Sammon called Cheney incident aftermath a "tempest in a teapot"February 13, 2006 3:43 PM EST ››› SAM GILL
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During Fox News' coverage of a February 13 White House press conference in which press secretary Scott McClellan was repeatedly asked about the administration's initial failure to inform the public of the incident in which Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot one of his hunting partners, Fox News political analyst and Washington Times White House correspondent Bill Sammon called the issue "a little bit of a tempest in a teapot." Sammon also remarked that "the press smells a little blood in the water."
From the February 13 edition of Fox News Live:
BILL HEMMER (anchor): But the rub from the White House press corps seems to be, "Why did you allow a local reporter and a local newspaper in Corpus Christi, Texas, to inform the country of this news [the hunting accident] as opposed to having it come from the White House or the Vice President's Office?" Nina Easton is still with me, and so, too, is Bill Sammon. Is Scott McClellan explaining this, Bill, or are they digging a deeper hole?
SAMMON: Well, we're witnessing what we call over here at the White House press corps a feeding frenzy. We treat ourselves to one of these every month or so. I think it's a little bit of a tempest in a teapot. However, having said that, I do think that the White House is trying to have it both ways. In other words, they're saying, "Look, it wasn't a really serious accident, the guy had a couple things of bird shot in him and, you know, this happens all the time in Texas." On the other hand, they're saying, "Well, we had to devote so much time to his medical treatment that it took us 20 hours to make it public." And you can't have it both ways. And you know, the bottom line is this was probably a dumb call. You pick up the phone. You say, "Look, let's get a statement out, let's get this behind us," and you avoid the kind of feeding frenzy we're seeing here today. And so, yeah, I think the press is -- smells a little blood in the water.