Host Alan Murray pointed out that Roberts' asides were “jokes” and, as noted in an earlier NewsBusters posting by me about the Post's deliberate distortion of his quip in a story headlined “Roberts Resisted Women's Rights,” his remark about homemakers becoming lawyers was a slap not at women but at how there are too many lawyers. NBC's Pete Williams, however, chimed in with how “the President of NOW said his views are, quote, 'neanderthal.'"
A look at the full quote, however, shows that the Post distorted the personal aside in the memo. Roberts was not making a disparaging remark about women but -- in response to a judging panel at Clairol considering an award to a female White House staffer who had convinced some homemakers to go to law school -- he simply offered a quip about whether society needs more lawyers: "Some might question whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good, but I suppose that is for the judges to decide."
[Update, 11:30am EDT: The New York Times got the joke.]
In today's Washington Post on page A04, staff reporters R. Jeffrey Smith and Jo Becker penned this headline: "Library Missing Roberts File"
The headline, and the first paragraph, were seemingly written to set the tone of possible file theft by the Bush Administration:
With a little nudge from the White House, Sheryl Gay Stolberg partially corrects her faulty story from yesterday on the John Roberts' nomination.