Following the first day of Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s Supreme Court nomination hearing, The Washington Post reported that Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) said, "The idea that there are spots on the Supreme Court reserved for certain ideologies is a falsehood. Seats on the bench are not reserved for causes or interests." But the Post failed to note that Brownback made contradictory remarks last October, when he reportedly said he would consider voting against former Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers over the question of her willingness to revisit Roe v. Wade.
On January 9, MSNBC's prime-time coverage of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. featured several Republicans but no Democratic or progressive guests. For the entire day, the channel featured discussion with only two guests critical of Alito. On January 10, NBCis Today followed suit, featuring only a Republican guest in its report on the hearing.
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin falsely claimed that Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. was in the majority on a three-judge panel when he said that the physical and visual search of a 10-year-old girl and her mother was legal. In fact, Alito dissented from the majority opinion, which ruled that the search was illegal.
In an interview with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) during CNN's live coverage of Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s confirmation hearing, host Wolf Blitzer asked Kennedy: "It sounded, based on your opening statement, as if you have already made up your mind. You are going to oppose this nominee. Is that right?" Yet during a subsequent interview with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), Blitzer never questioned whether Frist had already decided how he was going to vote on the Alito nomination even though Frist repeatedly praised Alito.
An Associated Press article on the contest between Reps. John Boehner and Roy Blunt to replace Rep. Tom DeLay as House majority leader did not mention the ethics issues surrounding both men.
Reuters reported that Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) "said he supported [Judge Samuel A.] Alito for the same reason many oppose him -- his refusal to embrace a liberal agenda." The article then quoted Cornyn's statement: "I want judges ... who will respect the words and meaning of the Constitution, the laws enacted by Congress, and the laws enacted by state legislatures." Reuters' juxtaposition of the term "liberal agenda" and Cornyn's statement has the effect of promoting Cornyn's view that a "liberal agenda" is inconsistent with a respect for the Constitution.
In the first four hours of MSNBC's January 9 coverage of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr., the network featured interviews with Pat Buchanan, former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) -- but no Democratic or progressive commentators.
On Hannity & Colmes, an onscreen caption falsely listed guest Jimmy Hayes -- a former U.S. representative from Louisiana -- as a Democrat. In fact, Hayes became a Republican in 1995 before leaving the House of Representatives. Co-host Sean Hannity brought on Hayes and former Rep. George Nethercutt, both Republicans, as the only two guests to discuss money Democrats have taken from clients or employers of disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, as well as to assess the "formula for success for the Democratic Party to win in 2006."
CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin suggested that "the Democrats may be looking for trouble" if they criticize the Bush administration's warrantless spying program during the Alito hearings, falsely stating that the public supports the administration's program
Appearing on Hardball to discuss the Jack Abramoff scandal, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough failed to disclose that he received $1,000 from Jack Abramoff and other contributions from Abramoff's firms.
On CNN, anchor Miles O'Brien suggested that a Senate filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. would not be "dignified"; anchor Wolf Blitzer wondered if Alito will "get the fair vote the president has been asking for."
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In reporting on Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s confirmation hearing, NBC correspondent Pete Williams noted that despite a 1985 job application expressing Alito's "very strong" personal belief that "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion," Alito's supporters say his personal views "don't count, that when he puts on a judge's robes, he follows the law, including the legal precedent upholding abortion rights." But Williams ignored the distinction between an appellate judge, who is bound by higher court precedents, and a Supreme Court justice, who might not be.
Rush Limbaugh baselessly accused Sen. Carl Levin of being tainted by the Jack Abramoff scandal for accepting contributions from an Indian tribe. The newspaper articles Limbaugh cited to back up his claim offer no evidence linking Abramoff-directed contributions to Levin's efforts to obtain a federal grant for the tribe.
Tim Russert revived his prior false claim that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer were perceived as very liberal when they were nominated to the Supreme Court and that their confirmations indicate that Alito should also be easily confirmed.
NBC correspondent Pete Williams falsely claimed that Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. was following Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's precedent in his dissent in favor of spousal notification in an abortion-rights case and that O'Connor subsequently "changed her mind." In fact, that case, upon its appeal to the Supreme Court, was O'Connor's first ruling on spousal notification.