Can you believe this Dick Cheney quail hunting situation? That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Point Memo."
Last night I had to make a decision which story was more important, Vice President Cheney failing to disclose a shooting accident in a timely matter or Vice President Gore in Saudi Arabia accusing the USA of abusing Arabs on American soil. Call me crazy, but I chose the Gore story, believing that his explosive accusations in the Middle East could hurt America on the war on terror.
The Cheney story was unfortunate for the man accidentally shot, but who else was affected? No one.
Well, today, in Washington Post online Howard Kurtz wrote, "I was looking forward to Bill O'Reilly's take on the Cheney matter but his lead was, `Did Al Gore go too far?' In fairness, Gore charged in Saudi Arabia that Arabs in the U.S. were being mistreated and would not provide specifics to "The Factor." O'Reilly did give the veep's misfire a couple of seconds as `The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day.'"
That is correct. I saw the incident as ridiculous. Mr. Cheney has a well-known press phobia. Why is it surprising to anyone that he would delay announcement of the accident so it missed the Sunday papers and chat shows? Now, if the story had any implications other than the poor man getting hurt, and today unfortunatelyHarry Whittington did suffer a heart attack, we are monitoring that situation, I would have been all over Cheney. But, again, the vice president's hunting accident affects no one. Means nothing. And his reluctance to brief the press about it is predictable.
Of course, Cheney should have known that the anti-Bush press would make a big deal out of this and the vice president has given his enemies more ammunition, pardon the pun. So once again Dick Cheney's secret style hurts him. But some of our competitors are spending hours talking about this Cheney misfire which seems absurd and today their anger seemed to be growing.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: I was very respectful and responsive to your questions yesterday. I have provided you the information I knew based on the facts that were available. And we have been through this pretty thoroughly.
DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: One final question.
MCCLELLAN: I'm not going to go back through it again I would appreciate if you would let me respond fully before you jump in?
GREGORY: Hold on one second. I've got one last question .
MCCLELLAN: A lot of people in this room have questions.
GREGORY: I'm not getting answers here, Scott. I'm trying to be forthright with you but don't tell me that you are giving us complete answers when you are not actually answering the question because everybody knows what is an answer and what is not an answer.
MCCLELLAN: David now you want to make this about you and it's not about you it's about what happened. And that's what I'm — I'm trying to provide answers to the questions.
GREGORY: I'm sorry that you feel that way but that's not what I'm trying to do. I want ..
O'REILLY: Gregory wanted to know what President Bush thought about the situation. That's what he wanted to know.
So what say you? We have a brand new billoreilly.com poll question. Which is more important, Al Gore accusing the USA of mistreating Arabs on U.S. soil or Dick Cheney delaying the accident announcement? Which story is more important? We have a little category. Gore or Cheney. And you click it off on billoreilly.com. Now I think I know how the poll is going to turn out but I want to see the plurality. By the way, the Al Gore speech in Saudi Arabia was almost totally ignored by the elite media. Says a lot. That's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Two examples of the clash of civilizations. In India scores of Muslim women protested Valentine's Day, raiding shops that sell romantic cards, setting those cards on fire.
Apparently, the women believe that all signs of western civilization should be burned in the wake of the cartoon controversy.
And in a Virginia courtroom today, convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui renounced his French citizenship, saying, quote, "I am not French. I do not stand here with a nation of homosexual crusaders."
Who knew? Might be ridiculous.
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