Reporters Gone Wild

Reporters and commentators across the mainstream media are casting aside all restraint in their effort to help the Democrats preserve the filibuster, which, after being reviled by liberals for decades, has suddenly been revealed as one of the great pillars of democracy.
This morning’s article by Jim VandeHei and Charles Babington in the Washington Post is one example among many. One could spend hours dissecting it, but two quick points will perhaps suffice. First, note how the Post’s reporters frame the issue:

The president, who initiated the conflict by renominating judges whom Democrats had blocked during his first term and demanding new votes this year, is essentially guaranteeing a showdown that is as much about the power of the presidency as Democratic obstinacy, according to numerous government scholars.

Got that? This “crisis” isn’t the fault of the Democrats, who, for the first time in American history, are holding out for a 60-vote requirement to confirm judges. No, it’s President Bush who “initiated the conflict by renominating judges whom Democrats had blocked during his first term.” President Bush carried out his Constitutional duty to appoint judges; the Senate, however, failed to carry out its Constitutional duty to advise and consent to those nominations. Instead, the Democrats filibustered, and no action was taken on them. Why on earth would the President not renominate those judges? They haven’t yet received a vote. The idea that the President “initiated” this conflict simply by carrying out his Constitutional duty to appoint judges to the federal courts is ridiculous.
Then there is this outright falsehood, disguised as reporting:

At his news conference, Gonzales singled out for praise Owen, a Texas Supreme Court justice who is a target of Democratic filibuster efforts. While serving alongside Owen in 2000, Gonzales wrote an opinion criticizing her and two other dissenting judges for “an unconscionable act of judicial activism” in seeking to restrict a minor’s right to an abortion.

This is the chief Democratic Party talking point against Justice Owen, but, as we have already shown, not a word of it is true. Gonzales did not criticize Owen. She did not “seek to restrict a minor’s right to an abortion,” but rather voted to affirm the findings of fact made by the trial court, as previously affirmed by the Texas Court of Appeals. And her opinion could not, under any conceivable legal theory, be construed as a manifestation of “judicial activism.”
Weirdly, immediately after the above passage, the Post goes on to quote Gonzales, who said: “I’ve never accused her of being an activist judge.” The reporters make no attempt to reconcile their statement with Gonzales’. However, given that they stated as a fact that Gonzales did “wr[i]te an opinion criticizing her and two other dissenting judges for ‘an unconscionable act of judicial activism,'” an uninformed reader would pretty much have to conclude that Gonzales is lying.
This kind of advocacy journalism is typical of what the MSM is turning out on the issue of judicial appointments.

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