The Bush/Cheney Impeachment Papers

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Salon Columnist Thinks Impeachment “Not Newsworthy”

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Last week Dennis Kucinich presented 35 articles of impeachment against Bush on the floorm ofm the House. They were carefully researched and fully sourced, yet the news media refused to cover the event, using the excuse that as there was nothing new there, in the phrase made infamous lately by Salon’s Alex Koppelman , “It isn’t newsworthy.” Apparently a small firestorm resulted and Koppelman attempted to clarify a few things a couple of days ago. From Koppelman’s original post (watch your gag reflex):

Some liberals in the blogosphere are complaining about the dearth of coverage of Kucinich’s resolution. I have to disagree — as I’ve pointed out before, when discussing complaints of liberal bias from the right, the media is in the business of covering news. This barely qualifies; if it deserves mention in the mainstream media at all, it certainly doesn’t deserve to be accorded the status of something big and breaking. I’m sorry, but the action of a lone congressman who’s widely considered something of a laughingstock, especially when it’s clear that action will never come to anything, just isn’t especially newsworthy.

Yup, that’s our vaunted national press. And this is in Salon, one nof the few outlets where progressives can expect to be able to read about things like this. But even Salon thinks “it’s not newsworthy” because Nancy Pelosi won’t allow the bill of impeachment to reach the floor of the House for purely political reasons. In any other country at any other time about any other president, the press would be all over this like a cheap suit whether Nancy agreed or not. Within moments of Koppelman’s posting of that first self-justification, his readers showed they understood more about what journalism is supposed to be about than Koppelman.

 

You’re right

The news here isn’t that Kucinich has formally accused Shrub of high crimes and misdemeanors but that Shrub has been committing high crimes and misdemeanors and everybody knows it and yet no one will call him to account for them.

A Right WIng Blog, hidden deep inside Salon, that’s NEWS!

The impeachment of President Clinton did the Republicans little good politically (They just won eight years in the White House with a subnormal candidate)

…and impeaching Bush now might very well diminish the substantial advantage Democrats currently have with voters.

(Don’t start counting that Democratic advantage too soon, there is a big split among women who think Hillary got the shaft)

Some liberals in the blogosphere are complaining about the dearth of coverage of Kucinich’s resolution.

I have to disagree — as I’ve pointed out before, when discussing complaints of liberal bias from the right, the media is in the business of covering news.

(I turned off NBC last night when they opened their program with weather,weather,weather. It’s summer time, and they don’t do substantive reporting during the summer, yada yada. Since when did the MSM ever do its job, since 2001?)

This barely qualifies; if it deserves mention in the mainstream media at all (judgemental, badly judgemental on your part)

but the action of a lone congressman who’s widely considered something of a laughingstock (He ran for President, and received consideration. Is Ron Paul a laughing stock, Ross Perot?? Prejudicial and judgemental.

Take a vacation Alex, you don’t do news during the summer. Everyone knows that.

you are probably right that it doesnt matter…

But the thing that seems so unfair is if there was a Democrat in the oval office, and a fringe far right republican was presenting articles of impeachment for even the most ridiculous reasons, it would be HUGE news!

 

 Alex felt somewhat…misunderstood, if not abused, thus the “clarification”. But watch out! It doesn’t help.

First of all, I didn’t take a position on whether Bush deserves to be impeached, and I’m not doing so now either. I just took a position on whether Kucinich’s introduction of articles of impeachment was newsworthy. Second, other than the specific action, there was nothing new in what Kucinich did. “I don’t think there’s anything in there that hasn’t been previously disclosed,” he happily admitted to me. In fact, all of the information in the 35 articles of impeachment offered by Kucinich (with the possible exception, Kucinich said, of some legal theories about the application of international law) had been previously disclosed and widely discussed; in some case, the public disclosure dated back years. 

Oh. So Koppelman didn’t cover the Clinton impeachment because it was all old news that had been around for years, is that right? 

Well, Koppelman wasn’t around then but one doubts he would be all that reluctant because, you know, an impeachment that might happen is news but an impeachment that won’t happen isn’t even worth discussing the merits of.

The transparency of this bullshit is startling. There are only two possible explanations:

  1. Either Koppelman is so lame he can’t think up anything better or, even scarier,
  2. Koppelman really believes what he’s saying, that in order for an impeachment to be news there has to be something in it that people (read: Beltway pundits) don’t already know and therefore haven’t yet dismissed as “kooky”.
That’s scary because it shows how deep into the muscle of the news media conservative attitudes have driven. Tim Russert, Liz Bumiller, Judith Miller, Charles Gibson, Michael Gordon, Brian Williams, and dozens of other reporters and news broadcasters have all been quoted as saying, in one form or another, that journalists aren’t there to investigate but only to report the news, which they interpret in their lazy way, as “Ask questions and copy down the answers”. Russert went so far as to suggest that if a reporter challenged the statement of a govt official, he was breaking a cardinal rule by making himself the story! Koppelman is, exactly as commenter Jeffrey Harrison said and in the Russert mode, deliberately missing the main story – two of them, actually. The first in the lack of a call for accountability despite Bush’s proven high crimes and misdemeanors, and second, why won’t there be an impeachment? But of course he’s already decided he knows the answer to the latter and his tone would suggest he agrees with it.
There’s basically no chance this will go anywhere. Kucinich offered a similar resolution against Vice President Cheney last year, and that is currently stuck in the House Judiciary Committee. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made it clear that impeachment is “off the table,” and with good reason. The impeachment of President Clinton did the Republicans little good politically, and impeaching Bush now might very well diminish the substantial advantage Democrats currently have with voters. Plus, Bush has little more than half a year remaining in his term.
 
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Written by Mick

June 18, 2008 at 6:45 pm

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  1. […] Bush a War Criminal Posted in Press, War Crimes by Mick on June 19th, 2008 I wonder if Alex Koppelman thinks this is […]


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