The Spectacle Blog

Cheney’s Misfire

By on 2.15.06 | 6:37PM

Having spent hundreds of hours afield in pursuit of quail, pheasant, chuckar, ducks and geese, I sympathize with the Veep. He's made a bad mistake that we all hope won't prove fatal to his hunting pal. But that's all there is to it. Or would be, but for the fragile egos of the White House press gaggle.

Were it up to them, Cheney would have been dialing Tim Russert's home number before poor Whittington hit the ground. The arrogance of the White House knows no bounds. How dare they give the story -- indirectly, at that -- to a local paper and not CBS or the NYT? How could they not issue a press release? Shouldn't the pool reporter have been in the ambulance with Ol' Harry?

The fact that this story has ridden the front page for so long is a testament to the press's narcissism, and nothing else. It's not yet fair to compare their outrage to Muslims rioting over the Mohammed cartoons. Yet.

Many Saddam Tapes Still Untranslated

By on 2.15.06 | 6:19PM

Important to note that Brian Ross tonight on Nightline will stipulate that the Saddam tapes that intelligencesummit.org gave ABC News are just a small part of the assembled tape recordings of Saddam Hussein cabinet/staff meetings over many years. Also Brian Ross stipulates that the remaining available tapes are still undergoing translation.

This is a careful if general way of communcating that these are the early days of revelations from the tapes. Hoekstra doesn't know what's on them, ABC News doesn't know, neither -- to my certainty -- does DNI, CIA, DIA, FBI or any of the dozens of most concerned intelligence services from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the variety of Arab League states.

In sum, the tapes contain unknown material that may threaten present regimes. May. Threaten. Present.

Reigniting the Fire

By on 2.15.06 | 5:21PM

Cheney on Hume's show: "They didn't like that we called the Corpus Christi Caller-Times instead of the New York Times." Priceless, and right on target. Good for him. And now the story will last for another couple days.

No Crayons for Moussaoui

By on 2.15.06 | 5:19PM

Convicted Al Qaeda poster boy Zacarias Moussaoui was removed from the jury selection proceedings for the death penalty phase of his trial yesterday in Virginia for several outbursts including the following renunciation of his French citizenship: "I'm not French...I stand here as a Muslim only. I do not stand here with a nation of homosexual crusaders." Whoa! Incarceration apparently takes a toll on the radical Muslim's inclination towards tolerance and inclusiveness. Well, one supposes as long as he doesn't draw cartoons depicting the likeness of these crusaders civic peace will be maintained and the Log Cabin Republicans will not be forced to burn down the Morrocan embassy. There are, of course, certain standards of decency that must be observed. Bad terrorist! No crayons for you!

Re: Yeah, Just Like Chappaquiddick

By on 2.15.06 | 1:25PM

Dave, interesting this Washington Post editorial page mention by David Ignatius of Chappaquiddick, one of not even a handful of (passing) mentions over the last few decades on the Post's editorial page (almost all of which regarded it, like David Broder in 2003, as nothing more than an "accident"; in 1993 Howard Kurtz termed it an "incident"; only Richard Cohen, in 1991, called it a "coverup").

If anything, Ignatius blurted out the truth that dare not speak its name. The liberal media culture has covered for Ted Kennedy since 1969. It has been complicit in his shamelessness. Now it wants to tar Dick Cheney with the Chappaquiddick brush? As one of its therapists might advise, you don't want to go there!

Cheney Speaks, Press Still Bitter

By on 2.15.06 | 1:19PM

I just caught the ABC News top of the hour report on the radio: White House correspondent Ann Compton couldn't resist pointing out that while Cheney is speaking to the press, it's only one interview and not with a member of the White House press corps. They won't be satisfied until he gives a press conference.

Asbestos Bill Slain

By on 2.15.06 | 11:22AM

By a filibuster, at least for now. I understand the temptation to take these settlements out of the hands of the trial lawyers, but the asbestos bill would have been more surrender than victory. As detailed by Human Events last week, it would have removed asbestos claims from the courts into a no-fault administrative process. Private companies would then "contribute" (involuntarily) to the trust fund.

The Heritage Foundation has found many flaws with the bill: claimants would show asbestos exposure "merely by filing an affidavit saying that they have been exposed'; the trust fund would award settlements to patients whose types of cancer "have not been clearly shown to be related to asbestos exposure"; and claims are automatically paid to claimants if they are not decided within 180 days. With such loose controls, $140 billion may not be enough to fund this trust fund.

Yeah, Just Like Chappaquiddick

By on 2.15.06 | 10:48AM

David Ignatius goes for broke and takes the media tantrum over the Cheney hunting accident to new heights today.

Nobody died at Armstrong Ranch, but this incident reminds me a bit of Sen. Edward Kennedy's delay in informing Massachusetts authorities about his role in the fatal automobile accident at Chappaquiddick in 1969. That story, and dozens of others about the Kennedy family, illustrates how wealthy, powerful people can behave as if they are above the law. For my generation, the fall of Richard Nixon is the ultimate allegory about how power can corrupt and destroy. It begins not with venality but with a sense of God-given mission.

Ignatius really should have left out the Nixon link -- it gave away his motive as singing of the press's glory days. Ah, when we took down a national official who disdained us. If anyone here has the "sense of God-given mission," it's today's arrogant press corps.

But Chappaquiddick? Seriously? Let us list the differences:

Playing Pelosi

By on 2.15.06 | 10:21AM

So how tenuous is Rep. Nancy Pelosi's hold on the House minority leader position? Right now it's unclear. But plenty of members of her caucus want her out sooner rather than later.

Word up on Capitol Hill is that there have been a few folks nosing around out in California and elsewhere, researching the business transactions and investments made by husband, Paul, and they aren't Republican opposition research types.

Recall that Democrat National Committee sources have said that their boss, Howard Dean, had extensive research done on Sen. Harry Reid's ties to lobbying. Could it be he and some of the others on the far left are now looking to help Pelosi out of her leadership post too?

The Muhammad Bomb T-Shirt

By on 2.15.06 | 10:11AM

Hark -- a line is being crossed in the printing-up of the M-Bomb cartoon on t-shirts available, not free, to all. One of the drawbacks, as Spectator readers know full well, of being a "South Park Conservative" is a chronic lack of taste, and the conservative outfit who has turned a free-press issue into an immeasurably less noble one does us all a disservice by doing so.

I have been among those sticking up firmly for the right of the Europeans and others to print the cartoons right in the face of vicious and aggravated blackmail threats of damage and kidnapping. I see no need and feel no desire to extend this cultural endorsement to a guy (I'm sure he's a dude) looking to get rich quick on the mortal issue of the liberty of political speech. Thoughts freely expressed in full here.

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