Thursday, August 31, 2006

High Crimes & Misdemeanors

JonBenét Died - And Bush Lied?

by Thom Hartmann

I was on the air doing my radio program two weeks ago when the story came down the wire that the killer of JonBenét Ramsey had been captured in Thailand just hours earlier. I opened the microphone and said words to the effect of, "Today there must be something really awful going down for the Republicans. Maybe Rove really will be indicted. Maybe Cheney. Maybe some terrible revelation about Bush. And if there isn't, today will be the day they'll toss out the unsavory stories - like gutting an environmental law or wiping out pension plans - that they don't want covered."

Apparently it was worse than I'd imagined.

That same morning - just hours after the JonBenét information hit the press and just after I got off the air - it was revealed that US District Court Judge Anna Diggs Taylor had ruled that George W. Bush and now-CIA Director Michael Hayden had committed multiple High Crimes, Misdemeanors, and felonies, both criminal and constitutional. If her ruling stands, Bush and Hayden could go to prison....

Think Progress went on to chronicle how much time the three big networks had devoted to the two stories that first night:

NBC - 7 minutes 39 seconds on the Ramsey story, only 27 seconds on the NSA
CBS - 3 minutes 23 seconds on the Ramsey story, only 25 seconds on the NSA
ABC - 4 minutes 3 seconds on the Ramsey story, only 2 minutes on the NSA

Within a few days, the story of the President being found guilty of both imprisonable felonies and impeachable violations of the Constitution had vanished from the mainstream media altogether.

This isn't the first time bad news for Republicans has been coincidentally eclipsed by Suddenly Huge Stories...


It is pretty amazing that when a sitting president has a judge ruling that he has committed impeachable offenses - and about all the media can talk about is a suspect in a murder case from 10 years ago - where the evidence was so flimsey the charges get dropped within a couple weeks. But many of us are no longer surprised. It's par for the course with this administration and with this Corporate Media.

The media had all the time in the world for nearly every Clinton story - as you may recall.

On the bright side - I heard that FOX viewing is down.

Oh - and unfortunately - I don't expect to see Bush going to prison for anything he has done anytime soon (Mr. Hartmann was sounding pretty optimistic there). No matter how many things Bush is guilty of. A Democratic majority in the House could be useful for these situations, however - the one party rule that we have now is bound to be a negative thing. While I have rather low expectations of the political process - there would more hope than there is now if there were the possibility of checks and balances. Of course that would mean a Democratic party that was not like Republican Diet Coke.

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