And of course it comes out that the White House did its absolute best to keep the world from finding out that Tricky Dicky shot someone. Is anyone surprised? As Dana Milbank on MSNBC suggested, if this is the Administration's new approach to getting out the news, they'll soon be handing their plans to trim the deficit or fix Iraq to the editor of the Podunk Daily Bee or something.
11:07pst update: The guy's had a heart attack because of the bird shot migrating to his heart!
And the McLellan-Press exchange it fascinating. Here's a snip (more can be found here):
Q Why didn't we hear about it for 24 hours?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think the first priority was making sure that -- and I don't think that's correct, on the 24 hours -- but I think the first priority was making sure that Mr. Whittington was getting the medical care that he needed. And I know that the Vice President's Office worked with Mrs. Armstrong to get that information out, as well. And my understanding is that Mrs. Armstrong contacted the local paper early Sunday morning.
Q Can you say what the Vice President did immediately after the accident, what the sequence of --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, my understanding from his office is that he was making sure that Mr. Whittington was getting the care he needed....
Q You and the press duty officer don't administer medical treatment. So why couldn't the press office have alerted us Saturday night, when you guys found out?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the Vice President's Office was working to get that information out, and they got it out Sunday morning through Mrs. Armstrong.
Q Well, why the wait? I'm still confused why --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think they wanted to make sure that he was getting the care he needed. And then -- I mean, they proactively worked to get it out.
Q But didn't they actually --
Q -- both at the same time. I don't understand that.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, one, you want to make sure he gets the care; and, two, then you want to get the facts together. And they got it out early Sunday.
Q Well, I mean, you know, you can certainly make sure he's getting the care and tell us, too. I mean, it's a pretty big shop that you're running here.
MR. McCLELLAN: And they worked to get it out....
Q You don't think there was any real delay in announcing this to the public? What do you mean, work with --
MR. McCLELLAN: I think that --
Q -- there were people there watching it and so forth and they knew what happened.
MR. McCLELLAN: And they worked to get that information out. The first priority, again, was making sure that Mr. Whittington got the care he needed, which they did. And the Vice President's team was -- the Vice President's team did great work doing that....
Of course - let's say a leading Democrat had shot someone. Do you really think that if it hadn't been reported to the press within 10 minutes, the Republicans wouldn't have been all over it? "The Democrats' unwillingness to be frank with the public shows that they are caught up in a pre-9/11 mindset." Or some other nonsense.