This warning via The Anchoress and Michelle Malkin: Hunker down for still more dreary efforts by the Mainstream Media to to turn Vice President Dick Cheney’s 14-hour delay in telling the Mainstream Media about his shooting accident into Chappaquiddick, Watergate, Iran-Contra, or whatever. Here’s the report from Drudge:

“If the nation’s top magazines have the pulse of the country — get ready for another exhaustive week of exhaustive Cheney shooting coverage!

“This just in… Both TIME and NEWSWEEK are planning high impact covers of Cheney for newsstands starting tomorrow, with each magazine rolling out top staff bylines and thousands of words on the hunting incident: TIME: With deep reporting by John Cloud, Mike Allen and Matthew Cooper/ Washington, Cathy Booth Thomas and Patricia Kilday Hart/ Austin, and Hilary Hylton. NEWSWEEK urgently brings in its big investigative guns: Evan Thomas, Michael Isikoff, Daniel Klaidman, Richard Wolffe, Holly Bailey, Mark Hosenball and Eleanor Clift in Washington and Carol Rust in Texas.

“NEWSWEEK’s Jonathan Alter essays that media budget cuts and shifting news priorities have contributed to the public being in the dark about Cheney’s ways and means.”

The only hitch is that all this “Cheney-Gate” blather (as Our Courageous Journalists themselves seem dimly aware) has indeed stirred the American public into contempt and outrage at a ruling institution: the ruling institution of Elite Big Media. Drudge adds this:

“On CNN’s RELIABLE SOURCES, WASHINGTON POST reporter Dana Milbank fretted that the White House is exploiting the public’s growing disdain for the mainstream media. ‘Of course they succeed,’ Milbank said of Bush aides. ‘The press always looks awful. They will once again make us look awful.’

“CNN’s Candy Crowley added: ‘The perception is that we’re whining.’

“White House correspondent Bill Plante of CBS agreed.

“‘The vice president and the White House have both used the constant press coverage of this story as a wedge,’ he told RELIABLE SOURCES host Howard Kurtz. ‘It plays to the prejudices of the people who are predisposed not to like us, and it’s one way to distract attention from what happened.’

Yes, especially since “what happened” is that the Veep mistakenly pumped some birdshot into a good friend (who has been discharged from the hospital and remains a good friend) while the two were hunting quail on another good friend’s private property. That’s “what happened.”