Mainstream media yawns as Kucinich offers impeachment
On Monday evening, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) took to the floor of the House of Representatives to read out 35 articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush in an almost five-hour marathon.
Kucinich's action made an immediate splash on the Internet. For example, at progressive website Democratic Underground, the historic performance quickly garnered an astonishing 56 separate threads on the most-recommended list.
By noon on Tuesday, RAW STORY's article on the subject was the top political story of the day at digg.com and the 10th most popular for the last year. A separate article at afterdowningstreet.org was also high in the ratings. Both sites, as well as Kucinich's own webpage, were experiencing slowdowns due to the volume of traffic.
However, the mainstream media were far more reticent in their coverage of Kucinich's resolution -- much as they were following the release last week of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the administration's misuse of prewar intelligence. For example, the Washington Post and USA Today had short items in their blog sections, while other major outlets merely ran wire service coverage from AP or Reuters.
Kucinich supporter John Kusumi responded angrily at OpEdNews, writing, "The most important thing going happened on Monday night. An event that matters greatly to the course of history and to all Americans. Did you hear about it? Did ABC, CBS, and NBC break into normal programming with special coverage? Are there special alerts and bulletins on the cable news networks, where people can see them? No, no, and no!"
NewsHounds was equally scathing, saying, "So, what if they impeached the president and nobody reported it? As of 3AM EDT the goddam liberal media is largely silent on Dennis Kucinich's introduction of Articles of Impeachment on the floor of the House last night. Are they afraid of getting it 'wrong'? Just report it, as does RawStory. ... No matter what you think of it, this is news. News. Relevant, important, history-making news. It was live, on C-Span. Reality TV. Yet our most famous, trusted, 24/7/365 cable news media outlets are asleep at the wheel - or holding back. Neither is a good option."
More considered analysis of the actual political and historical significance of Kucinich's move was mixed. At The Huffington Post, political historian Joseph A. Palermo, the author of Robert F. Kennedy And the Death of American Idealism, headlined a blog entry "Dennis Kucinich Makes History Again - Impeach Bush!"
Palermo wrote, "Kucinich's lengthy and detailed indictment of this wayward president is the most thorough and powerful case made to date. He outlined a litany of high crimes and misdemeanors and showed without a shadow of a doubt that George W. Bush deserves to be impeached and removed from office. Kucinich made clear that Bush has violated his oath of office and his Constitutional duty that the laws be 'faithfully executed.'"
In contrast, Salon.com's political blogger, Alex Koppelman, wrote dismissively, "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."
Jim Trakas, Kucinich's Republican opponent in next fall's Congressional election also took the opportunity to blast his rival, complaining that "on the day his constituents first started paying $4 for a gallon of gasoline, Congressman Kucinich uses his time and efforts for more political games and not trying to solve the real problems in Washington."