Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dick(ing) With The Press

Dick Cheney attended a fundraiser for Senator Chambliss of Georgia Monday afternoon. It was a rare public sighting. Cheney allowed no questions from the media on his arrival or departure from Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Forty four days ago, the last time Dick Cheney granted an interview, the subject was the death of Wyoming Senator Craig Thomas.

Cheney did allow Brett Baeir of Fox News an interview on May 14th, if you can count this as the press. Five days earlier Cheney honored regular reporters with a press availability. On April 15th, Cheney was the guest on 'Face The Nation'. Durimg a period where his former chief of staff was convicted, sentenced, and then granted a commutation, Cheney has not answered one question. The surge policy, the benchmarks in Iraq have been heavily criticized, and we are treated to silence.

9/11 changed nothing in Cheney's ideology about the obligation for the executive to be accountable to the courts, congress, and the press. The Washington Post has an article today about the Cheney Energy Task Force based on leaked documents of who attended. The story paints a picture that is less sinister of what occured at the meetings. Often, Cheney didn't attend. The instinct the Vice President showed (less than a month after taking office), to keep every detail of the meetings private can speak to how 9/11 became a cover that was used to justify Cheney's vision of executive power that was cemented long before that fateful day.

There are no great crusades in the media to make the most powerful and most secretive (the two facts aren't mutually exclusive) Vice President in our nation's history accountable for questions. Why not a Cheney watch on our tv screens, pointing out how many days it has been since Dick let his actions be judged through vigorous questioning by a free press? Perhaps his power would not be so great, the damage he creates more contained if our public servant was accountable to the electorate.

The media have finally found at least a stage whisper in challenging the President, while Dick Cheney pulls strings privately in the shadows.