NY Times: Alito a "Clear Conservative," But Liberal Ginsburg Was "At Home in the Middle"

November 1st, 2005 11:19 AM
The Times plays up Judge Samuel Alito's conservativism -- but ignored Ruth Bader Ginsberg's liberalism in 1993.

Tuesday's lead New York Times story on Bush's Supreme Court pick (by Elisabeth Bumiller and Carl Hulse) plays up Alito's ideology from the start, nothing the federal appeals court judge has a "conservative record on abortion." Later they note he is "solidly conservative" and has "bona fide conservative credentials" and the paper's front-page subhead emphasizes that he's "Hailed By Right."

By contrast, when President Bill Clinton nominated Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, Richard Berke's lead story in the June 15, 1993 edition didn't describe Ginsburg, a feminist and former ACLU lawyer, as liberal. Berke even let Clinton get away with saying (without rebuttal from Republicans or anyone else): "Ruth Bader Ginsburg cannot be called a liberal or conservative. She has proved herself too thoughtful for such labels."

The Times' personal profile of Bush's pick by Neil Lewis and Scott Shane takes a similar tone. The headline to the jump page notes Alito's "Clear Conservative Record" and the text describes him as "solidly conservative."

In another contrast, on June 15, 1993, the Times' profile of Ginsburg took Clinton's lead in positioning Ginsburg as a centrist: "Despite her long record as a champion of women's rights, Judge Ginsburg has occasionally disappointed some of her former allies in the liberal advocacy groups. In her 13 years on the appeals court, she has often gone out of her way to mediate between the court's warring liberal and conservative factions."

(On June 27 of that year, the paper ludicrously termed Ginsburg, a former director of the Women's Rights Project of the ACLU, as a centrist: "Balanced Jurist at Home in the Middle.")

For more bias from the New York Times, visit TimesWatch.