Greg Mitchell in E&P:
The more than 18-hour delay in news emerging that the Vice President of the United States had shot a man, sending him to an intensive care unit with his wounds, grew even more curious late Sunday. E&P has learned that the official confirmation of the shooting came about only after a local reporter in Corpus Christi, Texas, received a tip from the owner of the property where the shooting occured and called Vice President Cheney's office for confirmation.I don't know all that was happening in those 18 hours, but I can tell you one thing -- that Armstrong woman's words were being carefully crafted. Whittington was "sprayed" or "peppered" with "small shotgun pellets." It "knocked him silly." He was "telling jokes." It was all the victim's fault. Tra-la-la, she'd has the same thing happened to her, many times, it was a common occurrence, no big deal.
The president, who was at the White House over the weekend, was informed about the incident in Texas after it happened Saturday by Chief of Staff Andrew Card and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and was updated on Sunday, press secretary Scott McClellan said.
But neither the White House nor the vice president's staff announced the shooting. The Washington Post reported late Sunday that Cheney's office did not make a public announcement.
The delay in announcing the shooting "will likely be the main question asked of the White House about the apparent accidental shooting of a 78-year-old man during a Texas hunting trip by the vice president," the Tribune's James wrote on the Washington bureau's blog at the newspaper's site.
"When a vice president of the U.S. shoots a man under any circumstance," James noted, "that is extremely relevant information. What might be the excuse to justify not immediately making the incident public?
"The vice president is well-known for preferring to operate in secret....Some secrecy, especially when it comes to the executing the duties of president or vice president, is understandable and expected by Americans.
"But when the vice president's office, or the White House, delays in reporting a shooting like Saturday's to the public via the media, it needlessly raises suspicions and questions of trust. And it may just further the impression held by many, rightly or wrongly, that the White House doesn't place the highest premium on keeping the public fully and immediately informed."
Cheney's crack PR team then referred press questions back to her, as if it was on some Texas housewife to decide whether information about the Vice President of the United States shooting someone should be released to the media.
Too bad nobody put a muzzle on Mary "uppity negroes" Matalin:
"The vice president was concerned," said Mary Matalin, a Cheney adviser who spoke with him yesterday morning. "He felt badly, obviously. On the other hand, he was not careless or incautious or violate any of the [rules]. He didn't do anything he wasn't supposed to do."Nothing except, you know, shoot some poor bastard and put him in intensive care. Nothing to get "overly concerned" about.
What is she on.
(graphic by Seraphin)
Update: Crooks & Liars now has the clip of George Allen on Fox News Sunday calling for Cheney to be investigated over leaking the NIE. Sound like he's making a pre-emptive bid for the OVP to anyone?