WSJ's Taranto Tackles New York Times's Hate-Speech Hypocrisy on Thomas, Scalia

James Taranto, who writes the “Best of the Web” column for the Wall Street Journal online, continues to be on fire on the subject of New York Times hypocrisy over “violent” political rhetoric. His Monday column opened with another moral excoriation of the Times, based on its Saturday editorial endorsing the latest cause from Common Cause, a left-wing advocacy group. An excerpt:

The New York Times editorial page, a division of the New York Times Co., on Saturday endorsed Common Cause's personal attack on Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. As we explained Friday, Common Cause, a Washington-based corporation, is complaining about Scalia and Thomas's having joined Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, the 2010 decision that overturned a law criminalizing certain political speech by corporations.

After arguing that “Common Cause's complaint is not only meritless but frivolous,” Taranto quoted a damning excerpt from the Times editorial.

Justice Scalia, who is sometimes called "the Justice from the Tea Party," met behind closed doors on Capitol Hill to talk about the Constitution with a group of representatives led by Representative Michele Bachmann of the House Tea Party Caucus.

Then he really got tough on the Times.

Here the Times deceives its readers in an effort to defame Justice Scalia. Enough is known about this meeting that we can be certain his conduct there was above reproach. TalkingPointsMemo.com, a liberal website, filed this report Jan. 25, the day after the Scalia appearance: “Two progressive members who attended the seminar vouched for Scalia and the event, and dispelled the notion that anything untoward happened.”

Taranto argued “The Times has joined Common Cause in a classic McCarthyite smear campaign against government officials they suspect of holding subversive views. Are you now, or have you ever been, a conservative?”

Taranto then pointed to the video clip made by Big Government's Christian Hartsock at a January 30 Common Cause protest of a gathering held by conservative donors Charles and David Koch. Harstock documented the leftist protesters saying violent and racist things about Clarence Thomas, his wife Ginny, conservative Justices Antonin Scalia and John Roberts, and Fox News president Roger Ailes.

Taranto noted: “...the Times editorial expresses no disapproval of the Common Cause supporters' racist and eliminationist statements. To be sure, the Times doesn't express approval of these statements either. It ignores them altogether.”

Times Watch has also documented the paper’s instant, irresponsible seizure upon the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to advance an anti-conservative message. Pointing fingers without any evidence, a January 10 Times editorial found it "legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible" for the carnage.

Taranto concluded:

By the Times's standards, surely it is legitimate to hold Common Cause, and particularly its most virulent supporters in the media, responsible for the depraved sentiments expressed at the Common Cause rally. That the editorial said nothing at all about the subject is further evidence that the paper's pieties about "civility" are fraudulent -- a cheap exercise in partisanship and a thuggish attempt to burnish its own reputation by tearing down those of its media competitors.

Clay Waters
Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center . Read more: http://archive.newsbusters.org/bios/clay-waters.html#ixzz3CdgxLFgQ