Sunday, March 8, 2009

President Clinton Impeachment Trial and Acquittal

President Bill Clinton was acquitted of the two articles of impeachment that he was charged with. It was a long trail and the general public in the U.S. was annoyed with the President and his un-wise decision making on his part. The decision came down to a vote and Clinton was found not guilty but the 10 republicans and all 45 democrats who voted on his side. This was a huge story at the time and everyone was interested in the outcome because it was our President and when he does something wrong, everyone is watching. There were obviously many stories written by every newspaper in the nation, so I chose two large ones to compare.
The article about the decision ran by the Washington Post sounded like they were happy the thing was over and that it was time to move past the Presidential scandal. The journalist wrote “The impeachment process has been torturous and inefficient, as are so many other democratic processes, such as elections, making laws and convicting criminals. And, maybe, a guilty person has been acquitted. But the basic soundness of our Constitution has been proven once again. No one branch of government holds dominion over another….” The journalist in this article is just happy that the trial is over and doesn’t really care if the right decision was made, although he sounds as if he thinks the voting should have gone the other way. The article goes on to say “President Clinton and congressional Republicans, anxious to "pick up the pieces" after a 13-month constitutional crisis…” so the reporter is ready to be able to move on to different stories and is done with this one.
The New York Times did reporting on this case a little differently than the Post. A reporter for the Times believes that the Senate did what they were supposed to do stating “The Senate's responsibility in this impeachment trial was not to determine whether the President had done something wrong or something that was morally unacceptable.” People may not agree with the President’s moral actions that lead him to the trail in the first place, but the Senate performed their duty and did the right thing.
Both articles did a good job at stating the facts of the case and giving a brief but descriptive view of the entire process of the trials and the outcome. The Post however had little commentary from anyone other than the journalist of the article. The New York Times included comments from some of the Senators who voted, and reported from both viewpoints. The Times also included comments made from President Clinton cabinet and public relations department, as well as an apology from the President himself, something the Post did not include. This was the biggest story in the news at the time of this decision and it could have been easy to write whatever they wanted to write about. But both papers did a good job at staying impartial when writing about one of the biggest scandals of the decade.

1 comment:

  1. I thought that this blog effectively illustrated the differences that the two publications showed. While the first newspaper took a more opinionated stance on the subject, the following newspaper took a more professional viewpoint. I thought that the writer provided enough background information to convey where his opinions were coming from. I would have loved to read a joke about Lewinsky’s blue dress, but maybe that should be left to Jay Leno. Overall, the article read with ease and proper illustration, and was nicely executed.