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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Who's Playing Doctor?

Among the entirely unsatisfactory explanations offered up by Team Cheney after the boozed up Vice President shot an old man in the face then lied about it and blamed the victim, none is quite as wild as the discredited "migrating pellet" theory that got shot down relatively soon afterwards.

I've been trying to figure out the genesis of this story -- Dr. David Blanchard seems to have implied that this happened when he spoke to the press, and it was further amplified by hospital spokesperson Michele Mora-Trevino. RJ Eskow has already noted that Blanchard is a right-wing evangelical Christian who has been downplaying Whittington's injuries from the get, and the New York Times today brings up the fact that a simple x-ray would have immediately told doctors that the pellets were not, in fact, "peppered" just under the skin. The story strongly insinuates that Blanchard's accounts have been extremely misleading.

Nobody has adequately addressed the question of why Whittington got shunted to this particular hospital, and as Sidney Blumenthal's article today notes, the "Texas aristocracy" roots are quite deep in this story as well as its coverup. Which is why my radar is going off about the no comment Whittington's doctors offered about his blood alcohol content.

This smacks to me of the Goober Graham technique. Throw some red meat out there, get everyone swarming all over it as if it will prove something about Cheney (it won't). Then when everyone is good and overheated, somebody reveals that -- ta da! -- Whittington's bloodstream didn't have any alcohol. No surprise, a responsible hunter wouldn't drink and hunt. But a serious boozehound would, and one that didn't want to draw criticism down on himself for doing so would do it in private (Armstrong said she didn't see him drinking at lunch -- a telltale sign of a closet alcoholic).

Ole 60 Grit O'Beirne was on Hardball getting chewed up over her ludicrous defense of Dick and how he didn't contact the press until the next morning because he was caring for the old man. Dick wasn't at the hospital, he was back at the house fixing himself a highball IN FRONT OF EVERYONE so that if and when word got out and the police grew uncooperative, he'd have adequate reason for the alcohol in his bloodstream.

That's another alcoholic's trick.

I'd love to know what Whittington's blood alcohol level is, don't get me wrong, but if it was "0" it doesn't prove shit about Cheney. The fact that it got tossed out there by a doctor who has only been too willing to let Dick's medical staff make decisions for his patient and say overtly misleading things about Whittington's condition makes leaves me feeling quite suspicious about this one.

(graphic by Dark Black)