Today on Meet the Press, Tim Russert asked Cheney advisor Mary Matalin a reasonable question:
RUSSERT: Was alcohol in any way, shape or form consumed during the afternoon? And should we accept the [Vice] president’s “a beer” as literally one beer?
Matalin didn’t answer it:
MS. MATALIN: What Katharine Armstrong was answering is a literal fact going to the question she was asked, which is always the case on the Armstrong ranch, you don’t drink and hunt, and you don’t hunt with drinkers. And that’s what the sheriff reported, that’s what she reported. It is true that the vice president had a beer at lunch, and let me ask anybody sitting at this table who knows the vice president, has known him for many years, has seen him in social situations, he’s known not to be a drinker. But let me ask you a more logical question””you think the Secret Service would let the vice president out, tanked up, with a loaded gun, or let him be around anybody who’s drunk with a loaded gun? It just defies common sense that the press would even go there. And that’s why these adversarial question-and- answer periods set up the presumption that Cheney would be drunk, or having to deny that Cheney was drunk, as opposed to presuming what we all know, that he doesn’t drink, he wouldn’t hunt and drink, the Secret Service wouldn’t let anybody around him who is drinking and hunting.
Instead of answering the question, Matlin appeals to the ego of Russert and the other panelists. If you are in the know, if you’ve hung out with Cheney, you would know to stop asking these questions.
What’s puzzling is that Matalin insists its a “literal fact” that Cheney doesn’t “drink and hunt” even though he has admitted to drinking before hunting. She also says that the press should have assumed that Cheney “doesn’t drink” even though we know he had beer before and “a cocktail” immediately after the hunt.
The Vice President shot someone in the face, didn’t talk to the police until the next morning and then blamed the person who got shot. The American people, who pay his salary, have the right to know exactly how much Cheney was drinking and if that amount of alcohol would interact with his medications.
UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has the video.