Web sites abuzz about impeachment

Chat patterns underscore a shift away from Usenet, and news is easy to find.

It's the last Saturday before Christmas, but there were still people online to discuss the shocking political events of the day.

The man who was expected to become Speaker of the House, Bob Livingston, R-La., called on President Clinton to resign, and then did so himself, saying he would leave the house within six months. Livingston confessed to marital infidelity earlier this week. The House then impeached Clinton on two counts, marking only the second time in the nation's history, and the first time in 130 years, that a President has been impeached.

Still, perhaps it was the season or perhaps it showed the more general level of political apathy in the U.S., but there weren't nearly as many posts in Deja News as there were when Princess Diana was killed. A quick search of various forums showed less than two dozen posts on the Livingston resignation, and even alt.impeach.Clinton only had four posts by noon pacific time.

This, though, may just signal a shift towards posting comments about news events on news sites. CNN.com's message-boards were crowded with people commenting about the day's events.

News sites were well-prepared for this, and if some, such as the New York Times, chose to lead with generic coverage from the Associated Press, there was no lack of information about the basics, on pretty much any news or search site. A number of sites were aggressive about updating their stories, as well.


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