Patterico's Pontifications

2/16/2006

Did Lawrence O’Donnell Take a Mixture of Heroin and Cocaine Recently?

Filed under: Buffoons,General — Patterico @ 9:18 pm



Was Lawrence O’Donnell high on a mixture of heroin and cocaine when he asked whether Cheney was drunk during that hunting accident (as discussed in this interesting interview with Hugh Hewitt)?

Just askin’.

Don’t get me wrong: I have no way of knowing whether or not O’Donnell was actually high on a mixture of heroin and cocaine when he made this ludicrous suggestion. It’s true that mixing heroin and cocaine has been known to make you say really stupid things, but don’t try to claim that I said O’Donnell really did take heroin and cocaine. I don’t know that.

A bunch of lawyers I just talked to but won’t name suspect that O’Donnell probably did take a mixture of heroin and cocaine before shooting off his mouth. But I have no idea. I don’t know that John Belushi took heroin and cocaine together either, after all. I didn’t do an autopsy on him. Did you?

By the way, “Did O’Donnell Take a Mixture of Heroin and Cocaine?” — I get credit for that. Gotta go — I have to put that on HuffPo right away.

P.S. Read the linked interview and it will all make sense — unless you’ve taken a mixture of heroin and cocaine, in which case it won’t. I bet it makes no sense to Lawrence O’Donnell . . .

89 Responses to “Did Lawrence O’Donnell Take a Mixture of Heroin and Cocaine Recently?”

  1. A bunch of psychoanalysts I just talked to but won’t name suspect that O’Donnell hangs around school yards a little too often. I have no idea, but he is sorta that type you know.

    perfectsense (024110)

  2. Do they think he offered the kids a mixture of heroin and cocaine?

    Patterico (8ccd07)

  3. The money quote:

    O’DONNELL: All right. Good. Listen, there’s a different standard for posting. This is a posting on the Huffington Post, okay? I had no substantive facts on the matter of the Vice President’s sobriety. I would not have written what I wrote in the L.A. Times or the New York Times. I wouldn’t do that. But in a post on a website that is a blog, this is exactly the kind of question you’re supposed to ask, and you ask those questions so that the media will read that, it’ll provoke them to ask the questions, which is exactly what has happened.”

    And on blogs you can ban commenters for life, never fret over corporate boards or ethics codes and shut the whole thing down for a ski weekend.

    I’m not sure in this new corner of journalism we can demand Lawrence O’Donnell disclose which former U.S. Attorney dished on Cheney’s “just-one-beer-at-lunch” account.

    steve (ab55e3)

  4. Interestingly enough, Dick Morris on Hannity & Combs also implies that Cheney may have been under the influence.

    “(Rough transcript-not in sequence)

    Hannity: What do you think?

    Morris:: It’s hard to speculate, but usually when there is something like this alcohol is involved….that what it was with Kennedy.

    Hannity: Do you think the VP was drunk and firing bullets?

    Morris: None of them will come forward.

    Hannity: You’re insinuating he was drunk which is totally irresponsible.

    Morris: Well why would he not go to the hospital?—He could have followed him in a car.

    Hannity…(VP) who does not have a history of drinking at all was stumbling down drunk?”

    Crook & Liars (with video)

    Consigliere (3f8ad8)

  5. Was Dick Morris sucking on a toe when he made that suggestion?

    Patterico (8ccd07)

  6. Cheney was convicted of drunk driving twice during an eight-month period in the early 1960s.

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/cheneydwi1.html

    steve (ab55e3)

  7. Steve

    so, two DUI’s 40 years ago means Cheney was drunk, regardless of

    4 heart attacks
    heart meds
    medical personnel that are with him at all times
    Secret Service

    Yeah…your logic rocks

    BTW Steve? I heard it from several people they saw you standing near an elementary school in just your boxers.

    Not that I have first hand knowledge or anything

    just there’s been talk…

    Darleen (f20213)

  8. Patterico

    What with Cheney being cleared by the Sheriff’s Department, not the least of which was an interview with Whittington and even he said there was no alcohol involved at the time of the accident… I’m waiting for the conspiracists to start attacking Whittington.

    Saw some evidence of it already on democraticDeranged Underground. Won’t be long ’til HuffnPuff picks it up. Wonder if they’ll accuse Whittington of being in a 3 way with Cheney and his “Lewinsky”

    I’d like an BA or tox report on these ConspiracistLeague guys at HuffnPuff!

    Darleen (f20213)

  9. Maybe a bit unfair . . . but then steve did make a completely unfair, unhinged, and unsupported suggestion about my professional ethics a little while back — so if one’s history is relevant, perhaps we can look to that little bit of tripe on his part to determine whether his current suggestion about Cheney has any merit.

    Patterico (8ccd07)

  10. It’s a direct rebuttal to Sean Hannity saying Cheney had no history of problem drinking. Relax.

    My point is Hugh Hewitt calls himself a “journalist.” The term is now so meaningless and diluted, we should be a little less scornful about its practitioners’ misguided forays into blog culture.

    steve (ab55e3)

  11. It’s a direct rebuttal to something that nobody had said on this site — which kinda makes no sense.

    Patterico (8ccd07)

  12. It’s a direct rebuttal to something that nobody had said on this site — which kinda makes no sense. – Patterico

    It was a direct rebuttal to something that was quoted on this site.

    We were talking about holding media figures to their word.

    ________________________

    Comment by Consigliere:

    (Rough Transcript- not in sequence)

    Hannity: You’re insinuating he was drunk which is totally irresponsible.

    Morris: Well why would he not go to the hospital?—He could have followed him in a car.

    Hannity…(VP) who does not have a history of drinking at all was stumbling down drunk?”

    steve (ab55e3)

  13. O’Donnell shouldn’t demean himself as he did and Hugh Hewitt should quit calling himself a “journalist.”

    Either or both works for me.

    steve (ab55e3)

  14. Was Dick Morris sucking on a toe when he made that suggestion?

    No but Hannity puckered up as if were when Morris kept on the thought.

    Consigliere (3f8ad8)

  15. It was a direct rebuttal to something that was quoted on this site.

    True enough. I hadn’t paid attention to who was interviewing Morris (or even read the transcript carefully — I saw the toe-sucker’s name and tuned out). Sorry about that.

    Still annoyed at your stupid little potshot at me from a few days back . . .

    Patterico (8ccd07)

  16. It’s always bothered me that the Right now looks to Dick Morris as some demi-oracle and Beacon of Truth (when convenient), just because he now has all sorts of animosity for the Clintons. He always struck me as a whore — someone who would work for anyone and take any sort of position as long as the check cleared. I know he tries to act like a new post-9/11 born again conservative, but I think he just figured that is where the business opportunities were.

    JVW (54c318)

  17. He always struck me as a whore …

    That’s because he is. That and a back-stabber.

    Consigliere (3f8ad8)

  18. And a toe-sucker.

    Patterico (8ccd07)

  19. I don’t care too much about Dick Morris one way or the other. But the toe-sucker remark gets to me, for this reason: The Clintons have a history of using private investigators in unscrupulous ways, includig the services of the now disgraced Anthony Pellicano (although you won’t learn this last from the LA Times.)

    And I’ve often wondered about the circumstances of the news release (back in…1996?) of Morris’ dealings with a prostitute, including the toe-sucking. I’d guess it involved some form of political retribution facilitated by an investigator. However, this is a HuffPo-style guess, without the benefit of, ya know, specific evidence…

    Brian (c14715)

  20. “Did Lawrence ODonnell Take a Mixture of Heroin and Cocaine Recently?”

    Did Patterico?

    At least it would help explain the post. We already know Cheney was drinking that day, on top of his meds. And that no test was run on him at the time of the accident, which is remarkable.

    Quit while you can, Patterico, if you happen to be on cocaine/heroin. That stuff will ruin your life. Believe me, I know.

    [That last sentence added by me for humor purposes. — P]

    m.croche (85f703)

  21. Larry O’Donnell vs. Hugh Hewitt — it was hilarious. O’Donnell once again revealed his nasty, just-beneath-the-surface temper that he can’t keep under control. In vivid contrast, Hugh was a gentleman, calm and — at least from what it sounded like to me — in good humor throughout the entire exchange.

    Ann (cc9923)

  22. croche does not recognize satire obviously. He has not read the interview transcript. Lawrence O’Donnell mad an idiot of himself – with very little prompting fro HH.

    Ye we know Cheney had 1 beer about four hours before the accident. We also know that the police decided to wait until the next morning to take statements. It was an accident – it happens – get over it.

    But if you want to see a funny cartoon – check out this.

    Specter (466680)

  23. croche,
    You win the L O’D runner up prize for vague slander.”We know he was drinking” I believe the VP said it was a beer at lunh.Do you have contrary information?
    And secondly-“on top of his meds.”Now,I’m an Md,but I don’t claim to be familiar with every med in the PDR.And since the VP isn’t my patient,I don’t know what meds he takes.I’m sure you don’t either.But ,there seems to be an implication that “his meds” are linked to his shooting of his friend.A, I correct in my interpretation of this?
    One certainly assumes and hopes Mr. Cheney is on standard cardiovascular/prevention meds.Certainly a statin,and probably Zetia.Just checked the PDR.Nope,no problem with those.Probably Plavix.Naw,that doesn’t make people disoriented.Baby ASA.Ditto.Oh,maybe Benicar
    or some other ARB.Can’t find where that’s a problem.
    Could you please help me?Oh, and be specific with your qualifications to comment on his “meds”.

    lincoln (dfaf29)

  24. Steve wrote:

    The money quote:

    O’DONNELL: All right. Good. Listen, there’s a different standard for posting. This is a posting on the Huffington Post, okay? I had no substantive facts on the matter of the Vice President’s sobriety. I would not have written what I wrote in the L.A. Times or the New York Times. I wouldn’t do that. But in a post on a website that is a blog, this is exactly the kind of question you’re supposed to ask, and you ask those questions so that the media will read that, it’ll provoke them to ask the questions, which is exactly what has happened.”

    And on blogs you can ban commenters for life, never fret over corporate boards or ethics codes and shut the whole thing down for a ski weekend.

    In a way, but not quite. We know the identity of our esteemed host, but a lot of blogs have anonymous posters; a lot of stuff can be said on blogs without it tainting one’s reputation.

    But Mr O’Donnell is a known, public person; he made speculative statements that he knew couldn’t be supported with facts, and actually defended saying that crap by telling the world that anything written in Hufflepuff is just that, crap. He managed to not only trash his own reputation, but that of Mrs Huffington’s website (which is quite an accomplishment in itself).

    Of course, Mr. O’Donnell’s reputation won’t be trashed on The Lost Kos or Oliver Willis. They eat up that stuff.

    Dana (3e4784)

  25. HH had to go overboard to keep the entire focus on a non-issue – what lawyers O’Donnell had spoken to. The lawyers weren’t even giving their legal opinion, and O’Donnell never said it was anything but speculation.

    How is speculation based on (a)facts and (b)experience, when labelled as such, out of bounds in the blogosphere, of all places? There’s a lot of empty puffing about responsible journalism going on. Last time I checked, journalists ask questions. But things have been changing lately, and as I am not on the White House mailing list I may not have gotten the memo.

    O’Donnell may be nasty-tempered or what have you, but Hewitt is a braying ass.

    Now, about those circumstances…

    biwah (f5ca22)

  26. Now, if O’Donnell had admitted to taking a speedball (just a leetle one, mind you) on the morning of the interview, and had dodged some law enforcement officers coming to investigate his odd behavior armed with blood-test kits, dipping instead out the back door of the studio and making himself unavailable for about a day – then, Patterico, you might be on to something.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  27. DUIs 40 years ago and this is the evidence of a drinking problem? Every frat boy should be quivering right now.

    sharon (a02134)

  28. Hewitt may occasionally be a braying ass (his ridiculous persistence in defending the Harriet Miers nomination comes to mind), but on this one, he was absolutely right to call O’Donnell on his outrageous statement, and his tactic was appropriate — cast doubt on O’Donnell’s credibility by making it clear that he lied about the information he gave to enhance the believability of the speculation. If O’Donnell had merely speculated about Cheney being drunk at the time of the shooting and claimed credit for originating the speculation, rather than claiming that it had originated with the lawyers he spoke to and that he was merely repeating what they said, it would just have been another baseless statement by Larry O’Donnell — nothing new or newsworthy there. Hugh’s takedown of O’Donnell merely stripped his speculative statement of any credibility enhancement.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  29. HH nailed O’Donnell in a silly rhetorical overstatement. It was a bit embarrassing, but really no big deal if O’Donnell had admitted it and moved on.

    However, when O’Donnell refused to acknowledge his bogus claim, HH moved in and pinned the tail on the donkey. O’Donnell’s blustering refusal to name the lawyers destroyed his mask of objectivity, and his double talk revealed him for an absolute fool. It was a stupid public display of childish arrogance and anger, and he did it to himself. Although, HH did help out.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  30. Sure TNugent, if you are at all interested in O’Donnell’s credibility, it would be worth looking into. But his refusal to disclose who he talked to (a) doesn’t “make it clear that he lied” (roughly what you said), and (b) doesn’t change the facts that give rise to O’Donnell’s question. Even if it was a random guy/gal instead of the VP, we would only need common sense, with or without O’Donnell’s opinion (and that, with or without his lawyer brother’s opinion), to get a clue that something might be amiss.

    In short, it is common sense to ask questions when faced with an accident, and where the person primarily at fault makes self-serving statements and takes self-serving actions/omissions. That’s why O’Donnell and his speedball-induced lawyer hallucinations are pretty much irrelevant, where the VP’s accident is concerned.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  31. Cheney’s victim, Harry Whittington,
    said today:

    “However, this past weekend encompassed all of us in a cloud of misfortune and sadness that is not easy to explain – especially to those who are not familiar with the great sport of quail hunting.

    We all assume certain risks in whatever we do, whatever activities we pursue. And regardless of how experienced, careful and dedicated we are, accidents do and will happen–and that’s what happened last Friday.”

    Friday? So, Cheney waited 36 hours before notifying the press?

    Justice Frankfurter (2dcd84)

  32. biwah, it may be common sense for the authorities or Mr. Whittington to ask that question, but it’s not common sense for O’Donnell or even members of the press to ask such a question publicly without some basis for doing so; rather, it’s irresponsible innuendo, just as it would be irresponsible innuendo to ask Larry O’Donnell, in public, when he stopped beating his wife or when he stopped fondling little boys. If O’Donnell had merely made the speculation without appealing to the authority of some non-existent other person (who would necessarily have more credibility than O’Donnell), it would have been just another off-the-wall rant, and no one would have cared. No one cared much anyway, but if someone — anyone — other than O’Donnell had made that speculation and was willing to have it published with his name attached to it, most people would have considered its credibility to be enhanced exponentially.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  33. In reading all of the bovine feces from some of the left wing sites, from the people who were hoping against hope that this would Take Down Cheney (no one said it, but I think that some of them were actually hoping that Mr Whittington would die), I wrote a post for my own site, WordPress-timed to appear on May 16th, just to remind everybody to look around and see if this is a topic under any discussion at all by then.

    My guess, of course, that no one will be thinking about this at all by then.

    One wonders if the left thinks that they can somehow depose the Administration by the cuts of a thousand kerfuffles.

    Dana (3e4784)

  34. #31 Justice

    Omigod! The coverup has been exposed! That wasn’t a mispoken word by a man, but a glitch in the software of the Remarkably Lifelike Whittington Android.

    We told Karl to spring for the programmers’ overtime!

    The HUMANITY!

    Darleen (f20213)

  35. TNugent,

    The facts provide a basis for the question.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  36. “The facts provide a basis for the question.”

    Which facts?

    sharon (a02134)

  37. The person who “asked the question” obviously didn’t think the “facts” provided the basis for the question, or he wouldn’t have invoked the speculations of the mythical lawyers.

    eddie haskell (51058c)

  38. There were guns, there was alcohol, Cheney partook of both during the day. There was a shooting accident, and such accidents are usually precipitated by alcohol or inexperience, and Cheney is experienced. Since the shooter bears responsibility for such an accident, there was a de facto error of judgment by Cheney. We don’t know why there was no investigation of the accident by law enforcement, so setting intent aside, we do know that no investigation occurred, and that this is very unusual.

    So we have: (1) presence of alcohol; (2) consumption of alcohol; (3) error of judgment leading to accidental shooting; (4) subsequent avoidance of what would have been a routine course of investigation, including an alcohol test; (5) no exigency necessitated Cheney’s avoidance of the investigation.

    So let me ask you: is it outside of the realm of common sense that the two intersected?

    My answer: Absolutely not.

    Disagree? Please explain, preferably in a way that does not assign total credibility to Cheney. If you start with that assumption, of course that settles it. But no journalist is obliged to do that.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  39. Eddie, like Hewitt, you’re playing your strongest card – attacking the messenger and ignoring the message. O’Donnell was hardly the only person asking this question.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  40. I’ll assume for a moment that no one is saying it is impossible that Cheney was under the influence. Please correct me if you think there is no way in hell.

    So, you think that:
    (a) it is possible to a small degree, but unreasonable,
    (b) reasonably likely, but more likely not,
    (c) about 50/50; aka who knows?

    And in which situation is a blogger out of bounds in asking a question?

    biwah (f5ca22)

  41. biwah,

    Cheney was drunk as as skunk.

    Run with it… Please.

    bains (b7cdc0)

  42. Not at all, biwah, not at all, though you may wish it so. O’Donnell obviously felt that he needed to employ an appeal to authority because the “facts” were not compelling enough by themselves. He then got caught in the lie. And just to refresh your memory – O’Donnell and his dishonesty was the point of Patterico’s post.

    eddie haskell (210276)

  43. eddie,

    IMO O’Donnell didn’t need to cite anyone for a speculation. He must have felt the need given the stature of the person he was questioning. But you are right – for whatever reason, he felt the need to do it, and ended up looking foolish (although IMO Hewitt was the greater ass, it’s open to argument). I think getting caught in a lie means your statement is proven false. Simply pleading confidentiality (very roughly what he did) is not getting busted. If it was, this administration…well, I’m not going to set that off but you get the point.

    I realize the point of the thread, and referring to it in lieu of addressing the facts is playing your other best card. The facts still leave the question re Cheney wide open. Which cuts against O’Donnell being off his gourd as an explanation for his asking the question.

    hey bains:

    I don’t know what happened, and neither does anyone here. I’m just pointing out that we’re deep in the grey on the very question posed by O’Donnell, and Patterico’s humorous analogy has a lot less basis than O’Donnell’s question.

    The facts are inconvenient, and accordingly, I expect to be told to go away pretty soon. So be it.

    biwah (1f380a)

  44. Just keep talking, biwah. You are the quintessential annoying, condescending libtard, spinning fantastic conspiracy tales, all the while saying, “Jeez, don’t you idiots see this?” And totally unaware of what an ass you’re making of yourself. How much Reynolds Wrap do you go through in a year?

    CraigC (4525c5)

  45. you’re a real standout yourself craig, going ad hominem to fill the gap where your argument on the merits would be.

    biwah (a2c37f)

  46. biwah – If you really think that O’Donnell was “citing confidentiality” rather than getting caught lying, so be it. But I think you meant to write “I [don’t] think that getting caught in a lie means your statement has been proven false.”

    If I am correct, this statement, combined with your innuendo that the Bush administration must be lying or have somehting to hide when it invokes cofidentiality, seem like evidence of a willingess to apply a double standard, as long the result is the perpetuation of dark speculations regarding Bush et al.

    No doubt you will call this my “third best card.”

    eddie haskell (210276)

  47. Simply pleading confidentiality (very roughly what he did) is not getting busted. If it was, this administration…well,

    So, in other words, to draw out your standard, which deems invocation of confidential sources as equal to an admission of lying, would create an untenable standard in situations such as the WH’s invocation of confidentiality. The double standard was your baby – I’d prefer to keep a single one to the extent possible (i.e. dishonesty not presumed from invocation of confidentiality). Applying this single standard would, inconveniently for you, preclude crowing that a journalist has been “caught in a lie”, from the simple fact that he would not disclose confidential sources in an interview. I honestly thought this was obvious.

    So actually, eddie, this card lacks a basic virtue of your first two – although they were distracting from the central issue, at least they were coherent.

    I’m wondering (out loud, in case Patterico is up to offering his opinion) what presumptions a person would be afforded in a criminal investigation, both on a legal and practical level, if he caused an accident through (per se) negligent driving, and then left the scene for a day before turning himself in and claiming that while he had “a beer” earlier in the day, he was stone sober at the time of the accident? You know that the driver was at an event at which alcohol was present for the entire day right up to the accident.

    Would you undertake any investigation, and as an independent question, would you be out of line in investigating?

    Is there a situation in which investigation by law enforcement would be warranted, but the same questions posed by a journalist would be beyond the pale?

    Is this such a situation?

    What are other salient differences between that hypo and the VP’s case?

    Apologies in advance for the cognitive gymnastics this is going put administration loyalists through.

    For the record, I think this relates to the thread in that the same fact analysis that points to the possibility of the VP being U.I. renders O’Donnell’s question quite reasonable (though inflammatory – that can’t be helped). And therefore detracts from any basis for the suggestion that O’Donnell was high. I know the question was ironic – but the irony had a point, and that’s what I’m addressing.

    biwah (aac69b)

  48. Why don’t we all just wait until the Secret Service agents on the scene that day leave their positons and write tell-all memoirs. Then we will know for sure whether or not Cheney was sh*tfaced that fateful afternoon, unless some of the more persistent left-leaning posters want to spin theories about how the Secret Service has been co-opted by Karl Rove or Haliburton or Major League Baseball, or whoever is supposed to be pulling the strings these days.

    JVW (54c318)

  49. biwah,

    Listen – you keep saying that O’Donnell did not get caught in a lie. That he was using discretion to cover his sources. But let’s review the actual transcript:

    HH:…Now first off, Larry, did you…what lawyers did you talk to that assumed Cheney was drunk?

    LO: Oh, my brothers are all lawyers. I must have talked to a dozen lawyers yesterday, including a former U.S. attorney…

    Note here biwah two facts from the interview. Facts mind you, not idle speculation. O’Donnell point blank said he talke to a dozen lawyers. The he intimated that several of them were his brothers, who are all lawyers. Now – as to the bothers he did not say that he talked to all of them, but he intimated it in the context of his answer. Let’s go on:

    HH: Who would that be?

    LO: I’m not going to tell you who I talked to, Hugh. Of course I talked to a bunch of lawyers. It doesn’t matter.

    HH: No, no. I’m just trying to get the facts, Lawrence. I would like to know…

    Oooops…Now O’Donnell claims it was a bunch of lawyers. Further:

    LO: Yes, I talked to a bunch of lawyers.

    HH: How many?

    LO: Five, six.

    HH: Five, six lawyers, and they were all your brothers?

    LO: No.

    HH: How may were your brothers?

    LO: One.

    Imagine that. The number went from a dozen lawyers to five or six. And from all of his brothers (intimated in context) to one. Lets read on:

    HH: And who, besides your brother, did you talk…like entertainment laywers? Century City lawyers?

    LO: No. Criminal lawyers.

    HH: You talked to five criminal lawyers?

    LO: Prosecutors and defense lawyers. That’s the only ones I know.

    HH: Monday and Tuesday, you talked to five lawyers?

    LO: On Monday, yeah.

    I don’t know what you define as a lie, but going from a dozen to six and from all brothers to one sure sounds like one to me.

    Specter (466680)

  50. There’s no need to wait for anyone to retire, or to engage in wild speculation, or to claim shadowy “lawyers” suspect this or that.

    Get the facts straight from the horse’s mouth, ask Harry Whittington.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  51. Ask Whittington what? He was so dazed he didn’t – or couldn’t – speak when Cheney reached him. Katherine Armstrong “saw the whole thing,” but was reportedly 100 yards away. She first offered that no one drank anything but “Dr Pepper” at the hunt, then later confirmed beer was present.

    I gather no one else in that party is able to speak?

    This is destined to be conspiracy lore for time immemorial.

    The Corpus Christi Caller-Times is a respectable paper. They crushed the Archer Parr/George Parr Democratic machine in neighboring Duval County, under considerable legal threat and advertising loss.

    I give them and their reporting chops the benefit of the doubt.

    Cherry-picking reporters on a story of this scale is not the way to damp speculation, however.

    steve (8900e5)

  52. Steve,
    I do think Mr.Hewitt counts as a “journalist”.My reasons are tha he has a radio program and write a column.Certainly,the term journalist has changed over the years.In “The Importance of Being Fuzzy”,it was stated journalist and therapist were the two least defined words in common usage.Couldyou,perhaps give a sallient definition of the term for us?A caveat:Phil Donahue cals himself a journalist.
    Specter,I disagree that Mr.O’Donnell was caught in a lie.Certainly,he backtracked on the number of lawyers he questioned.The original statement was probably a rhetorical overkill.He,in essence,then “took the fifth.”Knowing he had nothing to substantiate his comments and he would have to either implicate a relative /friend in his cosmic stupidity or admit he invented his sources,he said,”You can’t make me tell”Actually,I think it was his best course.Not a good course,though.And “biwah”,I can plead confidentiallity between me and my patients;when Pattrick has a conversation with a private client,he can plead it.A conversation ,with a lawyer-especially someone who isn’t your attorney isn’t coveered by confidentiallity.I can repeat anything a lawyer has said to me in a personal conversation.Of course,I’m subject to libel/slander judgements if I manufacture something and ascribe it to said attorney.But I’m sure that didn’t enter into Mr. O’ Donnell’s thoughts.

    Lincoln (541acf)

  53. Harry didn’t seem dazed at all when he spoke yesterday on national TV. He looked pretty good and spoke quite clearly.

    But, perhaps if you guys work him over with a rubber hose he might cop to your version of events.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  54. Sorry Lincoln,

    just calling ’em as I see ’em. Biwah said over and over that he didn’t lie. You can disagree, but he obvioulsy was not being straight forward with his answers. To me that is lying.

    Specter (466680)

  55. Lincoln,

    I am aware that this is not a legally recognized form of confidentiality, but by the same token he was not being deposed – he was in an interview with a journalist. So he was neither legally obligated to talk, nor legally protected from disclosing his sources. The essential right he was claiming, however, was confidentiality – the right not to disclose his sources.

    Specter,

    Biwah said over and over that he didn’t lie.

    I said he didn’t get caught lying. I have no more idea about whether O’Donnell was lying than I do about Cheney’s state of mind at the time he shot Whittington. But I will concede that O’Donnell was inconsistent as you pointed out. The “dozen” remark isn’t looking too credible, but the rest of it could – I would surmise a guess that he talked to a few lawyers and exxagerated.

    If we hold the VP and O’Donnell to the same standard, legitimate questions remain as to both of their stories.

    Black Jack, if I scoff at Whittington’s credibility you’re (justifiably) going to ask for proof that he’s lying, which I don’t have. But I can’t accept at face value the word of a witness with such motives as he may have to cop to a sanitized version of events.

    Would you rather have you good friend (as Cheney says he was) the VP deeply in your debt, or take him down for a crime and be on the shit list of everyone in your social and political circle?

    biwah (d10132)

  56. But since you mentioned libel and slander, Lincoln, is there any way O’Donnell’s question could qualify as either? We still have the issue of some lesser form of propriety, right?

    Then why confine the concept of confidentiality to its legal definition, which it certainly extends beyond?

    biwah (d10132)

  57. biwah,

    Let’s see, you admit there’s no evidence Harry Whittington isn’t recounting the events accurately, and you admit Lawrence O’Donnell bungled his story. But you strangely conclude that Whittington is likely lying, and O’Donnell probably got it right. Hummm.

    To simultaneously hold mutually contradictory beliefs is a bit nutty. But, heck, don’t stop now. Keep digging, who knows, some good could come of it. You might even find Saddam’s missing WMD or perhaps the remains of Amelia Earhart hidden underground at the Armstrong Ranch.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  58. Couldyou,perhaps give a sallient definition of the term for us?A caveat:Phil Donahue cals himself a journalist. — Lincoln

    He pointedly does not. And says Oprah isn’t one, either.

    I think the guy that ran into the bar at Chernobyl and said, “The thing blew”, is a journalist.

    Salem Radio talker Hugh Hewitt is an ex-documentarian and Reagan DOJ lawyer who teaches at a small OC college. He is fellatial with conservative guests, and seems convinced the way to impugn any MSM reporter is to demand they reveal who they voted for. After the fifteenth time, he usually gets a “trophy” hang-up.

    His employer, Salem, is a virtual Republican PAC.

    Hugh’s not a journalist, but a very good talk-show host.

    steve (1c66cc)

  59. you’re a real standout yourself craig, going ad hominem to fill the gap where your argument on the merits would be.

    Um, perhaps because your “arguments” are lunatic twaddle? Standard crazed lefty tin-foil hat conspiracy garbage? Are you sure the Rosicrucians aren’t involved somehow? Or perhaps the Trilateral Commission?

    CraigC (4525c5)

  60. I’ve been online for years but this is the first ‘blog’ I’ve actually taken time to read after a word search.
    I’m an avid hunter in Texas and getting sprinkled w/ bird shot is a relatively common event even w/ experienced shooters. The seething hate for the VP from the left and the tin foil hat crowd lead to this exhaustive hoop hoppin’ w/ the intention to get “anything” to stick. I had a friend actually suggest to me that Cheney may have done this to send a message to Libby.
    The man was at a private ranch for some R&R and this should be a virtual non-story for all but the parties involved. Meanwhile, we have a former VP in Saudi Arabia ginning up the Wahabis against his own country but for the most part I only see Cheney’s mug on the tube. Although Dave Gregory is fun to watch..he likes to be the story too.

    Jerry D (e8d269)

  61. Black Jack,

    I put them both in the grey zone, it’s impossible to reasonably do otherwise.

    So the question, regardless who it comes from, is legit…or is it out of the question that Cheney was U.I. at the time of the accident.

    This is a commonplace scenario, whether you’re talking about the accident or the posited cover-up. It’s no area 51-type conspiracy theory. Rave away.

    biwah (695934)

  62. Maybe he’s the Queen of Space Unicorns.

    topcat (6a8e36)

  63. Didn’t HH work at like PBS or something? Maybe I’m wrong…but it seems to me that I remember that.

    I checked in Wiki and it is there:

    …he began co-hosting Los Angeles PBS member station KCET’s nightly news and public affairs program “Life & Times,” and remained with the program until the fall of 2001, when he began broadcasting his radio show in the afternoons. Hewitt received three Emmys for his work on “Life & Times” on KCET, and also conceived and hosted the 1996 PBS series “Searching for God in America.”

    Sounds like qualifications to be called a journalist to me.

    But let’s also ask what a journalist is. Do NYT reporters qualify as journalists? If you think so then explain this title from today’s issue:

    Prosecutor Says Libby Seeks to Thwart Criminal Case

    Now let’s see…the title of the article, written by Neil A. Lewis – a supposed journalist – seems to indicate that it is odd that a defendant in a criminal action would plead “not guilty”. Journalism?

    Add to that the new Rassmussen poll which shows that:

    Twenty-seven percent (27%) of Americans believe that the recent hunting accident involving Dick Cheney raises serious questions about his ability to serve as Vice President. Twice as many, 57%, say it was “just one of those very embarrassing things that happens to all of us.”

    This whole thing has been the biggest waste of time and money….

    But you know what? I spoke to some lawyers today that concur with Patterico that on the face of things it sounds like O’Donnell was using a mixture of heroin and cocaine. I have no specific knowledge of this…but some other people have said it might be likely so we should ask the question….lol

    Specter (466680)

  64. Doubtful he was hunting w/ a high BAL considering he has multiple heart problems and is taking roughly 10-20 pills daily. Not only is it probable he can’t consume that much alcohol, but the full medical staff following him around and on the scene wouldn’t give the thumbs ups to such things. Is “Highly unlikely” good enough?

    Jerry D (e8d269)

  65. HH was on a panel show a la Hannity & Colmes. He bombed away from the right; Ruben Gonzalez from the partisan left. They won a couple local emmy’s. Doesn’t make either of them a journalist.

    In fact he got that gig after making headlines as a Nixon Library administrator, trying to ban Bob Woodward from accessing the archives.

    “I don’t think we’d ever open the doors to Bob Woodward. He’s not a responsible journalist,” Hewitt said.

    As a “Christian” documentarian, he came a lot closer to the job description.

    steve (1c66cc)

  66. Jerry D – What you said. I don’t think he’d be knocking back that much booze.

    I take it executive privilege extends to his Secret Service detail and their reports.

    steve (1c66cc)

  67. Yep Jerry, I think that cuts against the possibility. Nice to see an actual bit of information put forth. Is Cheney the kind of guy who obeys every doctor’s order? Probably not – but his health is precarious enough that he must have been careful.

    Your point adds to the mass of circumstantial info we have, some of which has raised eyebrows and some of which tends to exonerate him on the alcohol possibility.

    I have no interest in indicting (in the general non legal sense) the VP without cause. But evidence, however circumstantial, is a hell of a lot more useful than a person’s word. You know, self-interest. Isn’t it the conservative view of the world that puts so much stock in self-interest as a greater motivator than morality, altruism, etc?

    biwah (682155)

  68. Gee…I’m offended biwah.

    I quote the actual transcript from the interview for you and you back down from saying that O’Donnell didn’t lie.

    Remember you started that part of the thread when you said:

    I think getting caught in a lie means your statement is proven false. Simply pleading confidentiality (very roughly what he did) is not getting busted.

    Note that is where I came into your conversation today. You said O’Donnell didn’t lie. The point HH tried to bring out was that O’Donnell’s credibility about anything he says or posits can be brought into question when caught lying, exaggerating…whatever you want to call it. He stated a falsehood and was caught in it. That is where this entire thread came from – O’Donnell claiming – with no proof – that lawyers had made the suggestion. All Patterico did was use the same tactic.

    So what is a journalist? Is a writer of Op-Ed pieces a journalist? Is a Host of a news magazine al a 48 Hours, 60 Minutes, etc. a journalist? I’m curious how it is defined.

    I also noticed that you didn’t have anything to say about the NYT article’s title (again real information) or the Rasmussen poll – which was even funnier since most people think the whole shooting thing was a non-issue and the plurality of them don’t like Cheney. Imagine that – even people who don’t like Cheney saw the whole thing for the nonsense it was.

    Specter (466680)

  69. Specter,

    You said O’Donnell didn’t lie.

    Again, I said O’Donnell didn’t get caught lying, and again, I have no knowledge of the underlying truth. He could have made the whole thing up, but at the least, your observations bore out the high probability that he exxagerated. I’m not too into defending him, but I did let his backpedaling get by me the first time because I was preoccupied with Hewitt’s badgering.

    NYT article – hey no objection from me, that’s pretty ridiculous, and what does it really get the NYT but another notch down in credibility? Media bias also cuts the other way, but that really is beside the point. The headline is shoddy. But by “real info”, I meant real info relevant to the hunting accident.

    So what is special about journalists again? The media are changing, and with it the definition of who is a journalist. It’s hard to draw a line anywhere short of “don’t lie”. Why try? Who will enforce it? The trend or more shady journalists is (in theory) balanced by the trend of vastly more news outlets.

    Rasmussen poll – I just don’t care very much. It’s a stretch to call it “real information”.

    My only point has been that if Cheney was Joe Blow dodgin an investigation into the accident, the circumstances would be worth an investigation, and the question would be legit. He’s obviously not Joe Blow and doesn’t need to be quite as obvious about dodging an investigation, but does that add up to him being absolutely credible? Heck no.

    biwah (682155)

  70. biwah – I’m really not interested in debating with someone who will not honestly acknowledge his position. For you to claim that you weren’t insinuating anything and meant to apply a same standard to O’D and the adminsitration is puerile, but not as puerile as your equating the confidentiality O’D was supposedly invoking for conversations with 5 or 6 (or was it 10?) attorneys (that may or may not include including his brother and and a former US Attorney and the friend of the cousin of someone he went to band camp with) and the genuine and serious concerns for confidentiality that bind office holders. Let me save you the burden of typing your all too predictable response: “Well, if this administration is so interested in confidentiality, what about PLAME, PLAME, PLAME?”

    The fact is that neither you nor O’Donnell has offered anything but rank speculation, and your comments amount to no more than the suggestion that it’s fair to accuse a person of anything that hasn’t been negated to a metaphysical certainty, and that it’s not abig deal for a journalist to try to bolster his accusations with false claims of “expert” analysis.

    BTW – Your rhetorical trick of attempting to dismiss every challenge to O’Donnell’s speculations as an attack on the meesenger is painfully transparent.

    Life’s too short for me to bother with you any longer.

    eddie haskell (210276)

  71. Ditto…

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  72. biwah,

    Sure he got caught lying. That’s what the point of my posting the actual interview lines was. It showed that HH caught LO in a lie – going from a dozen lawyers and to 5 or 6 lawyers and one brother. His, LO’s, initial statement was a lie or at the very least a gross misrepresentation. So explain to me, as you said above:

    O’Donnell didn’t get caught lying

    My point was that he did get caught. You still haven’t explained why it was not a lie. You also said earlier:

    Sure TNugent, if you are at all interested in O’Donnell’s credibility, it would be worth looking into. But his refusal to disclose who he talked to (a) doesn’t “make it clear that he lied” (roughly what you said),…

    Again – the lie was not about whether or not he refused to disclose who he talked to. The lie was the 12 to 5 or 6, and from all brothers to one. That is all we were all saying. And you still never explained why this wasn’t a lie….

    Later you said:

    I think getting caught in a lie means your statement is proven false. Simply pleading confidentiality (very roughly what he did) is not getting busted.

    Explain to us again how LO’s statement about talking to a dozen lawyers wasn’t proven false by his own words during the interview….his credibility is in question. Simple

    BTW – from this CNN article we find:

    Though hunting accidents occasionally warrant warnings or citations, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesman Aaron Reed said criminal charges are not filed in shootings that authorities determine to be accidental.

    “There are no charges for hunting accidents,” Reed wrote in an e-mail, explaining that citations or warnings are sometimes issued for code violations.

    A state game warden issued a warning to Cheney for hunting without a required stamp on his license, and the vice president’s office later submitted the $7 payment for the stamp.

    In Thursday’s report, Chief Deputy Gilberto San Miguel Jr. said that he went to the Armstrong Ranch about 8 a.m. Sunday — more than 14 hours after the shooting, which took place around 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

    Police knew of the shooting Saturday, but authorities didn’t interview anyone until the following day when San Miguel talked to Cheney and other witnesses at the ranch.

    I think it is interesting that it was the police that decided to go the next day to question all the involved parties. How do you explain that? Or is it yet another conspiracy?

    Specter (466680)

  73. And biwah,

    Even if you don’t like Rassmussen – Time did a poll and found that 52 percent of respondents approved of the way Cheney handled informing the media of the hunting accident, compared to 42 percent that disapproved. Check it out here.

    Specter (466680)

  74. O’Donnell should just join Al Qaeda. He hates America. So typical of the loony left.

    Leonidas (1efa38)

  75. I think it is interesting that it was the police that decided to go the next day to question all the involved parties. How do you explain that? Or is it yet another conspiracy?

    In a county of 407 people, who knows?

    Kenedy County deputy, Capt. Charles Kirk, had gone to the ranch shortly after the shooting to interview Cheney, et.al. – was “turned back” at the gate by a Border Patrol agent – and advised to come back the next morning.

    http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/nation/02/17cheney.html

    steve (65ab6c)

  76. 74, Specter: 42 percent seems like a pretty lofty number of people to disapprove of something as innocuous as how the VP reports the news an event. If it had been handled well, the response would probably be more like 2% . In fact, probably would not have been called into question at all.

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  77. Kenedy County deputy, Capt. Charles Kirk, had gone to the ranch shortly after the shooting to interview Cheney, et.al. – was “turned back” at the gate by a Border Patrol agent – and advised to come back the next morning.

    Apparently it is our patriotic duty to ignore such facts.

    Specter:

    LO’s, initial statement was a lie or at the very least a gross misrepresentation.

    I conceded this.

    eddie:

    having had “discussions” with you before, I should have known better than to attempt any kind of aside about the administration’s pattern of concealment. you seized upon it as a reason to express your outrage and wipe your hands of me, which I welcome.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  78. Gotta laugh some more…talk about taking things out of context. But let’s go directly to the facts – the official police report of the incident:

    On February 11, 2006 at approximately 5:30 p.m., I, Ramon Salinas, III, and Sheriff of Kenedy County received a telephone call at my home from Captain Charles Kirk in reference to a possible hunting accident that had occurred on the Armstrong Ranch. Captain Kirk stated that he was on his way to the Armstrong gate to get more information.

    About 8 to 10 minutes later, I received another call from a United States Secret Service Agent; I believe his name was Martinez. He said that the purpose of the call was to officially notify the Kenedy County Sheriff’s Office of a hunting accident that had just occurred on the Armstrong Ranch and that it involved Vice-President Cheney.

    After I hung up, Captain Kirk called me back and said that he’d made contact with a Border Patrol agent at the Armstrong gate and that the Agent told him that he didn’t know anything about the accident. I then told Captain Kirk that it was fine and that I would contact someone on the Ranch.

    After speaking with Captain Kirk I contacted Constable Ramiro Medellin Jr., former Sheriff of Kenedy County and asked him if he had any information about the accident. Constable Medellin stated that he would call me right back.

    Constable Medellin returned my call and said, “This in fact is an accident.” He stated that he had spoken with some of the people in the hunting party who were eyewitnesses and that they all said it was definitely a hunting accident. I also spoke with another eyewitness and he said the same thing, that it was an accident.

    After hearing the same information from eyewitnesses and Constable Medellin, it was at this time that I decided to send my Chief Deputy first thing on Sunday morning to interview the Vice-President and other witnesses.

    A few minutes later, I received another call from the Secret Service asking if I was going to send someone to the Ranch. I told him that someone would be there first thing in the morning. The Secret Service said they would be at the gate waiting.

    At approximately 6:15 p.m. I contacted Chief Deputy San Miguel and advised him of the incident and to be at the gate at approximately 8:00 a.m.

    See Chief Deputy Gilberto San Miguel’s report for further information.

    Now let’s review what the Sheriff said.

    1. Captain Kirk called Sheriff Salinas and told him that there was a report of a hunting related shooting at the Ranch.
    2. A few minutes later, the Sheriff recieved a phone call from the Secret Service informing him of the shooting. Obviously the Secret Service was trying to cover the incident up from the very beginning….yea right!
    3. Captain Kirk called Sheriff Salinas that he was at the gate and the Border Patrol agent did not know about the shooting. Note that Sheriff Salinas told Captain Kirk to go home. Kirk, contrary to your assumptions of conspiracy, was not turned away from the gate. Instead he stayed there until the Sheriff told him to go home. What you are looking at here is the fact that nobody had bothered to inform the gate security that the cops were on the way. Nothing more than that.
    4. Sheriff Salinas then contacted former the former Sheriff – Constable Medellin and asked if he knew anything. He called back in a few minutes and told Sheriff Salinas that he had spoken with eyewitnesses and believed it to be a hunting accident.
    5. Sheriff Salinas also spoke with an eyewitness and also believed it was an accident.
    6. Sheriff Salinas then decided to send someone to the Ranch the next morning to get statements.
    7. The Secret Service then called Sheriff Salinas back wanting to know if was sending someone to the ranch – big coverup going on there….

    So. The bottom line here – Contrary to your sasumptions from whatever sources you chose to believe – Kirk was not “turned away”. Next time try reading the actual documents and not fantasizing so much. Steve and biwah…did you notice that the writer of the document you quoted was from a NYT writer – Ralph Blumenthal? Of course your assumption is that he would never use wording to bias his article because after all he is a journalist and they would never, ever do such a thing. Just ask Helen Thomas…And Blumenthal’s statement is written to make a person believe that he is actually quoting the Sheriff’s report:

    Then, the sheriff’s account went on, Kirk called to say he had been turned back at the ranch gate by a Border Patrol agent who said “he didn’t know anything about the accident.”

    Unfortunately, Blumenthal lied. Just like LO. What he stated was not actually what the Sheriff’s account said. Blumenthal inferred and slanted his article on purpose by using the words “turned back”. Maybe “stopped” would have been a better word, but even at that the Sheriff’s report does not say that Kirk couldn’t get in if he wanted to. But, let’s look at this logically:

    a. The Vice-President of the US is at a private ranch.
    b. Something happens and authorities are called.
    c. The first to arrive gets to a gate guarded by a person responsible to protect the VP’s life. That is why he was there.
    d. Said guard had not been informed that the cops were coming.
    e. What would he do? Same thing that Kirk did. Called for instructions. We don’t know what happened there, but suffice it to say that the local authorities could have entered if they wanted.

    Ah yes….biwah…42% is a significant number. So I guess that goes for the President’s approval rating which people regularly trash….Can’t have it both ways.

    But either way you look at it 52% is a majority of the country.

    Specter (466680)

  79. >>>”There were guns, there was alcohol, Cheney partook of both during the day. There was a shooting accident, and such accidents are usually precipitated by alcohol or inexperience, and Cheney is experienced.”

    C Student (4d4be8)

  80. Argh. Last post got mangled.

    There are so many problems with that quote its hard to know where to start.

    Both Cheney and the victim of this accident have said that alcohol was not a contributing factor. So your argument begins with the (unsupported) assertion that both are lying. Then by speculating that alcohol was the cause, you argue that now the burden is on everyone else to show that it wasn’t – – and when they don’t it must be some kind of cover-up.

    This is conspiracy theory nonsense at its worst. (I’ve heard from several lawyers that aliens walk among us. . . The fact that no evidence has ever been found proves the cover up by the government of their existence).

    As someone with some personal experience (which i doubt you have) I can tell you that accidents like this happen – without the help of alcohol – even to experienced hunters. (I’ve been quail hunting numerous times, and accidently shot by a fellow hunter on one occasion. Alcohol wasn’t involved, we were both experienced, accidents sometimes happen.)

    Beam me up Captain Kirk.

    C Student (4d4be8)

  81. I can tell you that accidents like this happen – without the help of alcohol – even to experienced hunters.

    And I disputed this…how? Recall that the issue is whether a journalist or blogger can ask a question. I’m not saying accidents don’t happen even when people are being careful. I’m not saying Cheney was drunk. The question is, when does something become so improbable that it is reckless and/or slanderous to ask a question?

    I don’t approve of the press corp’s questions about Cheney’s resignation on Monday, but think the questions about the exact circumstances of the accident were warranted. I don’t think Cheney was drunk. But there is enough reason to make the inquiry. It is emphatically not a wholly private matter when this kind of an accident happens. And of course, if you believe the story told by the subject of the questions 100%, then you have no questions. But it’s neither realistic nor in keeping with a free society to expect everyone to be so credulous and unquestioning.

    Anyone who doesn’t think the question should have even been asked should explain what their standard is for an American to be justified in asking a question about the conduct of an elected official No “they did it too,” pointing the finger at Teddy or Bill. If you have principles, then you should be able to simply state them, instead of taking potshots at others to shore up your own emotional reactions.

    btw I don’t hunt but do shoot sometimes, and live out in the sticks where everyone but me hunts. I’m neither experienced nor a total ignoramus about it.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  82. Well, as far as quail hunting, I pretty much am an ignoramus.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  83. biwah,

    just make sure you don’t wear Dana Milbanks’s vest during hunting season. Get a real one when outdoors. Honestly there are a tremendous number of hunting acidents from those sitting in a blind drinking all day…..

    Specter (466680)

  84. Heck no. During deer season I don’t go out much. When I say the woods are filled with yayhoos (intoxicated and otherwise) with guns, it’s not just prejudice talking. That’s Pine County, MN.

    Besides, IMO this is the best time of year to lace up the boots and go walking in the woods.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  85. >>Recall that the issue is whether a journalist or blogger can ask a question.

    C Student (4d4be8)

  86. Besides, a lot of those “yayhoos” are city folk trying to fit a whole year’s worth of fun into 36 hours.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  87. Ok dunno whether its my comp or the site, but I can’t post to save my life today.

    At some point the question becomes the equivalent of asking “When did you stop beating your wife?” Its no longer professional journalistic inquiry, just muckraking. O’Donnell’s blog fell into the later category.

    The problem I have with this story in general is that its a story at all. The media is trying so hard to make this more than it is, and I just don’t think it connects. Its just an accident, its not symbolic of anything. There are so many more substantive issues on which the White House could be criticized.

    Sadly it has had the effect of completely diverting attention away from Chertoff. The political equivalent of pointing off in the distance and yelling, “Look, a baby wolf!” while Chertoff slinks off in the other direction.

    C Student (4d4be8)

  88. The media is trying so hard to make this more than it is, and I just don’t think it connects. Its just an accident, its not symbolic of anything. There are so many more substantive issues on which the White House could be criticized.

    True, true (maybe), and true. But focus, Daniel-son. The issue is the question. If you allege wrong behavior, there must be a line you can draw.

    At some point the question becomes the equivalent of asking “When did you stop beating your wife?”

    At some point, yes. But when is the question justified? If a woman has a black eye and her husband has two domestic violence convictions, say, forty years ago – and she was with her husband the night before, is there enough there for someone to ask, “did Bob hit his wife?” Does the question become out of bounds once Bob denies it? Let’s say Bob is a prominent banker and a president of the Lions club.

    If you say there’s not enough there to convict, I’m with you. If you say it’s a weak case, I’m still with you. But to silence the person asking questions, because there’s not enough evidence to convict, because Bob denies it, and because Bob is known to most people as a straight shooter (let’s say there’s a small but vocal contingent around town who have a bad feeling about Bob – fair enough?) – are you willing to make that rule? Can you think of any adverse consequences that might stem from such a rule – to Bob’s wife? To other people in society where such a speech code is enforced?

    If I’m way off on the analogy, tell me. But I’m acknowledging that it’s rough, and I’ve attempted to be fair.

    biwah (f5ca22)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.3807 secs.