Brit Hume spoke to Dick Cheney today about his medical staff, shooting people in the face, and why the Corpus Christi Caller-Times is a better newspaper than the New York Times. If you don't want to browse the transcript, here are some relevant quotes, shamelessly edited and taken out of context:
Brit Hume's first tough questions
Hume: You know all the procedures and how to maintain the proper line and distance between you and other hunters, and all that. So how, in your judgment, did this happen? Who -- what caused this? What was the responsibility here?
Hume: And you -- and I take it, you missed the bird.
Cheney: I have no idea.
Are Whittington and Cheney friends or not?
Hume: Would you describe him as a close friend, friendly acquaintance, what --
Cheney: No, an acquaintance.
Cheney: I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend.
Cheney: My friend, Harry, has been shot and we've got to take care of him.
Cheney: What happened to my friend as a result of my actions...going from what is a very happy, pleasant day with great friends in a beautiful part of the country, doing something I love -- to, my gosh, I've shot my friend.
Harry Whittington, hottie
Cheney: He's a great man, he's in great shape.
Hume: What was he wearing?
Cheney: I could see the upper part of his body...the sun was directly behind him.
Cheney: You think about his eyes.
Cheney: He's been fantastic. He's a gentleman in every respect....I guess I'd describe him as a true Texas gentleman, a very successful attorney, successful businessman in Austin; a gentleman in every respect of the word. And he's been superb.
This was before the heart attack
Cheney: He literally was more concerned about me and the impact on me than he was on the fact that he'd been shot.
Detectives believe alcohol was involved
Hume: Was anybody drinking in this party?
Cheney: No. You don't hunt with people who drink. That's not a good
idea. We had --
Hume: So he wasn't, and you weren't?
Cheney: Correct. We'd taken a break at lunch...I had a beer at lunch.
So distraught, they cancelled the Sunday hunt
Hume: Will it affect your attitude toward this pastime you so love in the future?
Cheney: I can't say that. You know, we canceled the Sunday hunt. I said, look I'm not -- we were scheduled to go out again on Sunday and I said I'm not going to go on Sunday, I want to focus on Harry. I'll have to think about it.
What's the hold-up?
Cheney: I've got nothing but good things to say about Scott McClellan and Dan Bartlett. They've got a tough job to do and they do it well. They urged us to get the story out. The decision about how it got out, basically, was my responsibility.
Hume: Now, you're talking to me today -- this is, what, Wednesday?
In praise of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Cheney: She [Katharine Armstrong] wanted to go to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, which is the local newspaper, covers that area, to reporters she knew. And I thought that made good sense because you can get as accurate a story as possible from somebody who knew and understood hunting...It strikes me that the Corpus Christi Caller-Times is just as valid a news outlet as The New York Times is.
Maybe it's easier to get in touch with someone from The New York Times
Cheney: I can't remember what time Katharine actually talked to the reporter. She had trouble that morning actually finding a reporter.
Cheney casts doubt on Cheney's veracity
Cheney: Are they going to take my word for what happened?
The last word
Cheney: One of the problems we have as a government is our inability to keep secrets.