Media Blog

Ignoble Ignatius

MB reader Rich B. writes:

How is it possible to have a dialogue with the drones of the old media when they are incapable of the most basic constructs of logic? David Ignatius compares Dick Cheney’s actions down on the Texas ranch to the criminal behavior of Ted Kennedy many years ago. The two situations would prove comparable only if the Vice President had accidentally shot his friend, then left him alone, and bleeding, in the brush until the following day.

You read that right. In his column today, Washington Post columnist Ignatius wrote:

The most vivid example is the long delay in informing the country that Vice President Cheney had accidentally shot a man last Saturday while hunting in Texas. For a White House that informs us about the smallest bumps and scrapes suffered by the president and vice president, the lag is inexplicable. But let us assume the obvious: It was an attempt to delay and perhaps suppress embarrassing news. We will never know whether the vice president’s office would have announced the incident at all if the host of the hunting party, Katharine Armstrong, hadn’t made her own decision Sunday morning to inform her local paper.

Untrue. We do know that the vice president’s office was involved in Katharine Armstrong’s decision to inform her local paper, as the editor of that paper, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, reported yesterday.
So first Ignatius either lies or proves himself too lazy to actually research the topic of his column. Then he makes what should henceforth be known as “the ludicrous comparison”:

Nobody died at Armstrong Ranch, but this incident reminds me a bit of Sen. Edward Kennedy’s delay in informing Massachusetts authorities about his role in the fatal automobile accident at Chappaquiddick in 1969. That story, and dozens of others about the Kennedy family, illustrates how wealthy, powerful people can behave as if they are above the law. For my generation, the fall of Richard Nixon is the ultimate allegory about how power can corrupt and destroy. It begins not with venality but with a sense of God-given mission.

That’s right. As reader Tony J. put it, “David Ignatius equates Teddy Kennedy not notifying AUTHORITIES that he had killed someone with Dick Cheney not notifying REPORTERS about this incident.” And of course, no table-pounding tirade would be complete without the obligatory reference to Richard Nixon and Watergate.
But of course, Ignatius is just using the accidental shooting as an excuse to launch into a litany of the usual complaints about wiretapping, torture, and WMDs. Anything the administration does is an excuse to launch into this litany. Even conservatives are criticizing Cheney for making a bad PR move. Wrong. There’s absolutely nothing he could have done. The press would have found a way to shoehorn the incident into its “arrogance of power” storyline, no matter what.

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