That was typical of Beltway media behavior even as revelations of war crimes and high-level lawlesness proliferated: oh, calm down with your extremist, unhinged rhetoric. Broder boasts that he called for Clinton’s resignation over a sex scandal and “had no problem with” Nixon’s impeachment over what was, by comparsion to Bush scandals, a relatively minor infraction. As revelations of torture mounted, did he call for Bush’s impeachment or even resignation? No. Like most of his colleagues in the media, he did the opposite: he dismissed objections to what was happening as hysterical and fringe and insisted that Serious and Good People were in charge.

This is a vital reason — I’d say the central reason — why people like David Broder and his media colleagues don’t want investigations and prosecutions: because they were complicit in most of it, and such proceedings would implicate them as much as the criminals themselves. Think about it: what would happen if Dick Cheney were “in the dock,” if high-level American officials were adjudicated in formal proceedings as war criminals and felons? The question would naturally arise: how was that allowed to happen? What did the American media do about it while it happened? What was the Dean of the Washington Press Corps saying and doing to stop it and to alert the citizenry as to what was going on? And the answer, of course, is: nothing. They supported the war criminals and mocked and demonized those who objected.

Salon: Who are Broderian anti-investigation journalists really protecting?