By: E&P Staff
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.
AP: “Greeted with loud boos and some cheers, Vice President Dick Cheney threw out the ceremonial first pitch Tuesday at the Washington Nationals’ home opener. “
Reuters: “The vice president, whose popularity is slumping along with that of President George W. Bush, walked out on the field to cheering and booing from the near-sellout crowd. The boos appeared to be little louder than the cheers.”
The New York Times: “(Pedro) Mart?nez, who proceeded to wave to the crowd, received a slightly warmer reception than Vice President Dick Cheney, who was jeered before and after short-hopping the ceremonial first pitch.”
The White House correspondents’ pool report noted that Cheney “stepped out onto field dressed in khakis and a Nats bomber jacket to the sound of thunderous boos and catcalls.”
In its Wednesday expansion of the story, the Post made a key change, although it still puts the reporter at odds with most of his colleagues, who did not report any upsurge in booing after he tossed the pitch. Here is the slightly revised section:
“Vice President Cheney threw out the ceremonial first pitch, a right-handed toss that bounced in the dirt to the outside of the plate before being scooped up by catcher Brian Schneider. Cheney, booed by some as he walked to the mound, got even more catcalls after his throw — a far cry from President Bush’s fastball at last year’s home opener.”