I tried to confine my reading of the Washington Post to headlines, op-ed pieces by Will and Kruathammer, and the sports section. However, even some of the headlines managed to upset me. The headline of this Post round-up of the Supreme Court term states: “Civil Liberties Were Term’s Big Winners: Supreme Court’s Moderate Rulings A Surprise.”
It must not be easy to cram three distortions into one headline, but the Post managed to do it. First, the key rulings covered by the article — upholding discrimination against whites by the Michigan law school and overturning Texas’ anti-sodomy law — were moderate only in the Post’s world, where decisions are either moderate or right-wing. To anyone else, these decisions (one of which overturned Supreme Court precedent, while the other embraced views that had previously been expressed by only one (ex) Justice) are “liberal,” if not radical. Second, these two decisions are not particularly surprising. Although neither was presaged by prior opinions of the Court, both were at least as expected as the contrary result would have been. Again, only in the Post’s world, where the right-wing has captured the Court, could either result be considered surprising.
Finally, it is difficult to comprehend how civil liberties prevailed in the Michigan case. Indeed, the Post’s headline shows a two-fold ignorance of the concept of civil liberties. First, the right to obtain a benefit based one’s race is not a civil liberty. Second, even if it were, the Supreme Court conferred no such individual right. Instead, it granted to the state the right to grant race-based preferences if it is so inclined.
The Washington Post seems intent on following the example of the New York Times, and squandering what is left of its credibility in the name of a mindless liberalism.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
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