Accuracy in Media

With House Democrats started pushing a resolution today to begin impeachment against President Donald Trump, the likelihood of media outlets like the Washington Post and the New York Times standing for due process and transparency is slim, as evidenced by their hypocrisy in rejecting the need for transparency to date.

“There was a time when MSM would have gone into a feeding frenzy against a Congressman who stopped the other party from asking Qs,” former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer noted on Twitter while linking to Fox News reporting that GOP members of Congress say that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., prevented a witness in the latest impeachment hearing from answering certain questions from Republican members. “Not to mention MSM would have raised a storm about secret hearings w secret transcripts. Not any more. MSM now takes sides.”

The Washington Post, which operates under the motto “Democracy Dies In Darkness,” defended House Democrats for not allowing sunshine into the impeachment hearing process so far.

“They must do their own basic investigating, which is why it makes sense to hold some hearings behind closed doors,” the Post’s editorial board wrote last week. “Investigators don’t want witnesses to play for the cameras or dishonestly align their testimony with that of earlier witnesses. Classified material may be discussed. Republicans, in their incessant and fruitless investigations of Hillary Clinton and the 2012 Benghazi attacks, held many closed hearings — and insisted they were the most useful. Moreover, Republican legislators are present at all of these closed-door sessions and are free to pose questions. In fact, the rules allowed many of those who stormed Wednesday’s testimony to enter the room in a civilized fashion if they so chose. The impression Republicans tried to convey, of Democrats cooking up an illegitimate indictment of the president while locking all others out of the room, is a partisan fantasy.”

The New York Times also claimed that democracy in darkness is a good thing.

“There are, in fact, plenty of good reasons Democrats are operating behind closed doors for now,” the Times also opined. “The House’s impeachment inquiry is not a trial. It is more akin to a grand jury proceeding, where information is gathered and considered for the purposes of handing up an indictment. Any trial would be held in the Senate, with Mr. Trump represented by lawyers able to make all the substantive and process challenges he liked.”

Yet The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board pointed out the fallacy of comparing the impeachment process to a grand jury.

“A grand jury?” the Journal wrote. “As Mr. Schiff knows, a grand jury is a criminal proceeding. Impeachment is a political process in which the House defines the meaning of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Mr. Schiff wants it both ways: Run his secret hearings like a criminal grand jury, but then impeach Mr. Trump of political offenses even if the President committed no crime. And he wants to keep it all secret so Mr. Trump and his “legal minions”—i.e., his lawyers and the House minority—don’t have access to the evidence he will use against the President. Oh, and he says contrary evidence will be fabricated—an accusation of a crime in advance but with no evidence. With his every statement and action, Mr. Schiff is making Mr. Trump’s case that this impeachment is a rigged game.”

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