PBS Surprise: CBS’s O’Keefe Slaps Down NPR Hysteria on Alito Flag Issue

May 28th, 2024 1:31 PM

During a segment entitled “Alito Under Fire,” the latest episode of PBS’s Friday political roundtable Washington Week with The Atlantic aired some less-collegial-than-usual exchanges between CBS News senior White House correspondent Ed O’Keefe and Mara Liasson of National Public Radio, concerning the flag controversies the media was wrapping around conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, with Democrats pouncing to demand Alito recuse himself from upcoming January 6 related cases.

Liasson, public radio’s representative on the panel, was the most vituperative and historically ignorant regarding the second shoe to drop (or flag to unfurl) in this so-called scandal, so lame the Washington Post passed on the scoop when it was offered in 2021 -- the “Appeal to Heaven” flag that flew outside Alito’s beach house in New Jersey.

"[Alito] was so quick to blame his wife on the upside-down flag, he hasn`t said anything about this other flag, which is also a symbol of the insurrection." she falsely proclaimed. "So, you’d think if he had a handy excuse, he would have used it."



Liasson had to be gently reminded by host Jeffrey Goldberg that "One handy excuse is that it is an actual Revolutionary War flag."

The choppy conversation continued.

Liasson: Yes, but it’s become a symbol of the kind of --

Goldberg: The extreme credulity is what you’re suggesting?

Liasson: Yes.

Goldberg: Yes. Ed, any thoughts about the lasting impact of this or this is --

O’Keefe was the only panelist concerned about where such prying into the personal lives of judges could lead and already had led:

O’Keefe: This is -- and now everything is fair game. What you do on, at, or in your house as a public official is now fair game. And is official Washington and are we as a country okay with that, because that`s where this is going now?

Goldberg: Are we as a country okay with it?

O’Keefe: We’ll see.

Liasson retorted: What do you mean, that everybody should be able to fly insurrectionist flags over their house if they want to, if they`re a Supreme Court justice, without any damage to the court`s reputation?

O’Keefe shrugged:

O'Keefe: The court’s reputation was already damaged.

Liasson: This damages it more.

O’Keefe: Sure, in the eyes of 50 percent of the --

Liasson: Yes. It looks like the court is not just conservative, it`s partisan.

O’Keefe: Sure, but I think that perception has been there for about 24 years.

Liasson: Yes, I agree, but this confirms it.

O’Keefe actually expressed concern about where the liberal outrage may lead, perhaps referencing the attempted assassination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh in June 2022:

O’Keefe: So, okay, but my point is, we’ve had federal judges targeted in their homes. Their children or husbands shot. We’ve had legislation introduced to try to keep their addresses out of the public sphere. And now we go and do this. And the shoe will be on the other foot at some point, and it’ll be Republican senators accusing liberal justices, and the whole dichotomy will shift, and now, as you said, the politicization of the courts is here, and this is how it’s always going to be now, if this is what we’re all focused on. And that’s fine, if that`s where the debate is headed, but that’s where the debate is headed now, if this is the conversation….