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Stateside: Not that you’d know

Stateside With Rosalea Barker

Not that you’d know

doing tv news is like holding an enormous megaphone. the decisions about whose mouth to place it in front of demand experience, a moral compass, a sense of whose story will not otherwise be heard, and some local history. a sense of the absurd and facts also help a lot; likewise the understanding that the process is important to democracy.

(Local journalist Bill Schechner on being laid off at CBS’s SF Bay Area station KPIX in April, 2008. He had worked in television here since 1972, on and off at CBS for 17 years, and was the winner of two Emmy awards.)

On Friday, 25 July, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee is “expected to examine a range of legal and legislative responses to allegations of administration misconduct and their expansion of executive branch power.” The committee’s full press release about the hearing is here.

One of the witnesses invited to testify is Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who will be able to address the single article of impeachment he introduced in the House on July 15, alleging that President Bush:

deceived Congress with fabricated threats of Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction to fraudulently obtain support for an authorization for the use of force against Iraq and used that fraudulently obtained authorization, then acting in his capacity under article II, section 2 of the Constitution as Commander in Chief, to commit U.S. troops to combat in Iraq.

Whatever you think about the blatant ass-covering that wording affords members of Congress who went along en masse with the charade—all except the Bay Area’s Barbara Lee—you might still think the hearing is a newsworthy event in a nation where the polls show the majority of citizens think the invasion of Iraq was a misbegotten adventure at best.

But there’s only one newsworthy event this week, and that’s the overseas trip of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama. The national media, while paying lip-service to the notion that said trip is simply the triumph of style over substance, would still prefer to cover themselves covering it than to actually bring news of a significant domestic event to their audiences.

What was that about a sense of the absurd, Bill?



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