In his September 21 OpinionJournal.com column, Wall Street Journal columnist Manuel Miranda referred to "staff memos from [Sen.] Dick Durbin of Illinois, quoted by the Wall Street Journal in November 2003" as proof of a "Democratic smear campaign" against President Bush's judicial nominees. Miranda once again failed to disclose, however, that those Durbin memos are among the thousands of Democratic documents Miranda was accused of improperly accessing over an 18-month period starting in 2001 -- a scandal known as "Memogate." Some of those memos were leaked to conservative media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal editorial page.
Miranda's September 21 column is just the latest example of Miranda and the Journal obfuscating the columnist's central role in the Memogate scandal.
From Miranda's OpinionJournal.com column:
The reactionary liberal effort in recent years to slow the march of progress by filibustering George W. Bush's judicial nominees was a political disaster for Senate Democrats in many ways, but it was successful in a few. Although most were ultimately confirmed, liberals stopped the president from placing young Grade A jurists on the federal appellate courts who, had they been confirmed a few years earlier, would now be perfectly suitable for Supreme Court elevation.
This is exactly what liberals intended. Proof of that came in staff memos from Dick Durbin of Illinois, quoted by the Wall Street Journal in November 2003. They showed that the Democrats blocked Miguel Estrada, the longest-debated appellate court nominee in Senate history, expressly because, in the words of one memo, "he is Latino." Mr. Durbin, and the Washington lobbyists for whom he shills, wanted to avoid having a qualified Hispanic jurist that Mr. Bush could elevate to the Supreme Court.
As Media Matters for America documented, Miranda failed to disclose his role in Memogate in his August 31 column, despite attacking Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) for his "surrender" in the scandal. The Journal obscured Miranda's role in Memogate in an editorial note preceding his July 20 debut column; the note said, "Readers of OpinionJournal will remember Manny from last year's Memogate scandal" and linked to a 2004 Journal op-ed downplaying reports of Miranda's alleged misconduct.