What Great Access!

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THE PLANK SEPTEMBER 3, 2007

What Great Access!

Let's say you're Carl Cannon and you're sitting down to write your review of Stephen F. Hayes's hagiography of Dick Cheney in the New York Times. How do you deal with the fact that the book you're reviewing has, shall we say, credibility issues? By skillfully and elegantly changing the subject:

The project, like so much surrounding Cheney, was a bit of a hush-hush undertaking, and some readers may wonder if Hayes, a conservative writer with an established view of the vice president (one of his articles was titled "Dick Cheney Was Right"), is an appropriate author for this biography. But the access he received was unique. His nearly 30 hours with Cheney, including sessions on Air Force Two heading home from Afghanistan and Iraq, may equal the time the vice president has spent with all other journalists put together.

So even if you can't really trust anything Hayes says, at least he had a lot of material to work with! Cannon's review also has a memorable line from Alan Simpson:

In Washington, "What happened to Dick Cheney?" has become something of a parlor game. ... When I put the question earlier this year to Cheney's friend Alan Simpson, the former Wyoming senator, he barked, "I'm not going to put him on the couch for you!"

--Josh Patashnik

P.S.: Don't forget to check out Jason Zengerle's take on Hayes.

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