Cheney's kind of emotional reserve and privacy is pretty much a lost virtue in our flamboyantly demonstrative age, and that's unfortunate. Those who easily showcase their feelings are often charlatans and manipulators (Oprah, call your office). The more we demand that people -- particularly men -- share their deepest fears and regrets, the more we will be inviting the worst sort to lead us.
The press loves any story that potentially involves misbehavior on the part of those in power -- and it's all the more piquant if the offender is a conservative Republican. To a point, this is a healthy check on abuse of power. But all too often it is merely a lazy press corps's short cut to airtime or front page placement.
The Whittington shooting was an accident. That's it. Meanwhile, the Iranians are working on a nuclear bomb, Muslims worldwide are still rioting over a bunch of editorial cartoons and swearing to behead us, and the United Nations is demanding that we shut down Guantanamo prison. Drop the Cheney story; you're embarrassing yourselves.
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