Boo Birds

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 13, 2006; 8:06 AM

Did The Washington Post strike out?

Wind up in foul territory?

Boot one in the dirt?

That is the hot issue as the journalistic umpires question yet again the newspaper's commitment to the core principles of truth, accuracy and the American way.

I'm not talking about the front page piece on whether President Bush misrepresented the nature of Iraq's biolabs, which is being assailed by Ed Morrissey, among others. I'm talking about something much more important: the coverage of the Washington Nationals.

More specifically, what happened when Dick Cheney donned a red Nats jacket and walked out to the mound on Monday, and to what extent the crowd expressed its displeasure with the vice president of the United States. Maybe this calls for an investigation!

Editor &  Publisher has conducted an exhaustive investigation and The Post winds up with a goose egg:

"The veteran Associated Press reporter Terence Hunt heard them. Reuters heard them. In fact, virtually every press account of opening day for the Washington Nationals baseball team at RFK Stadium this afternoon mentioned that when Vice President Dick Cheney was introduced to throw out the first pitch he was loudly booed or at the minimum received more jeers than cheers. A video of the event proves it.

"But here's how David Nakumura of the hometown Washington Post described it:

"The first pitch of the Washington Nationals' second season at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium was low and away, bouncing in the dirt before being scooped up by catcher Brian Schneider.

For that, Vice President Cheney received a round of boos from the home crowd this afternoon. But the catcalls didn't last long before the fans cheered for the Nationals, who took the field in their white uniforms with red trim against the New York Mets .

"No one else suggested that it was the quality of the pitch that set off the booing.


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