Liberal media members love to demonize any politician who stands in the way of their notion of progress, and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has planted himself squarely in the path of the current immigration reform train. It was no surprise, then, that ABC News opted to berate him in an interview posted online to the network’s Power Players blog. [Read the post and watch the video here.]
Even the headline accompanying the blog entry -- “Sen. Jeff Sessions Almost Single-Handedly Trying to Derail ‘Gang of Eight’ Immigration Bill” -- was clearly intended to isolate and demonize Sessions. ABC senior national correspondent Jim Avila, who conducted the interview, put Sessions on the defensive right from his opening question (which was not really a question):
Appearing on Tuesday’s Starting Point, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was savaged by host Soledad O’Brien for daring to suggest the federal food stamp program should be one of the many programs that are trimmed in order to achieve spending cuts to avert the so-called fiscal cliff on January 1.
O'Brien predictably used a talking point that sounds a lot like the left-wing complaint that the GOP wants to "balance the budget on the backs of the poor":
Ah yes - liberalism, or as its recent branding has labeled it, progressivism, is the most open-minded and culturally sensitive place to be on the ideological spectrum. Those who subscribe to those beliefs are far more enlightened and far more able to respect those from all over the globe, or least all over the United States, right?
Not the case with liberal talk show host Bill Press. On his Aug. 4 program, Press launched into a long-winded rant about a handful of U.S. Senators who question the interpretation of the 14th Amendment, which allows for so-called "anchor babies" to provide a way for some illegal immigrants to achieve legal status, despite having broken the law by entering the United States.
Press took issue with Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who suggested the 14th Amendment is being abused and wasn't what was intended by the original authors of it. But he didn't just disagree with him for his stance. Instead, he took to mocking his southern accent, playing to a stereotype of people from the South.
"You know the only thing we're missing with that are the banjos, you know," Press said. "I mean - yeah, Jeff Sessions. I mean give me a freaking break. [In faux southern accent with banjo music playing] You know our founding fathers didn't know them jet skis - they got them jet skis in Tijuana. They do, they just zip up the coast and have their baby on the beach in La Hoya, La Joya, La Jolla and then they back to Tijuana with a little baby American. God darn if Thomas Jefferson had only know'd that we would have been different."
Chris Matthews keeps painting the Elena Kagan confirmation hearing as a "culture war" between the Obama nominee and the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. As Newsbusters reported yesterday, Chris Matthews seemed to spin Monday's standoff between Sessions and Kagan as a battle between the senator's rural, unsophisticated Alabama roots and Kagan's Northeastern liberal academic background.
Well, Matthews showed up in even finer form today. Describing Kagan as a liberal Obama prototype from the "high academia" of the Ivy League, Matthews proceeded to frame her opponent, Sen. Jeff Sessions, as the voice of the Confederacy.
Remarking that the hearing has become like a "red state-blue state" battle, Matthews claimed that "listening to Jeff Sessions is to listen to the, really, the Confederacy; to listen to, really the conservative view of the Deep South."
Matthews also oddly added that Republicans want to make Kagan into a "voodoo doll" (repeating himself from the night before), an image associated more readily with New Orleans, Louisiana, than Sessions' boyhood town of Hybart, Alabama.
Did you know that calling attention to an area where a Supreme Court justice nominee is from, which happens to be a well-known bastion of liberalism, is bigoted?
If you didn't, you want to take a look at the wisdom of Salon.com's Joan Walsh. In her June 28 post "It's not even coded bigotry anymore," Walsh argued that references to SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan's Upper West Side of Manhattan roots are bigoted -since the neighborhood has Jewish features, references to it are anti-Semitic and as she puts it, "not even coded."
"That said, Republicans on the Senate Judicial Committee are trying to make the case she's outside the mainstream of American jurisprudence, by attacking her clerking for (and admiring) legal giant Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court justice, while singling her out as a denizen of ‘Manhattan's Upper West Side' - you know, the neighborhood known for Zabar's and bagels and, well, Jews," Walsh wrote.
From the morning to the evening Chris Matthews, during MSNBC's coverage of Elena Kagan's hearing on Monday, berated what he saw as GOP mistreatment of Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, calling their performance at times, a "brutal assault" and even evoking strange imagery of Kagan having pins stuck in her by Republicans. Early in the day the MSNBC host complained that Republican Senator Jeff Sessions engaged in "a brutal assault on this nomination" by calling her "pro-terrorist" and "anti-military." Matthews also claimed today's hearing reminded him of how Anita Hill was treated by Republicans during Clarence Thomas' hearings as he asked Democratic Senator Dick Durbin:
Some Republicans paid a heavy price for being tough with Anita Hill when she came to testify in the Clarence Thomas hearings. Have we gotten past that era of sensitivity about a bunch of guys going after a single woman here just bashing her?...Can these guys like Jeff Sessions just go at her like this without any fear of rebuke?
Then finally, in the evening, on Hardball, Matthews charged the GOP had turned Kagan "into a voodoo doll, and they keep putting pins in her,as a way ofgetting at President Obama."
The following exchanges are from live MSNBC coverage (as transcribed by MRC intern Matthew Hadro) of the Kagan hearings and the June 28 edition of Hardball:
MSNBC's Chris Matthews framed Sen. Jeff Sessions' criticism of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan as a "brutal assault," during MSNBC's live coverage of the Senate hearing Monday afternoon.
"It's a brutal assault on this nomination," Matthews complained about the Alabama Republican's remarks.
Matthews also seemed to cast Sessions as an unsophisticated country bumpkin challenging Kagan's prestigious Ivy League background.
"It's a strong cultural shot at her, and she does represent, if you will, academic excellence of the highest degree, coming from the best schools, dean of Harvard Law," Matthews crooned. "It's hard to get above that, to a person out in the country, from Alabama, like Jeff Sessions represents. That is probably a pretty rich target."
He accused Sessions of describing Kagan as pro-terrorist and tried to get liberal Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to say that Sessions' "assault" would whip up a storm.
In an interview with Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith lamented President Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court: "Liberals feel let down because she would be filling a seat left by John Paul Stevens, they don't feel like she's enough – has enough gravitas to fill his shoes."
In his first question to Biden, Smith fretted: "Some people have said she's a person so careful as to leave no footprint. Do you really know what you're getting? Do the American people know what they're getting?" Smith went on to question Kagan's qualifications: "she's never been a public defender, she's never been a prosecutor, she's never been a judge. Most of her career has been in Washington or in an ivy or ivory tower."
In an interview with Republican Senator Jeff Sessions immediately following the Biden interview, co-host Maggie Rodriguez went so far as to wonder if Kagan would have a conservative influence on the court: "When she worked for the Clinton administration, Ms. Kagan asked the President to support a ban on all abortions of viable fetuses except when the mother's health was at risk. And some analysts have used that example to show that she may actually shift the court to the Right, compared with Justice Stevens. How do you respond to that?"
The government's traditionally enforced safety standards on automobiles sold in the United States. But the government didn't always own a car company. So you'd expect the media to take a hard look when the government's roles as regulator and competitor converge.
"We've got a fabulous Toyota engine plant in Alabama," Sessions replied. "They've been doing very well. It seems that they've recognized they're going to fix this problem and it's going to take some effort."
Candidate Barack Obama made a big deal about government transparency and giving citizens ample opportunity to read pieces of legislation before they're voted on.
With this in mind, all 40 Republican Senators signed a letter sent to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Thursday demanding the new healthcare reform proposal be published on the Internet so that ALL Americans can "learn how the federal government is spending their money."
The full text with signatories was posted on Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R-Ala.) Facebook page moments ago:
The serially dishonest Frank Rich, a New York Times columnist, wouldn't know an example of racism if it sat on his head.
In his latest column he haughtily bloviates in an attempt to turn the tables on Republican senators by accusing those who grilled Judge Sonia Sotomayor during her Supreme Court confirmation proceeding last week of being the real racists.
Yet the Sotomayor show was still rich in historical significance. Someday we may regard it as we do those final, frozen tableaus of Pompeii. It offered a vivid snapshot of what Washington looked like when clueless ancien-régime conservatives were feebly clinging to their last levers of power, blissfully oblivious to the new America that was crashing down on their heads and reducing their antics to a sideshow as ridiculous as it was obsolescent. [...]
Chris Matthews, on Tuesday's "Hardball," invited on HBO's Bill Maher to mock GOP criticism of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as Maher accused them of being "racist," and Matthews marveled at how Republicans can admire Sarah Palin but not someone who worked as hard as Sotomayor to achieve her position, as he pondered: "Why do they like somebody who's shown no sweat equity against somebody who's shown nothing but sweat equity?"
Before discussing Republican treatment of Sotomayor Matthews asked Maher to rate the audiences that come to see him in the South. Maher, not surprisingly, belittled most of the region, saying the ones that do come to his shows are the minority as they are "marbled in and surrounded by a bunch of hillbillies and rednecks." To which Matthews rejoined: "Isn't it refreshing to meet Southern liberals? Because the great thing about Southern liberals is they don't, they're not competing for the latest nuance of sexual freedom like in Greenwich Village. They are liberals, meaning they're, they're for black equality for example. Things like that, that are pretty nice and wholesome." [audio available here]
Not long after that slam against non-liberal Southerners, Maher threw out the charge of Republican racism:
Responding to Senator Jeff Sessions describing Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as a "typical liberal activist judge" CBS Early Show co-host Harry Smith argued: "You feel like her record indicates that? I mean, she gets a glowing review from the American Bar Association. Her record doesn't seem to necessarily match up with her – what – some of the things she said."
Later in the Monday interview, Smith defended Sotomayor’s record, particularly her decision in the New Haven firefighter case: "But basically, she was following precedent. I think people who would actually look at it would agree she was kind of acting as any judge in that position probably would – most judges would have acted in that position. Do you really believe – you really believe her words indicate that there are – she's a different person than her record would indicate?" Sessions replied: "I think philosophically her – her statements indicate an approach to judging that's outside the mainstream so far as I can tell."
As the confirmation hearings for President Barack Obama's Supreme Court appointee Sonia Sotomayor are upon us, the left-wing attack machine had to take a few last shots ranking Senate Judiciary Committee Republican Sen. Jeff Session, Ala., and the Republican Party as a whole.
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow explained the junior Alabama senator would take over the spot after Sen. Arlen Specter's defection to the Democratic Party on her July 10 program, suggesting his selection to the post was part of some rebranding by the GOP.
"Republicans have also decided to have Senator Jeff Sessions lead this battle for them," Maddow said. "When Arlen Specter defected to the Democratic Party, the Republicans had a choice of who should be their top senator on the Judiciary Committee. They overtly chose Jeff Sessions of Alabama to be that top Republican."
You'd expect to see this in the liberal blogosphere or possibly some of the national mainstream media outlets with an obvious agenda. But now some of the preemptive strikes against Republican senators leading up to the Senate confirmation hearings and eventual vote to confirm President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, are finding their way into local newspapers.
An op-ed published in The Anniston (Ala.) Star on May 28 by Ari Rabin-Havt, the managing director of the left-wing Media Matters Action Network, attacked the new ranking Republican of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. He alleged that if Sessions and other Senate Republicans didn't commit to taking a filibuster off the table for Sotomayor's confirmation, they would be guilty of hypocrisy.
Gender and sexual orientation matter more than judicial philosophy and experience, at least according to the CBS "Early Show" on May 14.
The morning news program focused its discussion of only two of the potential Supreme Court nominees - two openly gay women.
Co-anchor Julie Chen announced the story saying, "Washington is all a buzz over the two openly gay women under consideration." Senior White House correspondent Bill Plante's story followed, which he began by asking "Is America ready for a gay Supreme Court justice?"
Now that Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. has been named the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, some on the far-left are gunning for Alabama's junior senator. The battle is happening as President Barack Obama is on the verge of naming an appointee to the Supreme Court to fill void of Justice David Souter.Some of the left-wing points that suggest Sessions has racist tendencies were incorporated into a May 6 Politico story by John Bresnahan and Manu Raju.
"By elevating Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to their top spot on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republicans have selected their chief inquisitor for President Barack Obama's first Supreme Court nominee: a Southern, white conservative man who has drawn fire for racially insensitive comments in the past," Bresnahan and Manu Raju wrote. "Democrats like how this is looking."
The story sets up Sessions to be on the defensive about race by spinning the senator's own history. According to the Politico story, Sessions had been accused of unfairly targeting black civil rights workers for election fraud charges as a federal prosecutor during a 1986 Senate hearing for a spot on the federal bench.
There's been a lot of news about Democratic senators supporting the reinstitution of the Fairness Doctrine. Last week Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said it was "absolutely time to pass a standard." Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, came out with a similar message, saying, "We need the Fairness Doctrine back."
However, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., is serving as the voice of sanity in the debate and has pledged to lead a filibuster in the U.S. Senate against any attempt to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine. He appeared in an interview on Mark Levin's Feb. 10 radio show.
"Let me ask you this Sen. Sessions," Levin said. "If they try to make a run at talk radio, whether it's the local rule or diversity of ownership, or equal this or equal that - will you lead a filibuster among others to try and stop that?"
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) participated in a blogger conference call Monday to discuss President Obama's stimulus package and its prospects for passage in the Senate.
NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard participated in this discussion, and had an interesting exchange with the Senator concerning current tax receipt projections by the White House and what they suggest about the economy.
That's one of the selling points used over and over again by pundits, as they are paraded out repeatedly on broadcast and cable network news programs - that so-called "shovel-ready" projects will challenge economic woes by revitalizing something we need to do anyway. But only 3 percent of the Obama stimulus plan is slated for such projects.
"The total size of the plan is about $750 to $800 billion - roughly $300 billion is for tax cuts for businesses and individuals," CBS correspondent Chip Reid said on CBS's Jan. 12 "The Early Show." "The rest will be spent on everything from roads and bridges to renewable energy to create three to 4 million jobs. Republicans are raising red flags about the amount of spending."
When the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Eric Holder, the media ignored his personal ideological activism. NewBusters Tim Graham recently wrote about how differently the media treated John Ashcroft’s confirmation as opposed to Holder's.
Silence and the media are going hand in hand with the Holder confirmation. The mainstream media is not going after Holder in regards to his involvement with the Marc Rich and FALN pardons, for example.
The mainstream media also claimed that Ashcroft would put ideology over his duties at the Department of Justice. Here are some clips from columnists at a PBS Online Newshour segment during Ashcroft’s 2001 confirmation hearing(emphasis mine throughout:)