Go Ahead, I Dare You, I Dare Anyone: Explain The Contrast Between The New York Times Reaction To The Jackson Hearings With Its Response To The Kavanaugh Hearings As Anything But Blatant Partisan Bias

I’ll admit it: I prepared for this yesterday. I’ll also confess that I post it in part to metaphorically rub the noses of the obstinate New York Times defenders who might visit here in their destructive denials of what is, daily, right in front of their noses.

As I knew it would as surely as I knew the Republican Senators would not do the ethical and statesmanlike thing and be polite, perfunctory and non-confrontational in their examination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, I knew that whatever they did would be attacked by the Times and mainstream news media as racist and hyper-partisan. Thus I tracked down the Times’ story following Justice Kanaugh’s confirmation, from October 6, 2018. You can read it here: Half of the focus was on the fact that his confirmation made the Court dangerously conservative, and not on the Democrats’ despicable smearing of the nominee with a contrived accusation of sexual assault (that supposedly occurred before he attended college or law school, much less before he was a judge).

The other half concentrated on Kavanaugh’s angry attack on the authors of this character assassination attempt, which, sayeth the Times and the anti-Kavanaugh partisan professors it chose to interview, raised questions about his “judicial temperament.” This was the most disgraceful treatment of any Supreme Court nominee ever, before or since, yet no hint of that verdict appeared in the Times.

Now, however, nearly four years later, the Times’ summary of another confirmation hearing, concentrated on a single point: “The Republican manhandling of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson this week was convincing evidence that the Senate’s Supreme Court confirmation process is irredeemably broken.” The two front page stories, looked at together, compel just one conclusion: The New York Times believes that conservative SCOTUS nominees picked by a Republican President can be justly slandered by ambush witnesses, accused of rape by Senators and attacked for juvenile drinking habits, but the designated Supreme Court justices selected by Democratic Presidents are being abused if they are questioned regarding their positions on contentious social issues of the day. This is, the Times believes, especially true when such mean-spirited examinations mar “a historic moment.”

This is today’s article in a metaphorical nutshell:

The aggressively hostile interrogation of Judge Jackson, featuring political dog-whistling and relentless re-litigating of Supreme Court feuds of the past, marred what could have been not only a reset for the Senate, but a significant national moment in seeing the first Black woman ascend to the pinnacle of American jurisprudence with strong support.

Here is the funny part: I agree with everything in that paragraph, as well as with the earlier proposition that the confirmation process is broken. Of course it is, but it was broken, by the Democrats, when Robert Bork was “Borked,” then broken further, by the Democrats, when Clarence Thomas was attacked by another ambush witness, Anita Hill, whom Democrats and feminists announced they “believed” because she was, well, a woman, and because they didn’t want Thomas on the Court because he is a conservative. When Thomas thundered on live TV that he was being subjected to a virtual “lynching,” his “judicial temperament” was attacked. Then Democrats stomped the wreckage of the confirmation process into slivers by ratcheting up their disgusting tactics another notch or ten, this time producing a witness with a “recovered memory” no less, to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of attempted rape at a party no one could identify, at an unknown locale, at an uncertain date, when the judge was a teenager.

Why did Democrats take this route? They did it because #MeToo was hot at the time, “believe all women” was a feminist mantra being pushed by the media,  because they feared that Kavanaugh might be a decisive vote against Roe v Wade in a future case that didn’t exist yet, and most of all, like Harry Reid’s lie about Mitt Romney not paying taxes, because they thought it would work.

But that didn’t prove that the process was  ‘irredeemably broken” to the New York Times. Indeed, the word “broken” doesn’t appear in the 2018 article at all, because that would require the New York Times to be honest, objective and fair about the ethics rot in the Democratic Party. It can’t and won’t do that, because the Times is one of the most important propaganda organs of the Left.

Thus it picks now, when the paper can blame Republicans for their petty, tit-for-tat payback for Kavanaugh’s treatment, to say the process is broken. This, however, the New York Times may not ethically say, because it is ethics estoppel of the first order. I can say it, you can say it, Ethics Alarms can say it, Fox News can say it, Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Turley  can say it, anyone can say it who didn’t cheer on, support and try to justify the Democratic mistreatment of Bork, Thomas and Kavanaugh, each more unjust, destructive and wrong than the one before.

For the New York Times was a full participant in breaking the process. Its “shocked–shocked!” response now would be laughable if it wasn’t so infuriating.

34 thoughts on “Go Ahead, I Dare You, I Dare Anyone: Explain The Contrast Between The New York Times Reaction To The Jackson Hearings With Its Response To The Kavanaugh Hearings As Anything But Blatant Partisan Bias

  1. It’s become really clear to me over the last 6+ years that the New York Times blatant shift to being a Pravda like propaganda outlet that is a direct political arm of the Democratic Party makes them an enemy of the people!

    Side Note: I know that this is a correlation equals causation conspiracy type of opinion; however, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit to find out that behind the scenes the leadership of the New York Times actively colludes with the leadership of the Democratic Party, their think tanks and their prominent corporate leadership to produce propaganda narratives that actively promote the political left and demonize the political right, how else would their narratives be exactly the same across the board if they didn’t plan it that way.

    • There’s no doubt in my mind that such collusion occurs. We have seen it happen when debate questions were sent to Hillary Clinton in advance and, most recently when Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon worked to assist subjects of news stories behind the scenes.

      How often and to what extent it happens is the big question.

    • Steve. I was first exposed to the NYT in the late ‘sixties when I journeyed north to the great Northeast to go to a preppy college populated almost exclusively by the children of metropolitan New York City. It’s always been completely lefty. I’m just not sure we realized it at the time. Remember how Walter Cronkite was considered the voice of God? He was actually a dyed in the wool lefty. The New York media are lefty and have been for generations. It’s their DNA.

      • The last GOP presidential candidate they endorsed was Eisenhower in 1956. Since then, not once. They endorsed the reelection of Carter, who clearly wasn’t up to the job, they endorsed Fritz Mondale who clearly didn’t have a prayer against Reagan, they endorsed political featherweight Michael Dukakis, they endorsed Bill Clintion twice, they endorsed Al Gore despite him losing every time he debated GWB, they endorsed lifelong bumbler John Kerry, and of course they endorsed Obama and Hillary. They might as well not even bother endorsing anymore, because everyone knows which way they will go.

        • Steve, you’re doubtless right that the end of national comity between Republicans and Democrats expired sometime during the Eisenhower administration or the Kennedy administration. I think the media went all in on getting Kennedy elected and they’ve never looked back. Nixon was probably justified in making his “you won’t have me to kick around anymore” speech. He may have been, in the 1960 election, the first national Republican candidate to be systematically taken out by the media.

          • The divide started then, and has been just getting wider and wider since. They say I’m crazy for talking about this country undergoing a divorce between left and right, when they were the ones who talked about “Calexit” during the Trump administration.

            • America is the last hope for little r republican ideals throughout the world. If it collapses – so goes the world for a millennium. I will tolerate cohabiting this house with nefarious civilization eaters like the Democrats for as long as I can preserve the Republic with some hope eventually the Democrats or at least their current ideas are gone forever.

      • And by the way, Marc Elias obtained his undergraduate degree at my college. And the college has feted him endlessly for his “work” on behalf of HRC. He’s an icon there. Disgusting. I’m not sure which I find more reprehensible, Elias or the college.

        • He comes from not too far from me. The Metro-North train from Suffern to NYC runs right past my house. My brother went to that college too. Had I gone there he would have been just ahead of me. Yuk! He’s nothing but a highly skilled partisan hack.

  2. The Senate’s Supreme Court confirmation process is irredeemably broken. Damn straight. It doesn’t automatically result in the rejection of all Republican appointees and the confirmation of all Democrat appointees.

    • No, no, the SWIFT confirmation of all Democrat appointees. Back when Mitrch McConnell played hard and dirty to keep Merrick Garland off the SCOTUS,several folks on the left bitched to the effect that the Constitution should be changed to require the Senate to vote up or down on a nominee within 60 days or they would be deemed to have waived the power to advise and consent, so the nominee would be considered confirmed. Of course then who wanted to slow-walk Trump’s nominees?

  3. “The aggressively hostile interrogation of Judge Jackson, featuring political dog-whistling and relentless re-litigating of Supreme Court feuds of the past, marred what could have been not only a reset for the Senate, but a significant national moment in seeing the first Black woman ascend to the pinnacle of American jurisprudence with strong support.”

    Here is the funny part: I agree with everything in that paragraph, as well as with the earlier proposition that the confirmation process is broken.”

    I don’t.

    “featuring dog-whistling” is what leftists say when they can’t substantively say what’s wrong with comments and questions they just don’t like them, so there must be something nefarious going on.

    Could have been a reset for the Senate – sure. But why do “fixes” always place the burden of conciliation on the group that didn’t break the process?

    I know why – because Democrats don’t want the process fixed. And Republicans should want to happily fix the process – but the overtures must come from repentant Democrats who have openly confessed their miscreance and make the first moves to repair. Otherwise, Republicans will just be chumps on the sidelines as Democrats continue to wreck things to their advantage.

    Tit for Tat in a Cold Civil War. Until the Democrats are defeated a 2nd time.

    • “But why do “fixes” always place the burden of conciliation on the group that didn’t break the process?”

      Because that’s how life works. The Good Guys have the duty of cleaning up the Bad Guys’ messes.

      • This is an Augean Stables-sized task, Jack. Maybe divert the Potomac through the Capitol? Or the entire District of Columbia?

      • No, the Good Guys have the duty to make the Bad Guys clean up their own messes. That’s why the Feds shouldn’t be paying these burned out cities from 2 summers ago a dime. Let them live in the ashes they themselves created.

  4. Looks like they’re getting …er, creative:

    Ted Cruz’s Daughters Attend a Private School That Is ‘Antiracist’
    The Texas senator aggressively questioned Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson this week for serving on the board of a school “overflowing with critical race theory.”

  5. I was amused by Jack Marshall’s ultra-long 34-word all-initial-caps* screaming headline that appears directed at, well, me. So I did him the favor of opening up the article and reading it – I hadn’t yet when I first saw this EA item yesterday. And you know what?

    Jack is right. This “news analysis” really is pretty bad. Make that very bad.

    I didn’t watch any of the hearings – my life doesn’t work like that – but I had gotten certain impressions from news coverage: 1) Judge Jackson is qualified, 2) she’ll probably be confirmed, 3) the senators did a lot of grandstanding, as they always do in these things, knock me over with a spoon, 4) some very current issues only tangentially related to the nominee’s career came up, implicitly and notably transgender participation in sports competitions limited to females (I’m generally very liberal on social issues including personal respect for trans identities, but I absolutely draw the line right here – no you cannot compete in sports against girls and women unless you were born female, for extremely obvious reasons), 5) hypocrisy from both parties reigned Supreme, pun intended, in their comments to the media about what went on.

    In this environment, what I would have liked a Times analyst to do is sort out these issues, give me the wheat vs. the chaff, tell me what delved into the judge’s career and what was a sideshow, make some historical comparisons to similar events, notably and obviously the Kavanaugh hearings, and give me an overall political read on the takeaways. But that was sabotaged by this Carl Hulse’s notorious second paragraph, what journalists call the “nut graf,” where he basically said the contentiousness ruined the moment for him personally because of the nominee’s identity. Come on. The rest was just a one-sided screed that didn’t do any of the sorting out I wanted. I especially don’t get this line: “The Jackson hearing seemed to open a new frontier in vilification by focusing so heavily on her sentencing history, meaning any sentences handed down by future nominees will now become fodder for attack.” So?

    And now for the saving grace: OPEN THE COMMENTS, EVERYONE. The New York Times does a great job of this. Close to half of them, on first perusal at the top, say something similar to what Jack is saying.

    Why does this happen? One thing I know about journalism is that veteran writers basically become free agents in their personal style. This Carl Hulse has been around a long time. I don’t know if the older white male constituency here (sorry, it’s obvious) realizes this, but I’ve noticed a recent countertrend in society where some people get much more *liberal* as they get older. I think something like this may have been building up with this guy. There’s also, of course, Twitter, where many of the current journalistic pack and literati live. You know how things will be perceived there.

    I wonder what the usual screamers at me here will say about this comment. Of course they will not have read today’s interesting front “page” of the New York Times (I mean it in the laptop and tablet sense, which will be different) and thus cheat themselves of information and as always scurry down their own rabbit holes. But Jack was obviously asking, so I answered. Have a nice day.

    * Jack, the initial-caps style of headline calls for you NOT to initial-cap words like “to,” “the,” “as” and so forth. When you initial-cap every single word, it makes it sound like you’re having a heart attack. Your natural writing style tends in that direction to begin with, so you could soften it a bit and make us all less alarmed by getting the headline style right, thanks.

    • All Ethics Alarms Headlines are all initial caps, AF. Check again. Everything Is Not About You. Commenters here have been denying mainstream media bias long before you graced us with your wisdom.

      • Yes I know they’re all this style of yours, and they’re all stylistically wrong in the way I said. It was just more striking this time because of the length of the headline. As for those other commenters, they’re not here now, are they? That’s a lot of my point. You can improve it. Replying in sarcasm to me after a comment in which I, um, praised you isn’t gonna achieve that objective now, is it? Cheers, man.

        • Almost nothing is “stylistically wrong.” Style is a matter of taste and judgement, and in this case, consistency. I decided on all initial caps over a decade ago after having a different style in the predecessor Ethics Scoreboard. Normal people don’t seem to care.

          • I don’t think you understand. I am also talking about all initial caps (i.e. what both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal use) vs. the somewhat more common method as seen in the Washington Post of starting a headline with a capital letter and then going from there, up and down, according to what you expect. Both styles have additional common-sense rules that help. I don’t think you realize how your unique headline approach, which goes past common sense, reinforces what I believe is an issue here at Ethics Alarms, kind of a reverse political correctness with a particular, um, tone. I’m not going to explain it further except to say that I’m sure a lot of side readers who wouldn’t dare comment publicly know what I’m talking about. Again, cheers.

            • I will say, unequivocally and without fear of effective rebuttal, that virtually no one makes a judgment about a website’s content based on the use of initial caps in a headline, and that anyone who does has a screw loose somewhere.

                  • At this point I can’t even tell whether you realize I agreed with your post (subtle hint: my sentence “Jack is right”) although I’m sure you haven’t seen the reaction of many NYT readers in their comments because that would upset your surrounding meta-analysis and headline hysteria about the NYT daily product and subscription universe. Also interesting: no nuclear reaction, cursing, and troll accusations from Steve Witherspoon. What’s going on?

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