Accuracy in Media


No sooner had President Trump appointed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Monday night than the media began to set up lines of attack to draw criticism of the pick from both sides of the aisle.

Kavanaugh will be either too willing to strike down Roe v. Wade, according to a piece in Salon — or too willing to uphold it, according to one in Slate.

He’s contaminated by his work on independent counsel Ken Starr’s investigations into President Clinton, according to Slate.

He’s contaminated for conservatives by his service in the George W. Bush White House, the Post reported.

The New York Times reported that Kavanaugh represents a sharp turn to the right for the Court.

He has an establishment pick endorsed by the Bush wing of the party, and some conservatives “question his bona fides,” NPR reported.

He is “Almost Entirely in Favor of Big Business,”  HuffPost wrote in its headline. We know almost nothing about him, wrote the New York Times.

He is “‘An unrelenting, unapologetic defender of presidential power’” according to the headline on one piece in the print Washington Post, which means he may be inclined to help President Trump escape whatever legal problems the special counsel’s investigation may produce.

He also joins Trump in wanting to dismantle the administrative state and thus reduce federal power, as evidenced by his view, expressed in a dissent, that the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is unconstitutional.

The front of the New York Times website teased eight stories about the appointment, including “Will Kavanaugh Provide Cover For Trump?” with a subhead reading, “It is unclear whether he will stand up to the president’s claim to be immune from prosecution.”

Another piece was headlined, “If the Supreme Court is Nakedly Political, Can It Be Just?” Michelle Cottle’s column was entitled, “Midterm Bait” with a subhead that read: “President Trump knows that he needs to remind his base of how much they need him.”

“Trump picks Kavanaugh for high court, setting the stage for a fight,” the Post wrote in a headline on its website. “Federal judge has deep ties to GOP establishment,” read a subhead.

“His nomination has Democrats preparing for a prolonged confirmation fight as they rally in defense of Roe v. Wade and other areas of the law they feared could be ruptured by the court,” it said underneath.

Or it could be done rather easily despite Democrats’ objections, says the Huffington Post.

“Republican lawmakers and White House officials have said they anticipate a smooth confirmation process,” HuffPost wrote. “But his judicial history could make for a rocky few months.”

Politico encouraged opposition with its stories. “Republicans brace for brutal Supreme Court fight” read its main headline. “Schumer lays out path to block Kavanaugh,” read another.

“Senate swing votes prepare for SCOTUS onslaught,” read still another. “Kavanaugh paper trail threatens to draw out confirmation battle,” read another. “…the majority leader has no margin for error in what’s effectively a 50-49 divide with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), still out with brain cancer,” it wrote in the story on the brutal fight ahead.

“The Kentucky Republican (Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) is simultaneously engaged in a brutal fight for control of the Senate that will be animated by the Supreme Court battle inside the chamber.”

The story goes on to explain that “if the nomination of the next Supreme Court justice fails before the election, Republicans risk losing control of the chamber to Democrats and allowing Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to take over the confirmation process. That increases the need for Republicans to move quickly – and for Democrats to do everything they can to pick apart Trump’s nominee.”




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