When impeachment and the campaign collide

Yesterday morning, Gordon Sondland, the Trump donor turned US ambassador to the European Union, gave explosive testimony in the impeachment inquiry—directly tying the president and his top allies, including Mikes Pence and Pompeo, to the Ukraine scandal. Comparisons to John Dean’s testimony that implicated Richard Nixon in Watergate were pretty much everywhere, uniting Fox and The Nation; as with prior Trump-era John Dean parallels, CNN invited actual John Dean to discuss it. But the Dean–Sondland comparison (as Dean himself noted) is flawed. Jill Wine-Banks, a Watergate prosecutor, told the Times that Sondland reminded her less of Dean than of another Nixon official, Jeb Magruder. (“Jeb was always sort of weaseling out of full admissions. John, when he came clean, he really came clean.”) BuzzFeed’s Ryan Broderick offered a more pertinent reality check. “I know everyone wants their John Dean moment today, but it’s 2019,” he tweeted. “The majority of the country gets their news piecemeal via algorithmically sorted newsfeeds on their phones from platforms that Trump and his followers have spent the last three years completely dominating.” Another key difference between Watergate and now is that the former crescendoed in 1973 and 1974, at the beginning of Nixon’s second term; by contrast, the Trump impeachment is unfolding at the same time as a presidential campaign season. Yesterday, the two huge stories collided with their heaviest thud to date: following Sondland’s... Continue reading at 'Columbia Journalism Review'

[ Columbia Journalism Review | 2019-11-21 12:58:24 UTC ]
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