Cheney Visit

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Today I went to lunch with Dick Cheney.

It was a fundraiser for Doug Roulstone, former commander of the USS John C. Stennis, and owner of a business in Snohomish County that employs a few hundred people and makes parts for Boeing. He's running for Congress in Washington's Second District (the Fightin' Second!).

Incumbent Rick Larsen responded to the Cheney visit:

Vice President Dick Cheney's visit to Everett means that Doug Roulstone is Washington DC's hand picked candidate with no ties or commitment to the district.
No ties or commitment to the district, apart from longtime residency, a profitable business with a lot of employees, local involvement with the schools ... . Larsen's running scared so he tells an obvious lie about someone in the hopes that people who have never heard of Roulstone or know little about him might be fooled.

Roulstone is not hand-picked, either, by Washington DC or anyone else. It was his idea to run, although when the GOP in DC found out what a great candidate he was for the Second, they rushed to support him.

Roulstone basically made more than what he got all last year in one day, today, so I don't think he minds a little bit of sniping by the Democrats.

Apart from the money, public exposure is what matters most out of an event like this, and all the local newspapers and TV stations covered it. The differences in coverage were interesting.


FOX channel 13 was by far the worst coverage. This was an event for and by Doug Roulstone, and they never mentioned his name. That's the bare minimum. They spent two minutes on the story, and didn't say who he was, what he was running for ... they just showed his picture. Well, it's not like he's running for office and it's their job to inform voters about our potential leaders.

That alone was flabbergasting. The "reporter" also had this gem: "Arm-in-arm with top GOP leaders from Washington state, the welcome mat was a big one for Dick Cheney ... and the crowd ... made it easy for the Vice President to boast about the Bush economic agenda." What, at a campaign fundraiser you expect an unfriendly crowd? What's this "made it easy" nonsense? But she wasn't done yet: "But just outside, dozens of protestors produced a voice united against the Bush administration's agenda in Iraq." Except that the voice was not united, since there were also dozens of pro-Bush demonstrators, which were not shown or mentioned.

The "reporter" also mentioned that Cheney was going to another fundraiser, but did not mention it was for Senate candidate Mike McGavick, and also didn't mention "freshman east side Congressman" Dave Reichert it showed by name, only by that label.


ABC channel 4 coverage was bad, though not as bad as FOX. They got two extreme wackos on either side to express their views (although in fairness, maybe it's a challenge to get non-wacko views from people demonstrating on the street at 10 a.m. on a Monday ... although I was entertained by the NO IRAQ WAR signs that had an N written on top of the Q). But at least they mentioned all the names, although the "reporter" talked about Cheney next going to do a fundraiser for Mike "McGavich." There's only three people running for the U.S. Senate in Washington this year, you'd think a reporter they send out to a political event would actually know the names of them all. I dunno, is that asking too much?

This is also the organization that claimed Reichert was not going to the event because he was trying to distance himself from Cheney, which was untrue. So they are not big on facts, apparently.


NBC channel 5 was not bad. It was shy of inaccuracies and gave all the salient facts and had some quotes from relevant people. They actually showed interview clips with party leaders, local political consultants, and so on. And they showed me, which is perhaps the most important part. OK, you could barely make out my receding hairline in the distance over Robert Mak's right shoulder, but it's more than nothing.

NBC spent probably a bit too much time on the controversies surrounding Cheney and whether his appearance would help or hurt. All of them gave some time to that, but I think NBC just wasted a lot of time telling people what they already know about how Cheney shot his friend and has a low approval rating.


CBS channel 7 was not bad. It was on par with NBC in accuracy and completeness, and didn't have some of the same excesses.

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