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Byrd: Relieved That Cheney Apologized for Incest Joke

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) was hospitalized Monday shortly after he released a strongly worded statement condemning Vice President Dick Cheney for making an incest joke at the expense of his great state. Today, Byrd is feeling "much better," according to his spokesman, and had just one burning question for his staff during a conference call with aides this morning: Did the vice president apologize yet to the people of West Virginia?

"He was happy to hear about Sen. Ted Kennedy's successful surgery and he also wanted to know if Dick Cheney had issued an apology to the people of West Virginia," Byrd spokesman Jesse Jacobs tells The Sleuth.

The nonagenarian senator was relieved to hear that Cheney's spokeswoman -- though not Cheney himself -- had, in fact, issued an apology late Monday afternoon. At the National Press Club Monday, Cheney said he recently realized that his mother was descended from a Richard Cheney, adding, "So I had Cheneys on both sides of the family and we don't even live in West Virginia."

Byrd's office issued a statement Monday attributed to the senator saying, "That a man who has ascended to the seat of vice president of the United States would openly display such contempt and astounding ignorance toward his own countrymen is an insult to all Americans. Now that he or the administration he represents no longer needs their vote, Mr. Cheney apparently feels that he is now free to mock and belittle the people of West Virginia."

In another sign that Byrd is feeling better, Jacobs says the 90-year-old senator was complaining about his hospital food during this morning's conference call with staff.

Jacobs offered no timetable on when the Senate's senior-most lawmaker may be released from the hospital. Byrd's office, at the request of the senator's family, is not disclosing which hospital he's in, although published reports said he was taken to Fairfax Inova Hospital in Northern Virginia.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 4, 2008; 12:41 PM ET
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Isn't Byrd dead yet? He looks dead.

Posted by: WV | June 4, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the joke hit old "Sheets" a little bit more personally than he wants to admit.

Posted by: Lars | June 4, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

nonagenarian. If you're going to use unnecessarily big words, make sure they're right.

Posted by: jallenba | June 4, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

If teh comments was about blacks, women or another minority the media would be up ina rms. Attacking rural America is fair game for everyone... left or right.

Posted by: Brian | June 4, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Senator Byrd is at and in any age one of the most vital, decent, and wise treasures this country and its citizens of whatever states have ever had.

Dick Cheney, on the other hand ...

Dick Cheney delegates apologies to staff. The insults he does himself. It's good to know what relative importance he holds what.

A real class act, that one, he is.

Posted by: Hneftafl | June 4, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I bear no particular affinity for Mr Cheney--but, good lands folks, lets just unwind a bit. Everybody seems ready to jump down a throat that neither meant nor intended any animosity. I am certain we all make statements that could be judged as an affront to someone looking overly hard for a cause. These supposedly badly damaged egos seem strangly to attach themselves to all politicians.

Posted by: Sharon | June 4, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Hneftafl, if that is true, America is truly FUKKED

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Sharon shut up you stupid cow this is a chance to criticize a republican and you NEVER EVER miss a chance like that.

-Fighting Keyboarders

Posted by: Fighting Keyboarders | June 4, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

When Barack is President, this will never happen, all will love him and his Chosen One, whoever that may be.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

why did cheney use the great state of WV in his piss-poor attempt at humor when he could have used a few more states closer to where he is from that have more recently made the news with regards to the same situation?

Posted by: johnwilley | June 4, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Ifyou did come from from WV you would have been a good enough woodsman to not shoot your controled hunting partner in the face retard

Posted by: rodney wv | June 5, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Ifyou did come from from WV you would have been a good enough woodsman to not shoot your controled hunting partner in the face retard

Posted by: rodney wv | June 5, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Also if you whanted to kill him he would be dead

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Attacking "Rural America" isn't the same as attacking southern Appalachia. My daddy came from Appalachia, mom came from the Ozarks. They moved to California where I could date someone else besides my sister or cousin. This doesn't make them heroes. It does mean my kids stand a better chance of not being web-footed meth-heads for Jesus.

Posted by: bkmur | June 5, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like bkmur won't be spawning the next "Sleuth" any time soon.

Posted by: WVsucks | June 5, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

What else would you expect from a member of the Bush White House Staff; hope none of you good folks in West Virginia voted for the Bush/Cheney ticket in the last election.

Posted by: Dave | June 5, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I laughed out loud at Cheney's joke. Even though we know it's unfair to (and probably inaccurate about) the mountain folks, the old ethnocentric jokes are still good for an occasional laugh.

Posted by: PRT | June 5, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Save Bird


dear lord make the world a better place

He was the main wise voice against the in the house the day of the vote.

220 day to end of NEOCON ADMIN

Posted by: its not fair | June 5, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Well, many of the comments here certainly do indicate how "enlightened" many of our fellow countrymen and women are.

A pox on you.

Posted by: Rob | June 6, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

I just hope West Virginians rember this joke when they think about voting REpublican. When Abu Ghraib scandal broke the Bush Administraation and Republicans tried to blame it on a few bad apples from West Virginia wheras the highest levels of the Bush Administration Rumsfeld,Rice and CHENEY had condoned abusive interrogations. he has apologized now but Mountaineers should remeber.

Posted by: djw3505 | June 6, 2008 5:53 AM | Report abuse

The great thing is that when West Virginia stands up and votes for Obama and we trade one chimp for another we will finally have the Fuhrer that we have wanted.

Posted by: Sieg Barack! | June 9, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I for one am glad to know what West Virginians will base their votes on jokes told by an outgoing VP.

Keep it shallow folks, it helps my side.

Posted by: Progressive Rule | June 9, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Good ol' Sheets is relieved.


Now he can get back to some crossburnings and some inbreeding.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

West Virginia, Kentucky, & Arkansas: Jay Leno regularly makes incest-allusion jokes about them all on NBC, & I've never heard of anyone complaining about that--though I think such jokes are, at best, antiquated & not that funny & wouldn't blame those who complained.

As for the Mountaineers' Senator-For-Life, my opinion--just another ad-hominem for this page--is that he's *become* a joke.

Posted by: FrankTireur | June 14, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

You miss the point, Frank. The Vice President is a Republican. Jay Leno is a Democrat. We all know what side the media is on.

Posted by: Dave | June 16, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

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