By now, surely all the jokes about Vice President Dick Cheney’s accidental shooting of his hunting buddy have been told. Beyond the funny factor, there’s the serious concern about the health of the victim, lawyer Harry Whittington, and about public response to emergencies from the White House. The accident on a Texas ranch happened on Saturday. It wasn’t revealed until Sunday – and then because the rancher called a local paper with information. A White House spokesman grudgingly acknowledged the mishap some 22 hours after it happened but never did come completely clean about the delay and was still hemming and hawing on Monday. If this modus operandi sounds familiar, it’s because the Bush administration is currently facing harsh criticism by a Republican House panel over the delay in acknowledging Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. In these days of 24-hour news cycles, our leaders don’t have the luxury of sitting on breaking stories until they can figure out the best spin, which all too often appears to be the first and foremost consideration at the Bush White House. It would have served those in the White House to have taken control of the shooting story – the Hurricane Katrina response, too – before the stories took control of the White House. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Cheney’s accidental shooting further damaged the administration’s credibility at a time it’s under fire for being slow on the draw.