Q Was anybody drinking in this party?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: No. You don't hunt with people who drink. That's not a good idea. We had --
Q So he wasn't, and you weren't?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Correct. We'd taken a break at lunch -- go down under an old -- ancient oak tree there on the place, and have a barbecue. I had a beer at lunch. After lunch we take a break, go back to ranch headquarters. Then we took about an hour-long tour of ranch, with a ranch hand driving the vehicle, looking at game. We didn't go back into the field to hunt quail until about, oh, sometime after 3:00 p.m.
FoxNews, however, selectively edited the video of the interview to delete this omission -- the only section of the interview which was cut.
MSNBC also scrubbed a section of an interview they did with the host of the event, indicating that there "may have been a beer or two" at the picnic. I guess when you have a large picnic, and there's only a beer or two available, the Vice President gets dibs.
MSNBC later "unscrubbed" the quote, after they were called on it by numerous webloggers.
In the interview, Cheney defended his decision to have Katherine Armstrong, the hostess, leak the information to a local paper rather than going through the White House, saying:
"I think Katherine was an excellent choice. I don't know who you could get better as the basic source for the story than the witness who saw the whole thing."
But actually she appears to have been sitting in a car about 300 feet away, apparently with her sister, according to an article later edited by the Washington Post. Armstrong apparently didn't witness what happened, but instead only responded after she saw Cheney’s security detail running toward the scene. "The first thing that crossed my mind was he had a heart problem," she told The Associated Press.
In fact, Armstrong's account of the story simply does not make sense, especially for a questionable witness a football field's distance away from the shooting. She originally stated that Whittington "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself," but this simply isn't compatible with the rest of her story. Likewise, she downplayed the extent of the injury, saying that Armstrong was "talking" and "...bruised more than bloodied". This directly contradicts what Dick Cheney said regarding Whittington's condition during his interview. This isn't her only contradiction of Cheney, however. She later said that there was no alcohol that day, contradicting not only her earlier statement, but that of the Vice President as well.
"No, zero, zippo and I don't drink at all . . . No one was drinking."
It is not known what Cheney's blood alcohol level was at the time of the shooting, or if alcohol combined with any other medication might have contributed to the incident. Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren said that at least one police deputy was turned away shortly after the shooting -- the local police did not interview Cheney until the following day. Conservative pundit Tucker Carlson has been on plenty of hunts, however, and has strongly criticized Cheney for drinking before a hunt, especially since he takes heart medication which could react negatively with alcohol.