I’ve been disappointed in what a lot of my favorite weblogs have had to say about the Dick Cheney incident of late. Take Think Progress for example, or firedoglake. I’ve been reading their posts on this “scandal” as they’ve been posted, and mostly they make me feel tired. I can’t help but wonder what they’re trying to uncover. Did the Vice President accidentally shoot a guy while hunting, after having a beer, and perhaps even more than one beer? Sure. Have some people lied about whether any drinking was taking place? It seems like it. So what?
I guess I don’t get the greater meaning that people are trying to draw from this. If you imagine every aspect of this scenario with a guest at the Armstrong Ranch who wasn’t the Vice President of the United States, I’m sure the details would be the same except for the media coverage. Nobody likes Dick Cheney less than me, and I still can’t see what people are getting at.
Some of the coverage I’m seeing reminds me of nothing more than right wing coverage of events when Bill Clinton was being impeached during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. We learned that the President’s mistress and his longtime assistant actually dissembled on his behalf, as though this shocking revelation blew the cover off of everything wrong he had ever done. People speculated on whether Bill Clinton wore a certain tie in order to send a message to Monica Lewinsky. They obsessed over small gifts he had purchased for her while on vacation. And none of it meant anything. They contributed nothing to the essential story, which was that the President had an affair and lied about it.
Dick Cheney went hunting and accidentally shot a guy in the face. That’s the story. All of this other crap people are talking about is just a waste of time and energy.
Update: Jay Rosen’s essay is a must-read as well.