On Thursday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, during a discussion of Republican Senator Ted Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, making a birther joke about President Obama, MSNBC political analyst Joy Reid asserted that Republicans prefer minorities who "repudiate" political views supported by minorities. Singling out Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, she griped:
NPR in general and their legal affairs/Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg in particular want the public to believe that they view sexual harassment charges against public figures as a very important issue that demands immediate and full coverage. The reality: they behave that way only if the accused has a Republican party identification.
The most recent evidence of that: the reporting on the charges of sexual harassment and sexual assault by San Diego’s current Democratic mayor and former 20-year U.S. Congressman Bob Filner. In the two weeks following the initial disclosure of the accusations July 11, which was followed by named accusers coming forward July 22, 23 and 24, NPR has aired a grand total of two pieces on the matter. The first occurred a full five days after the accusations first came out, on July 16 (even The New York Times reported it July 12). And both pieces were done by a public radio journalist in San Diego who doesn’t even work for NPR.
NPR’s Legal Affairs / Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg loves to cast conservatives as fringy. In 2005, President George W. Bush nominated then-Circuit Court Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court. At the time, Totenberg seemed to be suffering from a fixation on the word “very,” calling Roberts “very, very conservative” and “very, very, very conservative.”
Even though Roberts voted for Obamacare last year, Totenberg insisted last week on the news magazine "Here and Now" (a new joint venture of NPR and Boston NPR station WBUR) that he was still “very, very conservative.” Maybe with more Roberts rulings that she likes, she'll whittle it down to “very conservative.” For now, "This is a very, very conservative justice who also believes in a certain level of , as he puts it, modesty, meaning don’t do it all at once if you can do it one step at a time."
White liberals often arrogantly see themselves as more qualified to know how blacks should behave politically than blacks who are conservative. Bill Moyers is one such white liberal—a white liberal who has become wealthy by leveraging taxpayer-subsidized public television.
While Clarence Thomas was facing severe racial discrimination and hostility in the mid- and late-1950s as a black child, white Bill Moyers was working for then-outspoken civil rights opponent Lyndon Johnson. But Moyers thinks his bare-knuckled political experience with LBJ in the White House qualifies him to understand discrimination better than someone who’s lived as a black man for 65 years. Following are Moyers’ comments about the Voting Rights Act and Clarence Thomas in an appearance June 26 on the liberal Colbert Report, followed by the video of Moyers’ appearance (start at 4:18):
There have been a lot of disgusting things said by liberal media members today in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding The Voting Rights Act (Shelby County v. Holder), but none were more offensive than what MSNBC’s Michael Eric Dyson said about Justice Clarence Thomas on the Martin Bashir show.
“A symbolic Jew has invited a metaphoric Hitler to commit holocaust and genocide upon his own people” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd offensively roped Clarence Thomas into her column on the arrest on sexual battery charges of Jeffrey Krusinski, the Air Force officer in charge of sexual assault prevention programs for the branch: "There was a fox-in-the-henhouse echo of Clarence Thomas, who Anita Hill said sexually harassed her when he was the nation’s top enforcer of laws against workplace sexual harassment."
For the past few weeks, NewsBusters has been showcasing the most egregious examples of liberal media bias the Media Research Center has uncovered in our 25-year history, all leading up to tonight’s 25th Anniversary Gala and DisHonors Awards in Washington, D.C.
To close out this series, I’ve pulled together what I consider the 25 most obnoxious quotes of the MRC’s history. It’s a pretty offensive display of smug disdain for everyday conservatives, rabid hatred for conservative leaders, embarrassing sycophancy for liberals, and a little anti-American treason thrown in for good measure.
These worst-of-the-worst quotes and video appear below the jump; or you can check out the year-by-year posts here.
NPR’s Terry Gross brought on CNN judicial analyst Jeffrey Toobin on Monday to discuss his new book on the Supreme Court (called The Oath) for 44 minutes of her program Fresh Air. Toobin proclaimed that Barack Obama is the conservative when it comes to the Supreme Court, and John Roberts is the radical revolutionary. This is the same Toobin who complained overturning ObamaCare would be "judicial activism."
Toobin also claimed with a straight face (or at least an ungiggly voice) that Roberts voted to uphold ObamaCare to pave the way for more conservative decisions, to insulate the court from being found as political in the future -- as if liberals won't denounce every conservative decision as political. Toobin also continued his tradition of bashing Clarence Thomas as "way out there" on the right-wing fringes.
Once a day for 25 days, NewsBusters is showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala on September 27. (Click here for ticket information)
So far, we’ve published the worst quotes from 1988 through 1993 (you can find those here). Today, the worst bias of 1994, including ABC’s Peter Jennings calling voters “two-year-olds” for electing a Republican Congress (“the voters had a temper tantrum last week”), and a USA Today columnist hoping Clarence Thomas would die. [Quotes and video below the jump.]
Each morning, NewsBusters is showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala on September 27. (Click here for ticket information)
Already this week, we’ve published the worst quotes of 1988, 1989 and 1990; today, the worst bias of 1991. Highlights include journalists saluting Anita Hill while disparaging Clarence Thomas (“if you gave Clarence Thomas a little flour on his face, you’d think you had [former KKK Grand Wizard] David Duke talking”), and a Boston Globe arts critic writing about patriotism: “Oh, say, we’ve seen too much. The Star-Spangled Banner pushes like a cough through America’s mouth...” [Quotes and video below the jump.]
Over the previous four episodes, Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom has become the liberal media's Sunday night darling. So, after the July 15th offering, which featured fictional news anchor Will MacAvoy comparing Tea Party members to sex offenders, a little conservative-bashing was expected. The July 22 episode did not disappoint, with the team at "Atlantic Cable News" delving into the Citizen's United Supreme Court case and effectively accusing Clarence Thomas of bribery.
In the first few minutes of the episode, the news team becomes aware of the overthrow of Mubarak's government in Egypt. Despite the fact that one of the most volatile countries in the world has ousted its dictator, they decided to lead with a report that Republican governor Scott Walker is "trapped in a newspaper office with 75 teachers outside." They then analyze a tape of a reporter asking the Koch brothers if the Citizen's United decision increased their influence. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Perhaps it’s unrealistic to expect history textbooks to present and analyze events and epochs with complete objectivity. But it’s entirely reasonable to demand that they don’t actively reinforce the news media’s liberal bias when it comes to recent history and individuals who are still alive and active in shaping that history.
Yet commonly used American history textbooks have eschewed historical analysis when discussing recent Supreme Court justices, and in its place substituted partisan political commentary.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is clearly beside herself over the possiblity the Supreme Court might strike down ObamaCare.
"This court," she wrote Wednesday, "is well on its way to becoming one of the most divisive in modern American history...It is run by hacks dressed up in black robes...[M]irrors the setup on Fox News":
Black History Month honors the achievements of African Americans throughout history and that is a good thing. Unfortunately, a reliance on family and faith, which allowed many African Americans to survive the horrors of Reconstruction, racial injustice and violent acts of discrimination, has become a casualty of the modern welfare state, which has contributed to the destruction of family cohesion, supplanted faith in God with faith in government and fashioned many African-Americans into a Democratic voting bloc that has not improved the lot of the impoverished among them.
While African-American history is important, the way it is most often presented through a liberal political lens skews the contributions and examples of African Americans who do not toe the liberal line. One especially sees this in the civil rights establishment's response to Justice Clarence Thomas and more recently to Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.)
George Washington just got a promotion. Yes, he's still one of the slave-owning oligarchs who, according to liberals, stuck us with a short-sighted Constitution, and whose colleagues were probably having sex with slaves.
But with the 2012 election on the line and conservatives citing the Founders' legacy as a touch-stone of limited government, Time Magazine has found it useful to turn the first president into a proto-liberal.
Despite allegations of sexual harassment during his time at the National Restaurant Association, conservatives are still rallying around GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, likening attacks against Cain to attacks against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991.
Cain has labeled the charges as a baseless witch hunt, denying sexually harassing anyone. Some are even suggesting that since Cain has become such a target of the left and the media, the attacks could actually bolster Cain's support among conservatives. Do you think the "high-tech lynching" of Cain draws parallels to the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
According to MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Clarence Thomas' accuser, Anita Hill, is a "living legacy." The cable anchor on Wednesday fawned over the woman who, 20 years ago, charged the now-Supreme Court justice with sexual harassment. At no point did she offer a tough question or challenge the honesty of Hill.
Instead, Mitchell treated the Brandeis professor as a larger than life figure, wondering, "How is it to live with this, this history? You are now part of history. You have been for 20 years."
ABC's Robin Roberts tossed softballs to Anita Hill on Monday, wondering what the "legacy" will be for the "quiet" law professor who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment 20 years ago. The Good Morning America co-host only once challenged Hill about skepticism of her charges.
Although co-host George Stephanopoulos teased the segment by calling the 1991 Supreme Court nomination hearings "controversial," Roberts' questions didn't indicate that at all. She prompted, "Take us back. What were your emotions?...Are you still angry?" Later, Roberts fawned, "I know there's still many books to be written, but [what's] your legacy?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Anyone reading the Anita Hill puff piece in Friday's Washington Post could see reporter Krissah Thompson was a big Anita Hill fan. But did she also have to be a lazy, handout-accepting Anita Hill fan? The only conservative skepticism toward Hill that the Post allowed were five words from Justice Clarence Thomas's memoir. But they were misquotes.
I have an autographed copy of the book from a Heritage Foundation dinner with the Thomases, and could not find the quotes Thompson used...until I found a New York Times op-ed by Anita Hill from October 2, 2007 -- in the week the Thomas book came out. It was called "The Smear This Time," and Hill misquoted the book. So did Krissah Thompson, copying Hill's misquotes...word for word.
Twenty years ago, Senate Democrats and National Public Radio reporter Nina Totenberg colluded to try and ruin the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas by promoting the never-substantiated sexual harassment allegations of Anita Hill. If a woman ever claimed Barack Obama talked up Long Dong Silver porn films to her, you can bet it would be seen as an ugly, racist right-wing smear promoted by crackpots. But the liberal media presented Hill as a sober and centrist Saint Anita, not part of a lie-manufacturing left-wing conspiracy. (See Totenberg's activism in our new Special Report as one of the top 20 liberal excesses of public broadcasting.)
Hill strongly denied to the Senate Judiciary Committee that she was making these allegations for her own benefit or that she would be making any hay out of her time in the spotlight. Then at the end of 1993, news broke that she struck a million-dollar-plus book deal with Doubleday. On Friday, The Washington Post's Krissah Thompson filed a report that celebrated "her role" in the hearings, and completely sidestepped whether she was lying her face off.
Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, the NBC Nightly News on Thursday took a moment to recount an appearance by Brandeis University Professor Anita Hill commemorating the 20th anniversary of her Senate testimony making unsubstantiated accusations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for sexually harassing her in the 1980s.
Anchor Brian Williams relayed Hill's contention that "her role in the hearings was worthwhile," before playing a clip of her asserting that her testimony "was not in vain." Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the Thursday, October 6, NBC Nightly News:
NPR's Nina Totenberg spent more than 4 minutes on Wednesday's Morning Edition to supposed ethical conflicts of interest for conservative Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Antonin Scalia. By contrast, Totenberg devoted only 17 seconds to the more current issue of liberal Justice Elena Kagan's service in the Obama administration as a factor in upcoming cases before the Court.
Host Renee Montagne introduced the correspondent's report by noting how both "liberal groups have chastised conservative justices for attending private conferences put on by conservative political interests, and conservative groups have responded by leveling some criticism in the other direction." However, the journalist devoted the first three minutes of a seven-and-a-half minute segment on the criticism launched at Clarence Thomas's wife from the left:
The video-game industry has won again in court, insisting on their right to make the most debased gaming experience imaginable and market it to children with little commercial restraint. On June 27, the Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 against California’s law mandating that children are not allowed to purchase “Mature” video games without a parent.
The political elites are celebrating the Court ruling as a victory for a vibrant First Amendment, rejectinthe very notion of social responsibility on the part of the video-game makers and their often-twisted conceptualization of what constitutes “fun” for children.
Liberal replaces liberal at the top of the New York Times masthead. The paper announced today that Jill Abramson would become the Times’ new executive editor as of September 6, replacing Bill Keller, whose liberal record at the paper Times Watch documented earlier.
Abramson likened the paper to holy writ, telling the Times's Jeremy Peters this morning that being named editor was like "ascending to Valhalla":
"In my house growing up, The Times substituted for religion," she said. "If The Times said it, it was the absolute truth."
Abramson’s bias goes back to her days as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Commenting on Bill Clinton’s upcoming inauguration on C-SPAN's Journalists' Roundtable program of January 8, 1993, she enthused:
As athletically as Rep. Anthony Weiner is bumbling on his Twitter scandal, so the leftists at the Daily Kos are pushing the unsubstantiated spin that Weiner is being smeared by...Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his Tea Party activist wife. (Or their backers.) Weiner’s insisted Thomas disclose his wife’s financials in an attempt to insist he should recuse himself on the constitutionality of ObamaCare. On Wednesday morning the Kosmonaut known as “Stranded Wind” was upset anyone would cover this:
CNN has disingenuously ‘covered’ the story, which is to say they smeared right wing bull---t all over Congressman Weiner, probably motivated by a combination of the beating the GOP took in New York 26 and Weiner's unflinching handling of the crimes of Clarence Thomas.
Yet another case study in how the liberal media never stop pushing their own interpretation of events: In a May 22 This Week roundtable about the arrest of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn for the alleged sexual assault of a female hotel worker, two journalists endorsed it as France’s “Anita Hill moment,” referring to the last-minute claims raised against conservative Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas nearly 20 years ago.
But Hill never alleged that Thomas did anything either violent or criminal — and polls taken at the time (USA Today, October 14, 1991) showed the public sided with Clarence Thomas over Hill by a nearly two-to-one margin (47% to 24%). Despite the public’s verdict, journalists have never cast the Hill case as that of a politically-motivated accuser engaged in a high-profile act of character assassination.
Featured on Time Magazine's Web site is "The Misconduct Matrix." Subtitled "Not all affairs are created equal," the graphic presents 19 men guilty of - make that allegedly guilty of in some instances- serious sexual misbehavior.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn is listed, as are Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Tiger Woods, John Kennedy and, of course, the president who gave phone sex a bad name, the impeached Bill Clinton. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is also included on the matrix.
Sharing the same quadrant (Doghouse, Massively Hypocritical) with Justice Thomas are Arnold Schwarzenegger, who's admitted to fathering a child with a staff member, Newt Gingrich, who's admitted to at least one affair, and Thomas Jefferson, who "reportedly fathered six children with his slave." Even if Thomas were guilty of what Anita Hill charged, his conduct was not nearly as egregious as the others. Talking about pubic hair on a Coke can isn't close to adultery or fathering children out of wedlock.
The Washington Post stoops to the tabloid level today. On the front of Wednesday's Style section is this promotional plug: "The Supreme Court justice is only one of many partners whose caresses McEwen graphically recalls in NC-17 prose."
The justice is Clarence Thomas, and the author of the steamy passages is Lillian McEwen, a former Joe Biden aide and Clarence Thomas girlfriend. Last October, the Post promoted McEwen coming out to criticize Thomas after being silent for decades, including during the Hill-Thomas hearings. Now McEwen has issued her memoir, titled 'D.C. Unmasked & Undressed -- a book so lacking in market appeal that its publisher is Titletown, based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. But the Post is very interested in exploring Thomas's sexual activity, even as the paper's "Reliable Source" gossips pretended to care about his privacy:
Four months after Lillian McEwen broke a two-decade silence about her longtime relationship with Clarence Thomas, the retired administrative law judge has written a book.
A Friday New York Times editorial, “The Thomas Issue,” furthered the paper’s fevered crusade against Justice Clarence Thomas, piggybacking on Adam Liptak’s front-page Sunday story on the vital matter of Thomas’s failure to ask questions during Supreme Court oral argument.
The Times actually argued that Thomas should speak up more to ensure the public that he is open-minded, while claiming that Thomas's five-year “milestone” of silence (one first marked in the Times) “has stirred a wide conversation about his effectiveness as a justice.” Stirred up solely by the Times, by the available evidence.
When the Supreme Court hears arguments next week, it will mark the fifth anniversary of Justice Clarence Thomas’s silence during oral argument -- unless he chooses to re-enter the give-and-take. We hope he will.
This milestone has stirred a wide conversation about his effectiveness as a justice following another about his ethics. They are actually related. How Justice Thomas comports himself on the bench is a matter of ethics and effectiveness, simultaneously. His authority as a justice and the court’s as an institution are at issue.