Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Vultures Are Circling

Note the following excerpt from the middle of an article in the New York Times discussing the condition of Harry M. Whittington; the man accidentally shot by Vice President Cheney while bird hunting on Saturday:

Local officials have not considered any charges in the shooting because no one in the hunting party, including the victim, has accused Mr. Cheney of wrongdoing.

"Everybody that I've heard so far has said it was an accident," said Mr. Valdez, who holds an elected position and is a Democrat. "The victim probably told the sheriff's department it was an accident."

Mr. Valdez added, "Now, if the worst happens and the man happens to die, we would take an additional step."

Under the law, even an accidental hunting fatality can result in criminal charges. Mr. Cheney could be charged with negligence, defined as failing to understand the dangers involved and disregarding them, or recklessness, defined as understanding the dangers and disregarding them.

Exactly why is this information necessary in an article discussing the current condition of Mr. Whittington? It is completely pointless, and in fact disrespectful, to speculate what will happen should Mr. Whittington die, when there has been no indication by medical personnel that a full recovery isn't expected.

And why do they quote Mr. Valdez who "holds an elected position and is a Democrat"? One would think the position of this elected official would be important to the discussion.  Omitting this detail leaves the reader with questions as to whether the article's true intention is to offer the facts about the condition of Mr. Whittington or to use a legitimate news story as a vehicle for taking yet another partisan swing at the administration.

The impression of this reader is that the health of Mr. Whittington matters only to the extent that it impacts Cheney and they want the record to reflect that he could be charged with a crime in the event of Whittington's death.

They've left little doubt as to the outcome that best serves their interests. Unfortunately, it's not the same outcome that best serves the interests of the victim.

Tags:  Cheney, Dick Cheney, Whittington, Hunting Accident, Birdshot, Politics, New York Times, Media Bias

Technorati talk bubble
Locations of visitors to this page