Just a flesh wound.

I’m astonished:

The 78-year-old lawyer who was shot by Vice President Dick Cheney in a hunting accident has some birdshot lodged in his heart and he had “a minor heart attack” Tuesday morning, hospital officials said.

The victim, Harry Whittington, was immediately moved back to the intensive care unit for further treatment, said Peter Banko, the administrator at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial in Texas.

Posted at 2:55 pm in Popculch |

15 responses to “Just a flesh wound.”

  1. James said on February 14, 2006 at 3:29 pm

    Gee, I hope he doesn’t “slightly die” from any complications…

    63 chars

  2. Danny said on February 14, 2006 at 3:39 pm

    I heard that the woman who first spoke of the incident to that local Texas paper said something along the lines of, “yeah, he got peppered pretty good.” Given this and the trip to the ICU, that’s seeming like a ‘pretty good’ understatement.

    241 chars

  3. brian stouder said on February 14, 2006 at 4:32 pm

    Flesh wound; heart attack; condition worsens….ok -we need to spin this positively somehow…..

    Spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin…..

    Well, the victim is a LAWYER (the focus group spikes favorably for the shooter when that is mentioned);

    and it was partly…errrr, about half….errr, FOR THE MOST PART the TARGET’s …errr, ‘VICTIM’S’ fault

    Well, the wounded coronary muscle IS made of ‘flesh’….

    if this fellow dies in the next week or two, this is the front end of yet another John Grisham-style urban yarn that will outlive us all.

    (to be crass) if the fellow dies of pneumonia in 7 months, it might even affect the mid-terms

    662 chars

  4. Maryo said on February 14, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    From the story: “Hospital officials said they were not concerned about the six to 200 other pieces of birdshot that might still be lodged in Whittington’s body.”


    Gives new meaning to “ballpark estimate.”

    218 chars

  5. alex said on February 14, 2006 at 7:36 pm

    Aw, the old buzzard’s a Texan. T’ain’t nothin’ but 200 little badges of pride.

    78 chars

  6. basset said on February 14, 2006 at 8:31 pm

    NPR was the last news organization I would have expected to correctly call it “birdshot”… but they did. I’m impressed.

    my former IU roommate has been doing radio live shots out of S. Texas all day for stations in various parts of the country… and says almost everyone he’s talked to, including the NY Times, insisted on calling it “buckshot.”

    the difference… buckshot is much larger, sometimes two or three to the ounce compared to hundreds for birdshot.

    and some CNN reporter cut open a 12-gauge shell on camera, apparently not knowing that it’s about twice the size of the 28 that Cheney was shooting. looked good on TV, though. I suppose.

    659 chars

  7. Ricardo said on February 14, 2006 at 11:21 pm

    Time to take away Dick’s toys.

    30 chars

  8. 4dbirds said on February 15, 2006 at 8:24 am

    IOKIYAR to seriously wound someone.

    35 chars

  9. MichaelG said on February 15, 2006 at 9:28 am

    Here’s the true story on the Cheney shooting:

    February 15, 2006


    Believed Shooting Victim Was Zawahiri, Veep Says

    Vice President Dick Cheney revealed today that he shot a fellow hunter

    while on a quail hunting trip over the weekend because he believed the

    man was the fugitive terror mastermind Ayman al-Zawahiri.

    Mr. Cheney acknowledged that the man he sprayed with pellets on Saturday

    was not al-Zawahiri but rather Harry Whittington, a 78-year-old

    millionaire lawyer from Austin, blaming the mix-up on “faulty


    “I believed I had credible intelligence that al-Zawahiri had infiltrated

    my hunting party in disguise with the intent of spraying me with

    pellets,” Mr. Cheney told reporters. “Only after I shot Harry in the

    face and he shouted ‘Cheney, you bastard’ did I realize that this

    intelligence was faulty.”

    Moments after Mr. Cheney’s assault on Mr. Whittington, Mr. al-Zawahiri

    appeared in a new videotape broadcast on al-Jazeera to announce that he

    was uninjured in the vice president’s attack because, in his words, “I

    was in Pakistan.”

    An aide to the vice president said he believed that the American people

    would believe Mr. Cheney’s version of events, but added, “If he was

    going to shoot any of his cronies right now it’s a shame it wasn’t Jack


    At the White House, President George W. Bush defended his vice

    president’s shooting of a fellow hunter, saying that the attack sent “a

    strong message to terrorists everywhere.”

    “The message is, if Dick Cheney is willing to shoot an innocent American

    citizen at point-blank range, imagine what he’ll do to you,” Mr. Bush


    1806 chars

  10. John said on February 15, 2006 at 9:29 am

    Did anyone see the spray pattern shown on TV this morning? It appeared to form about an eight inch (diameter) circle which implies that the VP was fairly close to the old geezer.

    Also, it implies a levelled shotgun as opposed to an upwardly aimed shot.

    If any of you have ever hunted quail, then this alone would make you leary of going out in the field with the VP.

    373 chars

  11. basset said on February 15, 2006 at 10:22 am

    didn’t see that, but you’re right… anything more than a few pellets in an eight-inch circle would imply either a range much less than thirty yards or one hell of a choke on that barrel.

    and I share the reservations mentioned on another thread here about fenced-in, raised-bird hunting. spent a few days last summer (working, not hunting) on a game ranch in another part of Texas, and they went on at great length about “fair chase” and how the enormous size of the place made it a real hunt… bovine scatology. there’s a FENCE, dammit… but I suppose if you were charging $3000 to shoot a “wild” sheep, you’d want them fenced in too.

    anyone else read Molly Ivins today? according to her, the guy who got shot is about as close to reasonable as a Texas Republican gets…

    784 chars

  12. nancy said on February 15, 2006 at 10:40 am

    One reason I’m ambivalent on some fenced hunting is for the sake of the neighbors. There’s fencing, and there’s fencing. If you’re going to offer “wild boar” hunts on a few thousand acres, it seems somewhat less offensive to fence, if only because you don’t necessarily want the boar rooting up a neighbor’s garden. I’ve seen some of these fenced deer operations, though, and they just offend me — like there aren’t a zillion deer throughout Michigan for anyone who can walk a mile in gumboots to find and shoot.

    Of course, as soon as I say that, I’ll trigger a heartfelt letter from someone whose disabled brother was able to finally shoot a deer because of these facilities, and so on and so forth. I guess the rule is, if you can spare the game and sleep at night, go ahead. But when I hear about toothless circus lions or bears being “retired” to some northern Michigan farm for a bozo to shoot in lieu of actually going to Africa or wherever, I think you fail the “sleep at night” test.

    1002 chars

  13. basset said on February 15, 2006 at 2:12 pm

    >>like there aren’t a zillion deer throughout Michigan for anyone who can walk a mile in gumboots to find and shoot

    couldn’t prove it by me… came all the way from Nashville for the opening of deer season last November, spent two days in blinds in Mecosta County and didn’t even see one.

    maybe I had the wrong boots on

    334 chars

  14. nancy said on February 15, 2006 at 2:19 pm

    I think what you needed to do was drive your car back and forth on I-94 a few times. From the roadside carnage, I’m sure you would have winged a few.

    Next time? Put some of that does-in-heat urine on your boots. I hear that really drives the big boys wiiiiillld.

    265 chars

  15. basset said on February 16, 2006 at 8:17 am

    oh, you mean it was supposed to be DEER whiz on my boots? Now I get it…

    74 chars