Accuracy in Media

Isn’t it interesting that a reporter with the last name of “Justice” is the one who investigated the children of Judge John Roberts? Referring to a report that New York Times investigative reporter Glen Justice was prying into the private adoption records of Roberts’ two children, radio talk-show host Kevin McCullough declared that “Every adoptive parent reading this will be understandably outraged, and they should be. Every decent human being in every decent family across this nation should speak up. And every person subscribing to the New York Times should think about whether or not they want to continue to do so.”

In a column carried by Illinoisleader.com, McCullough said, “The reason that such tactics get played out over and over is because the Times and other elements of the liberal dominated media feel they will suffer no foul consequence in doing so. Their idea is journalism has little to do with reporting the facts as much as it has to do with Democratic Party-friendly witch hunts that can be carried out without indictment for any wrongdoing. By conducting such an inquiry into the personal and private lives of Supreme Court nominee Roberts, his wife and the process they went through to become parents, the Times seems to be setting a new low-like they have been prone to in recent years-in its lack of journalistic standards.”

The National Council for Adoption issued a statement denouncing, “in the strongest possible terms, the shocking decision of the New York Times to investigate the adoption records of Justice John Roberts’ two young children. The adoption community is outraged that, for obviously political reasons, the Times has targeted the very private circumstances, motivations, and processes by which the Roberts became parents.

You can find the organization’s statement at http://www.ncfa-usa.org/documents/Release-NYTInvestigatesRobertsAdoption.pdf

But Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, said she was “appalled to learn that reporters for the New York Times had started an investigation into the adoption records of U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts and his wife.  Simple decency dictates that some boundaries should be placed on inquiries into the private lives of public figures by interest groups and the news media.”

She added, “In my view, this inquiry by the Times-no matter how preliminary the newspaper now says it was-steps over that boundary line.  I note the paper initially claimed this misstep was inadvertent.  But it has now been reported that the newspaper consulted its lawyers to determine ways to unseal court adoption records of the Roberts family.  In my view, this is reprehensible.”

Hutchison said this was not the first time that coverage of Roberts went “over the line.” She explained that she was disgusted by a half-page Washington Post story “deriding the apparel worn by the Roberts children when their father’s nomination was announced at the White House.” She noted that the Los Angeles Times “ran a lengthy story examining private activities of Mrs. Roberts that were largely irrelevant to her husband’s nomination.”

Hutchison concluded, “I hope everyone involved in the confirmation process will take a deep breath and consider carefully the fine line between legitimate background inquiries and invasion of privacy in such cases.  In the meantime, I will encourage the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, of which I’m a member, to take a position opposing inquiries such as those started by the New York Times.”

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, commented on the Times inquiry by saying that “?it should be agreed by all, especially Democrats and newspapers sympathetic to Democratic causes, that attacking family is repugnant. What kind of people would assault Judge Roberts through his children? What kind of people would publish vicious attacks on his little boy and little girl for how they were dressed? What kind of people would try to get at a judicial nominee because of the occupation or work of their spouse? Or attempt to dredge up damaging material through private adoption records? The unfortunate answer is they are the kind of people who have been picking our judges for years. They are also the people who will be picking our future judges unless we stay active today.”

These “people” are mostly in the media. They do these things because they are not being held accountable.




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