Jay Rosen has the most interesting take on the the Cheney episode:
The way I look at it, Cheney took the opportunity to show the White House press corps that it is not the natural conduit to the nation-at-large; and it has no special place in the information chain. Cheney does not grant legitimacy to the large news organizations with brand names who think of themselves as proxies for the public and its right to know. Nor does he think the press should know where he is, what he’s doing, or who he’s doing it with.***
But Cheney figures he told the country “what happened.” What he did not do is tell the national press, which he does not trust to inform the country anyway. Making sense yet? Ranch owner Katharine Armstrong is someone he trusts. He treated the shooting as a private matter between private persons on private land that should be disclosed at the property owner’s discretion to the townsfolk (who understand hunting accidents, and who know the Armstrongs) via their local newspaper, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
“I thought that made good sense because you can get as accurate a story as possible from somebody who knew and understood hunting,” he told Britt Hume of Fox News.
From the Caller-Times it got to the Web, then the AP and CNN. And there you are: The American people were informed of the basic facts (though not at the speed journalists want) and Cheney did not have to meet questions from the press, an institution without power or standing in his world. “I thought that was the right call,” Cheney said yesterday on Fox. “I still do.” (He also said the furor among reporters is just jealousy at being scooped by the Caller-Times.)
Press thinkers, Dick Cheney did not make a mistake. He followed procedure— his procedure. As Bill Plante, White House reporter for CBS News said at Public Eye, “No other vice president in the White Houses I’ve covered has had the ability to write his own rules the way this one has. He operates in his own sphere, with the apparent acceptance of the president.”
In other news, the case is closed according to Texas officials:
The report, written by Chief Deputy Gilbert San Miguel Jr., quotes Cheney and Whittington as saying the shooting was an accident. They said no one was drinking alcohol during the hunt, according to the report. Interviewed in his hospital room in Corpus Christi, Whittington expressed concern only that the incident would hurt hunting’s image in Texas, the report said.
“Mr. Whittington did speak of the incident and explained foremost that there was no alcohol during the hunt and everyone was wearing the proper hunting attire of blaze orange,” the report said. “Mr. Whittington again reiterated that this incident was just an accident.”
Looks like this one is over.