WASHINGTON, Feb. 14
At the risk of making everyone mad; in search of our own brand of the truth; and in recognition that the story isn't over (Do we even need to say WHAT story?) -- or as important as health care or tax cuts -- but it also might be wanting for new developments and video today:
-- The desires of the White House press corps notwithstanding, and the general sense of the Gang of 500 notwithstanding, no one we know has actually enunciated why it is in the public interest to know about such accidents same-day as opposed to next-day. The Washington Post's ed board says that the principle of immediate disclosure is "so elementary," and "By every standard and by all accounts, the failure to promptly disclose the accident was wrong," but that "explanation" isn't good enough for Scott McClellan, any member of the Cheney family, John Q. and Mary Q. Public, or The Note.
-- Every shooting expert (some partisan to be sure, but many not) on the record puts the blame primarily or exclusively on the Vice President; dissenting from this view are Scott McClellan, Katharine Armstrong, and a few others with loyalty to the Vice President. What accounts for that?
-- It would appear that the facts of the incident (and their implications) and any law enforcement actions (and their implications) are largely determined and completed, respectively; Note we wrote "appears."
-- As fans of the lame-duck "The West Wing" know, there is always tension between the staffs of the president and the vice president; in the Bush-Cheney White House, such incidents of tension are few and far between; the way the shooting aftermath was handled might be an exception to that pattern.
-- Most of the time, the fact that the Vice President is not running to succeed the President is a political and process bonus for the Bush White House; it might not have been in this case.
-- Uhm: who was in charge of the VPOTUS pre-hunting paperwork?
-- The national media is fascinated by "contentious" White House briefings; the public, not so much. Nonetheless, the national media treats the contentiousness as news in and of itself.
-- How long will all we all keep all those reporters on the ground?
-- When will the release of more investigative paperwork be?
-- Late night comedy fodder blah blah blah.
-- Most reporters don't know about hunting blah blah blah.
-- This is a metaphor for the Bush-Cheney Administration blah blah blah.
-- Until the Vice President speaks on video about this, the story lives on.
And apparently, that speaking won't be in this news cycle, since, as of this writing, Vice President Cheney has no public schedule today. (He is, however, speaking to the Wyoming state legislature on Friday, a Cheney official tells ABC News' Karen Travers.)
White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan gaggles off camera at 9:45 am ET and briefs on camera at noon ET. (Keep your "peppering" jokes to yourself.)
President Bush partakes in a hook 'em horns photo opportunity with the 2005 NCAA Football champions, the University of Texas Longhorns at 1:05 pm ET. President Bush also meets with his Council on Service and Civic Participation at 2:10 pm ET.