The front page of Sunday’s New York Times brought the expected comprehensive dissection of President Trump’s second Supreme Court justice nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, in 4,500 words: “Trump’s Choice: Beltway Insider Born And Bred – Father Was A Lobbyist – Supreme Court Nominee Is Being Promoted as Business Friendly.” A photo caption online made the ideological toneclear: “The Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, center with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Mike Pence, is the culmination of a 30-year conservative movement to shift the judiciary to the right.”
A few Supreme Court cases just failed to go the left’s way, and now they are trashing the First Amendment they once revered in such morally preening fashion. New York Times Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak gave the reversal his seal of approval in a long lead story for Sunday’s front page: “How Free Speech Was Weaponized By Conservatives.” What began in a free-speech backlash by the paper against the Citizens United decision, which lifted the ban on independent political expenditures by corporations and unions, is even more robust now that some influential First Amendment rulings are going the "wrong" way.
Underlining how the liberal worldview has soaked through every section of the newspaper, reporter Melanie Ryzik has a full-page spread in Sunday’s New York Times, “The Supreme Court’s Ninja Warrior – Ruth Bader Ginsburg uses her popularity for fun and progress.” The paper has carefully nurtured the liberal meme of Justice Ginsburg as superheroine. It already covered this silliness in February, when the paper’s Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak descended into the pop-culture hagiography.
Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak was quite aggrieved in his "Sidebar" column about a decision involving allegations of excessive force against an Arizona cop. Liptak couldn’t have made it more clear whose side he was on, and focused almost solely on the two liberal dissents, in “Supreme Court Sides With Police Officer Accused of Using Excessive Force.” Liptak devoted 10 paragraphs of the 20-paragraph story to Sotomayor’s dissent, heavy on impassioned quotes, compared to a single paragraph, without quotations, summing up the majority.
After a brief interlude, the New York Times is getting label-happy again, this time in its Supreme Court coverage. Beat reporter Adam Liptak on Tuesday covered the arguments in an important case involving free speech and government unions -- whether forcing workers to support public unions violates their First Amendment rights -- in “Newest Justice, Seen as Key Vote, Is Silent During Arguments on Unions.”
Friday’s New York Times featured a “Sidebar” column by the paper’s left-leaning Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak celebrating Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “24 Years on the Bench, and Still Putting Them in the Seats.” The online headline gave her the nickname: “On Tour With Notorious R.B.G., Judicial Rock Star.” Liptak is a long-time fan of Ginsburg’s social-justice approach to interpreting the law, and the text box summed up the tone of his lead National section "news": "Boisterious applause for a genial justice in city after city." Before digging up Ginsburg’s silly nickname (a reference to the rapper Notorious BIG), Liptak compared her to a music superstar of another eraL Bob Dylan.
President Trump’s pardon of controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, scourge of illegal immigrants and a promoter of the “birther” conspiracy theory about Barack Obama, made the front of Sunday’s New York Times. Legal reporter Adam Liptak began the chorus of disapproval with “President Pardon of Arpaio Follows the Law, Yet Challenges It.” Yet the same paper treated another controversial presidential action -- the commutation of military secrets leaker Bradley Manning – in quite sympathetic tones.
Immigration is the issue where the New York Times' liberal slant is most obvious, and Friday's edition did not fail to provide it. The Supreme Court effectively doomed President Obama’s executive actions in 2014 to unilaterally shield some five million illegal immigrants from deportation, and the New York Times' front-page “news analysis," “Lines Drawn for November,” immediately pounced on what it considers a golden political opportunity for Democrats in November.
What’s the real danger to the First Amendment? Trump! the New York Times shouts in its Saturday lead. Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak gathered up opinions from left and right for “Trump Declarations Seen As Threat to Rule of Law -- Scholars Finds Disregard for Constitutional Rights in Remarks That Raise Alarm." Yet after going after Trump for disrespecting the First Amendment, another story on Saturday’s front page dismissed the violent attacks on Trump supporters in San Jose.
On Tuesday at TheFederalist.com, 2015 Noel Sheppard Blogger of the Year recipient Mollie Hemingway pointed to several outrageous examples of poor press coverage of the Supreme Court's unanimous move to send Obamacare's HHS contraception mandate case back to the lower courts.
Hemingway's core observation was that usually plaintiff-sympathetic establishment press outlets "suddenly have trouble even naming the Little Sisters of the Poor" until their stories' very late paragraphs. She even found that Adam Liptak's story at the New York Times, one of the establishment press's two primary gatekeepers, failed to mention the Little Sisters at all in a 1,283-word report. One item she did not cite was at the Associated Press, the other primary gatekeeper, where the coverage was in some respects even worse.
The New York Times did its best to begin the Supreme Court debate by mainstreaming Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee, as a “brilliant” “centrist” and moderate voice of reason. Reporters Michael Shear and Gardiner Harris treated the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit with kid gloves in the paper’s initial reporting Wednesday, with the same kind of pro-Democratic labeling slant the paper has always shown toward Supreme Court nominees.
New York Times Supreme Court correspondent Adam Liptak filed a liberal pleasing analysis Tuesday, fervently insisting Chief Justice John Roberts is a staunch conservative, despite what ridiculous right-wingers may think. His reported opinion piece, based on voting analysis by law professors, strained to show Roberts as a loyal conservative Justice, but the evidence is hardly as cut and dried as Liptak's charged tone would suggest. Liptak has always trended left, as when he faulted the "terse" old U.S. Constitution as outdated for failing to guarantee entitlements like health care.