What is this? Democracy dies in....silence? Thursday afternoon, CNN’s Wolf dedicated a segment with host Wolf Blitzer and Supreme Court analyst Joan Biskupic wondering why the current eight Supreme Court justices have remained silent and not opined on the three-decades-old sexual misconduct allegation against nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Perhaps more insane than anything Biskupic or Blitzer said was this CNN chyron that’s fit for a straightjacket: “Supreme Turmoil; How Justices Feel About Partisan Confirmation Battles.”
New York Times Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak was harsh on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, suggesting his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week had no redeeming interest. Sunday’s front-page analysis by Liptak appeared under the harsh headline “A Simple Script: Saying Nothing, Over and Over.” The Times was far more accepting and excusing of evasive testimony from Obama's nominees.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has done what Supreme Court nominees have long done at confirmation hearings, declined to testify specifically about how they would rule on matters before the court. The New York Times headline on Thursday was "Kavanaugh Ducks Questions on Presidential Powers and Subpoenas." But when Obama nominee Elena Kagan responded in the same fashion during her 2010 hearings, this was the New York Times headline: "Kagan Follows Precedent by Offering Few Opinions."
Since the 1980s, the well-worn liberal playbook is to claim that Republican appointees to the Supreme Court should be voted down as ideologues who are outside the judicial mainstream. The establishment media aids this tactic by often tagging GOP nominees as “conservative,” while ignoring — or even disputing — the liberal bent of Democratic nominees to the Court. True to form, ABC, CBS and NBC’s morning and evening broadcasts branded Judge Brett Kavanaugh a “conservative” a total of eleven times in the first 24 hours since his nomination by President Trump.
President Trump won’t officially announce his latest nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court until this evening, but it’s already easy to predict the liberal media’s spin. As with all recent Republican nominees, reporters will repeatedly label them as “conservative,” which will nicely reinforce the Democrats’ strategy to paint them as outside “the mainstream.” But when Democratic Presidents announce their Supreme Court nominees, those same reporters can’t find the words to call those choices “liberal.”
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.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of the United States heard the oral argument for the controversial Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer. The case tackles the idea of a separation between church and state, “The question: Can states refuse to give money to churches even when it's for something that doesn't involve worship,” noted Anchor Lester Holt during NBC Nightly News. And judging by questions asked by the justices, it appeared as though the majority might side with the church. And judging by NBC’s coverage, the network was appalled by the idea.
If the liberal media cover the Neil Gorsuch hearings the same way they handled Barack Obama’s choices for the Supreme Court, they will do everything they can to pave the way to an easy confirmation. When they weren’t singing the praises of their backgrounds, or even comedic stylings, liberal reporters and anchors tried to downplay the leftist leaning of Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Merrick Garland. The following is a collection of some the most egregious examples of liberal reporters and anchors doing their best to pave the way for Obama’s nominees.
An MRC analysis of labels used on ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows during the 24 hours after each of the past six Supreme Court nominations demonstrates the pattern. GOP nominees John Roberts, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch were labeled by reporters as “conservative” a total of 36 times, while Democratic nominees Sonya Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Merrick Garland were called “liberal” a mere seven times — all on CBS. In fact, there were more occasions (10) when reporters either denied that a Democratic nominee was liberal, or labeled them “centrist” or “moderate.” Republican nominees were never described as “centrist” or “moderate.”
Whomever Barack Obama selects to fill the vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia expect the liberal media to worry the selection isn’t progressive enough. As might be expected, journalists criticize the Supreme Court appointments made by Republican presidents as “hardline” and “very conservative.” But even the nominees elevated by recent Democratic presidents have been challenged as not liberal enough for the media’s taste.
I'm guessing most NewsBusters readers could care less about "diversity" when it comes to choosing Justices of the Supreme Court. That they'd be thrilled if all nine justices looked, for example, like Clarence Thomas--so long as all shared his philosophy of judicial restraint and original intent.
On today's With All Due Respect, Mark Halperin interviewed Planned Parent president Cecile Richards. Richards declined to name someone she'd like to see nominated to the Court but did say she was "extremely grateful" for the addition to the Court of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. That prompted Halperin to observe: "regardless of ideology I think we can all agree it's great for the Court to look more like America." Richards piously agreed: "absolutely: without a doubt." Baloney: ideology is all to Richards. She would fight tooth and nail against an appointee who looked like Sotomayor but voted like the late, great Antonin Scalia. Similarly, she'd be all in for a male person of pallor, so long as he was pro Roe.
Reporting on the outcome of Harris v. Quinn on the front page of Tuesday's Washington Post, staff writers Jerry Markon and Robert Barnes buried the perspective of the successful party in the case, non-unionized home health care worker Pam Harris, in the 21st paragraph of the 29-paragraph article, "Ruling on union dues a blow to organized labor."
But right out of the gate, Markon and Barnes choreographed a melodrama pitting a narrow conservative majority on the Court versus the nation's labor unions and their valiant liberal defenders on the Court. An excerpt is reproduced below (emphasis mine):