Gene Weingarten has established himself as a Dick Cheney-hater, since he has compared him to Cambodian communist mass murderer Pol Pot. The "investigative humorist" and former editor of the Post’s Style section is at it again Sunday, with a splenetic and allegedly humorous venting against Cheney an an unholy, murderous savage.
The setup is Cheney’s forthcoming memoirs. He called up the publisher, Simon and Schuster’s Threshhold Editions, and they asked if he was "pro-book," meaning pro-Cheney. When he wouldn’t answer, the publisher would only answer to questions submitted in writing. This gave him an excuse to joke that he wouldn’t be biased or unprofessional, and then laid out all his Cheney hatred. Here’s a piece of it:
3. May I presume that Mr. Cheney will be remunerated in his customary way: a gunnysack filled with unblemished human heads?
4. I notice that this memoir is scheduled for release just a few months after George W. Bush's memoir comes out. Is there any concern among the publishers that the Cheney book will seem redundant -- or will it be, as I suspect, the equivalent of getting a memoir from, say, Eisenhower, after his butler wrote one?
5. A few of the more controversial elements of Mr. Cheney's vice presidency have been his remorseless assault on the environment, his unapologetic advocacy of the dubious doctrine of preemptive warfare, his arrogation and usurpation of executive powers, his almost jubilant embrace of methods of torture, his contribution through malevolence and malfeasance to the virtual death of the Republican Party, and his destructive impact on America's moral standing in the world. My question is, can you estimate how many pages this book will be?
6. Calling on old debts from the lords of the netherworld, will Mr. Cheney attempt to get favorable blurbs from Rasputin, Machiavelli, Torquemada and Salome?
7. I see that Mr. Cheney is writing the book in collaboration with his daughter, Liz. I just wanted to say that is very sweet. (Pause for surprised, grateful response.) Couldn't get anyone outside the immediate family to sling the bull with a straight face, eh?
8. What precautions can buyers take to keep this book from bursting into flame should it come into direct contact with holy water, sunlight or the pure joyous laughter of a child?
Perhaps the oddest theme in these "joke" questions is Weingarten the admitted atheist suggesting Cheney is the very opposite of holy water, or comparing Cheney to Salome, the woman who asked for John the Baptist's head on a platter (well, that's also a severed human-head theme). Cheney is perhaps Satan himself:
2. There has been a great deal of speculation in the national media over the years, mostly by me, over whether the former vice president is Mephistopheles or some other incarnation of the devil, such as Baal, the toadlike ruler of Hades, or Abaddon, demonic malevolence of the bottomless pit, the sultan of torment and despoiler of virgins, who in his pure form resembled a horse with a man's head, a woman's hair, a lion's teeth, a locust's wings and the tail of a scorpion. Will the author be addressing this sort of allegation at all?
The Washington Post clearly doesn't imagine (or particularly care) that any of its readers might be supporters of Dick Cheney, or that this kind of "humor" tends to reveal just what an insular and partisan group of Cheney-haters they can be.