carried by Pete Yost of the Associated Press. “Vice President Dick Cheney says he has the power to declassify government secrets, raising the possibility that he authorized his former chief of staff to pass along sensitive prewar data on Iraq to reporters. Cheney coupled his statement in a TV interview Wednesday with an endorsement of I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, his ex-aide. Libby is under indictment on charges of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI about disclosing the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame.” Right there, that’s flat-out BS. He is NOT charged with leaking anything about a covert agent. That’s what the original investigation was about. There’s no charge.
This is a process crime, meaning they nailed Libby for lying and obstructing justice during the investigation, which turned up no evidence to back up the original reason for the investigation. Cheney said, “Scooter’s entitled to the presumption of innocence. He’s a great guy. I worked with him for a long time. I have tremendous regard for him. I may well be called as a witness at some point in the case and it’s therefore inappropriate for me to comment on any facet of the case.” Now, there was a little-known executive order signed in the spring of 2003 that also gave Cheney the power to classify, declassify documents along with the president. That’s what’s got Schumer and these guys so upset. Now they’re going to get back to the original theory, which was that Bush is just a puppet and Cheney is running the whole show.
So they want him to go out there, pure and simple, because they want the wolf pack to have at him. They don’t care what Cheney says in this press conference, if it were to happen, but they’re overplaying it because the polling data is that the American people are not nearly as agitated about this as the left, including the media happens to be. This morning on Good Morning America, Democratic strategerist James Carville and Bay Buchanan were the guests, and Gibson says, “Let me come to how Cheney handled it because he said the reason he let this woman, Katherine Armstrong, call the local paper was because he wanted to make sure everything was accurate. But when she called the paper, she said it was Whittington’s fault for not identifying himself when the vice president himself said it was his fault.”
CARVILLE: Everything that we were told at the beginning turned out not to be the case. It’s a very simple thing they need to do. Number one, release the blood alcohol in Mr. Whittington’s blood. Number two, release the after-incident report that you know that the Secret Service has filed. No one believes a word that they say. They go on, and again it was old blame Harry, and Harry was peppered, but actually Harry was shot in the heart and there was zippo booze. Well, maybe there was a beer. You know, it just goes on and on and somebody’s got to stand up and say they didn’t tell the truth about Iraq, they didn’t tell the truth about the deficit, why would we expect them to tell the truth about this?
RUSH: And that last line, that’s the talking point. That is what’s going out on all the Democrat fax machines last night. This is what they’re all saying. They didn’t tell the truth about Iraq, they didn’t tell the truth about the deficit, why would we expect them to tell the truth about this? Saddam Hussein is considered to be a more honest and accurate leader than George W. Bush or Cheney, demanding the blood alcohol in Harry Whittington’s blood, demanding that be released? Now, lets talk about one thing. Katherine Armstrong did come out and say Harry did not announce himself to the group after going off to pick up the bird that he had shot. Do you think Cheney — we’re talking decency and common sense here — do you think Cheney is going to go on television in an interview like this and blame Harry Whittington?
He pulled the trigger! Of course he’s going to take the blame. It’s the thing to do. He pulled the trigger. You know, if he had gone on television last night and said, “Well, you know, Katherine Armstrong had it right. I was minding my own business out there, was duck hunting, and then Harry came up, and he didn’t tell us anything, but he was there. We didn’t know he was back. I’m shooting the bird and bam, Harry got hit. Oh, no, I mean if Harry would have identified himself…” Can you imagine what the reaction would have been had that been Cheney’s line? And here’s Mary Matalin on the Today Show today, just taking Katie Couric to the cleaners. Katie wants to know, “Are we going to be living with the consequences of Cheney’s tight lips long after this week’s brouhaha? What’s your reaction?”
MATALIN: It’s completely absurd. It was the Department of Defense that first revealed the Abu Ghraib situation. That wasn’t uncovered and there was no cover-up. That was announced by the administration. This is absurd. The pejorative “secretive,” which is a creation of Cheney critics, is not the same as discreet. He exercises discipline and discretion when discussing policy outcomes. The objective here was to reach the public with the greatest amount of information. That objective was chosen, it was effective, and I don’t see any outcry from the public, who was our objective. We’re not trying to please the LA Times or the media.
RUSH: Not trying to please you, Katie Couric, or David Gregory or anybody else at NBC News. Speaking of, Mr. Carville wants the blood alcohol content of Harry Whittington’s blood. Make you a deal, James. You get us Bill Clinton’s medical records. He was president, after all, for eight years, and we might have a negotiating starting point.
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