Whittington Has Heart Attack

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Doctors in Texas say some of the birdshot that Vice President Cheney accidentally fired at a fellow hunter over the weekend has lodged in the man's heart, causing a minor heart attack.

Doctors say Harry Whittington is still in stable condition, and that he showed no chest pain or other signs of a heart attack. They say they have been watching for movement of the birdshot within the body of the 78-year-old man.

The man shot by Vice President Dick Cheney experienced a heart irregularity after birdshot moved into his heart.

More, more, and more. And a conspiracy theory.

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  1. This can’t be right. Didn’t I just hear yesterday that it was a minor superficial flesh wound? Nothing more than a scratch? Bruised, really, more than anything?

    Maybe “Shooter” Cheney went to the hospital and finished him off?

  2. This can’t be right. Didn’t I just hear yesterday that it was a minor superficial flesh wound? Nothing more than a scratch? Bruised, really, more than anything?

    Maybe “Shooter” Cheney went to the hospital and finished him off?

  3. “Doctors in Texas say some of the birdshot that Vice President Cheney accidentally fired at a fellow hunter over the weekend has lodged in the man’s heart, causing a minor heart attack. Advertisement”

    Now that’s what I call an “advertisement”! But wait! There’s more! Call in the next 15 minutes, and you get all this (a $49.95 value), plus a free gift!

  4. Did anyone else see last night’s Daily Show? Their piece on the shooting was just priceless. The “Duck Hunt” spot had me laughing uncontrollably. I still laugh every time I think about it. Good god, too funny. Way too funny. If anyone hasn’t seen it, do so now.

  5. Yep, nothing quite so funny as a heart attack.

  6. Ed: Exactly. Hi-Larious!

  7. Isn’t there some sort of charge for criminal negligence forthcoming?

    – Josh

  8. I bet that heart attack wasn’t too minor for the 78 year old skeleton who had it.

  9. You forgot the scare quotes around ‘accidently’.

  10. Remember folks, any deviation from the offical government story is a “conspiracy theory”.

  11. Dan T.:

    Uh, yeah, when I clicked on Cavanaugh’s ‘conspiracy theory’ link, I expected all kinds of nonsense about how Whittington was going to leak secrets about the wiretapping operation, so Cheney had to “shut him up”. Instead, I find a question being posed: are Whittington’s injuries being downplayed?, followed by some explanations of birdshot wounds, and how dangerous they can be. If that’s a “conspiracy theory”, then I’d hate to see what you’d call an actual conspiracy. Downplaying the severity of a situation is what the spinsters do! It’s their jarb!

  12. The “he’s in intensive care for minor injuries” “looks like he’s got chicken pox” spin didn’t bother me so much; you do indeed expect spinsters to do that.

    I was bothered, though, by the way they tried to make the shooting look like Whittington’s fault. “He violated hunting etiquette by coming too close without announcing himself.” No, guys. Cheney violated hunting etiquette by shooting him in the frickin’ face.

  13. Well said, John DeWitt, Cheney made a mistake and he should be a man about it and just admit it. All this blaming the victim just doesn’t sit well with me, either.

  14. If you want a real Conspiracy Theory, how do we know that Cheney was the only shooter? Hmmmm?

    Oliver Stone, call your office!

  15. John DeWitt, hear, hear! It’s not the victim’s fault, unless he was dressed up as a quail.

    Last time I went shooting, one of the guys warned me up front that he would shoot back if I shot him. That’s just the way we red-staters do things. Focuses the mind.

  16. Cheney violated hunting etiquette by shooting him in the frickin’ face.

    I’ve pretty much come to same conclusion. I’ve been kinda trying to visualize what kind of shooting zones they had established for Dick to be shooting at someone behind him.

    My understanding is that in a line you get to shoot about 45 degrees left & right of straight ahead, except the guys on the outside who get to go 45 degrees to the inside and 90 degrees to the outside.

    If someone knows better and wants to correct me, go ahead. I don’t shoot birds, except the ones made of clay.

  17. I said this in another thread and I’ll say it here: I wonder what the Secret Service was up to. If you have two guys wandering around in the brush and not keeping track of each other and shooting at birds that stay near ground level, well, somebody could get shot. The accident could have just as easily gone the other way if people are straying away from each other. You’d think that the Secret Service would absolutely insist on a very, very cautious hunt.

    Then again, maybe the Secret Service has learned the hard way that it’s better to not try telling the boss what to do.

  18. Dan T.:

    Uh, yeah, when I clicked on Cavanaugh’s ‘conspiracy theory’ link, I expected all kinds of nonsense about how Whittington was going to leak secrets about the wiretapping operation, so Cheney had to “shut him up”. Instead, I find a question being posed: are Whittington’s injuries being downplayed?, followed by some explanations of birdshot wounds, and how dangerous they can be. If that’s a “conspiracy theory”, then I’d hate to see what you’d call an actual conspiracy. Downplaying the severity of a situation is what the spinsters do! It’s their jarb!

    Right. The term “conspiracy theory” has basically become a way to dismiss any view that you don’t agree with out of hand.

  19. I would like to know what the spinners would be weaving had Whittington shot Cheney under the same circumstances? Would we still be hearing the “it was the old guy’s fault” defense?

    That said, there is a good article at, (gulp) The American Spectator, on Cheney’s failure to observe basic gun safety, and another good discussion at Talking Points Memo on how to figure the distance the VP was from the victim based on the spread pattern produced by guns of this size.

  20. Good point Karen. My hunch is that future hunting trips will be very closely supervised by the Secret Service. This shooting could have just as easily gone the other way if people aren’t staying together and paying attention to their surroundings.

  21. Does Hillary hunt?
    Just wondering.

  22. My understanding is that in a line you get to shoot about 45 degrees left & right of straight ahead, except the guys on the outside who get to go 45 degrees to the inside and 90 degrees to the outside.

    That might be a little conservative, but its essentially right.

    I’ve been kinda trying to visualize what kind of shooting zones they had established for Dick to be shooting at someone behind him.

    There’s just too much we don’t know, but that is a question I have been struggling with.

    Its possible that Cheney was on one end of the line, facing toward the center, so that someone coming up behind him is in or very near his shooting zone. That’s about the only scenario I can think of where what Cheney did wasn’t pretty effing negligent.

    I’m not even sure how many shooters there were. If there were only the two of them, well, I can’t think of a scenario that isn’t pretty inexcusable.

  23. More to the point, could we get her to go hunting with Cheney?

  24. Cheney made a mistake and he should be a man about it and just admit it.

    Absolutely. I think, though, that this White House has been trained by a rabidly hostile press to never show weakness. Too bad, really.

  25. Were they really hunting or was it a replay of that creepy scene with Scalia where he and Cheney went to some farm and gunned down domesticated ducks that someone let out of an enclosure? A couple sick old men standing around blasting ducks could easily lead to an accident or two.

    These boobs can’t even assassinate a 78-year old man competently!

  26. The poor guy. I hope he recovers quickly.

    This still isn’t a very interesting conspiracy scenario, however.

    When the shambling, decaying corpse of an undead Vince Foster blunders into the plot — call me.

  27. Absolutely. I think, though, that this White House has been trained by a rabidly hostile press to never show weakness. Too bad, really.

    Ah, the Republicans: The Party of Personal Responsibility. Remember them? No? Anyone?

    This, my friends, is Grade A Horseshit. It ain’t the media’s fault. From the Adam Clymer incident to the Go Fuck Yourself incident to the “I can’t think of any mistakes I’ve made” incident to a hundred others, this bunch never, ever, ever takes responsibility for anything. Ever.

  28. Cheney made a mistake and he should be a man about it and just admit it.

    Seems to me that this was a private accident on private property and, unless you were one of the people involved, the whole incident is quite literally none of yer bidness.

  29. Absolutely. I think, though, that this White House has been trained by a rabidly hostile press to never show weakness. Too bad, really.

    I know. …the Bush Administration was always so good at admitting mistakes before, too… …before the press got so hostile, or somethin’, I guess.

  30. When the shambling, decaying corpse of an undead Vince Foster blunders into the plot — call me.

    And get something better than birdshot to shoot it with.

  31. Ah, the Republicans: The Party of Personal Responsibility. Remember them? No? Anyone?

    A great point. Of course, to be fair, when’s the last time a prominent Democrat badly injured or killed someone and was straight about it, without his handlers spinning for him or her?

    Let’s be clear people – Cheney is trying to sleaze out of some deserved shame. Hell, this poor guy might drop dead tomorrow! But this isn’t remotely unique, and many of the people who are loudly bouncing off the wall about it would lock ranks and defend him if he were “their guy”.

  32. This story can’t possibly be true. I heard a report from a journalist (not just some blogger) on Chicago talk radio (WLS AM 890), the man was hit by buck shot, not bird shot. I didn’t hear the entire report, but I’m confident that, had I listened through to the end, it would have been revealed this buck shot came out of an SKS-47 autoloading, bolt-action, fully automatic, assault rifle with a conspicuous grip and 30-round removeable fixed box magazine.

  33. What’s all this crap about Cheney “admitting he was wrong” and apologizing? The only person Cheney owes an apology and admission of wrongdoing to is is Whittington, and for all any of you know he’s already apologized and had the apology accepted. The two are friends, after all.

    He doesn’t owe you OR the media an apology or an admission of wrongdoing. He did nothing morally, ethically, or professionally wrong, and (aside from apparently not buying a $7 stamp for his $125 hunting license) did nothing legally wrong, either. He is guilty of, at most, carelessness, which would require that he apologize to the person his carelessness harmed. In other words, not to you.

  34. I’m no overzealous prosecutor, DB, but it sounds like criminal negligence to me. If Whittington dies, we’re definitely looking at a manslaughter charge, no way around it.

  35. “More to the point, could we get her [Hillary] to go hunting with Cheney?
    Comment by: John DeWitt”

    And have Laura drive the car…

  36. I shot a round of skeet the other day with a guy that was about 80…he may have been 90. It was one of the most tense and frightening experiences of my life. He was pretty good for his age, but his gun handling was astonishingly wild. Cheney must have gotten lessons from that guy.

  37. Serious questions

    This whole farcical incident is getting to be a bit more serious now. Approaching the Brechtian, as “The Daily Show” put it.
    Those of us who actually hunt (rather than pretend to be experienced sportsmen in internet chatrooms or on the teevee, as so many from the bush faithfull are doing with great glee) know that the pellets coming out of that puny gun Cheney was using, will not penetrate clothing, skin, bone, and muscle to lodge near the heart at a range of 30 yards.

    We also know that anyone who does not call 911 immediately after shooting a human (accidental or not)is in very deep trouble, the longer the incident is left unreported the greater the trouble.

    We also know that deputies will be on the scene ASAP to interview everyone separately before they have their stories coordinated and that the officers will map out the entire scene.

    We also know that on the spot assesment by the officers of alcohol consumption by the parties involved may lead to breathylizer testing.

    Please compare evading and obstructing a police investigation of a shooting incident to lying about a consensual BJ between adults.

    Then compare what everyone who really hunts really knows would happen to us if we didn’t call 911 promptly after an incident like this, not to mention evading and obstructing that investigation.

    And you will find, once again, that this administration is above the law and out of control.

    We have become a nation of the tyranny of evil men, instead of a nation of laws, particularly a nation whose ruling laws are defined by the US Constitution.

    And the worst of those evil men? Cheney, a man who appointed himself VP.

  38. amazingdrx-

    To be fair, even if the local cops weren’t called ASAP, the Secret Service was on the scene and Cheney’s medical team was there. It’s not like he failed to call for help and notify law enforcement.

  39. Justice is fairness thoreau, equal application of the law.

    The Secret Service has no jurisdiction in this case, they are not the proper legal authority.

    The king’s guard is not allowed to cover up and obstruct investigations in this constitutional system we thought we had.

    Back to before 1776 as Feingold said.

  40. Huh? “Cover up?” Did this happen two years ago? Jesus.

    I know why it didn’t come out immediately. It was a duel.

  41. “Please compare evading and obstructing a police investigation of a shooting incident to lying about a consensual BJ between adults.”

    No problem. Lying and obstructing a police investigation about a shooting incident would be illegal, if it occurred, and lying and obstructing information about your past sexual history during a sexual harassment lawsuit that has been brought before a court of law would be illegal, if it occurred. That was easy.

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