NYT Notes 'Pain and Disgust' Toward GOP After KBJ Hearings; 'Appeals to Racism'

March 27th, 2022 12:20 PM

The hearings into Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court are over, but reporters at the New York Times are still seething about her supposedly racist treatment at the hands of Republicans. They found some other voices that were angry as well for “How Black Women Saw Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing.”

Reporters Patricia Mazzei, Tariro Mzezewa and Jill Cowan collaborated on the liberal gripe session in the guise of a news report.

The treatment of Judge Jackson in the hearing reminded Fentrice Driskell, a Democrat and a Florida state representative, of how white male students interrupted her, and rarely gave her the benefit of the doubt, when she was elected the first Black student government president of Harvard College.

Andra Gillespie, a professor at Emory University who studies race and politics, fielded a phone call from her mother, who said that the political spectacle had made her so upset that she was going to seek solace in church.

For Black women in America, feelings of pride and hope over Judge Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court overlapped with pain and disgust as Republicans in the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned her this week on critical race theory and gender identity, and claimed that she was lenient toward people charged with possessing child sexual abuse imagery.

Many of the questions from some corners of the Republican Party were born of conspiracy theories and appeared to appeal to the party’s hard-right base. And judicial confirmation hearings have often devolved into political theater that has little to do with the law.

The same way the Times treated the Brett Kavanaugh hearings?

That Judge Jackson, 51, was forced to display graciousness or risk being further attacked for losing her temper struck some women as deeply unfair.

“Some of those folks deserved an upbraiding,” said Dr. Gillespie, 44, the Emory professor.

She said she kept recalling the confirmation hearings for Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, whose anger was lampooned by the actor Matt Damon on “Saturday Night Live.” (“I’m going to start at an 11,” Mr. Damon’s character said. “I’m going to take it to about a 15 real quick.”)

The Times cannot get enough of that particular SNL sketch mocking Kavanaugh. Matt Damon was hardly a profile in courage, having admitted knowing about the alleged sexual predator, committed by his ex-boss, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

“Brett Kavanaugh was allowed to do that, to show his righteous indignation,” Dr. Gillespie continued. “But if Ketanji Brown Jackson had done that, we’d be talking about the angry Black woman being temperamentally unfit.”

How are you supposed to react when you’re being falsely accused of rape?

The Times let its interviewees gush over a shallow pro-Jackson portion of the hearings:

One bright moment that touched several women was hearing Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, tell Judge Jackson: “You have earned this spot. You are worthy.”

To add to the meritless accusations of Republican racism, add Vimal Patel’s story in Saturday’s paper trying to unleash a “gotcha” at Sen. Ted Cruz:

Mr. Cruz’s comments were part of a surprising assault on Georgetown Day as Republicans sought to exploit barely coded appeals to racism during the hearing for Judge Jackson, who is poised to become the first Black woman on the Supreme Court….