Sunday, February 19, 2006

A thought experiment

Imagine for a moment: two men in their seventies with heart problems go out hunting quail that have been raised solely to be killed, a controlled hunt. In an unpredicted and tragic turn of events, one of the elderly men shoots the other in the face and chest. The shot man requires several days of treatment in the ICU and has a heart attack as a result of shot in his body moving into his heart.

The shot man in this thought experiment? The Vice President of the United States.

I have no desire for this to happen, as much as I abhor the VP, his views, and how the administration ministers and administers them. But imagine that the man who has shot the VP, instead of going to the hospital, goes back to dinner and receives a few updates on his good friend/acquaintance's condition (note that, in his interview with Brit Hume, another kind of controlled hunt, our VP once called Whittington his good friend, then emended him to an acquaintance). Also, the shooter decides not to go to the press and instead allows the owner of the land to present the story to a small local paper.

Imagine next that the White House Press Secretary laughs about the situation with reporters in the briefing room (on camera) just after learning that the VP has had a heart attack due to complications of the shot.

Imagine next the interview of the shooter on Fox News. If he constantly vacillated between concern for his good friend or acquaintance and his own feelings about the event (I don't even know if I got the quail), how would Mr. Hume respond? With concern, care, and more softball questions, or the indignity of "You accidentally shot the fucking VP! You shot another man, and now he's had a heart attack because of you!"

Given how difficult it is to imagine the above sequence of events, why aren't more people upset that the Vice President shot another man? Why do we elevate the VP to the stature of a man who can evade the media and choose the propaganda outlet to care about his feelings?

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