Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) excoriated the national press on Wednesday during a debate over the war in Afghanistan, charging reporters with shirking their duty to cover the issue and instead focusing on the peccadillos of former Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.).
"There's one, two press people in this gallery," he thundered. "We're talking about Eric Massa 24/7 on the TV. We're talking about war and peace; $3 billion; 1,000 lives and no press! No press!"
The House is debating a resolution written by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), which would require the military to withdraw from Afghanistan within 30 days or longer if it couldn't be done safely that quickly.
"You want to know why the American public is fit? They're fit because they're not seeing their Congress do the work that they're sent to do," railed Kennedy, who is retiring at the end of this term. "It's because the press, the press of the United States, is not covering the most significant issue of national importance and that's the laying of lives down in the nation for the service of our country. It's despicable, the national press corps right now."
UPDATE: The resolution was defeated by a vote of 356-65, with 60 Democrats and five Republicans voting to end the war.
The roll call can be found here.
Several powerful chairmen -- David Obey (D-Wisc.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and George Miller (D-Calif.) -- voted to end the war, and Obey's opposition will be particularly noted by war proponents, given that he controls the purse strings through the Appropriations Committee.