TIERNEY/The Cheney drama(hehehe)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Stephanie, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Stephanie

    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2004
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    This guy is actually pretty dang funny. I was :rotflmao:

    Harry Whittington tried to calm the furor on Friday, but we must not let him. Leaving the hospital, he expressed regret for Dick Cheney’s troubles over what he considered a simple hunting accident at a friend’s ranch. But it was so much more.

    It was a violation of the public’s right to know. Apologists for Dick Cheney argue that the public was informed of the accident, but it took almost 20 hours — almost an entire news cycle! The Sunday morning talk shows, deprived of what was rightfully their story, were tragically forced to discuss the National Security Agency and Michelle Kwan’s injured groin.

    Even worse, the news was released by a nonprofessional — a “private person,” as a CBS reporter said accusingly at a White House briefing — with no qualifications except being the owner of the ranch and a witness at the scene of the accident. Incredibly, instead of issuing a press release to the national press corps, she chose to be interviewed by a local newspaper reporter. How long can the First Amendment survive such assaults?

    Cheney’s apologists say this was a private incident with no connection to his official duties, but they should know there are higher duties for any public figure in Washington — or Hollywood or Manhattan. To prevent any further dereliction, we need to enshrine these duties in federal law.

    The most logical name for it would be Harry’s Law. But since Whittington is being so uncooperative with reporters — on Friday he took none of their questions! — let’s honor NBC’s David Gregory for his leadership in expressing the press corps’ outrage at the White House’s conspiracy of silence. (He called Scott McClellan “a jerk.”) Here’s an outline of David’s Law:

    1. By this Act of Congress, let it be known that any individual recognized in libel law as a Public Figure (PF), in exchange for the financial remunerations and other perquisites of said position, is hereby obliged to provide the press with what are known professionally as “personal dramas,” “human-interest stories,” “hot copy,” and “the goods.”

    2. This law shall apply in the event a PF commits news, defined as any act whose reporting could reasonably be expected to raise the audience for a television news program by at least 20 percent. Such events include, but are not limited to, any criminal charges and the following:

    i) Accidents involving firearms, automobiles, bicycles, stairs, golf balls, household appliances, pretzels.

    ii) Altercations at hotels and restaurants, including any encounters with ex-spouses.

    iii) Discovery of photographs taken at any date with an individual currently under indictment.

    iv) Discovery of videos made by former sexual partners.

    v) Allegations made by summer interns.

    vi) Any significant life event, including pregnancy, marriage, cosmetic surgery, divorce, admission to rehabilitation clinic, unorthodox acts of parenting (e.g., dangling baby from balcony).

    3. Within four hours of such act, the Mainstream Media (MSM), as defined in Appendix A, shall be notified by a Certified Flack (CF) who on at least six prior occasions has been identified in the MSM as a “spokesperson,” “media handler,” “communications consultant” or “spinmeister.”

    4. Within six hours, the CF shall provide MSM with appropriate video and photographs, including mug shots when available. When announcing a divorce or spousal murder, CF shall release at least one past photograph of the couple suitable to appear above the caption, “In happier times.”

    5. At a news conference, to be scheduled at a time suitable for members of the MSM working on second-day stories, the PF shall answer all MSM questions. Whether the PF apologizes or offers an excuse (e.g., stress, drugs, political enemies, dehydration), the following sentence shall be uttered: “At this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

    6. Within four days of incident, PF shall conduct a sit-down interview with the host of a national television program. Tears shall not be mandatory during the interview, but the PF shall display emotion and draw a “larger lesson” from the incident.

    7. If the MSM pursues story beyond five days, PF shall visit “Oprah” and announce plans either to seek personal treatment with Dr. Phil or to work to “raise public awareness of this problem.”

    8. The PF shall address all “lingering questions” raised until the seventh day after the incident. At such time, but not before, the PF may issue appeal to “move on” and “respect my right to privacy.”

    9. Nothing in this law shall be construed to grant any such right.

    John Tierney is of The New York Times.

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