What was the most important thing for readers of Washington Post to see on the front-page of the paper Sunday morning? A headline focusing directly on the death of Antonin Scalia? No. In bold, large font, the Post declared, “Supreme Court Conservative Dismayed Liberals.”
According to the journalists at NBC’s Today, a Hillary Clinton operative is the perfect person to weigh in on replacing conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Co-host Craig Melvin brought on Ron Klain to blast Republicans for declaring that a new president would pick the next judge, not Obama.
The morning after the shock news that Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia died, ABC and NBC actually opened their Sunday shows with nice tributes to the “legendary” “American original,” seeing the conservative as a “giant” who was “funny and sarcastic.” That didn’t stop Good Morning America and Today from constantly referring to Scalia as “controversial.”
Opining during MSNBC’s breaking news coverage early Saturday evening on the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Rachel Maddow took a swing at the Senate Republicans for wanting “a functionless Supreme Court for an entire year” and Brian Williams complained originalists like Scalia failed to “anticipate” things like abortion, airplanes and iPhones.
CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin took part in the network’s post-Republican debate panel Saturday night and used the occasion to lecture the GOP candidates for all having “bad moments” in “a raucous screamfest” and rallied to the defense of Chief Justice John Roberts to lament the direction of the party he doesn’t even belong to. Further, liberal CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley proclaimed that “Donald Trump won the debate” by being “bombastic” and prepared “to rumble” with the five other candidates.
CBS News Republican Debate moderator John Dickerson appropriately began Saturday’s proceedings with a large block devoted to the sudden passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. However, he chose to approach it from a liberal direction by arguing to Donald Trump that conservatives should kowtow to President Obama’s nominee because they would if he were a Republican. Later, he parroted Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s statement whining about the impending fight over a likely liberal nominee and the Republican opposition.
As part of its coverage on Saturday following the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, CBS Evening News Saturday anchor Jim Axelrod made sure to invoke Scalia’s “controversial comments” from December regarding affirmative action. Axelrod cited a statement from Chief Justice John Roberts and then went pivoted to hyping Scalia as “a fiery conservative” who led “a strict interpretation of the Constitution and known for his theatrical flare in the courtroom.”
During the ABC News Special Report on Saturday concerning the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, chief foreign correspondent and longtime Supreme Court reporter Terry Moran opined that while Scalia was “a towering figure,” the conservative Justice “didn’t win that much” and thus was relegated to dissents that were “scathing and sarcastic but were loud and clear.”
Seemingly unable to tell the difference between a man who affirmatively asserted racist assumptions about the physical abilities of a whole race and a man doing his job by pressing lawyers about a contention in a brief, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd smeared Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: “I couldn’t help but think of Al Campanis on Nightline.” Ted Koppel, a panelist on Sunday’s show who interviewed Campanis on ABC’s Nightline back in April of 1987, agreed: “You know, it’s funny. I was thinking of Al Campanis too.”
NBC Nightly News was the sole Big Three network evening newscast on Friday to cover the controversy surrounding Justice Antonin Scalia's comments during oral arguments in an affirmative action case. Both Lester Holt and Pete Williams spotlighted how "gasps were heard inside the Supreme Court this week over something said by Justice Antonin Scalia." Williams zeroed in how "some called the comments racist. Others said, he was just plain wrong."
Moments before bringing on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for two casual segments of softball questions, Late Night host Seth Meyers took a shot at Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in his monologue by comparing him to members of the KKK following Scalia’s comments on Wednesday about affirmative action.
On Thursday's Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield on CNN, host Banfield joined CNN legal analyst Paul Callan and Joey Jackson of HLN -- sister network to CNN -- in deriding conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for recently referencing an argument against affirmative action in higher education admissions.
As HLN legal analyst Jackson called Justice Scalia's remarks "disturbing" and "offensive," Callan asserted that the conservative justice "sounded a little nutty," and Banfield declared that "I cannot believe I'm hearing those words from a Supreme Court justice."