It was only a matter of time before people who really care about Whittington got fed up with the whole "blame the victim" thing, and are they mad. They are not buying the whole cockeyed Armstrong story either.
According to Slate:
The official story is that the blast from the vice president's shotgun hit Whittington at a distance of 30 yards. Hunters at the Vaughn Building [the headquarters of Harry Whittington] are skeptical. The hunt took place on a cold, windy afternoon. Whittington and his fellow hunters were probably wearing warm clothing—say, a jacket and a flannel shirt. Cheney was using a 28-gauge shotgun, a smaller-diameter firearm with pellets smaller than BBs. Whittington's friends question whether the pellets could have penetrated his layers of clothing and skin at that range. Yet two pellets lodged against his larynx, another was in his liver, and another migrated into the heart muscle, causing the heart attack. The pattern of wounds was between the lower chest and the forehead, a pretty tight zone for shot of 30 yards. If the range was considerably less than 30 yards, then it is likely that Whittington's injuries were worse than the initial statement by Katharine Armstrong indicated. (The blast "knocked him silly," but "he was fine.")And they have a few choice words for Scott McClellan:
If there is anything that Harry's friends at the Vaughn Building are angry about, it is not the shooting itself but the attempt by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan to place the blame on the victim. It's the shooter's duty to know what he is shooting at and where his companions are. A shooting accident is always the fault of the shooter. Always.The incompetence of the bumbling White House flaks is finally catching up to them. Even Chris Matthews said today that at this rate, Bush's approval ratings will be at 20 within the week.
Good catch by John Casper, who (along with Rusty) also caught the MSNBC scrub this afternoon.
(graphic by Dark Black)