Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 05-27-09

Why didn't Wash. Post columnists call Cheney a disgrace?
What a difference two terms make. Read More

Politico, Wash. Post omit context of Sotomayor remark about "Latina," "white male" judges
Discussing the politics surrounding Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination, the Politico and The Washington Post omitted the context of her 2001 remark about "Latina" and "white male" judges. Read More

Will baselessly claims Sotomayor "embraces ... idea of categorical representation"
In his Washington Post column, George Will baselessly claimed Sonia Sotomayor "embraces identity politics," including the notion that "members of a particular category can be represented -- understood, empathized with -- only by persons of the same identity." Read More

Conservatives react to historic Supreme Court nominee by smearing Sotomayor as "racist," "bigot"
Numerous conservative media figures have misrepresented remarks Judge Sonia Sotomayor made during a speech at Berkeley in 2001 to smear her as a racist and a bigot. Read More

WSJ, USA Today advance conservatives' distortions of Sotomayor's Duke remark
The Wall Street Journal and USA Today advanced conservative efforts to portray Sonia Sotomayor as an activist judge by misrepresenting a remark she made about the difference between district and appeals court justices. Read More

Lauer falsely claims Sotomayor said appellate courts make policy rather than interpreting laws
Matt Lauer misrepresented comments made by Sonia Sotomayor about the role of appellate courts and suggested that Sotomayor was "an activist judge." Read More

Milbank joins smear campaign challenging Sotomayor's intellect
Echoing an early smear of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, The Washington Post's Dana Milbank wrote that "portraits" of Sotomayor describe her as merely "competent, but no Louis Brandeis" -- but numerous "portraits" Media Matters has identified describe Sotomayor as "highly intelligent" and even "brilliant." Read More

Fox airs on-screen graphics featuring Sotomayor's college yearbook quote of Socialist Thomas
Fox News featured on-screen graphics noting that Judge Sonia Sotomayor quoted Norman Thomas, a six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America, in her Princeton yearbook. Neither Sotomayor's yearbook page nor Thomas was discussed during the segment. Read More

Lowry distorts Sotomayor statement on whether "judges should transcend their 'personal sympathies and prejudices' "
Rich Lowry falsely claimed that Judge Sonia Sotomayor "disagreed with a colleague who thought judges should transcend their 'personal sympathies and prejudices.' " In fact, in the speech Lowry referenced, Sotomayor made clear that she "agree[d]" with the sentiment that judges should seek to "transcend their personal sympathies and sentiments" whenever possible. Read More

Fox's Bream falsely suggests Sotomayor ruling in firefighters case outside the mainstream
Shannon Bream echoed a conservative talking point by falsely suggesting that Sonia Sotomayor's position in Ricci v. DeStefano indicates that she is outside the mainstream of the current court. Read More

Media cite "policy" comment in falsely accusing Sotomayor of "judicial activism"
Several media outlets and figures have advanced the falsehood that Sonia Sotomayor's statement that the "court of appeals is where policy is made" means that she believes in "judicial activism." In fact, numerous legal experts have stated that her comment was accurate and uncontroversial. Read More

Wash. Times, CQ uncritically report criticism that Sotomayor's Supreme Court reversal rate is "high"
The Washington Times and CQ Today advanced without challenge the charge that Judge Sonia Sotomayor's reversals, which the Times reported as three of five cases, or 60 percent, are "high." But the Supreme Court has reversed more than 60 percent of the federal appeals court cases it considered each year since 2004. Read More

Some media reject claims that Sotomayor is a liberal activist
Conservative media figures have been quick to describe Sonia Sotomayor as, in Sean Hannity's words, "left-wing" and an "activist." Several media figures and legal experts reject this characterization, describing her as a "political centrist." Read More

Media, others dredge up discredited smear piece in reporting on Sotomayor nomination
Numerous media figures have cited anonymous smears of Sonia Sotomayor's intellect and temperament reported by The New Republic's Jeffrey Rosen, though Rosen has admitted he had neither read enough of her opinions nor spoken to enough of her supporters to form a fair assessment of her. Read More

Myths and falsehoods surrounding the Sotomayor nomination
The media have advanced numerous myths and falsehoods about Sonia Sotomayor. In addition to evaluating these claims on their merits, the media should also consistently report that conservatives were reportedly very clear about their intentions to oppose President Obama's nominee for political purposes, no matter who it was. Read More

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