Totenberg: Roberts "Much More Conservative than I Ever Would Have Guessed"

<img vspace="0" hspace="0" border="0" align="right" src="http://www.newsbusters.org/media/2005-08-21-IWTotenberg.jpg" />NPR’s Nina Totenberg is repeatedly surprised by how conservative Supreme Court nominee John Roberts really is, apparently not cognizant of all of her earlier pronouncements about his conservatism. On <i>Inside Washington</i> over the weekend, she declared that after reviewing memos he wrote while working in the Reagan White House counsel’s office, “he is much more conservative than I ever would have guessed. He is on the most conservative side of almost every issue within the Reagan administration.&quot; In recent weeks, Totenberg has tagged Roberts as “very conservative,” &quot;very, very conservative&quot; and &quot;very, very, very conservative,&quot; as well as &quot;a really conservative guy,&quot; &quot;a hardline conservative&quot; and &quot;a clear conservative,&quot; to say nothing of being &quot;a conservative Catholic.&quot; Three weeks ago on <i>Inside Washington</i> she asserted that she “was actually quite surprised at how, how very, very conservative he was.” <br /><p>Complete <i>CyberAlert</i> item follows. For today's <a href="http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2005/cyb20050822.asp">MRC <i>CyberAlert</i></a>.</p><br /> <i> Inside Washington</i> is a weekend show carried Saturday nights at 7pm local time by NewsChannel 8, a Washington, DC area all-news channel owned by the ABC affiliate, and Sunday mornings at 10am, right after This Week, by that affiliate, WJLA-TV. <br /><br /><blockquote> On the August 20/21 <i>Inside Washington</i>, host Gordon Peterson asked her about the ideology displayed by Roberts in his Reagan-era memos: “You’ve known him for years. Is he more or less conservative than you thought he was or just about where you thought he was?”<p><br /> Totenberg: “He is, at least in these documents, which we have to remember are 25 years old, in these documents he is much more conservative than I ever would have guessed. He is on the most conservative side of almost every issue within the Reagan administration.”</p></blockquote><br /> Previous <i>CyberAlert</i> items on Totenberg's labeling of Roberts, all with pictures of her:<br /><br /> # <a href="http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2005/cyb20050721.asp#4">July 21 <i>CyberAlert</i></a>: There's no doubt in NPR reporter Nina Totenberg's mind that Judge John Roberts is &quot;very conservative,&quot; it's just a matter of how &quot;very.&quot; On NPR's All Things Considered on Tuesday night, she prefaced &quot;conservative&quot; with three verys, describing him as &quot;a very, very, very conservative man.&quot; But in a taped soundbite on the next day's <i>Good Morning America</i> on ABC, she cut back to two modifiers, dubbing him merely &quot;a very, very conservative man.&quot; <br /><br /> # <a href="http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2005/cyb20050725.asp#1">July 25 <i>CyberAlert</i></a>: NPR's Nina Totenberg, who last week tagged Supreme Court nominee John Roberts as &quot;very, very conservative&quot; and &quot;very, very, very conservative,&quot; on <i>Inside Washington</i> over the weekend described him as merely &quot;very conservative.&quot; But she couldn't resist adding a modifier every time she applied the conservative label, also dubbing him &quot;a really conservative guy,&quot; &quot;a hardline conservative&quot; and &quot;a clear conservative.&quot; Plus, she emphasized how he's &quot;a conservative Catholic.&quot; <br /><br /><p> # <a href="http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2005/cyb20050801.asp#1">August 1 <i>CyberAlert</i></a>: A parody of herself? NPR's Nina Totenberg, who has tagged Supreme Court nominee John Roberts as “very conservative,” &quot;very, very conservative&quot; and &quot;very, very, very conservative,&quot; as well as &quot;a really conservative guy,&quot; &quot;a hardline conservative&quot; and &quot;a clear conservative,&quot; to say nothing of being &quot;a conservative Catholic,&quot; on <i>Inside Washington</i> over the weekend relayed that after she “spent five hours reviewing all of his documents from when he worked in the Justice Department,” she “was actually quite surprised at how, how very, very conservative he was.” Apparently, she didn't listen to herself.</p>

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center