Jun 6, 2005

If Watergate Happened Now - NewsWeak hits back ?

An outstanding article from the bloodied and beaten down NewsWeak... i'm surprised, and mayb e theres some fight left there after all ?
The Byline is all too true !

With the GOP controlling Congress, there'd be no Watergate hearings
If Watergate Happened Now - by Jonathan Alter

snippage :

President Nixon left office in 2005 having proved me and the other "nattering nabobs of negativism" wrong. We thought that his administration was sleazy but we were never able to nail him. Those of us who hoped it would end differently knew we were in trouble when former Nixon media adviser Roger Ailes banned the word "Watergate" from Fox News's coverage and went with the logo "Assault on the Presidency" instead. By that time, the American people figured both sides were just spinning, and a tie always goes to the incumbent
Some argue the Watergate story died right there, but Nixon's attorney general wasn't taking any chances. Just as in the Valerie Plame case, the Justice Department subpoenaed Woodward and Bernstein to testify before the grand jury about their sources. When they declined, they were jailed for 18 months on contempt charges.
Whistle-blowers didn't fare much better. With Woodward and Bernstein out of business, the No. 2 man at the FBI, W. Mark Felt, held a press conference to air complaints that the White House and his own boss were impeding the FBI probe. Of course it was only a one-day story, with Ann Coulter predictably screaming that Felt was a "traitor." Rush Limbaugh dubbed Felt "Special Agent Sour Grapes" because he'd been passed over for the top FBI job. Within hours, the media had moved on to the tale of a runaway bride. And because both houses of Congress are controlled by the GOP, there were no "Watergate" hearings to keep the probe going. John Dean and other disgruntled former aides had no place to go.
For a while, I hoped that the Nixon tapes might bring some justice. But soon the tapes just became more fodder for those legal shows on cable. The Supreme Court split 5-4, along largely partisan lines, as it did in Bush vs. Gore. That allowed Nixon to keep control of the tapes. When he burned them, the bipartisan outcry you would have heard in the old days over destruction of evidence was muffled by a ferocious counterattack from the GOP's legion of spinners. A group calling itself "Watergate Burglars for Truth" set up a 527 to argue that Bill Clinton and other Democratic presidents had ordered more black-bag jobs than Nixon. There was nothing to prove them wrong. Reports of a tape showing that Nixon directly ordered the cover-up were just rumors, not anything that could be posted on smokinggun.com.
When "Firebombing Brookings: Good Idea or Not?" became the "Question of the Day" on MSNBC, Liddy's radio show got a nice ratings boost. After Ralph Reed disclosed that Nixon and Henry Kissinger had been on their knees praying in the Oval Office, Nixon went up 15 points in the Gallup, double among "people of faith." Our long national nightmare was just beginning

To think how far we have fallen these past years....sigh.