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Lions' den

Mainstream media coverage is sure to be biased against any Bush nominees for the Supreme Court

Issue: "Africa: The new frontier," July 16, 2005

No matter whether there is one or three vacancies on the United States Supreme Court, whether the hearings on replacement(s) begin in August or September, or whether Democrats make or break their "deal" and filibuster based on ideology, one thing is almost certainly going to happen: Mainstream media coverage of the battle will be biased against the Bush nominee(s) from the crack of the first gavel.

National Public Radio's Nina Totenberg is a famed lioness of the left holding down the Supreme Court beat for the publicly subsidized radio network. Her agenda journalism makes NPR an extension of the hyper-left partisans and abortion-rights absolutists at People for the American Way and Alliance for Justice. Ms. Totenberg's colleagues in the big newspapers are cut from the same cloth, and not one of them can be expected to treat the outrageous claims of the left with the skepticism they deserve. Expect the network's talking heads to book "experts" overwhelmingly from the left, including Harvard Law School's Alan Dershowitz and Laurence Tribe rather than the school's Charles Fried and Mary Ann Glendon. You will see a lot of Duke's Erwin Chemerinsky, but not nearly enough of Pepperdine's Douglas Kmiec or Chapman's John Eastman.

"By and large the print reporters tend to be more liberal than not," remarked Terry Eastland, Supreme Court analyst and publisher of the magazine The Weekly Standard. "There might be one or two that are inclined in a conservative fashion," Mr. Eastland added, but he could not name any when pressed. "That's more of a hope," he confessed with a laugh.

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"Walter Dellinger, Doug Kmiec, and John Eastman would make a great panel of experts for television coverage," Mr. Eastland volunteered, naming the two West Coast conservative law professors, and Duke's Mr. Dellinger, a star of the left. But don't count on it.

Perhaps Congress should put those NPR and CPB appropriations on hold until we see how the "public" broadcasters treat the center-right part of the public in the course of the upcoming hearings. If tax dollars are spent subsidizing a Totenberg-led assault on the president's nominee(s), why should supporters of that nominee be sending their tax dollars to the other side?

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