Today a unanimous Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, ruled that police may not search the contents of an arrested individual's cell phone without first obtaining a warrant. While all three broadcast networks reported on the Riley v. California decision in their June 25 evening newscasts, only CBS's Janet Crawford directly referred to the "Obama administration" as having "argued cell phone searches were like a search of a suspect's wallet, briefcase, or coat, which don't require a warrant."
ABC's Terry Moran skirted around a reference to the Obama administration, saying simply that "the government" made the argument that searching a cell phone was akin to searching a wallet. NBC's Pete Williams likewise failed to describe the Obama administration's involvement in the case, to which it was not a party, but in which it took great interest.
Matea Gold and Robert Barnes utterly failed this morning as ostensibly objective journalists. In their front-page stories covering yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC, the Washington Post staffers front-loaded their stories with melodramatic political language suitable for a left-wing "campaign finance reform" group's press release rather than objective news copy.
USA Today's Richard Wolf and Fredreka Schouten wasted no time this morning distorting the Supreme Court's April 2 ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC, which essentially holds that a provision of federal law setting an aggregate limit on an individual's campaign contributions violates the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech.
Wolf and Schouten, however, practically endorsed the lament of liberal detractors, opening their story with a loaded lead paragraph that had nothing to do with the merits of the case and followed up by weaving a narrative focused on the "bitter national debate" about campaign finance rather than strictly adhering to the constitutional merits of the Court's ruling.
In what may be a new low for MSNBC.com, writer Adam Serwer today all but compared Chief Justice John Roberts to his most infamous predecessor, Chief Justice Roger Taney, the author of the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision.
"Shameful link in Voting Rights Act decision," blared the teaser headline in the lightbox at msnbc.com. "Legal scholars argue the decision striking down part of the Voting Rights Act is rooted in the Dred Scott decision, considered the worst in U.S. history," noted the photo caption [see screen capture at bottom of post]
"It’s been discovered that secret hidden camera video was taken during oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court," NewsBusted's Jodi Miller noted in the latest edition of the original NewsBusters comedy short. "[I]f you watch the video closely, you can see Chief Justice Roberts ignoring the Constitution on ObamaCare."
It's a midterm election year and MSNBC needs to do its best to whip up fear and loathing in the Democratic base, preferably with some racial angle involved. What better convenient villain than Chief Justice John Roberts and the conservative wing of the Supreme Court.
On Thursday's All In show on MSNBC, host Chris Hayes charged that Senator David Vitter has found "another way to screw poor people" as he complained that the Louisiana Republican has proposed a photo ID requirement for food stamp recipients.
Hayes brought up Vitter briefly after fretting that new voting rights legislation would not address voter ID requirements and would not ensare as many states for scrutiny as the original Voting Rights Act.
Pro-life sidewalk counseling outside of abortion clinics is "bullying" and should not not accorded First Amendment's "free speech" guarantees agreed the panelists on Thursday's edition of Now with Alex Wagner.
The panel in question was addressing the Supreme Court's decision to hear oral arguments in McCullen v. Coakley, a case which challenges a Massachusetts law which bars anyone but abortion clinic staffers from "enter[ing] or remain[ing] on a public way or sidewalk” that is within thirty-five feet of an entrance, exit, or driveway of an abortion clinic. [Listen to the MP3 audio here; Watch the video and read the relevant transcript below the page break]
Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear arguments on a campaign-finance case that will "test the justices' willingness to buck public opinion," Wall Street Journal Supreme Court correspondent Jess Bravin noted in his page A4 article about the open of the high court's October 2013 term. Bravin devoted the first several paragraphs of his October 7 story, "Campaign Giving Tops High Court's Docket," to painting the Court as highly unpopular when it comes to campaign finance case law following Citizens United.
It wasn't until the 8th paragraph that Bravin actually explained to readers what the new case before the court, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, was all about:
Writing for the liberal Atlantic magazine today, CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen jumped off the proverbial deep end by comparing today's Supreme Court ruling invalidating section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 to two infamous Supreme Court decisions from the 19th century.
"[T]he Supreme Court's decision in Shelby County is one of the worst in the history of the institution. As a matter of fact, and of law, it is indefensible. It will be viewed by future scholars on a par with the Court's odious Dred Scott and Plessy decisions and other utterly lamentable expressions of judicial indifference to the ugly realities of racial life in America," Cohen righteously thundered deep with his 18-paragraph screed.
If the Supreme Court strikes down section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, it would be a "one of the most jaw-dropping acts of, you know, judicial activism activism that we've seen in probably a generation," MSNBC's Chris Hayes insisted on the March 1 edition of Now with Alex Wagner.
That line of argument is certainly debatable, but Hayes decided to go way off the deep end by then saying that the conservative jurists on the Court, particularly the chief justice and Antonin Scalia were devoted to an "adolescent" jurisprudence on issues of racial equality, because they, wait for it, believe that the law should be colorblind:
NewsBusters has been 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 tomorrow evening. (Click here for posts recounting the worst of 1988 through 2011.)
Today, the worst bias of 2012 (so far): Newsweek sees Barack Obama as “grotesquely underappreciated,” afflicted by critics who are simply “dumb;” Chief Justice John Roberts becomes a media hero by voting to save ObamaCare; and an ex-CNN correspondent charges Republicans are trying to take the country back “to the good old days of Jim Crow.” [Quotes and video below the jump.]
In her latest nytimes.com column, posted Wednesday night, "The Mystery of John Roberts," Linda Greenhouse, former Supreme Court reporter for the New York Times, retraced previous conservatives losses at the Supreme Court from the pre-Internet days of the early '90s and the relatively muted response of conservative activists.
That set the stage for Greenhouse to criticize the "torrent of right-wing leaks" and "invective" that poured over Roberts after his shock decision upholding Obama-Care. Greenhouse, whose strident liberal moralizing is obvious now that she is no longer a reporter, suggested Roberts may have "evolved" to his position partially due to "the breathtaking radicalism of the other four conservative justices," and quoted one of her favorite judges in suggesting Roberts may read the criticism and think to himself "What am I doing with this crowd of lunatics?"
I have a headache. I imagine you do too, if you have been trying to interpret the legalese employed by those legal sages who have pronounced on Thursday's Supreme Court decision on Obamacare. I would rather read the lyrics of a thousand rap composers than the anfractuous language of one legal sage.
Thanks, however, to Professor E. Donald Elliott of the Yale Law School, I had a translator at my side, and I shall now hand down my judgment of the Court's decision on Obamacare, which all sensible Americans have abstained from reading in its entirety, including B. H. Obama and the vast majority of denizens of Capitol Hill, including N. Pelosi. Some of these worthies even admitted as much. It fell to nine heroic souls garbed in black to actually read the law and to Chief Justice Roberts to write the decision for the exhausted majority.
When asked at the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 what the Founders had wrought, Benjamin Franklin famously said, "A Republic, if you can keep it."
That question might also be put to the five Supreme Court justices who voted last week to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, which mandates health insurance for most Americans, based on twisted logic that it is a tax and thus within the power of the Congress to impose on an already overtaxed people.
Let's call a spade a spade: the arrogance, hypocrisy and racism of Salon's Joan Walsh knows no bounds.
On PBS's Tavis Smiley Show Monday, this so-called "editor at large" had the nerve to depict some Republicans as "a white, older base that doesn’t quite understand the way healthcare works" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Is anyone surprised that the ink wasn’t dry on Chief Justice John Roberts’ incoherent switcheroo before Team Obama was again denying ObamaCare is a tax? Why did he do it?
There is no doubt that the Left waged a war on the court’s public image. Just as Obama lectured at the justices during his State of the Union address for the Citizens United decision, so Obama and his media minions prepared for this verdict with blatant mob pressure: Side with us, or your image is ruined.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer took a humorous poke at Barack Obama and Chief Justice John Roberts Monday.
During a Special Report discussion about the President recently begging for donations during a conference call aboard Air Force One, Krauthammer said, "If he is running low on money, what he ought to do is to call it a tax and send the IRS after it to go and get it, which I’m sure his lawyers will be able to find a way to do it, and then go find a Supreme Court justice who’ll uphold it."
After ignoring its own 2009 clip of Obama denying his health-care law was a tax increase, ABC finally played the snippet of the President on Sunday's This Week -- but bizarrely, they failed to mention that it was theirs. Host George Stephanopoulos highlighted an ad from Americans for Prosperity that included the clip, but omitted that he conducted the interview where the President made this denial.
Later in the program, Rep. Paul Ryan exposed what the ABC News host omitted, that "the President, on your show, said this is not a tax." [audio available here; video below the jump]
When is a tax not a tax? When President Obama says it isn't, or when the Supreme Court says it is?
Obamacare was sold on several fraudulent lines. The president knows the country doesn't want to pay higher taxes, given the deplorable way their government spends the money. And so the administration packaged it as something different.
CBS News broke a huge story on Sunday's Face the Nation concerning the Supreme Court's Thursday ruling on ObamaCare.
According to Jan Crawford, CBS legal and political correspondent, Chief Justice John Roberts was initially going to strike down the individual mandate requiring citizens to buy health insurance, but changed his mind over the objections of the conservatives on the Court (video follows with transcript):
One of the key parts of Thursday's Supreme Court ruling regarding the President's healthcare bill was that the fine for not complying with the individual mandate must be considered a tax in order for it to be constitutional.
On CNN's State of the Union Sunday, host Candy Crowley didn't think this was a very important distinction (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Bill Maher has gone after former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's children again.
Shortly after Thursday's Supreme Court ruling regarding ObamaTax, the vulgar comedian tweeted the former Republican vice presidential nominee, "[O]h cheer up, it just means when one of ur kids gets knocked up they'll be covered."
In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that ObamaCare is constitutional as a tax, a number of media outlets played the now-embarrassing clip of Barack Obama insisting the law isn't a tax. Despite the footage coming from a 2009 interview on This Week, ABC's journalists studiously avoided highlighting their own footage.
CBS, however, played it. Even The Daily Show on Comedy Central highlighted the September 20, 2009 interview. On CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford played the clip of Obama telling George Stephanopoulos: "For us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] On Friday's Good Morning America, Jake Tapper tried to remind Stephanopoulos of the moment.
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell brought on radical filmmaker Michael Moore to offer his “Last Word” of liberalism on Thursday night. Moore said “maybe Mr. Roberts is a man of conscience. And part of that conscience says that it would be immoral to upend this bill.” Moore still felt insurance companies should be surgically removed and single-payer statismshould be installed: “we’re 65 years behind the rest of the Western industrialized world.”
But online, in their “Very Last Word,” MSNBC wanted Moore to repeat his charge that the country is being led backward by religious idiots who believe in the Biblical account of Creation:
New York Times legal reporter Adam Liptak used his Friday lead (five other reporters contributed research) on Obama-care being upheld at the Supreme Court to take another crack at the argument by conservatives and libertarians, the so-called broccoli argument "as misguided, if not frivolous."
Conservatives took comfort from two parts of the decision: the new limits it placed on federal regulation of commerce and on the conditions the federal government may impose on money it gives the states.
Good Morning America's Terry Moran on Friday highlighted how Chief Justice John Roberts "saved" Obamacare, featuring voices that lauded the "statesman" and only one clip of Mitt Romney condemning the ruling. In comparison, CBS showcased an interview with Republican Congressman Eric Cantor.
Instead of allowing much conservative opposition, Moran delicately spun, "Roberts's opinion reframed the law to make it constitutional...And that's how Roberts saved it." He included a clip of Dahlia Lithwick of the liberal Slate website. She hyped, "I think [Roberts] made everybody a little bit angry and made many people very happy and looked like a statesman."
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted Chief Justice John Roberts joining the Supreme Court majority in upholding ObamaCare as an "almost Nixon-to-China alignment with liberals on the Court." Special correspondent Tom Brokaw applauded the move: "I do think that it lowered the temperature about the debate about the politicalization of the Court. And that's a good thing for the country, however you feel about the decisions that they're making." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]