CNN’s Person of the Month: Dennis Kucinich
One of CNN's favorite people during the month of April is leftist presidential candidate extraordinaire Dennis Kucinich. His appearance on Wednesday's "American Morning" was the culmination of three straight days of coverage of the Ohio congressman's impeachment proposal against Vice President Cheney. Despite the amount of coverage he has been given, not just in the past three days, but also earlier in April, "American Morning" co-host John Roberts was the first to specifically mention Kucinich's 1 percent standing in the last CNN poll. So why all the free CNN publicity?
Monday's "The Situation Room" was the first to report that Kucinich was seeking the impeachment of Dick Cheney. Host Wolf Blitzer reported that the Ohio congressman scheduled a news conference where he would announce his articles of impeachment against the Vice President.
Blitzer asked CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley about Kucinich's motivation for seeking Cheney's impeachment. She admitted that this was an "issue of the Left," and "an article of faith... with those who are supporters of Dennis Kucinich." She also categorized Kucinich as a "natural messenger" for this cause.
For the second straight day, Tuesday's "The Situation Room"covered Kucinich's impeachment proposal. In a segment with CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider in the first hour of the program, Blitzer hypothesized that Kucinich's impeachment resolution "could give his struggling campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination a boost."
Blitzer interviewed One-Percent Dennis during the second hour of "The Situation Room" on Tuesday. A partial transcript of the interview, with the key questions and answers:
BLITZER: Why the vice president, if you're so concerned about the war, as opposed to the commander in chief? That would be the president.
KUCINICH: Well, the vice president had a singular responsibility in whipping up public sentiment to lay the groundwork for a war against Iraq on false pretenses, and the articles of impeachment cover that. And there's another practical reason, Wolf, and that is that if someone was to aim at impeaching the president, then Mr. Cheney would become the president. I don't think that this country could tolerate two consecutive impeachments.
So I think that the evidence is there to focus on the vice president. That's the appropriate place to begin. And that's what I've done today in filing House Resolution 333.
BLITZER: A lot of your critics already suggesting it's a political stunt, given the fact that the speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has ruled out impeachment. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, says that's not on his agenda. Do you think you have enough votes to really get this out of a committee?
KUCINICH: I think that people in Congress are about to find out that all over the United States, citizens have been asking questions. What kind of a government do we have? And why isn't someone stepping forward to challenge the conduct of this vice president?
And so, people are asking me today, is anyone standing behind me? And I think there are millions of Americans who believe that it was time to raise this issue. And the reason I did it now, Wolf, is because the vice president is beating the same drums of war against Iran that he beat against Iraq under false pretenses, and he's doing it all over again, against Iran. The same false pretenses. And I say that it's time to stand up to that.
Our country couldn't afford this last war, we sure can't afford to go into another one. And somebody has to challenge the conduct of this vice president. And that's what I've done today.
BLITZER: Well, high crimes and misdemeanors. That's a high threshold. Specifically, explain to our viewers what your articles -- you have three articles of impeachment -- what they are alleging.
KUCINICH: Well, the first article, and I quote, says that he "... fabricated a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the use of the United States armed forces against the nation of Iraq." And the second article points to the fact that he "... fabricated a connection between the government of Iraq and al Qaeda and used that to justify war." And the third article says that he's "... openly threatening aggressive war against Iran," which is a violation of Article 6 of our Constitution, and a violation of Article 2 Section 4 of the U.N. charter. That's basically a synopsis of the articles.
It appears that Wolf Blitzer's hypothesis that Kucinich's impeachment resolution "could give his struggling campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination a boost" was correct, and it was CNN's coverage that made the major contribution.
CNN's coverage of Kucinich during the month of April was not limited to past 3 days. On April 11th, Miles O'Brien, then co-host of "American Morning," wholeheartedly endorsed his letter-writing campaign targeting oil companies. Kucinich then appeared on CNN's "In the Money" on April 21st, where he expounded more on his jihad against the oil companies.