Cheney Memoir Tour Opens Door for Media Scorn

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney is making the rounds to promote his upcoming memoir, which he's billing as a sharp-elbowed account of his years in the Bush White House inner circle.

But he may be competing against a fairly loud chorus of critics as he makes his case. Even as the popular portrayal of George W. Bush has softened in recent years, the media's treatment of Cheney hasn't gotten any friendlier since he left Washington, according to the conservative Media Research Center.

The center has compiled a retrospective of Cheney's treatment in the media, looking back on hosts who described the former vice president as a goon, a terrorist and a criminal.

MRC Research Director Rich Noyes said this time probably won't be any different.

"You're not going to see any minds in the liberal media change because of what he says in his book," Noyes said. "At this point, it's pure name calling."

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Cheney's book, "In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir," is said to include some startling passages. He reportedly was the lone voice calling for the U.S. to bomb a Syrian nuclear facility and in his book offers criticism of former Secretary of State Colin Powell and other top officials.

Noyes said the mainstream interviewers who are talking to Cheney -- like NBC's "Dateline" -- will probably give him a "respectful hearing," but predicted a slew of critical commentary on the sidelines.

Already, the commentary has begun.

"If your notion of leadership involves never apologizing and never offering any regrets about the past, then you should get hold of Dick Cheney's autobiography," MSNBC's Martin Bashir said on Thursday.

A blog by Juli Weiner in "Vanity Fair" was titled "I Dream of Cheney: Interpreting the Reveries of America's 47th Best Vice President" and offering cutting remarks about the early details from the book.

Dave Weigel of Slate tweeted: "Are we supposed to be shocked by revelation Cheney had a secret safe? It was Cheney! I'm just shocked a kitten wasn't trapped."'s Glenn Greenwald also tweeted: "Cheney's memoir will be the ultimate example of a criminal profiting from his crimes."

Greenwald lamented that the Obama administration has provided a "shield of immunity" for Cheney as he hits the media circuit to "prance around" in promotion of his book.

"Less than three years ago, Dick Cheney was presiding over policies that left hundreds of thousands of innocent people dead from a war of aggression, constructed a worldwide torture regime and spied on thousands of Americans without the warrants required by law," he wrote on "But thanks to the decision to block all legal investigations into his chronic criminality, those matters have been relegated to mere pedestrian partisan disputes, and Cheney is thus now preparing to be feted -- and further enriched -- as a Wise and Serious Statesman with the release of his memoirs this week."

After Cheney predicted in an interview excerpt that his book would have "heads exploding" in Washington, commentators suggested Cheney should expect the same in return.

"Cheney's lack of personal appeal will certainly influence the book's impact -- largely because Cheney was a pretty unpopular figure throughout his term as the nation's No. 2. And anything he says will be viewed within that frame of reference," wrote The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza.

Noyes said Cheney is probably the least liked of any member of the Bush administration, in part because "he never cared what (the media) said about him," and that's why he ended up facing such critical commentary over the past decade.