Accuracy in Media

What a difference a political party makes to The New York Times, which treated the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, former President Barack Obama’s choice, very differently from Brett Kavanaugh, the nominee of Republican President Trump. Ari Fleischer, the former White House Press Secretary for Republican George W. Bush pointed out this discrepancy.

“It’s so much easier to be a Democrat than a Republican when being covered by the MSM,” Fleischer tweeted with a screenshot of two different New York Times articles nearly eight years apart. One article from September 5, 2018, is titled, “Kavanaugh Ducks Questions on Presidential Powers and Subpoenas,” written by Michael D. Shear, Adam Liptak and Sheryl Gay Stolberg.

“Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, on Wednesday dodged direct questions about whether the Constitution would allow Mr. Trump to use the powers of the presidency to thwart the Russia collusion and obstruction investigations that are swirling around his administration,” the reporters wrote, implying that Kavanaugh’s answers hid his possible desire to obstruct justice.

The second New York Times article from June 29, 2010, is titled “Kagan Follows Precedent by Offering Few Opinions,” by Charlie Savage and Sheryl Gay Stolberg.

“Elena Kagan deflected questions about her own views on gun rights and abortion during her Supreme Court confirmation hearings on Tuesday, instead describing Supreme Court precedents,” The Times wrote in 2010. “Ms. Kagan’s responses, during a long and sometimes tense day of parrying with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, were similar to those of Supreme Court nominees past.”

It appears The Times believes that the “Ginsberg standard” of not speculating on hypotheticals (see a good history on that from Heritage Foundation’s Rob Bluey here)–as a means to respect the rule of law–applies only to liberal SCOTUS nominees and not conservative ones.

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