AP Highlights Ruth Ginsburg's Complaint That Conservative Criticism = Violence

Mark Levin's radio show began with a cannon blast at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who claimed in a recent speech that threats against her life from the "irrational fringe" are encouraged by congressional Republican and conservative criticism of the court. (See all the rhetorical highlights on Levin's NRO blog.) AP reporter Gina Holland wrote up Justice Ginsburg's speech with energetic emphasis on Ginsburg's thesis that conservative criticism apparently/inevitably leads to violence:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she and former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor have been the targets of death threats from the "irrational fringe" of society, people apparently spurred by Republican criticism of the high court.

Ginsburg revealed in a speech in South Africa last month that she and O'Connor were threatened a year ago by someone who called on the Internet for the immediate "patriotic" killing of the justices.

Security concerns among judges have been growing.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter joked earlier this year that Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned.

Putting aside Coulter's spell-my-name-right, AP-baiting schtick (and they bit, even as she spoke at an obscure Little Rock college), can reporters be any more obvious in trying to hog-tie conservative critics like Levin and Internet wackos who insist that only "armchair patriots" would fail to shoot at the Supreme Court? Holland was not done. Immediately after quoting Ginsburg's passages of Internet threat, Holland tied another knot:

Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla., a sponsor of one of the congressional proposals, wrote about the legislation on his Web site and in bold letters featured a quote from O'Connor predicting the Supreme Court would probably increasingly rely on foreign courts.

At the end of the article, AP links to the Ginsburg speech transcript, but in the Internet age, perhaps they could have shown us this apparently offensive Feeney page? Or the original Internet threat?

PS: If you haven't seen it, Slate's Jack Shafer offers a good explanation of why O'Connor's speech didn't get wider national media play.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis