|May. 5th, 2006 08:34 pm I'd rather go hunting with Vice Pres. Dick Cheney than go for a ride with Ted Kennedy!|
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A friend sent me the following story about the Vice President;
Charitable Dick Cheney, media's best-kept secret
by JOHN REINIERS
John Reiniers is a columnist for Hernando Today. He lives in Spring Hill.
Let Vice President Cheney unload a hail of buckshot - and it makes mainstream media headlines as a defining moment is his failed vice presidency.
Let him file his federal tax return and it is reported by CBS News that "Cheney tops Bush in the battle of the bucks."
Let him donate what was the largest amount of bucks in history to charity by any public servant, and you guessed it - nary a headline.
But then again it was a paltry $6.87 million, more than three-quarters of the reported income of the Cheneys.
Read this again: The Cheneys gave $6.87 million to charity in 2005.
A small story perhaps, but come on - doesn't a multimillion dollar contribution to charities by a vice president deserve special recognition? Frankly, I was astonished when I first read this and thought it was a typo because it was buried in a column that leads off with President Bush's tax return - which wasn't even newsworthy - just the typical annual report on the tax returns of the president and vice president.
As a matter of fact, the AP headline read "Cheney's income 10 times the Bushes'. And the L.A. Times reported: "Bush pays taxes, Cheney awaits refund,"
I could go on with other headlines, but you get the point. Not one headline in the mainstream media that Cheney gave $6.87 million to charity. The "refund" headline by the L.A. Times is laughable. The reason he's getting a refund is because he overpaid in estimating his taxes and had too much withheld.
Another paper spun the AP story by saying not only did Cheney make ten times as much as Bush, but "He is looking for a $1.9 million refund." What gall.
Another equally compelling headline would have been when a former vice president's tax return - Al Gore's - reported a paltry $367 in charitable contributions in 1997. Of course this item never made the headlines either - given the bias of the mainstream media.
The Cheney's income was largely the result of his exercising stock options from his stint at Halliburton, some deferred compensation and royalties from three books written by Mrs. Cheney.
Of interest, the AP story referred to Cheney's adjusted gross income as "largely padded" with income he received by exercising stock options that had been set aside for charity. Here's a guy that sets up a gift arrangement for charity with Halliburton when he took office in 2001 and the AP elects to describe his return as being "padded" -- this was income earmarked for charity in 2001.
Why the use of such a pejorative term? (Like padding an expense account.)
The Washington Post couldn't resist referring to Halliburton as "a large military contractor in Iraq," as if Iraq had something to do with this story. And so as to belittle this astounding donation, the Post said "the Cheneys appear to have taken advantage of a special tax break." Hey, anybody who gives three quarters of what they've earned too charity deserves a tax break.
The majority of Americans do not realize how devastatingly effective the media is in shaping attitudes. They can and will destroy the reputations of those they oppose. What is so alarming is that the media mistakes their limitations for high standards.
One thing that amazed me about the 2004 Presidential Election;
Between Bush, Kerry, Cheney and Edwards - do you remember who made the least amount of money?
Why it was the 43th President!