Limbaugh falsely claimed that Cheney said he drank beer "five hours before going hunting"

››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN

Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that Vice President Dick Cheney "admit[ted] that he had a beer five hours before going hunting" on the day he accidentally shot Texas lawyer Harry Whittington. In fact, Cheney acknowledged that he "had a beer at lunch" and "didn't go back into the field to hunt quail until about, oh, sometime after 3 p.m."

On February 16, nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that Vice President Dick Cheney "admit[ted] that he had a beer five hours before going hunting" on the day he accidentally shot 78-year-old Texas lawyer Harry Whittington. In fact, according the official White House transcript of Cheney's February 15 interview with Fox News Washington managing editor Brit Hume, Cheney acknowledged that he "had a beer at lunch" and "didn't go back into the field to hunt quail until about, oh, sometime after 3 p.m."

Cheney did not indicate what time he finished the beer he said he had with lunch or how close to 3 p.m. he resumed hunting. The Dallas Morning News reported on February 16 that "[r]anch owner Katharine Armstrong ... said Wednesday that the [Cheney's] group ate lunch about 1 p.m." Thus, Cheney could have resumed hunting as little as two -- not five -- hours after having consumed an alcoholic beverage.

An initial accident report filed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department placed the shooting at 5:30 p.m. on February 11. The Secret Service now reports the shooting occurred at 5:50 p.m.

From Cheney's February 15 interview with Hume:

HUME: Was anybody drinking in this party?

CHENEY: No. You don't hunt with people who drink. That's not a good idea. We had --

HUME: So he wasn't, and you weren't?

CHENEY: 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 the 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 p.m.

The five of us who were in that party were together all afternoon. Nobody was drinking, nobody was under the influence.

From the February 16 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: If you -- if you're paying attention to the antique media today, you will believe that the most important stories today are these: Vice President Cheney hears harsh criticism for the delay in the details of his hunting accident. Vice President Cheney hears harsh criticism for agreeing to admit that he had a beer five hours before going hunting. Vice President Cheney hears harsh criticism for choosing Fox News rather than facing the music and [NBC chief White House correspondent] David Gregory in a press conference.

Person
Rush Limbaugh
Show/Publication
The Rush Limbaugh Show
Stories/Interests
Cheney hunting accident, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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