Sunday, May 31, 2009

Media Bias? What media bias?

I read an outrageous "news" piece from the Associated Press today. It is titled: "GOP senators sidestep harsh criticism of Sotomayor" and basically paints a picture of a bunch of mean, racist conservatives trying to stop poor, sweet Sonia Sotomayor from being confirmed because she is a Hispanic.

WASHINGTON – Leading GOP senators on Sunday offered more subtle criticism of the first Hispanic nominated to the Supreme Court, but passed up the chance to stifle racially charged critiques of Sonia Sotomayor by some fellow Republicans.

The party out of power in Washington is struggling to develop a unified political strategy to oppose the Supreme Court nominee.

Sotomayor, an appeals court judge, already faces scrutiny from conservatives over a 2001 remark that her experiences as an Hispanic woman would lead her to better decisions than those made by a white man. Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has called her a "racist" while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, saying a "Latina woman racist" is unsuitable for the court, has called for withdrawing the nomination.


This is the link from Yahoo! describing the article as GOP senators tone down racially charged criticism of Sotomayor. What is racially charged is what Judge Sonia Sotomayor said. Utterly absent in the article is the actual quote from Sonia Sotomayor in 2001 that is leading to these accusations of racism. In 2001 she said:

"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male who hasn't lived that life"

Quite frankly, that sort of comment just eight years ago deserves harsh criticism! I cannot even begin to imagine what sort of outcry would come from the press if a white, male nominee had said something similar and implied that a Hispanic woman would come to inferior conclusions because of the life she had led.

Yet you can read this entire "news" report from the Associated Press and not once see the quote that is at the heart of the controversy. To read this article, you would think that it was the conservatives making racially charged comments when in fact it was Judge Sotomayor. Judge Sotomayor will be confirmed and will sit on the Supreme Court, that is inevitable. What is not inevitable is that she be confirmed without a whisper of questioning about her judicial philosophy.

Media bias? What media bias?
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