For Immediate Release
May 9, 2010
Contact: Chris Harris
Burns: "Imagine the rightwing firestorm that would erupt if a prominent progressive insisted Sarah Palin was selling her body. This should be no different."
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Media Matters President Eric Burns released the following statement after Ethics and Public Policy Center president Ed Whelan implied possible Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is a prostitute:
"Ed Whelan's appalling attack on Elena Kagan degrades the political discourse and women everywhere.
"It is disgusting, yet not surprising, that the conservatives' favorite judicial attack dog would stoop so low as to imply a woman is a prostitute merely because she didn't to allow her personal views to stand in the way of our military's recruiters.
"Imagine the rightwing firestorm that would erupt if a prominent progressive insisted Sarah Palin was selling her body. This should be no different.
"Conservatives should stand up to Whelan, demand he apologize, and refuse to parrot his imminent attacks against whoever the president nominates to the bench."
Ed Whelan, a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, is at the forefront of the fight against President Obama's judicial nominees. Writing at National Review Online on May 7, 2010, Whelan attacked Kagan for allowing military recruiters at Harvard Law despite her opposition to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
But, as George Bernard Shaw would have said to Kagan for selling out her supposedly deeply held principles, "We've already established what you are, ma'am. Now we're just haggling over the price."
Fearing the backlash he deserves, Whelan updated his post today to claim his use of the Shaw quote "obviously doesn't carry (and in my case certainly wasn't intended to carry) the particular stigma that a narrowly literal understanding would convey."
That's too little, too late.