Beating at No. 6 |

Beating at No. 6

On a whim I googled (love that verb) “Dick Cheney” and “Vail” and “heart.” This lowly little blog ” this is my 20th entry ” scrolled in at No. 6 this afternoon. It’s even ahead of Arianna Huffington’s super blog and all her lefty celeb contributors.

Atop this blog is Talk Left: The Politics of Crime (, referencing Arianna’s entries about Cheney’s supposedly secret venture to have his heart checked while visiting Beaver Creek for the annual American Enterprise Institute’s World Forum. The next four sites are of the same lefty genre, all reporting on Arianna’s report, with reader comments attached.

Funny thing is that Arianna’s own blog doesn’t even show on the first page. I’m just busy enough with real stories to leave it at that. I think Arianna’s wasted just about enough of our time.

She appears to have one relative of a someone she met at the Vail Leadership Institute’s annual three day seminar telling her what I’m sure he thought he heard. Her subsequent reports could well have a grain of truth, although no one we’ve found yet supports any of her contention that the vice president’s visit to perhaps the best knee doc in the land for an exam was really an elaborate ruse to go get an EKG.

And her “facts” about who he “really” saw (an internist?), in a cardiac unit “adjacent” to the Steadman Hawkins orthopedic clinic on the second floor of Vail Valley Medical Center (which does not exist) don’t seem to stand up.

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Our source very close to the internist, Dr. Jack Eck, says he did not treat the vice president. And a top offical at the hospital says he’d bet his sizable paycheck no such EKG took place, atop of denying Cheney or an alias of “Dr. Hoffman” checked in for treatment at the hospital portion of the hospital.

After clearing Cheney’s path to the clinic, Secret Service agents guarded the clinic doors and the rest of the hospital resumed its normal bustle, staffers tell us. It would be awfully hard to sneak over to the emergency room downstrairs or even the little ICU unit upstairs from Steadman Hawkins under those conditions.

Then the vice president left on schedule, if he were there for a knee exam, that “cover” story Arianna scoffs at.

As far as taking an EKG test, there are lot quieter ways to get that done than rolling with lights flashing, Secret Service agents clearing the way and all that at the hospital.

The hospital’s clinic at Beaver Creek itself no doubt has an EKG machine. Heck, my own regular doc’s office has one; I’ve been hooked into it. Also, I understand it’s not unusual for a knee patient with a history of a troublesome heart to have an EKG if there’s a contemplation of surgery. I almost had one done before my knee surgery at Steadman Hawkins.

And I know Cheney is a dumb ol’ Republican. But generally, if you are worried about your heart, you see a heart doc, not the internal medicine guy that Arianna reported.

Cheney’s schedule afterward didn’t exactly suggest big problems, either. He went back to the World Forum. Saturday he flew out of the county and back on business, we were told. And Sunday afternoon he flew out for good, after the forum ended.

Whatever secret Arianna thinks the administration is keeping about the vice president’s health, well, it’s not much.

I think this just might be the most publicized visit to Steadman Hawkins since Kobe Bryant’s a couple of summers ago.

While not quite as strange a tale as the Kobe Bryant rape case, Arianna’s blog accounts are a little weird, don’t match what our spies tell us (other than her lone source’s second- or third-hand tale), and the VP never slowed down this weekend.

So, nice story Arianna. But where’s the beef?

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