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Lawrence’s Lawyers and the Left Angeles Times’ Fundraisers

Thursday, February 16, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Veep coverage continues to tell us more about the folks producing it than about the Veep and the Adminsitration.

Yesterday Lawrence O’Donnell failed to back up with a single detail his wild allegations about the possibility of Cheney being drunk.

Today the Los Angeles Times’ Ronald Brownstein and Peter Wallsten dip into their bag of mystery sources to write:

The Cheney shooting and the Katrina response have raised tough questions about what the president knows, when he knows it and how the White House shares information with elected officials and the public.

The hunting imbroglio has sparked a related question about Bush’s management style: whether he has provided the vice president too much autonomy in an administration in which Cheney has wielded as much influence as any second in command….

Some senior Republicans, including top officials from previous GOP administrations, privately said they shared Panetta’s views.

One GOP fundraiser close to the White House said he thought the administration’s response to the news that Cheney had mistakenly shot a fellow hunter Saturday so closely replicated the Katrina experience that he wondered, “Is this a bad dream we are seeing again?”

“There is a pattern here,” said the fundraiser, who requested anonymity when discussing the administration’s workings.

Not one “senior Republican,” “former top Adminsitration official” or “GOP fundraiser” is actually quoted in support of the article’s anti-Adminsitration premise –not one. The thesis of the piece is supported by quotes from other contexts or Democrats like Leon Panetta or Ron Kain.

The article isn’t believeable. It presents zero evidence of criticism of the president’s management style or of the vice president’s authority that doesn’t come from partisan opponents of the president, even though the promise is made to the reader that these questions are circulating broadly among Republicans.

Keep in mind that Ronald Brownstein’s wife works for John McCain as McCain’s director of communications (which the Times ought to be reminding its readers of at the conclusion of every Brownstein story.) McCain may feel about Bush and Cheney the way that Brownstein reports, but the idea that we should credit a conflict-ridden reporter’s account of GOP criticism of the Bush adminsitration when no source is named is just laughable.

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