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 Media Reality Check

Thursday, December 17, 1998 - Vol. Two, No. 50 - Media Inquiries: Keith Appell (703) 683-5004

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John Conyers, Jesse Jackson, and Activist Groups Backed Impeachment for Reagan's Military Actions

Will Liberals Waive Their War-Powers Stand?

     Liberal Democrats have insisted that Clinton's perjury and obstruction is not impeachable. But what will they say today when some prominent voices against impeachment are on record with a much looser standard of impeachment for Ronald Reagan, particularly for his failure to consult Congress before military action? Will they now support an article of impeachment for Clinton's use of arms without consultation in Iraq, not to mention Sudan? Will reporters ask about these quotes?

     March 16, 1983 Washington Post: Washington Post: "Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) told the crowd that President Reagan should be impeached and House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. should give up his leadership post for failing to deal with joblessness. 'Why don't we impeach Reagan for incompetence,' Conyers said, drawing loud applause from the crowd. Conyers said later that if enough people demand Reagan's impeachment, he would lead the effort in Congress."

     August 14, 1983 Washington Post: Washington Post: "Enough of these 'cream-puff' constraints on presidential war-making decisions, cries Rep. Don Edwards [D-Calif]. Impeachment is the only way to stop Ronald Reagan's 'illegal war' against Nicaragua."

     October 28, 1983 Washington Post: New York Rep. Ted Weiss "argued that the invasion [of Grenada] was illegal. After the committee session he suggested that Reagan could be impeached for unilaterally starting a war." (Weiss was succeeded by Rep. Jerrold Nadler.) The New York Times noted that also among the seven calling for impeachment: Julian Dixon and...John Conyers.

     April 13, 1984 Washington Post: "Jesse Jackson called on Congress to consider holding hearings on impeaching President Reagan for the mining [of Nicaraguan harbors]. 'If an act of war is taking place without the consent of Congress, clearly it is surely an impeachable offense,' Jackson said while campaigning in Arizona for the Democratic presidential nomination. 'I do not call for his impeachment...but if he operates beyond the law, he should be challenged.'"

     October 10, 1986 New York Times: On the downing of a U.S. plane in Nicaragua, Jesse Jackson "compared what he called the Reagan administration's 'disinformation campaign' about the incident to a 'Watergate' that could be grounds for an impeachment."

     March 6, 1987 New York Times: "Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez, Democrat of Texas, who asked the House to impeach President Reagan after the Grenada invasion in 1983, today introduced new articles of impeachment against Reagan regarding the Iran arms affair."

     June 22, 1987 New York Times: New York Times: "The chief substantive issue taken up at the [ACLU] conference was a proposed call for the impeachment of President Reagan for abuse of power in the Iran arms scandal."

     July 9, 1987 New York Times: New York Times: National Organization for Women head Eleanor Smeal "called on Congress to begin investigating the possibility of impeachment proceedings against President Reagan, saying she disagreed with the notion that Mr. Reagan should be allowed to quietly finish out his term."-- Tim Graham


L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher; Brent Baker, Tim Graham, Editors; Jessica Anderson, Brian Boyd, Geoffrey Dickens, Mark Drake, Paul Smith, Media Analysts; Kristina Sewell, Research Associate.  For the latest liberal media bias, read the CyberAlert at






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