February 13th, 2006

Cheney Locks, Unloads

by Philip Baruth

So Dick Cheney is out quail hunting in Texas with a bunch of millionaires, and he blasts one of them in the face with his 28-guage shotgun. Time stops; no one moves.

Then someone rushes to the fallen tycoon, feels for a pulse, and then turns desperately to the others and says the fateful words: “Is anyone here a spin-doctor?”

cheneyAs luck would have it, you’re the only spin-doctor in the party, and everyone turns to you in the crisis. They move away from the bloody plutocrat, giving him — and you — breathing room.

You step forward without thinking. You didn’t ask for this responsibility, but it comes with your profession.

And so you do what needs to be done: You blame the victim, and gingerly replace Up with Down. From the New York Times:

“‘This all happened pretty quickly,’ Ms. Armstrong said in a telephone interview from her ranch. Mr. Whittington, she said, ‘did not announce — which would be protocol — ‘Hey, it’s me, I’m coming up,’ ‘ she said.

“‘He didn’t do what he was supposed to do,’ she added, referring to Mr. Whittington. ‘So when a bird flushed and the vice president swung in to shoot it, Harry was where the bird was.’

“Mr. Whittington was ’sprayed — peppered, is what we call it — on his right side, on part of his face, neck, shoulder and rib cage,’ she said, noting that she, too, had been sprayed on her leg in a hunting accident.

“‘A shotgun sprays a bunch of little bitty pellets; it’s not a bullet involved,’ Ms. Armstrong said. She said she believed that Mr. Cheney was shooting a 28-gauge shotgun and added that guests typically bring their own firearms.”

It’s not a bullet involved. Sweet.

That’s why spin doctors make the super-sized dollars, my friends. Because they can turn bullets into little bitty pellets, into veritable pepper. And they can do it under more pressure than you and I can even imagine.

And if the deny-the-bullet strategy tanks, keep an eye peeled for a last-minute claim of Executive privilege.

It’s not a bullet involved. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, that’s pathetic.