Dan Rather

The Media Research Center has compiled a video of media comments about the 1999 impeachment of Bill Clinton.

Strangely enough, the liberals in broadcasting didn’t address the charges against Clinton in the same way they’re handling the current attack on President Trump.

See the video:

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The MRC, at its, Newsbusters web page, commented: “It doesn’t take a skilled code-breaker to figure out the liberal networks’ stance on President Donald Trump’s impeachment: There’s no doubt we need witnesses if the Senate is going to conduct a fair trial; impeachment is necessary to prove that nobody — not even the president — is above the law; and there’s no more pressing task for Congress if we’re to keep this president, and future presidents, from acting like tyrants.”

The “spin,” however, was “completely reversed” when the networks went to bat for Clinton, who actually faced criminal charges in his case.

“In 1999, the broadcast networks were reluctant even to cover the Senate trial for any extended period of time. All three major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) cut their live coverage after 90 minutes on the first day, leaving only PBS to run live gavel-to-gavel coverage,” the report said.

Some of the comments that appeared at the time:

  • From CBS anchor Dan Rather, “Is or is there not some concern of the public perception – concern in some quarters, not all of them Democratic – that this is in fact a kind of effort at a quote ‘coup?’ That is, you have a twice elected, popularly elected president of the United States and … [Republicans] having been unable to beat him at the polls, have found another way to get him out of office.”
  • From Eleanor Clift of Newsweek: “That herd of managers from the House, I mean, frankly, all they were missing was white sheets. They were like night riders going over.”
  • From John Hickenberry of MSNBC: “But ‘uniquely stupid’ is not the word I would describe this process. It’s Stalinist. It seems as though it’s gone on behind closed doors. Everything is according to a script. It’s just arcane and impenetrable in the extreme, and it has nothing to do with what we would consider normal fairness and trial procedure to be.”
  • Charlie Gibson on ABC: “But, senator, if there’s no way that this is going to turn around, if the votes aren’t there, why is your party dragging this thing out?…Why go through all this business about witnesses? Why not just get it done?…But if you have witnesses, it’s going to add months to this thing and tie up the Senate, isn’t it?”
  • From Geraldo Rivera on MSNBC, “Do we really need more evidence, more witnesses? Or did today’s votes prove beyond any doubt, as Senator [Daschle] believe[]s, that there will never be the needed two-thirds majority to convict the president, and that it is, indeed, time to move on.”

The report explained one day someone in the Capitol visitor’s gallery shouted, “God almighty, take the vote and get it over with,” he was dubbed a “hero” for Clinton by media.

  • From ABC’s Peter Jennings: “We begin tonight with the voice of the people heard from the Senate gallery today during yet another procedural vote at the president’s impeachment trial….’God almighty,’ the man said, ‘take the vote and get it over with.’ He was arrested….He may think it was worth it, speaking as he does for so many Americans.”
  • Dan Rather on CBS: “Saddam Hussein has his aircraft in the air threatening U.S. fighting men and women in the military. There are questions about Social Security, what to do about health care. There’s a long line of the people’s business that seems to have been put aside and apparently is going to be put aside for weeks if not months now.”

“The media love to act as if it’s only politicians who shamelessly shift their positions depending on the partisan needs of the moment. But any fair-minded person could see that many journalists are just as guilty of flip-flopping as any politician,” the report said.


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