Is it possible? Could there be a new angle to the controversy surrounding Vice President Cheney’s hunting accident? Desperate to try and keep this story alive, CBS’s "The Early Show" certainly tried to create one today as they attempted to highlight the Vice President’s "unprecedented power" and explore the rift this incident exposed between the Presidential and Vice Presidential staffs.
Take the following quote from CBS News Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante referring to how the Vice President chose to put the word out for example:
Bill Plante: "In any other White House, no Vice President would be able to make that call. But Dick Cheney is in a class by himself. It is clear, and this exposed it, that there are tensions between his office and the West Wing.
Later in the 7:00 half hour, Harry Smith sat down with the anchor of the CBS Evening News and Host of Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer, to get his reaction to Mr. Cheney’s interview with Brit Hume on Fox News. Schieffer made the usual points, the Vice President looked shaken, the incident was handled the wrong way, etc. But towards the end of the interview, Smith broached the subject of the Vice President’s power and this idea of a rift in the White House:
Harry Smith: "The other thing that pops up here is that this is a President who does not, this is a Vice President who does not live in the President's shadow. Is there bad blood now? I mean that's too harsh a term, but they feel like they are going down two different sets of tracks?"
To which Schieffer speculated that this is indeed accurate.
Bob Schieffer: "Well I can't help but believe that this relationship has changed because this was a very different kind of Vice President. I mean, he was extremely influential."
Yes, the fact that Mr. Cheney talked to Brit Hume yesterday and answered questions about the incident is a relevant news story, but one would think "The Early Show" would want to play the clips of the interview that answer the questions they’ve raised over the last 3 days, particularly why the Vice President felt it was prudent to wait until Sunday to have anyone alert the media. Instead, they chose to leave that question unanswered and raised new questions to keep the story alive. As Rene Syler said after Bill Plante’s report which may foreshadow where CBS is going with this over the coming days:
Rene Syler: "Yeah, more to come on this one."