After creep veep’s belly flop in the press pool, he’s all wet. So is the press.
Dick Cheney is so smug that he thinks he can set the agenda for America’s news media. Unfortunately, he’s right.
His speech yesterday reflected the current schizoid state of the Bush regime. Under severe pressure, one day it lashes out at critics, the next day it’s conciliatory, the day after that it lashes out again. Now that Wampumgate‘s Mike Scanlon has pled guilty, this a two-front war for the regime, so the pressure will only get more intense.
But not as intense as it is for average Americans. Or for the 37 million Americans who were poor in 2004.
By the way, the Wampumgate scandal promises to envelop congressmen and White House aides and expose influence-peddling as it’s never been exposed before in the nation’s long history of influence-peddling. But that didn’t stop either the New York Times or Los Angeles Times from putting Scanlon’s guilty plea — which will surely unravel the threads of this scandal — inside, while Cheney’s repetitious speech took up front-page space. (The Washington Post, which has been the leader in covering Wampumgate for the past five years, put Scanlon’s plea on the front page, of course.)
What the hell is the Fourth Estate doing with its valuable real estate?
For his predictable speech, Cheney fled into the arms of the friendly, not-poor folks at the American Enterprise Institute.” The vise president didn’t get the coverage he deserved. He got more, and he got less.
Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times gave her usual blinders-on appraisal of the fabric of the emperor’s new clothes. (Cheney is the real emperor, not Bush.) She acknowledged that Cheney picked a slow news day, terming it a strategy but hilariously going along with him anyway. What wasn’t funny was that she didn’t note in her first paragraph that all he did was repeat himself in a very strange way.
To repeat: Cheney simply repeated what he said five days earlier. (For an assessment of that November 16 speech, see “Lies My Fodder Told Me.”)
A particular passage of Cheney’s November 21 speech will fascinate future historians when they try to do a psychological profile of Cheney under pressure. Cheney has vowed to throw his critics’ words back at them. I hope he’s prepared for the boomerang effect.
This is how Cheney started that key segment of the November 21 speech:
Yes, that’s true, that’s what the papers said. Then he said:
Well, maybe that’s because he doesn’t give many speeches to the public, unless he can absolutely control the makeup of the audience by carefully screening them. Besides, the doofus POTUS gives the speeches, while Cheney and Don Rumsfeld run things. Anyway, Cheney continued:
Yeah, whatever. The headline was accurate. Let me remind you what he said in that November 16 speech. From the White House transcript:
As I said, the headline was accurate. Back to the November 21 speech: So then, Cheney went into his “public service” routine:
I guess that’s why, after some “energetic debate” with Vermont Democratic senator Pat Leahy on June 22, 2004, Cheney told him, “Fuck yourself.”
Again, back to the November 21 speech: After some more babble, Cheney said:
I thought he said he had a problem with the headline after his November 16 speech, the headline that he said read:
So let me suggest a headline that accurately portrays his November 21 speech:
Is that better?