NPR's Nina Totenberg: ObamaCare In Trouble Because Bush Judges Are 'Very, Very, Very Conservative'

On Friday's Daily Rundown on MSNBC, anchor Chuck Todd asked about the sour outlook for ObamaCare: “There’s a lot of panic at the White House, to be frank. They really thought this wasn’t going to be that hard of a case....Now they’re biting their fingernails. Should they be biting their fingernails?”

NPR’s Nina Totenberg responded: “Yeah, they should be biting their fingernails." Totenberg insisted that everyone thought this was constitutional, a "piece of cake." But the Bush appointments were "very, very, very conservative." This is not the first time she's loaded the "very" boat:

"The White House was right not to worry about it way back when. The entire legal community, except for I would say the really hardcore," she told Todd. "Everybody, including conservatives, thought, ‘Oh, this case is a piece of cake.’...Because of the Bush appointments, which were very, very, very conservative, the Court has become so much more conservative. I would say on economic regulatory matters — and you are seeing a hint of this here — we haven’t seen a Court this conservative, perhaps, since the early, mid-1930s, the early New Deal era.”

Brent Baker lined up Totenberg's labels during the John Roberts confirmation in 2005:

# July 21 CyberAlert: There's no doubt in NPR reporter Nina Totenberg's mind that Judge John Roberts is "very conservative," it's just a matter of how "very." On NPR's All Things Considered on Tuesday night, she prefaced "conservative" with three verys, describing him as "a very, very, very conservative man." But in a taped soundbite on the next day's Good Morning America on ABC, she cut back to two modifiers, dubbing him merely "a very, very conservative man."

# July 25 CyberAlert: NPR's Nina Totenberg, who last week tagged Supreme Court nominee John Roberts as "very, very conservative" and "very, very, very conservative," on Inside Washington over the weekend described him as merely "very conservative." But she couldn't resist adding a modifier every time she applied the conservative label, also dubbing him "a really conservative guy," "a hardline conservative" and "a clear conservative." Plus, she emphasized how he's "a conservative Catholic."

# August 1 CyberAlert: A parody of herself? NPR's Nina Totenberg, who has tagged Supreme Court nominee John Roberts as “very conservative,” "very, very conservative" and "very, very, very conservative," as well as "a really conservative guy," "a hardline conservative" and "a clear conservative," to say nothing of being "a conservative Catholic," on Inside Washington over the weekend relayed that after she “spent five hours reviewing all of his documents from when he worked in the Justice Department,” she “was actually quite surprised at how, how very, very conservative he was.” Apparently, she didn't listen to herself.


Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis