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Press Coverage of the Impeachment Vote

As I suspected, Brookline Town Meeting's passage of a resolution calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush was picked up by the press. I've been following the coverage for a few reasons. To be honest, I was hoping to see my name show up in some of the articles as the Town Meeting Member who introduced the amendment to change the resolution calling for censure as opposed to impeachment. Although the attempted amendment is noted by the coverage, I'm not cited by name. Ah, well. I imagine I would have been had my amendment passed.

Let's look at some of the coverage.

Yesterday, the Boston Herald ran an article which also appeared on the Brookline TAB website and is still there: "Brookline votes to impeach president". What irked me about the article was the lede: "The town that voted last year to outlaw spanking voted last night to send President Bush to the woodshed over the Iraq War."

This sentence is factually incorrect. Brookline did in fact pass a resolution last year urging parents and caregivers of children not to use corporal punishment. But it was a non-binding resolution. It had absolutely no effect on the town bylaws, and in no way should be construed as Town Meeting outlawing anything.

I called Lesley Mahoney, the editor of the TAB, yesterday, leaving a message explaining their mistake. To her credit, she left me a message acknowledging the error, and on the Herald website the word "outlaw" was changed to "condemn." However, as of this morning it still isn't changed on the TAB website's version of the article. I also sent an email to the Herald yesterday pointing out their error (which of course they couldn't change in the print copies already distributed), and I can't find either my letter or a correction in today's issue. Finally, the last sentence of the article, "Closer to home, it remains unclear whether the spanking ban has been effective within Brookline's borders," continues to maintain the fiction that Town Meeting actually banned spanking.

Getting to today's coverage, the Boston Globe ran a fairly even-handed piece today, "A call to impeach from Brookline". The only mention of my attempted amendment is in the sentence, "Margolis successfully opposed an effort Tuesday night to change his resolution to seek merely a censure of the president."

The Brookline TAB's lead story in the paper edition is "Bush gets whacked." It is a much better article than the one they shared with the Herald yesterday. As for my proposed amendment, all they say is, "Voters rejected an amendment to censure, or officially reprimand, the president. Instead, they opted for the harder line -- impeachment."

Finally, in response to the Boston Herald's editorial "Next up for Brookline: Iran", in which they criticize Town Meeting for passing the resolution and ask, "Don't these people have a town budget to balance?" I say to them: We did. On the first night of Town Meeting.

Comments

While it sounds like they didn't go into enough detail to mention you, your amendment does give the whole decision the legitimacy of being something carefully thought through after weighing all of the options.
Yeah, just what I wanted: for my amendment to give even more legitimacy to the impeachment resolution. :-)

We actually had quite a lot of support for censure over impeachment, just not enough.
"Yesterday, the Boston Herald ran an article which also appeared on the Brookline TAB website and is still there: 'Brookline votes to impeach president.' What irked me about the article was the lede: 'The town that voted last year to outlaw spanking voted last night to send President Bush to the woodshed over the Iraq War.'"

Um... yes? The Herald is fairly unscrupulous, usually choosing outrage and sensationalism over taste. I still remember the appauling cover the night after the Red Sox victory, when the police killed that poor girl, and while every other paper in town ran a picture of the chalk outline and a prom photo of the girl, some their front page had a picture of her dying on the sidewalk.

I think their admittedly great sports section in a sports town, as well as the "liberal bias" of the Globe keep that rag alive.
-casey-
I expect that a newspaper would have a bias in its editorial page. And I wouldn't be surprised if I found bias in the articles. What annoyed me, though, was that this was a mistake in fact.

Yes, Brookline Town Meeting passed a resolution against corporal punishment, and if they want to mention that in the article that's their right. But to say that we "voted last year to outlaw spanking" is simply a lie.
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