02/16/06 — Cheney furor: Might there be a few more important issues to discuss?

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Cheney furor: Might there be a few more important issues to discuss?

It is rather surprising that the story about Vice President Dick Cheney and his hunting accident in Texas is still one of the top bulletins on the national news each evening.

And it is pretty reasonable to expect that the weekend news analysis shows will be full of who knew what when, who hid what and how this is really a matter of vital national interest.

But is it?

OK, let’s review. The vice president is on a hunting trip, and he mistakenly shoots a member of his own party with birdshot.

Not knowing his condition, and probably because there is still a little rule called patient privacy, the vice president’s staff does not run immediately out to find a member of the press to confess their boss’s wrongdoing.

A few days later, word is out, and the furor begins

And now, instead of talking about President Bush’s new budget or concerns about the continued violence surrouding the prophet drawings, we have the national media in a frenzy over a hunting accident.

Response seems a little disproportionate, doesn’t it?

The Cheney incident is important because a man is in a hospital. We should be worried about his health and be hopeful that this accident does not end in permanent damage to his future vitality.

And for right now, that is all that should concern anyone.

Harry Whittington does not deserve the stress or trouble this must have caused him because of who happened to pull the trigger.

This is not Cheney-gate and this is not worth headline after headline after soundbite.

Vice President Cheney has been on television now, owning up to the accident and making sure the country knows that he in no way faults his friend for the circumstances that led to the shooting. He wanted people to know that the incident is troubling him, and that he is worried about his shooting pal.

And that is all that needs to be said.

Now, with the intrigue set aside, perhaps we can find something a little more important to concentrate on — like the war in Iraq, the next election, the state of education and healthcare in America ... pick an issue.

Let’s hope it’s not Britney Spears’ baby.

Published in Editorials on February 16, 2006 10:50 AM