Why must it take the shooting of an anonymous geriatric attorney from Texas for the mainstream media to finally wake up and do their job? The media has been incessant in their attacks on the Bush administration for its incompetent handling of vice president Dick Cheney’s recent hunting “accident.” First things first, Cheney was not involved in a hunting “accident.” A hunting accident, by definition, would be considered the mechanical malfunctioning of a firearm causing it to misfire without the user purposefully discharging the weapon. Therefore real hunting accidents are actually quite rare. The majority of the time, hunting “accidents” are the result of human error, as was the case with Cheney last weekend.
Now, while I am glad that the media has finally decided to question the legitimacy of this presidency, the fact that they have decided to take their stand on this meaningless, sensational and fundamentally insignificant issue makes them appear petty and incompetent.
I realize that America’s media is trying to make up for sleeping on the job back when the Bush administration was pumping out massive amounts of faulty and misleading intelligence in the lead up to the Iraq war but sacrificing their own standards in an effort to take the attention away from their own omission is immature and reckless.
While Cheney’s bungled hunting trip may be the perfect metaphor for how the Bush administration conducts its foreign policy – trigger happy but with poor aim – the relevance of the “accident” stops there.
In the grand scheme of things, who really cares if the vice president of the United States “accidentally” shot his friend in the face? It is not as if he did it on purpose. He was careless. If we have learned anything from watching the Bush administration over the past five years, it is that they are allowed to be careless without facing any serious repercussions. Why would this incident be treated differently?
Shouldn’t the media be more concerned with all the reckless and appalling things this administration has purposefully done, like how they sentenced thousands of American women and men to their premature death in Iraq?
Another thing that can be learned from this hunting debacle is that Dick Cheney should have absolutely no influence over America’s military decision making. Mistaking a human being for a small bird is about as hard as mistaking Iraq with Al Qaeda in regards to who attacked us on 9/11. It’s pretty hard to do, unless your drunk, of course, or you have a underhanded agenda. I do not believe that Cheney had it out for this Mr. Whittington fellow but one would have to be pretty gullible to not believe that the Bush Administration cooked the books for war with Iraq.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, why the hell do rich, powerful white guys drape themselves in camouflage and “hunt” pigeon-sized birds with veritable cannons? In my opinion, anything short of entering the woods naked – armed only with a knife – and coming back out with a bear’s head should not be considered hunting. Last time I checked, quail do not fight back, especially after you roll your car window back up.
Rodger Thomas Holst is a senior majoring in literature with a minor in film criticism.