AP Stumbles Twice With Inaccurate Reporting About Cheney at CPAC

Words of wisdom from a Greek restaurant owner who employed me in my youth after I messed up an order for moussaka or souvlaki -- once OK, twice stupid!

Associated Press reporter Liz Sidoti might want to take this advice to heart.

In a CPAC roundup story written yesterday and picked up by The Huffington Post, Sidoti wrote this, initially referring to post-Tucson calls for civility --

The brief political time out is over -- if it really ever existed.

"All right, sit down and shut up," Cheney said after being greeted by hecklers when he made a surprise appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference.  Supporters shouted down the insults with a "U.S.A." chant, and a visibly annoyed Cheney brushed off the outbursts.

But this isn't what happened as many who attended the conference are aware.

Instead, Cheney's "sit down and shut up" remark was obvious irreverence to an overwhelmingly favorable response, as can be seen at 1:16 in the video, from an audience that had no idea he was coming.

Had the former vice president added "knuckleheads" to his remark -- along the lines of, "sit down and shut up, you knuckleheads" -- Sidoti would probably add that Cheney insulted attendees.

As for Cheney being "visibly annoyed" by hecklers? "Clearly bemused" is more accurate, with Cheney describing the audience engaged in "the usual spirited exercise."

Not surprising to see Cheney's appearance reported this way. Darth Vader with a sense of humor? You much a leap for many reporters to make.

Jack Coleman
Liberated ex-liberal from the People's Republic of Massachusetts