I. The Traditional is Changing
On April 11, 2006, Vice President Dick Cheney emerged from the Washington Nationals’ dugout wearing a Nationals jacket to throw out the first pitch of the team’ssecond season. But “from the moment he stepped on the field until he jogged off” theVice President “drew boisterous boos” in a “derisive greeting was surprisingly loud andlong” (Argetsinger et al. 2006). The crowd’s reaction was likely a reflection of the city’s political leanings
or Cheney’s months of consistently low approval ratings (“Poll: BushLow, Congress Lower” 2006).
Yet in the
’s online coverage, columnistDavid Nakamura attributed the boos to Cheney’s pitch:
The first pitch of the Washington Nationals’ second season at Robert F. KennedyMemorial Stadium was low and away, bouncing in the dirt before being scooped up bycatcher Brian Schneider.
For that, Vice President Cheney received a round of boos
from the home crowd this afternoon. But the catcalls didn't last long before the fanscheered for the Nationals…[emphasis added]
(Nakamura 2006, “Cheney’s Pitch…”)Armed with multiple versions of digital video clips uploaded from televised broadcasts clearly proving Cheney was booed well before he threw the pitch, liberal bloggers sprung into scandal mode. Only hours after the story was uploaded to the Post’swebsite, John Aravosis posted the headline “Washington Post whitewashes story criticalof Cheney” on his popular AMERICABlog. Aravosis cited his argument with a link towhat he thought was a reporter’s “pool report”, or the raw notes reporters share withothers who could not be in attendance. The report was in actuality a joke on the
Bush and Cheney received only 9% of Washington, D.C.’s vote in 2004.
According to Harris Interactive Polls published in the Wall Street Journal, Cheney had a 30% approvalrating from November 2005 through January 2006 (“Poll: Bush Low, Congress Lower” 2006). A CBS pollconducted in November, 2005 found Cheney’s approval rating to be even lower, at 19% (“Bush's JobApproval Hits New Low” 2005).