Here are my favorites of the many, many media shots taken at V.P. Dick Cheney after he shot a Republican crony on a quail hunt and then, in a textbook example of how not to handle the press, kept the news from the media for 20 hours. (Like he figured maybe they'd think it was "old news"?)
"We can't get Bin Laden," David Letterman said on CBS, "but we nailed a 78-year-old attorney."
Headline from Dan Froomkin's column in the Washington Post: "Shoots, Hides and Leaves."
Reported by Holly Rosenkrantz of Bloomberg.com:
"'The idea that you have this vice president who is kind of gruff and willing to cuss out senators meant that it was always within the realm of possibility that he would go off one day and shoot his friend,' said Jeff Nussbaum, a Washington speechwriter and Democratic consultant who also moonlights writing comedy for political and social events. 'This really is a perfect metaphor for an administration that shoots first and then blames the victim later.'
"...The New York Daily News had a front page headline reading: 'Duck! It's Dick.' For the New York Post, it was 'Big Shot.' Comic Andy Borowitz posted a satiric report on his Web site with a headline saying Cheney fired at his fellow hunter 'based on faulty intelligence.'"
"Jon Stewart tackled the Cheney topic on his Comedy Central show, saying Cheney's shooting made Whittington the first person shot by a sitting vice president since Alexander Hamilton. 'Hamilton, of course, shot in a duel with Aaron Burr over issues of honor, integrity and political maneuvering. Whittington? Mistaken for a bird.' At the (Ariana) Huffington (web)site, visitors could even play The Dick Cheney Quail Hunting Game, which directs an animated Cheney to shoot a bird in mid-air. Of course, once you press the shoot button, Cheney swings around and hits a nearby human."
The Associated Press roundup of Cheney jibes included:
• "Dick Cheney accidentally shot a fellow hunter, a 78-year-old lawyer. In fact, when people found out he shot a lawyer, his popularity is now at 92 percent." (Jay Leno)
• "Now, this story certainly has its humorous aspects. ... But it also raises a serious issue, one which I feel very strongly about. ... moms, dads, if you're watching right now, I can't emphasize this enough: Do not let your kids go on hunting trips with the vice president. I don't care what kind of lucrative contracts they're trying to land, or energy regulations they're trying to get lifted - it's just not worth it." (Jon Stewart)
• "You can understand why this lawyer fellow let his guard down, because if you're out hunting with a politician, you think, 'If I'm going to get it, it's going to be in the back.' " (Craig Ferguson on CBS)
• "The big scandal apparently is that they didn't release the news for 18 hours. I don't think that's a scandal at all. I'm quite pleased about that. Finally there's a secret the vice president's office can keep." (Craig Ferguson on CBS)
Not unexpectedly, the overseas press was having a field day with the story of the gun-happy Americans. Here's a marvelously tongue-in-cheek piece from the Daily Telegraph.