‘The Perfect Political Firestorm’

The NYDN’s Tom DeFrank, perhaps the reporter in the city with the most insight into the workings of Dick Cheney, has an interesting column about how and why Cheney resisted going public.

“In this town,” Cheney told DeFrank in 1976, when he was President Gerald Ford‘s chief of staff, “when you stick your head up, you get it shot off.”

NYU’s Jay Rosen is chiming in too with a different take: “The way I look at, Cheney took the opportunity to show the White House press corps that it is not the natural conduit to the nation-at-large; and it has no special place in the information chain. Cheney does not grant legitimacy to the large news organizations with brand names who think of themselves as proxies for the public and its right to know. Nor does he think the press should know where he is, what he’s doing, or who he’s doing it with.”

Rosen argues the shooting incident is sort of a plus public relations-wise, because it distracts the press corps from actually important stories: the Plame leak investigation, the Iraq war intelligence, Hurricane Katrina, and other recent administration news.