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Dick Cheney, Harry Whittington, Media

Bonfire of the inanities

By John Burtis
Sunday, February 19, 2006

When Harry Whittington strode out of the Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, wearing a blazer, a crisp white shirt and a smile, as well as a bruise and a few small scabs, to face the media last Thursday, the whole artful and painfully constructed edifice of the liberal communications industry and their Democratic hand maidens came crashing down around them.

With Harry walking into the daylight under his own power, alone, sans wheelchair, without an iron lung, without a company of white suited orderlies and paramedics to brace him, with nary an IV bottle and hose in view, without sunglasses, without constant medical attention, without a single tremor or palsied movement, without a give-away halt to his gait, with not a single visible bandage in sight, with his hair combed perfectly, the jig was up on all of the liberal media's monkey business and clowning around.

It also became painfully obvious, even for the most backward and ill educated red state rube, that the daily death watch was over, that the high stakes mortality pool had come to an end, that the heart attack which was expected to claim the life of Mr. Whittington was firmly relegated to the past and that the high-temperature media frenzy was instantly put on ice. And, further, that this particular instrument of destruction - this latest and greatest, almost nuclear, weapon, which had fallen into the hands of the Democrats and their media tools courtesy of the Vice President, who appears to be so heedless of their power and influence that he tended to his friend before he deigned to inform them, the loyal liberal protectors and Myrmidons of progressive thought - was spent.

But for the Democrats, even for the few Democratic political experts schooled in the arcane arts and courtesies of hunting, and for their slavish lackeys, it had been quite a ride – a lengthy sin wave of peaks and troughs - and had lasted for the better part of a week.

They had found that a Vice President of the United States had waited almost 24 hours before he notified the media of his heedless and reckless attempt on the life of another human. They had uncovered the fact that he had failed to obtain a seven dollar quail stamp for his hunting license. And, contrary to the accepted conventions which govern every known and accepted aspect of high-level media relations inside and outside the beltway regarding everything the media deems important and then some, the sitting Vice President had scoffed at the power of the White house press corps and related the incident to a small town newspaper – a paper rarely seen and almost never read by this august coterie of earnest seekers and writers of the truth. Well, concerning the latter, at least when fellow liberals, progressives, left-wing dictators, "peace" activists, the feminist fringe, Ward Churchill, anti-Republican whistle-blowers, towering geniuses like Al Gore and Sandy Berger and the like are fondly mentioned, glorified and interviewed favorably.

In their Herculean efforts to lend further "gravitas" to the beleaguered story, the media trundled out grizzled hunting experts, college-trained weather men and women, experts on color recognition and the reasons for the use of international orange on hunting outfits, the problems to be encountered from lead poisoning, ornithologists and the year of the expected Texas quail extinction, medical experts and the grave damage to be expected from the horrors of bird shot, cardiologists, Neil Young and the needles and the damage done, schematic diagrams of shooting victims, savvy attorneys to discourse on the legal ramifications of the expected charges for attempted murder and great bodily harm, pettifoggers to discuss the upcoming civil penalties, constitutional scholars to describe this latest nail in the proverbial coffin of impeachment, pundits to describe in glib detail the replacement of Dick Cheney for this strategic gaffe of immense proportions and experts in finer points of haberdashery to explain the meaning of the pink tie - the full list may never be fully tabulated because of its absolutely daunting size and the fact that it was pounded out in 24 news cycles for nearly a week.

Of course, Dick Cheney, in what was called a pre-meditated effort to kick additional amounts of sharpened silicates in the already reddened, and blackened, eyes of big media and the press corps, gave an exclusive TV interview to Brit Hume on the dreaded Fox News. This act caused an apoplectic shock wave to reverberate through CNN, and caused this lockstep liberal Democratic mouthpiece to bawl loudly in protest, thus adhering a further wry comedic twist to the Schadenfreude already attached to the entire media hunting ship of fools.

The Lazarus-like arising of Harry Whittington, who had existed in state of both being alive and dead at the same time in the eyes of big and all-knowing media, like Schroedinger's cat, or is it Dick Whittington's cat, had dashed it all to hell and an entire week's worth of work and programming, of advance men being thrown ahead for funerals, trials and similar pursuits was dashed – thrown into the dustbin and down the drain because Harry Whittington had the temerity to survive, to walk out and face the music and to look good, dammit.

And then, seen by the media kingpins, Democratic operatives, and walking parodies like Alec Baldwin, as an effort to pile on and as part of the ongoing cover-up directed from the lowliest small town deputy to the highest reaches of government, the Kenedy County Sheriff's Office issued a report exonerating the Vice President, which called for no further action, calling the unfortunate incident, an "accident." Can you imagine the cheekiness of that modest rural office, failing to knuckle under to the vastly superior forward-looking kingpins?

And on the world front, as the hunting accident is still being rehashed for inconsistencies, investigated for further nefarious activities and the possible consumption of, gasp, a beer in the woods, the cartoon wars go on, Iran continues its nuclear build up, North Korea remains a menace, Hamas continues its activities to destroy Israel, we have helicopters down off the African coast, the UN remains a rotten borough, Islamist terrorists are still killing people in Iraq and the Philippines and the beat goes on.

But at home the US press burns in its own bonfire of inanities and it won't step out of the fireplace or look outside its ridiculously small box because there was a hunting accident and somebody's got to pay.

John Burtis is a former Broome County, NY firefighter, a retired Santa Monica, CA, police officer. He obtained his BA in European History at Boston University and is fluent in German. He resides in NH with his wife, Betsy. John Burtis can be reached at:

Other articles by John Burits

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