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Monday, June 09, 2008


Move over, Fidel!

Your speaking crown has been challenged! For four hours and forty minutes tonight, Dennis Kucinich spoke to the (probably largely empty) House of Representatives, reading in 35 (!) Articles of Impeachment against George W. Bush (not online yet as far as I can tell). The 35 articles covered literally everything you can think of and then some, from the illegal invasion of Iraq to rendition to torture to violating the Geneva Conventions in numerous ways, including treating children as prisoners of war or worse, and even to lying about Iran's nuclear efforts and funding terrorist groups (the MEK) attacking Iran. It included the words "liar" and "war criminal," quite probably the first time those words have been spoken on the floor of Congress, not to mention "misprison of a felony" (regarding the Valerie Plame affair) and "posse comitatus." And it included several references to Iraqi civilians as victims of the war, noting that "more than a million innocent Iraqis" had died.

Better than anything I've seen on TV in quite a while! Now to sit back and watch how quickly the Democrats put a lid on it. At the very end, he read a list of people who wanted to speak. I think there were four or five names on it, including Lynn Woolsey and Marcy Kaptur. It did not include names you might have expected, e.g., Maxine Waters.

One interesting thing about the speech was that, although this was nominally "Articles of Impeachment," it was actually "Articles of Impeachment" plus all the evidence needed to back up the charges within, with citations from speeches by Bush and Cheney and Rice and Powell all the way to citations from books by George Tenet and articles by Scott Ritter and Seymour Hersh. Hearings shouldn't be necessary, just a vote!

Actually the question isn't how quickly the Democrats will bury this; that's pretty much a given. The question is how quickly the media will bury the fact it even happened. There are articles up on the web now from various sources (AP, Reuters, etc.), so it will be reported, but the thing with American media (and the American public) is that a one-day story, even a one-day front-page story (which I doubt this will be), means nothing. Only the stories which get hammered on repeatedly, and talked about by all the talk shows and written about by the columnists make any kind of dent. And the chances that that will happen with this story are pretty much nil.

Tuesday morning media update: The New York Times shows nothing about this on its front page online. Searching there turns up a very short AP article, which contains absolutely nothing of substance, and a short Reuters article, which mentions deceiving the public about the invasion of Iraq as the only substantive content; no reason to believe either appears in the print edition. The situation at the Washington Post is identical - nothing on the front page, searching finds AP and Reuters but who knows if they appeared in print. The Los Angeles Times shows nothing, either on its front page or even by searching.

The story did start late in the "news cycle," and finish even later. Even so, not an auspicious start for the media. As for the companies which don't have a news cycle - CNN, MSNBC, etc.? Nothing at all, even drilling down to their "Politics" pages.

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