Sometimes you have to push back when you read something in the newspaper — so I did
The Palm Beach Post reserves a space on their Opinion page for a column called, “Point of View.” It’s a place for Op-Ed submissions from readers, encouraging “a civil and robust exchange of ideas.” In the February 8 edition of the paper, I was somewhat surprised, but mostly chagrined, when I read a piece by one Charles B. Zuravin of West Palm Beach entitled, “Impeachment defies logic, but Dems don’t care.“
Mr. Zuravin’s “Point of View” can be read here:
After reading the Op-Ed I wrote to The Post’s executive editor, Rick Christie, commenting in part:
I’m writing to you directly as this is too long for a “letter to the editor.” I’m also writing to you directly, as we’ve corresponded in the past and I hold you and your colleagues in high esteem for the work you do. I subscribe to many newspapers and periodicals and truly believe that supporting local journalism is critically important. But since you’re the boss I needed to say that I find it close to journalistic malpractice that you provided precious “Point of View” space for pieces like the one Charles B. Zuravin wrote in the February 8 edition.
I don’t expect my reply, below, to Mr. Zuravin’s piece to be published in The Post; I will however publish it in my own blog, “Around the Block.”
Here’s what I wrote. As I write this, it is under consideration for publication as a “Point of View” Op-Ed in The Palm Beach Post.
Impeachment Defies Logic — Not Really
It strains credulity that the Post would not only publish a reader rant, er, “Point of View” – ‘Impeachment defies logic, but Dems don’t care’ by Charles B. Zuravin, but place it as the centerpiece of the February 8 Opinion page. And, without any regard to the veracity of Mr. Zuravin’s comments.
Mr. Zuravin correctly states that the “Constitution calls for the removal of a president upon impeachment and conviction for his having committed ‘bribery, treason and other high crimes and misdemeanors.’” What he leaves out however, is that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment states conviction can lead to “removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.” This “disqualification” clause was written so as not to immunize a president (or any office holder subject to impeachment) who commits misconduct late in his term, but rather hold him accountable.
(Although Mr. Zuravin suggests, sarcastically, that this trial is “unprecedented,” there is historical precedent in which the Senate held impeachment trials for officials after they had left office — Senator William Blount in 1797 and Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876.)
Mr. Zuravin questions the charge that Mr. Trump incited an insurrection when all he did was give “… a speech in which he implored his supporters to go to the Capitol ‘peacefully and patriotically’ and make their voices heard,” conveniently leaving out Trump’s admonition, “Something’s wrong here. Something’s really wrong. Can’t have happened. And we fight. We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Mr. Zuravin states, “The fact that the attack on the Capitol was preplanned, and occurred during, rather than after Trump’s speech? Trivia.”
Perhaps Mr. Zuravin needs to go back and check the timeline. According to The Washington Post:
- By 11 a.m. the mostly mask-less crowd filled the (Ellipse) area.
- At around noon, Trump began his more than one-hour speech, telling the crowd to ‘never give up’ and ‘never concede.’
- At 1:30 p.m., after Trump’s speech, supporters begin marching toward the U.S. Capitol. The crowd outside the building grew larger, eventually overtaking Capitol Police and making their way up the steps.
- Around 2:15 p.m. the mob breached the Capitol, breaking windows and climbing inside the building, then opening doors for others to follow.
Mr. Zuravin’s comments regarding President Biden and former President Obama don’t deserve the dignity of a reply, so let me close with this:
Facts deserve a place in The Palm Beach Post, even in the Opinion section; lies, half-truths, rumors and innuendo do not. Keep in mind — you’re The Palm Beach Post, not the New York Post.