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 Constitution

Bill Moyer’s Journal on Friday night was about Impeachment.  Watch it or read it, just don’t miss it.

JOHN NICHOLS: Let me mention the unspoken branch of government, which is the fourth estate: The media. The fact of the matter is the founders anticipated that presidents would overreach. And they anticipated that at times politics would cause Congress to be a weaker player or a dysfunctional player. But they always assumed that the press would alert the people, that the press would tell the people. And the fact of the matter is I think that our media in the last few years has done an absolutely miserable job of highlighting the constitutional issues that are in play. You know, you can’t have torture and extraordinary rendition. You cannot have spying. You cannot have a– lying to Congress. You cannot have what happened to Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, you know?

BILL MOYERS: When she was outed and they tried to punish–

JOHN NICHOLS: Plotted out of the vice-president’s office without question. Notations of the vice-president on news articles saying, “Let’s go get this guy.” Right? You know, you can’t have that and not have a media going and saying to the president at press conferences, you know, “Aren’t– isn’t what you’re doing a violation of the Constitution?” Now, just imagine if the– if the members of the White House Press Corps on a regular basis were saying to Tony Snow, “But hasn’t what the president’s done here violated the Constitution?” The whole national dialogue would shift. And Congress itself would suddenly become a better player. So I’m not absolving Congress. I’m certainly not absolving Bush and Cheney. But I am saying that we have a media problem here as well.

BRUCE FEIN: Let me underscore one of the things that you remember, Bill, ’cause I was there at the time of Watergate. And this relates to one political– official in the White House, Sara Taylor’s testimony. And claiming that George Bush could tell her to be silent.

BILL MOYERS: That was a great moment when Sara Taylor said, “I took an oath to uphold the president.” Did you see that?

BRUCE FEIN: Yes. And that was like the military in Germany saying, “My oath is to the Fuhrer, not to the country.” She took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. I did, too, when I was in the government. There’s no oath that says, “I’m loyal to a president even if he defiles the Constitution.”

JOHN NICHOLS: Ever.

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