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By MARC McDONALD"Has the President so failed in his duties to the nation that he should leave office? The answer to that question is yes, and the time for the President to leave is not after months of continued national embarrassment but now. Clinton should resign."
---USA Today editorial, Sept. 15, 1998
George W. Bush is a crook.
He has violated the Constitution. He has violated his oath of office. He lied America into a disastrous war of aggression that killed 650,000 Iraqi men, women and children. He has made America into the most feared and hated nation on the planet.
By contrast, all Bill Clinton did was lie about a blow job.
Guess which president our nation's media called upon to resign?
In 1998, Kenneth Starr released his special counsel's report, the product of a $50 million blatantly partisan GOP witchhunt aimed at bringing down the Clinton presidency. Despite this incredibly intense probe into every detail of his life, the only real "dirt" the report had on Clinton was that he lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Americans never really gave a damn about the Lewinsky affair. Even at the height of the impeachment "crisis," Clinton enjoyed strong approval ratings in the high 60s. I always got the feeling that the American public just wanted Congress to move on from this silly affair and get back to the real business of the nation.
What's remarkable is the American people believed this way despite the fact that, day after day, the "liberal media" was desperately hyping the Lewinsky story and trying to convince the public that it was a serious "crisis" for the White House.
In fact, after Starr released his report, dozens of major U.S. newspapers called upon Clinton to resign. The nation's biggest circulation newspaper in America, USA Today, led the way.
In a Sept. 15, 1998 editorial, USA Today said:
"Has the President so failed in his duties to the nation that he should leave office? The answer to that question is yes, and the time for the President to leave is not after months of continued national embarrassment but now. Clinton should resign."
Many other major newspapers joined in the call for Clinton to resign, among them The Seattle Times, The New Orleans Times-Picayune, The Des Moines Sunday Register, The San Jose Mercury-News, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Looking back on all this eight years later, it's difficult to fathom what the fuss was all about.
Today, America is saddled with an unbelievably corrupt occupant in the White House. Bush is guilty of a long list of horrible crimes, from embracing torture as official state policy to illegal wiretaps to lying America into a war that has turned out to be the biggest strategic blunder in U.S. history.
And what's the U.S. media's reaction to all this? (You know, the same "liberal media" that was screaming and hollering for Clinton to resign for lying about a blow job?)
Not one major newspaper has called for Bush to resign.
In fact, since Bush first took office six years ago, the nation's media has fallen into an eerie slumber. From GannonGate to PlameGate to the Downing Street memos, the media has snoozed through one major Bush scandal after another.
Not to worry, though. With the Dems now back in power in Congress, we can expect the media to shake off the cobwebs and go back to its watchdog role of holding Democratic politicians' feet to the fire (even if this "watchdog" role will consist of non-stories with no basis in fact: see HairCutGate, Whitewater, etc.)
It's great to live in a democracy with a free press. Someday I hope I have such an experience.
The creator of the progressive site, BeggarsCanBeChoosers.com, Marc McDonald is an award-winning journalist who worked for 15 years for several Texas newspapers, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, before he quit his day job and set up shop (more...)