Ed Driscoll

Journalists Gone Wild!

In-between bumper music that consists of Junior Walker’s classic Motown tune “Shotgun”, Hugh Hewitt is currently playing just the questions asked by journalists of President Bush’s press secretary Scott McClellan one after the other, and they demonstrate the White House press corps’ incredible narcissism. As Mark Levin wrote:

The vice president accidentally shot a hunting companion with buck-shot over the weekend. He is in “very stable condition.” The media were not notified for some time. And we’re all supposed to be worked up about that? Cheney spent much of the weekend with his injured friend. He was very apologetic. So, he didn’t run to the media to issue a statement of some kind and the media didn’t find out until later. Who cares? I don’t. It’s not as if there’s some cover-up, or need for a cover-up. The local sheriff’s office has investigated and concluded it was an accident — which, of course, it was. And don’t give me “the public’s right to know.” Not from this media — which still refuses to publish those Danish cartoons. I’ll leave it to others to split hairs about who knew what and when, as I know they will, but I just don’t care.

Stephen Spruiell of NRO’s Media Blog has a transcript of NBC’s David Gregory morphing into the Incredible Hulk:

Why was the White House relying on a Texas rancher to get the word of Cheney’s hunting accident out over the weekend, asked Gregory, accusing McClellan of “ducking and weaving.””David, hold on… the cameras aren’t on right now,” McClellan replied. “You can do this later.”

“Don’t accuse me of trying to pose to the cameras,” the newsman said, his voice rising somewhat. “Don’t be a jerk to me personally when I’m asking you a serious question.”

“You don’t have to yell,” McClellan said.

“I will yell,” said Gregory, pointing a finger at McClellan at his dais. “If you want to use that podium to try to take shots at me personally, which I don’t appreciate, then I will raise my voice, because that’s wrong.”

“Calm down, Dave, calm down,” said McClellan, remaining calm throughout the exchange.

“I’ll calm down when I feel like calming down,” Gregory said. “You answer the question.’

“I have answered the question,” said McClellan, who had maintained that the vice president’s office was in charge of getting the information out and worked with the ranch owner to do that. “I’m sorry you’re getting all riled up about.”

“I am riled up,” Gregory said, “because you’re not answering the question,”

McClellan insisted he understood that reporters deserve an answer.

“I think you have legitimate questions to ask,” the press secretary said. “The vice president’s office was the one that took the lead to get this information out… I don’t know what else to tell you… That’s my answer.”

As Spruiell writes, Don’t make David Gregory angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry…

Update: Ian Schwartz has video of the press’s freak-out today, and John Hinderaker has a very plausible explanation of what caused it:

The press corps’ over-the-top reaction to this event reflects two things, I think: the reporters’ detestation of the administration, and their ignorance of firearms. If Cheney had been trout fishing and a companion had walked behind him as he started to cast, so that he inadvertently snagged his friend, resulting in a hospital visit, would we have seen this kind of frenzy? I don’t think so. I think we’re seeing, among other things, the press corps’ innate ignorance of, and hostility to, firearms coming through.

Keep ingratiating yourself with the red states, boys!

Another Update: Hey, if you’re going to go nuts–why not go all the way and go nuts on national TV, as the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank does, channeling Johnny Carson’s old Floyd R. Turbo character.

Yesterday evening, Duane Patterson, Hugh Hewitt’s producer, asked what became today an obviously rhetorical question:

All the jokes that are coming are certainly understandable, fair game, and several will probably be quite funny. That’s fine. But will the Democrats, especially the ones that reside in the fever swamp, be able to keep themselves from overplaying their hand?

Dana Milbank and David Gregory made the answer to that question even easier than it first appeared.