[UPDATE: NPR saw complaints after the Free Beacon article and added Sisk's Democratic background.They also added supportive quotes from a group of 11 female former law clerks for Gorsuch.]
National Public Radio greeted the opening of the Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearings in typical leftist fashion. Legal reporter Nina Totenberg publicized the complaints of feminist groups and failed to disclose the partisan background of the accuser, named Jennifer Sisk, who claims Gorsuch made insensitive comments about maternity leave in a class at the University of Colorado law school.
The concerns were shared in a letter, posted Sunday evening by the National Employment Lawyers Association and the National Women's Law Center, written by Jennifer Sisk, a 2016 graduate of the University of Colorado Law School....
In an interview with NPR, Sisk says she wrote the letter "so that the proper questions could be asked during his confirmation hearings," which begin Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Other students in the class have not come forward publicly.
Alex Griswold at the Washington Free Beacon noted what Totenberg somehow didn’t find worth mentioning in her online story, Sisk's political background as a Democrat:
But according to Sisk's LinkedIn account, she worked as a legislative correspondent in the U.S. Senate from 2010 to 2012. According to congressional disclosure site Legistorm, the Senator she worked for was Democratic Colorado Sen. Mark Udall.
Following her Senate stint, Sisk worked for three years in the Obama Interior Department. Her LinkedIn lists her position as "special assistant." According to internal documents, Sisk worked as the staff assistant in the immediate office of former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
Sisk went to college at Wellesley....just like Hillary Rodham Clinton.
This is one reason why NPR isn’t seen as some kind of nonpartisan treasure by conservatives. It reads like and sounds like a pliant tool of Democratic and left-wing publicists. Whenever the Left wants to set the table against a conservative, NPR shows up with precise partisan timing to drop the bomb, just as Totenberg did in flushing out Anita Hill to try and kill the Clarence Thomas nomination in the fall of 1991.
Despite claiming other students hadn’t come forward, Totenberg’s account did take into account another student saying Sisk was wrong:
Another student who took the class is disputing this characterization. Will Hauptman, a current law student at the University of Colorado, wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee with his account on Sunday.
"Although Judge Gorsuch did discuss some of the topics mentioned in the letter, he did not do so in the manner described," Hauptman writes.
He continued, "The judge was very matter-of-fact in that we would face difficult decisions; he himself recalled working late nights when he had a young child with whom he wished to share more time. The seriousness with which the judge asked us to consider these realities reflected his desire to make us aware of them, not any animus against a career or group."
But Hauptman offered three quotes in the story, and Sisk was given nine. The story was all about Sisk.
The irony of this is that the Left – because of its domination of academe – generally hates conservative students or groups taping lectures as some kind violation of academic freedom. But now they are forwarding claims about this professor without any actual audio or video evidence of what Gorsuch said.
Totenberg then notes at the very end of the story that Sisk has been pushing this narrative since January, and that Gorsuch is better than other potential Trump picks:
Sisk raised these concerns publicly in a posting on Facebook in late January, shortly after Gorsuch was nominated by Trump to the high court. After stating the claims outlined later in her letter, Sisk also said, "He's still better than the rest of the choices."
PS: As Geoff Dickens pointed out earlier today, this is not how Totenberg covered Elena Kagan in the Obama years. That was gushy:
Legal correspondent Nina Totenberg: “In some ways, the descriptions of Elena Kagan as dean sound a little bit like the beginning of the old Superman TV series.”
Introduction to 1950s version of Superman: “Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers! Bend steel in his bare hands!”
Totenberg: “Translate that to Harvard, and you can almost hear the music. [Superman theme music in background] Kagan, who can raise money by the millions! Kagan, who can end the faculty wars over hiring! Kagan, who won the hearts of students!”