NBC's Lee Cowan, on Thursday's Today show, giddily highlighted new found photos taken of Barack Obama when he was a freshman at Occidental College and even cooed at a shot of him sitting on an old Goodwill couch: "Humble beginnings!" Cowan interviewed Obama's old college classmate Lisa Jack who took the photographs, because she claimed she was told to get pictures of the then freshman because he "definitely had personality," and added, "He was cute. I mean look at him." The following Obama puff piece was aired on the May 28 Today show: NATALIE MORALES: Well the President, President Barack... continue reading
On Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen teased an upcoming segment on a new way to combat global warming: "Up next, if you could do one thing to fight global warming, would you do it? How about painting your roof white? We'll explain." Fill-in co-host Chris Wragge later introduced the report: "Could painting your roof white be the best defense against global warming? Some very important people think so. So Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman put that idea to the test." Kauffman explained: "In any given city, most rooftops are black. And that's the problem. The darker the... continue reading
Judge Sonia Sotomayor and Judge Clarence Thomas both had compelling life stories when they were nominated for the Supreme Court. But only Sotomayor's story has been celebrated that way by the New York Times. Sotomayor's rise from a housing project in the East Bronx to Supreme Court nominee was " a compelling life story " in Thursday's lead article by Peter Baker and Adam Nagourney. And Scott Shane and Manny Fernandez even celebrated the life history of Sotomayor's mother, in Thursday's " A Judge's Own Story Highlights Her Mother's - A Tale of Rising Out of Hardship ." The Times... continue reading
A baffled CBS. The CBS Evening News, which in 2005 had no doubt about how John Roberts and Samuel Alito were dangerous conservatives, expressed bewilderment Wednesday evening over where Obama's Supreme Court nominee stands. "Pundits usually label judges as either liberal or conservative, but that won't be easy with Judge Sotomayor," Katie Couric propounded in setting up a piece from Wyatt Andrews, who concluded: President Obama, then, has found a judge with 17 years experience but no clear ideology on discrimination, gay rights, or abortion and who can't be easily defined by political labels. At least not by the CBS... continue reading
After playing a clip of Rush Limbaugh charging Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor with bigotry and racism, Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's Hardball, implied Limbaugh was the racist as he asked guest panelist Jeanne Cummings of the Politico: "Is this the pot calling the kettle black?" To which Cummings responded that the radio talk show host was going to "chase" all the Hispanics away from the GOP: Well all I know is it's the worst nightmare for the Republicans, I mean they're trying to calculate whether they should vote against her, how aggressively they should try to sort through her record... continue reading
The Washington Post front page for May 27, 2009 announces the Sonia Sotomayor nomination to the Supreme Court with this large headline: "First Latina Picked for Supreme Court; GOP Faces Delicate Task in Opposition." There's no reference to Sotomayor being a liberal. Below that is a story on her ethnic identity headlined "Heritage Shapes Judge's Perspective." Reporters Amy Goldstein and Jerry Markon notice three paragraphs in that she spoke at a conference "bluntly rejecting the argument of conservative legal thinkers that judges should decide cases purely on close readings of facts and law, excluding their own frames of reference." How... continue reading
White House reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg penned the Wednesday personality-driven " Woman in the News " look at Obama's Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, "A Trailblazer And a Dreamer." Sotomayor was described as liberal only once by Stolberg, in indirect and mild fashion, even though the judge was quoted calling herself a liberal in the piece itself. Stolberg gushed that Obama Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor "danced a mean salsa" at Princeton, hints she might be some kind of liberal - but not until paragraph 73. An excerpt: She was "a child with dreams," as she once said, the little... continue reading
NBC's Matt Lauer, on Wednesday's Today show, greeted viewers with the following teaser: "Good morning, Supreme showdown. Republicans gear up for a fight over President Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the nation's highest court," and then asked the racially loaded question: " But will taking on the first Hispanic nominee cost them down the road?" Lauer and other Today correspondents repeatedly questioned if Republican opposition to Sotomayor would cost them Hispanic votes in upcoming elections. However no one on "Today" mentioned it was Democrats, back in 2003, as the MRC's Tim Graham pointed out, who opposed the nomination, by... continue reading
ABC's Good Morning America program on Wednesday led their 7 am Eastern hour with three positive reports about Judge Sonia Sotomayor, highlighting her judicial background and personal story. Anchor Diane Sawyer began the program with a promo of this coverage: "The battle begins: How will President Obama's Latina powerhouse handle the opposition?...And we also go home to bring you personal details about the girl from the housing projects, nominated for the Supreme Court." Correspondent Claire Shipman went so far as to play up trivial details from the nominee's personal life: "She's also an avid Yankees fan, a mean guacamole maker,... continue reading
Amazingly, after showing no reluctance in 2005 to describe John Roberts and Sam Alito as "conservative" or worse, the Tuesday network evening newscasts, particularly ABC and NBC, applied more "conservative" tags to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's critics than "liberal" labels to her, as the coverage suggested calling her a liberal was a hasty judgment from accusatory partisans. In total, ABC's World News and the NBC Nightly News combined for a piddling two uses of the "liberal" term while issuing a "conservative" tag eight times. (CBS viewers heard "liberal" four times and "conservative" just once.) Setting up a look at... continue reading