The official weirdest headline I've ever seen on is...

Shooting victim apologizes to vice president

Uh… okay.

I won’t link since it’s just and will change, but trust me… it’s there now.

It reminds me of this one from The Onion.

In other news, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg apologized to the daughters of Lee Harvey Oswald for “that whole assassination thing getting blown out of proportion”.

I don’t think your comparison is apt. In the current case, if the man who was shot feels he bears some responsibility for the accident - stepping out of the hunting line when he knew he shouldn’t, for example - and he knows that Cheney’s injury of him was an accident, and that as a result of that accident, Cheney is being roundly criticized, then why shouldn’t he offer up some sort of apology?

In contrast to your example, where Harvey’s shooting of Kennedy was a deliberate act of malice, this seems to have been an accident. What’s so difficult to grasp about that?

The police investigation and Dick Cheney have both said that the accident was 100% the fault of Dick Cheney. What does the victim have to apologize for?

Nothing, obviously, but it’s pretty natural for a friend to do.

Hell, if I was injured because a friend made a stupid mistake, and I knew that it was just that, I’d do everything in my power to minimize the consequences for him. (And if my friend happened to be one of the most powerful people in the country, you can bet your ass I’d go out of my way to ensure that that friendship remained intact.)

I’ve never been a dues-paying member of the Dick Cheney fan club, but everything seems to be unfolding as you’d expect it to. Allies close ranks, detractors try to make some political advantage out of it, and the media gets a collective stiffy.

I feel vaguely guilty for finding the whole thing funny as hell.

Ah, Bricky, there be no musta domestica upon thy form, be there? You have me. It’s not really an accurate analogy, and here do the fruit of my cunning scheme wither un et upon the vine. You’ve forced me to make the admission: I wasn’t really making a scholarly comparison.

As to the rest, I have several friends whom I love dearly and hope to for many more years. If any of them accidentally sprayed me with birdshot from a hunting gun, I don’t even think it would be an issue as to whether or not I’d remain their friends, of course I would. (Hell, if that boy from Little House could remain friends with the blind girl and the guy from JAG after he burnt up their mama and baby respectively, how could I not [of course they were brothers in real life so that probably helped]). But I’d be a three times double damned drug through the muck and stomped on by morbidly obese emu farmers before I’d ever APOLOGIZE FOR GETTING SHOT!

You may quote me on that. In fact, if you ever do hear me apologize to anybody who filled me with birdshot, please feel free to throw this thread in my face, and I will face you like a man and say “You’re right, and I withdraw my words.”

What he’s saying (‘I’m sorry for what Cheney had to go through’) is pretty clear. The headline is still very weird. You don’t usually hear people apologizing for getting shot, and what he’s actually doing isn’t what we normally call an apology. He’s expressing sympathy. If I told a friend “I’m sorry your mom died,” you wouldn’t say I was apologizing for her death.

I realize this is not your primary point, but I don’t think that Cheney is being criticised all that much for the accident, some for being a little quick on the trigger of course, but rather for sneaking the news out under the table.