Friday, June 03, 2005

WSJ Compares Clinton to Nixon

For anyone who complains about left wing media bias can find solitude in reading the Wall Street Journal for their fix of right wing media bias. They continued on with their Felt bashing by distorting the truth to compare Clinton with Nixon.

All the more so because the larger story of Watergate was about holding the Presidency accountable for the misuse of that office's vast power. One lesson we learned from the Nixon and Bill Clinton eras is that it is both difficult and painful to check a President, especially one abusing the Justice Department.

First, I don't recall Clinton 'abusing' the Justice Department. While Nixon fired the special prosecutor investigating him, Clinton did not such thing. While 30 Nixon administration officials were tried and convicted of crimes during Watergate, 5 separate investigations of Whitewater exonerated the Clintons. Memogate, filegate, and ever other gate that the Republicans tried to throw at the Clintons fell flat on its face. If anyone abused justice authority during the Clinton years, it was Ken Star and the special prosecutors office.

To the extent that the Washington Post's reporting influenced Judge Sirica [in the Nixon years], it played a critical if not decisive role. The reporters' task is of course to report what they can find out, and it's notable that in their Watergate coverage Messrs. Woodward and Bernstein played the role of old-fashioned diggers, not cable-TV partisans. The rest of the press corps ultimately joined their digging, and Nixon came to have few media defenders.

That was all very different from the Clinton era, when many good reporters did similarly important digging. (Susan Schmidt at the Washington Post and Jeff Gerth of the New York Times come to mind.) But far from being praised for their enterprise, they often became pariahs at their own newspapers and the targets of White House attacks. Much of the media took political sides, rather than stick to their higher obligation of ensuring that a President doesn't misuse his Constitutional authority. This was the motive for our own extended coverage of Whitewater and the other ethical corner-cutting of the Clinton years.

Once again... maybe it was because, other than Clinton getting some nooky in the Oval Office, there was nothing. I would have to say this editorial is pretty partisan... ironically. As usual, it is just more Republican smear.

The unveiling of Deep Throat, and the rediscovery of Watergate's history, will do some good if it reminds us that the Fourth Estate's first duty is to report the facts.

apparently that does not apply to the Wall Street Journal since they used no facts in this story.

Deep Throat's Legacy

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