Sen. Jeff Sessions Reveals Eric Holder's Views on 'Media' and 'Balance' at Confirmation Hearings

January 16th, 2009 11:17 AM

When the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Eric Holder, the media ignored his personal ideological activism.  NewBusters Tim Graham recently wrote about how differently the media treated John Ashcroft’s confirmation as opposed to Holder's. 

Silence and the media are going hand in hand with the Holder confirmation.  The mainstream media is not going after Holder in regards to his involvement with the Marc Rich and FALN pardons, for example.  

The mainstream media also claimed that Ashcroft would put ideology over his duties at the Department of Justice.  Here are some clips from columnists at a PBS Online Newshour segment during Ashcroft’s 2001 confirmation hearing(emphasis mine throughout:)

TERENCE SMITH(PBS): Cynthia Tucker, do you object to John Ashcroft's ideology, his record or what you think or fear he might do as Attorney General?
CYNTHIA TUCKER (Atlanta Constitution): All of the above. Although I would like to be clear that I have not suggested that John Ashcroft should not be confirmed. I am deeply troubled by his nomination. I think he will be dangerous for the country and trouble for the Bush administration but I also, like Lee Cullum, believe that a President has the right to choose his own nominees. I just think that President-elect Bush would have done better to choose someone else. Nor have I said that John Ashcroft is racist. I don't know whether the man's racist or not. But I am certainly troubled with some of his positions on issues that are important to African Americans.
TUCKER: Absolutely, absolutely, and different Attorneys General have had different levels of influence with the President. But given John Ashcroft's record, his history, his ideology and those are important considerations here, there is every reason to believe that he will try to persuade President Bush to appoint jurists to the Supreme Court who are at best skeptical of "Roe v. Wade," at worst committed to overturning it.

The mainstream media, however, has been mum on Holder’s leftist ideology.  During Holder's confirmation hearing yesterday,  it took tough questioning from Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) about a speech the former deputy attorney general gave in 2004 to examine Holder's liberal beliefs:

SESSIONS: In an April 2004 speech at American Constitution Society, a liberal group, you asked the audience what it could do to bring about a liberal renaissance, which is a legitimate political effort to promote your beliefs, and you single out the media and criticize them for impeding liberal views and said, “In the short term this will not be an easy task. With the mainstream media somewhat cowered by conservative critics, and the conservative media disseminating the news in anything but a fair and balanced manner, and you know what I mean there, the means to reach the greatest number of people is not easily accessible.”

So we do have this discussion of the fairness doctrine.  Do you think the government has the ability to interject itself in the free market of ideas and direct somehow that there be a balance between one view and another view on the airwaves?

HOLDER: Well the views I was expressing there were views that I had, as a private citizen would not reflect what I would do, if I were confirmed as attorney general.  What I said …in response to the question that had been raised earlier about the fairness doctrine was that I just needed to know more about it before I could intelligently respond to the question, but I did not mean to implicate the fairness doctrine in that speech.

How convenient.  The mainstream media will not question if “private citizen” Holder’s political activism will just disappear after he is confirmed as attorney general.  However, they held steadfast in their belief that Ashcroft would inject his own political activism into the job as attorney general in 2001.

It is becoming increasingly concerning that President-elect Obama’s cabinet picks have voiced strong aversions to conservative media.  These now include most recently his Secretary of Labor nominee Hilda Solis and now Eric Holder. 

Conservatives should not only look closely at the  Federal Communications Commission as a vehicle to push media censorship but also other areas of the Obama administration, because the media will not do it for them.