The vice president, of course, followed a different course. After the accidental shooting of his friend of 30 years, Harry Whittington, Cheney allowed the ranch owner -- a witness to the incident -- to give an interview to a local newspaper, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
This incident became a perfect storm for all that the mainstream media dislikes about the Bush administration -- tax cuts, the war, his alleged secrecy, tax cuts, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, the Katrina response, tax cuts, Justices Alito and Roberts, his home state of Texas (where they have the death penalty), tax cuts, his walk, his pronunciation of the word "nuclear," and tax cuts.
When Cheney broke his silence, he elected to do so on Fox News, with former ABC White House correspondent Brit Hume conducting the interview. Hume, as usual, competently interviewed Vice President Cheney, asking him all the questions any fair-minded -- pardon the expression -- person might want to know.
Uh-oh. CNN's Jack Cafferty said, "It didn't exactly represent a profile in courage for the vice president to wander over there to the 'f-word' network for a sit down with Brit Hume. I mean that's a little like Bonnie interviewing Clyde, ain't it? I mean, where was the news conference? Where was the access to all of the members of the media? Whatever.
. . . I mean, you talk about facing a safe haven. He's not going to get any high hard ones from anybody at the 'f-word' network, I think we know that."
Yes, the same Cafferty, who, during Katrina, said, "Despite the many angles of this tragedy, and Lord knows there've been a lot of 'em in New Orleans, there is a great big elephant in the living room that the media seems content to ignore -- that would be, until now. . . . [W]e in the media are ignoring the fact that almost all of the victims in New Orleans are black and poor."
His colleague at CNN, Wolf Blitzer, chimed in, "You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals, as Jack Cafferty just pointed out, so tragically, so many of these people, almost all of them that we see, are so poor, and they are so black."