Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 05-26-09

Will media note political motives behind conservative criticisms of SCOTUS nominee?
Given reported admissions by conservatives that they believe they cannot defeat President Obama's forthcoming Supreme Court nominee but plan to oppose the nominee for political reasons, will the media note the political motives behind conservatives' inevitable criticism of whomever Obama chooses? Read More

CBS fails to note political basis for GOP Supreme Court opposition
The Early Show reported that Republicans think President Obama's Supreme Court nominee will "be a Robin Hood ... who's going to steal from the rich and give to the poor" and a proponent of "liberal judicial activism," but did not note that Republicans and conservatives reportedly plan to oppose any Obama nominee for political purposes. Read More

Echo chamber: Fox News runs with Rosen's anonymously sourced claims that Sotomayor is "domineering"
Bill Hemmer and Shannon Bream relied on anonymous sources to characterize Sonia Sotomayor as "domineering," "bogged down in marginal details," and "a bit of a bully." Read More

Media obsess over Obama's comments, ignore Bush's highlighting of Thomas' "great empathy"
Media figures and outlets have focused on President Obama's statement that empathy is one of the qualifications he would seek in a Supreme Court nominee, but they have not noted that then-President George H.W. Bush cited "great empathy" in his remarks announcing his selection of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Read More

NBC's Todd falsely claimed Sotomayor said "we legislate from the bench"
Chuck Todd falsely asserted that Sonia Sotomayor "is on tape saying ... we legislate from the bench." In fact, Sotomayor said that the "court of appeals is where policy is made" -- a remark "[e]ven some conservatives" say is "only stating the obvious," according to Pete Williams. Read More

CNN's Borger, Schneider baselessly conflate judicial "activist[s]" with liberal judges
Gloria Borger and Bill Schneider advanced the conservative myth that judicial activism is solely a "liberal" practice, when at least two studies have found that the most "conservative" Supreme Court justices have been the biggest judicial activists. Read More

CNN, Fox News, MSNBC misrepresent Sotomayor remark on role of appeals court justices
CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC all took a comment Judge Sonia Sotomayor made on the role of the circuit court during a 2005 forum out of context. The context makes clear that Sotomayor was actually explaining the difference between district and appeals court justices, not claiming that she "believes court of appeals justices should make policy." Read More

Politico ignores history of conservatives' citing importance of empathy in a judge

The Politico reported attacks from conservatives that Sonia Sotomayor, in the words of Wendy Long, "applies her feelings ... when deciding cases." However, the article did not note that numerous Republicans have previously praised compassion as a judicial attribute. Read More

Fox's Kelly, ABC's Greenburg skew Sotomayor remark about "Latina," "white male" judges
Megyn Kelly and Jan Crawford Greenburg misrepresented a remark that Sonia Sotomayor made in a speech published in 2002, claiming that Sotomayor suggested, in Kelly's words, "that Latina judges are obviously better than white male judges." Read More

Media work from opposition's playbook by advancing smears about Sotomayor's intelligence
Several media figures have repeated or advanced smears that Sonia Sotomayor lacks the intellect to be an effective Supreme Court justice or is not as intelligent as others President Obama considered. Read More

NRO's Geraghty misleads to declare Sotomayor "[s]oft" on "[c]orruption"
NRO's Jim Geraghty accused then-U.S. district judge Sonia Sotomayor of being "[s]oft on New Jersey [c]orruption" because of her sentencing of a man in a kickback scheme, without noting that she reportedly gave the defendant only six months less time than the prosecutor requested. Read More

Media uncritically repeat claim that New Haven firefighters case shows Sotomayor is an activist
The media have echoed conservatives' claim that Sonia Sotomayor's position in Ricci v. DeStefano shows that she is an "activist" judge. In fact, Sotomayor agreed with four of her 2nd Circuit colleagues that precedent compelled the decision in the case. Read More

ABC's Greenburg takes Sotomayor remarks out of context, provides opposition spin
ABC's Jan Crawford Greenburg aired two comments from Sonia Sotomayor, in both cases removing her remarks from context and providing only criticisms of those statements from her conservative opponents. Read More

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