Pelosi has herself to blame for impeachment outcome. Plus: NYT & mistakes. Covering Trump.
By Gary Abernathy
It’s Nancy Pelosi’s fault, not Republicans, that impeachment flamed out
It’s amazing to me how many media outlets allow House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to go unchallenged when she blames Republicans in the Senate for not convicting Donald Trump based on the rushed and incomplete case her own House managers presented. Rather than spend the necessary weeks or months doing the work her chamber was supposed to do, Pelosi oversaw a snap impeachment, rushed it over to the Senate, and then rages when the Senate doesn’t convict.
I addressed it this week in my Washington Post column…
I was waiting for a reporter to ask: “Madam Speaker, since it is your opinion that it is constitutional to impeach and try a president who has left office, why didn’t the House carry out a full investigation, as you say should be done with a 9/11 style commission? Why didn’t you spend weeks or months interviewing witnesses and building a case, instead of rushing a snap impeachment? Why is the Senate taking the heat for not doing things that should have happened in the House?”
It would have been informative to hear her explain how an impeachment on Jan. 13, leading to a trial starting, if she had her way, on Jan. 16, based on an event of just 10 days earlier, would have represented justice. Hapless motorists accused of speeding are afforded more due process in small-town traffic courts.
While many in the media are carrying water for Pelosi and excoriating the senators who voted to acquit, the most likely legacy will be shame for those who voted to convict despite such a railroaded process.
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New York Times needs to correct its mistake on Capitol Police officer’s death
One of the tenets of good journalism is to very openly correct a major mistake when it’s been made. The New York Times is falling short of that standard with how it’s handling its mistaken report that a Capitol police officer had died at least in part from injuries sustained when he was struck by a fire extinguisher during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Now, Andrew McCarthy writes at Yahoo News, “A few days ago, the New York Times quietly ‘updated’ its report, published over a month earlier, asserting that Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick had been killed by being struck with a fire extinguisher during the January 6 riot. According to the update, ‘new information has emerged regarding the death of the Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick that questions the initial cause of his death provided by officials close to the Capitol Police.’ As I detailed in a column last week, what the Times calls ‘new information’ actually began emerging the same day the paper filed its January 8 report.”
Trying to sweep a major error under the carpet with an “update” is simply terrible journalism, and contributes to the ongoing lack of trust in the media.
It’s not the media’s job to decide whether Trump ‘gets oxygen’
I’ve read a lot of analysis from pundits suggesting that going forward, the way to remove Donald Trump from the American consciousness is to quit covering him. They call it “not giving him any oxygen.” So, ignoring Trump is the thing to do, they conclude.
This is what gets journalism in trouble. It’s not the job of a reporter, an editor, a news producer, etc., to pick winners and losers. That might be the job of an entertainment publicist, not a newsroom. Reporters must follow the news. If Trump makes news – holding a rally that draws thousands, making an announcement, etc. – it’s the job of reporters to cover it, like it or not. As a former president, what Trump says or does is automatically newsworthy.
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