Thursday, May 28, 2009

No Media Bias? Compare Editorial Treatment of Sotomayor to that of Clarence Thomas

Apparently being dirt poor is only a virtue if you are a Democrat!

Shortly after President Obama announced his nomination of Sonia Sotomayer to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by retiring Justice Souter the "news" media chirped in cheerful chorus the line about Sotomayor's "compelling life story." With all the gushing going on in the liberal media over Sotomayor's modest upbringing it's no wonder they didn't find the time to explore her background and inform readers and viewers about Sotomayor's controversial views and decisions.

Conservatives may recall how the "news" media ignored the dirt poor story of Clarence Thomas or the immigrant to greatness rise of Miguel Estrada, whom President Bush nominated to the Federal Bench and Democrats filibustered.

Slublog writing at Hot Air contrasts the treatment Sotomayor received from the NY Times editorial board to that given Clarence Thomas:

NYT: Political considerations, life experience only good if we like the results
by Slublog
Hot Air
May 27, 2009

The New York Times editorial board has nothing but praise for Judge Sonia Sotomayor today, plus a frank acknowledgment of the politics at play:

If Judge Sotomayor joins the court, it will be a special point of pride for Hispanic-Americans — as it was for Jews, blacks and women before them to see one of their own take a seat on the highest tribunal in the land. It will also bring the paltry number of female justices back to two. And as Democratic Party strategists have no doubt calculated, the selection could give Mr. Obama and his party a boost with a key voting group.
In October of 1991, the editorial board had a much different opinion of such political considerations:

The fault, in the end, is not that of the nominee but of the man who nominated him, the patron of little-known, untested or inflammatory appointments for offices reaching up to the Vice Presidency. By nominating this black conservative, President Bush serves a narrow partisan interest when the public has a right to expect him to nominate a lawyer or judge of proven distinction.
The Sotomayor editorial has great praise for how Sotomayor’s life experience has shaped her judicial rulings. The day after Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court, the Times dismissed his life experience because they didn’t like how it influenced his judicial philosophy:

As the nation waits to learn more about Clarence Thomas, the questions will concern not so much his talent but his character. Even his rise from poverty and racial isolation will be less interesting than how that experience has affected his regard for other Americans and whether he understands how their lives and rights are affected by law and official action.
The Times editorial board does display a double standard, but at the same time an appalling consistency to the belief that one cannot be a member of a historically aggrieved class and hold conservative viewpoints. To do so, in the minds of too many on the left, means you are fair game for invasions of your privacy, hate mail and in the case of Thomas, death wishes.
All that launched at Clarence Thomas and you didn't hear Democrats worry that by opposing such a hard luck story they might suffer policitally.

E Pluribus Unum, writing at Red State answers the question as to why the separate treatement of the two:

Why was Clarence Thomas dragged through hell in his confirmation process? Why was he called an Uncle Tom? Why was Miguel Estrada left to rot for over 2 years in a confirmation process, and held up ultimately by filibuster?

Oh, simple, really.

Thomas and Estrada do not believe they have some amazing wisdom that exceeds that of James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Martin Luther King, Jr. They see justice as equal justice under the law and colorblind. They see the role of a judge as impartial, bound by the Constitution and duly enacted laws. They see their role as a humble one. They look at people who are white, black, Latino, or Oriental, and they see people.

The left sees themselves as brilliant, the Constitution as an annoyance, the law a tool to secure power and control people. They look at people, and they see classes, races, and divisions.

Therefore they love Sotomayor, and hate Thomas and Estrada.

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