Openly colluding with a foreign government to dig up dirt on his political opponent, while offering up the assistance of the Department of Justice. Freezing U.S. foreign aid to make sure the overseas dirt gets dug. Hiding transcripts of presidential calls on secret servers in hopes of covering up the collusion. Publicly threatening to expose the collusion whistleblower, insinuating that he or she should be executed. Urging that a Democratic member of Congress be arrested for treason. The list of horrendous Donald Trump transgressions uncovered in the past week stretches on and on, as the pressure of an impeachment inquiry intensifies and the unhinged president denounces Democratic election officials as “savages” while warning of a looming civil war if he's removed from office.

All of this comes on the heels of two years of open Trump corruption, hush money payments, and a nonstop attack on the U.S. intelligence community. Yet to date, just one American newspaper editorial board has looked at the shocking Ukraine scandal and concluded that Trump ought to step down for the good of the country.

“The proper next step for the president is clear. He should resign,” the editorial board of the Connecticut Post recently concluded. “He has repeatedly proven himself unfit for office and appears to view the presidency as a position meant to benefit himself personally, not as one that must represent the interests of an entire nation.”

The time is now for more newspapers to use their public platforms to call for Trump to resign. It's time for news outlets to use their bully pulpits to make the case for a return to the rule of law in the executive branch. And it's time for newspapers to grow a spine, because yes, scores of dailies used that same public platform to demand that Bill Clinton resign during the impeachment proceedings of the late 1990s.

“He should resign because he has resolutely failed — and continues to fail — the most fundamental test of any president: to put his nation's interests first,” USA Today announced in September 1998.

It's incomprehensible how those newspapers looked at the consensual affair Clinton had with Monica Lewinsky and concluded the Democrat was “unfit for office,” yet have watched Trump brag about trying to corrupt the 2020 election and remain mum on his fitness to serve. This, after Trump has already advertised himself as a racist and a habitual liar who's busy lining his pockets while serving in the Oval Office.

It's hard to imagine a more naked double standard than how newspaper editorial boards treated Clinton and how they treat Trump, and how the press treats Democrats versus how they treat Republicans. It's all deeply ironic: Newspapers declared a wildly popular Democratic president unfit for office, yet the same newspapers refuse to demand that a wildly unpopular (and corrupt) Republican president step down for the good of the country.

  • October 1, 2019