On 24 June 2014, Dick Cheney was interviewed by political commentator Hugh Hewitt on the latter’s popular radio talk show, which is broadcast by more than 75 stations across the USA. The occasion of the interview was the recent foundation of the Alliance for a Strong America, a non-profit organization headed by Cheney together with his daughter, the attorney Liz Cheney, with the goal of working towards “reversing President Obama’s policies” (Alliance for a Strong America 2014a). After several years out of the spotlight, the former vice president launched the group on 17 June 2014 via a promotional video released on YouTube. The two-minute clip shows a grim-looking Cheney standing next to his equally stern-faced daughter in front of a blue-screen image of snow-capped mountains and a sloping meadow lined by trees. Sporting a cowboy hat and a sleeveless faux suede jacket, Cheney reads the text of the group’s press release from a card or teleprompter, declaring that Barack Obama’s policies “have put America on a path of decline” while “[t]hreats to America’s security are on rise” (The Alliance for a Strong America

*Email: Michael.Frank@uni-konstanz.de

Vol. 8, No. 1, 90-109, https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17539153.2015.1005935

2014b). As of the time of writing (five months later), the video has received less than 90,000 views, which indicates that the Alliance could do with some publicity. Hugh Hewitt, a vociferous opponent of the Obama administration himself, was more than willing to provide a platform for that purpose, and Dick Cheney knew how to seize the opportunity. On the day after the broadcast of the interview, Cheney’s speculation about a possible attack on Washington DC was cited hundreds of times in various news media and blogs, as Hewitt and Cheney no doubt knew it would be.