New York Times pop culture reporter Reggie Ugwu, the paper’s podcast specialist, celebrated a left-wing SCOTUS-centered one, with an emphasis on vulgarity, in “The Hosts of ‘5-4’ Never Trusted the Supreme Court.”
Ugwu snuck in unchallenged praise for the left-wing activist podcast keyed to the overturning of Roe v Wade, and forwarded nasty attacks on conservative Supreme Court justices, under the guise of a feature story on a relatively obscure outlet, somehow worthy of the front of Tuesday’s Business section.
For Rhiannon Hamam, it was a tossup between Bush v. Gore and Castle Rock v. Gonzales.
When it came to what she considered the worst Supreme Court decision of the modern era, Bush epitomized to her the court’s opposition to democracy -- reversing a Florida Supreme Court order for a manual recount and effectively deciding the 2000 presidential election....
Then, last month, came the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, barging to the top -- or bottom -- of her list by overturning Roe v. Wade and revoking the constitutional right to an abortion.
“It was absolutely awful,” Hamam said. “It’s hard to avoid the sense that something has gone very wrong.”
Like millions of Americans, Hamam, a public defender and one of three hosts of the popular podcast “5-4,” has spent much of this spring and summer fixated on the court and the imminent consequences of its 6-3 conservative supermajority. According to an annual Gallup poll released in late June -- following the leak of an early draft of the Dobbs ruling -- public confidence in the Supreme Court is plummeting….
Reporter Ugwu demonstrated nothing but approval of the obscenity-loving lefty podcast stars (a podcast “trailer” on YouTube bragged that the hosts were “three pissed-off lawyers”), and smoothly channeled their radicalism.
But for Hamam and her fellow podcast hosts -- Michael Liroff and Peter, who asked to be identified only by his first name because his employer is unaware of the podcast -- hating the high court is nothing new. In fact, it’s something of a calling….
The approach, both profane and meticulous, has attracted a fast-growing audience of like-minded listeners.
And thank goodness for this:
For [host] Liroff, the growing popularity has made the podcast feel worthwhile….
Court-packing is cool, and so is insulting conservatives justices.
In conversation, as on the show, the hosts are a bottomless well of sardonic judicial analysis. In a video interview last Wednesday, they debated which of the nine justices is most worthy of contempt (unanimous: Clarence Thomas), whose opinions are the most painful to read (Liroff: Brett Kavanaugh “writes like if you gave a talented law student a concussion”) and pet ideas for reform (all want to expand the court by a minimum of four justices; Liroff suggested the regular appointment of an additional justice every two years).
This is the sort of thing average Times readers find cute and charming: Let’s cuss out a dead Supreme Court Justice!
….(A chatbot’s response to any mention of the name “Scalia” begins with a four-letter word.
One awaits the next inevitable Times story accusing mean-spirited conservatives of shattering the comity of American politics....