Wednesday’s CBS Mornings went above and beyond to prop up Biden Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson with almost 11 minutes of eye-rolling spin, denouncing Republican queries as unrelated to Jackson and instead to please their base, mocked concerns about her history on sentencing child sex predators as having “no there there,” and described Republicans as having failed to “strike a match.”
Worse yet, one CBS liberal even questioned the need for the confirmation hearings and process because there’s so much “grandstanding” (by which they meant Republicans, not Democrats).
Co-host and Democratic Party donor Gayle King led off the coverage by stating in part that “[s]everal Republican senators questioned her on issues that matter to the party's voters, including critical race theory” and not about Jackson as a judge.
Congressional correspondent Nikole Killion adopted liberal spin, offering zero pushback to insane assertions about GOP questions being beyond the pale: “[T]he White House and Democrats are dismissing some of these questions from Republican senators. They say they cross the line and are even pushing on smears based on conspiracy theories.”
Killion hyped that Jackson “addressed the elephant in the room” about sentencing in child sex crimes, “refut[ing] debunked claims by Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley that she issued lenient sentences in child pornography cases.” In the clip used, Jackson played up the emotional argument that she still views sex crimes as “egregious” and “heinous.”
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) came up as well with his concerns about CRT and the antiracist curriculum at a private school Jackson’s on the board of, but Killion showed her opinion by taking the matter directly to Cruz: “When Senator Cruz was asked how this is relevant to the Supreme Court, he said critical race theory is divisive.”
Referring to Jackson’s claim that she has her own record as a jurist, Killion said that “record...almost brought the judge to tears as she talked about the challenges of balancing motherhood.”
In the show’s second hour, fill-in co-host Vladimir Duthiers expressed astonishment that Cruz would ask Jackson about race and there’s such thing as a view that “whites are somehow oppressors.”
Speaking to correspondents Jan Crawford and Robert Costa, Duthiers teed the former up to respond to his disgust with the Texas senator (click “expand”):
DUTHIERS: Senator Ted Cruz, his like of query to Judge Jackson seemed to indicate to the first black woman ever to be nominated to the Supreme court that she's soft on crime, she’s soft on pedophiles, and that she holds views that whites are somehow oppressors. What did you make of her reaction?
CRAWFORD: Look, I think, throughout the day, I mean, she was this mix of forceful when she needed to defend herself, and then you know, compassionate when she was talking about her family and some of her hard decisions that she's had to make as a judge...But, Vlad, there is just no there there. I mean, if you look at her sentencing in those cases, it's not out of whack with how other federal judges approach these cases. It does not take into account what we heard from those Republican senators yesterday, does not take into account that her sentences were actually in line with what probation officers were recommending in those cases. So, I think today they're going to move on and focus more generally on how she is maybe a lenient sentencer in other cases.
Crawford added that Republicans “got no traction” and failed to “strike a match” and create “sparks” whereas viewers saw Jackson’s “personality” as “she was forceful” as well as “compassionate.”
Costa fed the narrative that many GOP questions weren’t genuine but shamelessly partisan, saying that, when he “pull[s] [senators] aside, they say that these hearings are not just about Judge Jackson” and instead “a prism for the upcoming midterm elections” to “motivate their own voters.”
King then said she was “so glad” Costa “made that point” because she found herself questioning why they’re questions were “even relevant” to Jackson. She also had the gall to decry “partisanship” in Washington and opposition to Jackson, wondering if Republicans could still back her.
Co-host Nate Burleson and Crawford pivoted to Democrats and, after saying Republicans were being off-topic, they fawned over Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) “getting a bit emotional” in a real “moment” to remember. Crawford also took a dig at Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) (click “expand”):
BURLESON: Jan, what do you make of Senator Cory Booker's exchange with Judge Jackson asking about her parents and her children, getting a bit emotional? Do you believe that strategy for the Democrats is going to work?
CRAWFORD: Oh, I mean, they — that was striking. You know, sometimes in these hearings there's going to be this moment where you can just feel the fight just leaves the room and we saw that in the confirmation hearings for Justice Alito, for example, his wife burst into tears, rushed out. And I thought Senator Booker's questioning came pretty close to a moment. I mean, it was among the most powerful of the day. Not only that exchange you mentioned about her parents, but also when he asked about the high murder rates of black men, her worries for her own family. She called it anguishing, something I know she said all too well. That revealed that personal side of her. And then, of course, on the other side of the aisle there was a misstep by Republican Senator Kennedy from Louisiana who described her as articulate as if that’s somehow surprising for a star debater, Harvard law grad who's been a federal judge for a decade. So — but I think that's going to be interesting to see how all of this, you know, what we saw with the powerful questioning from Senator Booker and then that misstep by Senator Kennedy, how that affects some of the tone of today's questioning.
Before wrapping, King questioned the confirmation process (which she also did following Jackson’s formal nomination) seeing as how “the numbers are in her favor” and “the outcome” is already set, but we’re instead subjected to days of GOP “grandstanding.”
CBS’s amnesia of how Democrats behave when Republican presidents appoint Supreme Court justices was made possible thanks to advertisers such as Apple and Expedia. Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant CBS transcript from March 23, click here.