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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Thursday, September 23, 2004

    Flying high while keeping the public in the dark 

    Vice President Dick Cheney has spent so many days in Ohio, especially the state's small towns, that Ohioblog has lost track of the number. That isn't so bad, as it turns out. The big-time media reporters have lost track of Cheney himself.

    Of course, this is as Cheney intended it.

    The vice president is not cuddly. Lynne Cheney, , cannot turn a grump into lovable gramps. About the only time during this campaign when Cheney has revealed any compassion for those with beliefs different from his was when he acknowledged that he and Lynne have a gay daughter and that he believes she has a right to find happiness in a union of her choosing.

    Nina Totenberg on National Public Radio's Morning Edition Thursday aired a piece on all things Cheney, including further insight into the vice president's closed-door, closed-mouth way of doing the people's business.

    During the course of the campaign, NPR reporters, as well as those from Knight Ridder Newspapers, of which the Akron Beacon Journal is a part, and The New York Times have been excluded from flying on Air Force Two with Cheney. This is not merely a travel inconvenience such as we all experience. The exclusion makes it nearly impossible for the reporters of these major news outlets (Knight Ridder has a readership of 12 million) to keep up (hee, hee - now you're getting the idea) when Cheney is flying into and out of small communities in Ohio and the rest of America.

    It has turned Times reporter Rick Lyman into a self-admitted stalker, flying commercial flights and trying to stay one step ahead just to get to at least one small-town stop a day.

    ``The truth is,'' Lyman reports, ``it's a weird kind of gift to a reporter. I may not spend a whole lot of time in the small towns and state fairs that the vice president visits, but I spend a lot more than he does, or that members of the press on the plane do. I talk to people everywhere, and not just the supporters who got tickets to his sanctioned events. I listen to local radio stations, get lost on local roads.''

    Regardless the unintended benefits Lyman finds, Cheney's decision, as Totenberg points out, ``inevitably refocuses attention on his role in the administration as the chief architect and spokesman for limiting information to the public.'' For instance, Cheney refused to share what role energy executives played in developing the administration's energy policy. And, when Vermont Sen. Frank Leahy, criticized this and other administration actions, Cheney told Leahy to go f--- himself.

    All of which leads Ohioblog to the realization that should he and President Bush fail to win re-election, the Cheneys should consider moving to Ohio, where the vice president could get a public job keeping public records private, as has been the practice too often in this state.

    - Steve Love

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 11:14 AM

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