CNN gives anti-Sotomayor whisper campaign an assist

Even before President Obama has officially announced his selection of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, CNN is giving a boost to the smear campaign that has been waged against her:

CNN's web article:

President Obama has chosen federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor as his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, two sources told CNN on Tuesday.


But she has suffered through recent stinging criticism in the media and blogs from both the left and right over perceived -- some defenders say invented -- concerns about her temperament and intellect.

CNN offers no evidence that Sotomayor's intellect or temperament are concerns.

In fact, that “stinging criticism” comes from a widely-debunked article by Jeffrey Rosen (an article that contains a blatently false description of a misleadingly-cropped quote -- an error Rosen refuses to correct.) Rosen relied on anonymous sources to trash Sotomayor, admitted he had neither read enough of her opinions nor spoken to enough of her supporters to form a fair assessment of her, and cropped and twisted a quote from a colleague who praised Sotomayor's intellect in order to make it appear that he had criticized it.

Rosen's assessment, in short, has no crediblity. But CNN adopted his critique and passed it on, without any indications of its flaws.

(And on television, CNN's John King offers: “Some are saying that she is not an intellectual firebrand, someone who could compete with Antonin Scalia or Justice Alito, the conservative brains, if you will, on the Supreme Court.” Oh yeah? Who are these “some” ? King doesn't say, though he pretends this is the view on the “left.” )