ABC Highlights Archival Footage of Sotomayor Complaining About Discrimination

Good Morning America on Thursday unearthed archival footage that featured Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor on the show in 1986 complaining about discrimination against women. The clips highlighted her fretting, "There are different styles. And because of those styles, I think that's what affects the ability of women to get ahead in the workplace."

In the video, Sotomayor can be seen talking to then-GMA host Joan Lunden and asserting that men inadvertently discriminate against women: "Well, I found in my experiences that it's not that men are consciously discriminating against promoting women. But, I do believe that as people, we have self-images of what's good. And if you're a male that grew up professionally in a male-dominated profession, then your image of what a good lawyer is a male image."

Correspondent Jonathan Karl also filed a brief report stating that there's "absolutely no indication" that Republicans can derail the nomination of Sotomayor. He also added that "she is expected to be confirmed quite easily."

(Special thanks to MRC intern Mike Sargent for transcribing the segment.)

A transcript of the June 18 segment, which aired at 7:16am, follows:

ROBIN ROBERTS: But now, we turn to Capitol Hill, where Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is making the rounds. By the end of this week, Judge Sotomayor will have had one-on-one meetings with 72 senators. In an minute, we'll show you an interview with Sotomayor that we found in the ABC archives from 20 years ago. But first, ABC's senior congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl has the latest on her confirmation process. Good morning, Jon.

JONATHAN KARL: Good morning, Robin. Well, by all accounts she's getting high marks from both Democrats and Republicans in all those meetings. Although, Republicans are complaining about some of the evidence she's been able to come forward about her own record. They say that she's not produced any record at all of 98 speeches. 98 of the more than – of the about 200 speeches that she's given since the early 1990s. So, they're complaining about that.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Thank you.

ROBERTS: Jon, is there any chance those Republican concerns could derail the nomination?

KARL: Robin, I have seen absolutely no indication of that. Everybody that I've spoke to up here, Democrat and Republican, expects that ultimately she will be confirmed and will have the support of several Republicans. So, Republicans, though are loudly complaining that the Democrats are pushing this nomination, rushing it through to meet President Obama's deadline of getting her confirmed by August. So, you'll hear some loud complaints about that. But ultimately, she is expected to be confirmed quite easily.

ROBERTS: All right, Jon. Thanks so much. Now, we want to get to the interview we found in the ABC News archives from 1986. Still, just an attorney in those days, Judge Sotomayor took part of a panel, on the challenges women face in the workplace. And let's watch as she talks to former GMA anchor, Joan Lunden.

JOAN LUNDEN: What about the way men and women act in business?

SONIA SOTOMAYOR [August 19, 1986, Good Morning America]: There are different styles. And because of those styles, I think that's what affects the ability of women to get ahead in the workplace.

LUNDEN: How so?

SOTOMAYOR: Well, I found in my experiences that it's not that men are consciously discriminating against promoting women. But, I do believe that as people, we have self-images of what's good. And if you're a male that grew up professionally in a male-dominated profession, then your image of what a good lawyer is a male image.

LUNDEN: When it comes to men and marriage and all that, was it tough when you really started becoming successful?

SOTOMAYOR: Let me just say it's part of the price – my divorce was not directly attributable to that. But I think there was a contributing factor in our final decision to split up. But there is a price. The price is in terms of your personal life. A man who calls you three times and all three times you answer, I've got to work late, I'm flying to such and such a place. After the third time, he begins thinking, gee, maybe she's not interested.

ROBERTS: Again, that was in 1986. And the more things change, the more they stay the same. Still, at issue, women in the workplace and finding how that works out. That was the case in '86, as well, with that discussion.

DIANE SAWYER: And of course, as Jonathan Karl said, Congress is trying to find every single thing that she has ever said. And they have putting her through weeks in the White House, of what they're calling the murder boards. You know, you’ve got the law boards, the college boards. They’re the murder boards, in which they play the senators, asking her the toughest possible questions. So she's getting ready for them.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org