Anita Hill "Brusquely Questioned" by the Senate
Was Anita Hill really "brusquely questioned" by the "all-male" Senate Judiciary Committee back in 1991? Reporter Dean Murphy takes that liberal formulation as fact in his Friday profile of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, "Lone Woman on Committee Feels Pull of Further Duty in Roberts Hearings."
"It was the sight of Anita F. Hill being brusquely questioned by an all-male Senate Judiciary Committee about her sexual harassment charges against Clarence Thomas, then a United States Supreme Court nominee, that helped propel Dianne Feinstein into the Senate in 1992. In the years since, Mrs. Feinstein, a Democrat from California, has carved out an identity as a moderate who can work with both parties. She has backed some of President Bush's agenda while also remaining popular in her largely Democratic home state, where she typically earns the highest approval ratings of any elected official.
"But now Mrs. Feinstein, 72, is the only woman on the Judiciary Committee as it considers the first conservative nominee to the Supreme Court and the first to be challenged by abortion rights groups and other liberal groups since Justice Thomas was confirmed in 1991."
Murphy takes the far-left (but unlabeled) California Rep. Maxine Waters as a reliable bellwether of politics, letting Waters "tar" Feinstein as a cynical centrist: "'Her politics are centrist,' Ms. Waters said, 'or making sure she is not identified as being too strong a Democrat and making sure she has some Republican credentials. That's her political image and identification.'"
The text box also assumes Waters' left-wing skew is merely the straight angle of reason: "A centrist's vote on a conservative nominee remains a mystery." Although Feinstein is not as left-wing as fellow Sen. Barbara Boxer, she's well to the liberal side of the aisle, with a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 11, including a 4 this year, same as Boxer. Hardly the mark of a "centrist" or "moderate."
The last two paragraphs acknowledge that, despite the headline's slant, it's not necessarily a woman's "duty" to be pro-abortion: "But the difficulty in professing to represent 145 million women was being illustrated even as Mrs. Feinstein made that promise. In Washington, groups supporting the Roberts nomination, including Women for Roberts, were calling on her to look beyond the base of her party. 'For too long, far-leftist organizations consumed with only one agenda, the pro-abortion agenda, have claimed they represent all women in general,' Connie Mackey, a vice president at the Family Research Council, said at a news conference. 'Message No. 1: They do not.'"
To read more Murphy, click here.
Israel's Alleged Security Fence?
ManohlaDargis reviews "Wall," a limited-release documentary on the security fence being built in Israel, and there's some bad faith right from the opening line of the review: "In 2002, the Israeli government began constructing what it calls a security fence. Located some eight miles east of the Mediterranean, this barrier runs more or less - how much more and how much less is a matter of intense dispute - along the 1949 armistice line (or Green Line) that divides Israel from the West Bank. That this more than 400-mile proposed stretch of asphalt, wire, trenches and concrete summons up the Berlin Wall is just one of its many wrenching paradoxes. More wrenching still is that it effectively drives yet another wedge between Israelis and Palestinians."
Even more wrenching of all for Israelis are the hundreds of civilians that have been killed by suicidebombers, killings that the fence is being built to prevent.
To read the rest of Dargis' review, click here.
Only Jeanine Pirro Has Husband Problems in NY Senate Race
The latest "Public Lives" profile by reporter Robin Finn is unusually prickly, lacking the warmfuzziness that Finn and other "PublicLives" writers give to more liberal subjects. Friday's profile is of self-described libertarian Michael McKeon, a campaign advisor to Jeanine Pirro, the likely Republican Senate candidate from New York, challenging Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Describing Pirro's botched campaign kickoff (she misplaced a page of her speech and went silent for several seconds), Finn relates in the opening line: "Scant days beyond a spinmeister's nightmare, Michael McKeon, shiny of face and shoes, light on eye contact and manipulating his BlackBerry like a joystick, appears to have survived with his built-in bluster intact."
Then there's this: "Once he finishes vetting prospective campaign managers, he intends to settle into the background and concentrate on 'developing and disseminating the message.' This is a euphemism for attacking Mrs. Clinton's stance on taxes and exploiting her vagueness about moonlighting as a 2008 presidential candidate. Let somebody else take the bullets. Of which there will be plenty, what with Ms. Pirro's marriage to a convicted felon (Albert J. Pirro Jr. did time for tax fraud) and adulterer (he fathered a child out of wedlock)."
Of course, Hillary Clinton had no similar criminal or marriage problems with her own husband.
For more of Finn's profile of a Pirro campaign adviser, click here.
When Did the Times Know About NARAL's Link to Pro-Abortion Study?
Denise Grady follows up on her credulous Wednesdaystory about a new medical study suggesting fetuses don't feel pain with news that casts doubts on the credibility of the study: "Study Authors Didn't Report Abortion Ties."
Grady writes on Friday: "Two of five authors of an article published in a medical journal on Wednesday saying that fetuses probably cannot feel pain before the 29th week of pregnancy did not tell the journal that they had abortion-related activities that might be seen as a conflict of interest, the journal's editor said Wednesday."
Grady details: "One author, Susan J. Lee, a medical student, is also a lawyer who for eight months from 1999 to 2000 worked in the legal department at Naral, an abortion rights group. Another author, Dr. Eleanor A. Drey, performs abortions and is medical director of an abortion clinic."
Here's the interesting part: "Neither tried to conceal those activities from reporters before the journal article was published. Dr. Drey's role as an abortion provider was reported in The New York Times on Wednesday; Ms. Lee was not quoted or mentioned. All the authors are from the University of California, San Francisco."
As noted, Grady also authored the initial abortion story on Wednesday. The reference to Drey's stint as medical director of an abortion clinic was mentioned in the 18th paragraph of that 21-graph story. Lee's employment with NARAL, as stated, was not mentioned at all, though Grady herself indicates she knew about it before writing.
Why weren't Lee's ties to NARAL (whose recent actions have been extreme enough to even get unfavorablecoverage in the Times) not considered newsworthy?
For more of Grady's abortion study update, click here.