Sunday, February 19, 2006

the (bird)shot heard round the world

Remember the solid week - or more - of coverage the news media couldn't resist giving us when Diana, the Princess of Wales, was killed Paris? That evening, my husband and I were watching a movie on tape and learned of the crash once we turned off the VCR and the news came on. I'm certain the news would've have flashed on whatever channel came on but since we were watching a tape, our TV was on channel 3.

I remember watching the story unfold for a while, then going to bed. My husband was obviously more curious than I and watched the coverage until the final word from the hospital, then he woke me and told me she was dead.

Well, that was all I needed. I can't explain it but I felt compelled to watch a lot of Diana news for the next week. At one point, Pat walked into the room, saw what was on TV, and asked, "Is she still dead?"

That's kind of how I felt after more than one week of Dick Cheney and the birdshot heard round the world. Everytime I heard someone talk about the hunting accident and the ailing friend of Cheney's recovering in the hospital, I wanted to ask, "Is he still shot?"

God, I can't stand it. Here's all we need think about this "national tragedy:" it's unfortunate, it's unusual, it's an unhappy time for everyone involved. And here's the thing: I don't care when President Bush found out and I don't care when the "news media" uncovered the story. This isn't a threat to national security.

If this had happened to two anonymous citizens, we would have never heard about it and we wouldn't have missed a thing. I don't care if it was Dick Cheney or Dick Smothers who aimed quite badly and wounded a friend. And the rest of us shouldn't care either.

Talk soon-


Anonymous said...

ok, let me get this straight. it's ok if a vice president shoots someone -- maybe not ok, but "understandable." but you don't want the department of homeland security to hire anyone who has ever been accused of anything? so, could the vice president be employed by the department of homeland security? not with your hiring criteria.

renee said...

Hello -

Thanks for your feedback, although I'm not sure I understand your comment.

I don't think I said it was okay for the VP to shoot anyone, and I didn't use the word "understandable" (your quotes) anywhere. In fact it's not okay but it was an accident. Last I heard, anyway, it was an unfortunate accident. And if something is being covered up - well, I guess that's not exactly unprecedented for Washington, is it? (I suspect if this accident had happened in 1998, Cheney would never have been chosen as Bush's running mate.)

My point on the blog - altho perhaps I made it badly - was that the story of this event got enormous, endless, relentless, overblown play in the media which I simply didn't understand.

And yes, I don't want anyone with a cloud of anything even remotely suspect hanging over them to work for the DHS.

I just don't see how the two topics are related. The blog was addressing a media feeding frenzy. The column addressed an egregious lack of judgement at DHS regarding an employee.