My favorite press secretary was Margaret Tutwiler, who treated reporters like misbehaving little boys, which is how they often acted. Nor were the reporters' antics due solely to personal boorishness.
They had before them the example of Dan Rather and Sam Donaldson, who reached the big time on TV by being snotty to Presidents. At the very least, White House correspondents can get more time on the tube by waxing indignant at what they choose to portray as violations of "the public's right to know" while the cameras are rolling.
An off-duty incident in Dick Cheney's private life has been hyped in the media as if it had some real significance for more than a quarter of a billion Americans.
The media want to know when was President Bush informed about this incident? What did the White House press secretary know and when did he know it?
The people who mattered -- doctors and local law enforcement -- were informed immediately about the hunting accident. What was President Bush supposed to do -- other than provide the media with something to print or broadcast?
The media are so full of themselves -- among other things that they are full of -- that they act as if the government exists to provide them with something to publicize. The time is long overdue to put these people in their place. Where is Margaret Tutwiler when we need her?
The New York Times informs us solemnly that, if Mr. Whittington dies, there will be a grand jury investigation.
If Mr. Whittington is so uncooperative as not to die, there will be much disappointment and frustration in Beltway media circles.