Here's the story the mainstream media didn't tell you: The first real day of the impeachment trial of Donald Trump was an epic exercise in raw political power. Members of the Trump team, effectively led by Mitch McConnell, put forth no plausible arguments to support their position. But they didn’t have to. Because they had the votes.
A profoundly weak front-runner should be the ultimate in big game for our top political reporters. But instead, mainstream journalists in the best positions to demand answers – during sit-down interviews and televised debates – have been remarkably soft on Joe Biden.
Rather than rise to CNN’s bait and argue about who is tougher and more aggressive, the candidates – collectively, and without exception – laid out a compelling case against rash U.S. intervention and going to war under false pretenses or without congressional approval.
Three reporters publicly announced five unanswered questions they intend to explore, with the ultimate goal of determining whether Trump is “exposed to problems — such as struggling properties or debts coming due — that would put private pressure on a man with immense public power.”
Trump can say whatever he wants and he still gets the kind of coverage normal presidents get when they say something controversial, rather than the coverage that a compulsively lying president ought to get when he says something that’s obviously made up.
Official explanations have thus far been insufficient and lacking in credibility. There’s no evidence of a normal deliberative process. Reporting suggests Trump made his decisions impulsively, rather than strategically. Other than Trump supporters, pretty much everyone agrees this was a very bad, inflammatory decision. And he had an obvious ulterior motive.
In his new television documentary, “Democracy Rebellion,” legendary journalist Hedrick Smith travels outside the Beltway to find populist, grassroots campaigns that have given up on Washington solving their problems, and are taking on money in politics and voter suprression themselves.
Lessons that should have been learned from Vietnam were forgotten in the rush to invade Iraq. And now, as Donald Trump provokes war with Iran, it’s abundantly evident that the lessons that should have been learned from Iraq haven't been learned at all. So at the risk of stating the obvious, here are some of what those lessons were for journalists.