ad info

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards



 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

Newspapers slam everybody over Clinton impeachment

'The country deserves better than this'

(AllPolitics, December 20) -- The headlines blared the news -- in giant type and special editions -- of the House decision to impeach President Bill Clinton.


The first reports seemed to appear almost before the vote was complete on Saturday. And later in the day and early Sunday, the editorial writers went to work, spelling out their papers' opinions on the process.

Almost all of them said it stinks.

Unlike the Republican-led House of Representatives, major newspapers largely fell behind public opinion, calling for a quick end to the impeachment process.

Many called on the Senate, where Clinton's fate now rests, to forgo a lengthy trial and instead vote to censure the president.

"The time to end this mess has come," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which as late as September 13 had called for Clinton's resignation, said Sunday. "With an impeachment vote in the House and a resolution of condemnation from both the Senate and the House, the matter could be brought to a reasonable end. For the good of the country, end it now."

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, The New York Times said, could convene a trial and then quickly move past it.

"Nothing in (the Constitution) prevents him from speedily guiding the Senate toward censure negotiations," the paper said in Sunday's editorial.

Nobody was saying the president was innocent.

The San Francisco Examiner cited "horrible mistakes in his private sexual choices and public obfuscations."

The president's behavior was "loutish," railed the Miami Herald.

Clinton "gave false and misleading testimony under oath in a failed attempt to keep the truth from civil plaintiffs, prosecutors and the public," said the Houston Chronicle.

It's just not enough to remove a president from office, say many major newspapers.

"Impeachment is a legal means of taking out of office a president who threatens the well-being of the republic. Even Clinton's most committed enemies ... can't claim that standard has been set," according to the Los Angeles Times

"Partisanship and precipice met in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday, and the Republic majority leapt into the abyss by impeaching President Clinton on two articles," said the Miami Herald.

Over all, the editorialists said, it's been an ugly process.

"Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have covered themselves with glory. Mud is more like it," chided the San Francisco Examiner.

"The country deserves better than this, from its president and its Congress," declared the San Jose Mercury News

And that leaves, said the papers, the Senate.

"The Senate, which prides itself as a more deliberative, less emotional body, will face both a challenge and an opportunity to restore some of the dignity and sobriety that the occasion deserves," said the Houston Chronicle.

Investigating the President


Sunday, December 20, 1998

Search CNN/AllPolitics by infoseek
          Enter keyword(s)       go    help

© 1998 Cable News Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.
Who we are.