I heard last night that Obama was planning on nominating Elena Kagan, former dean of Harvard Law, to replace Justice John Paul Stevens in the Supreme Court. I don’t know much about her, so I decided to do some Googling and see what she was all about.
Instead of finding an objective portrait of Kagan and a reasoned evaluation of her potential as a SCOTUS Justice, as I hoped, I found the most ridiculously obvious display of media bias I’ve ever seen on the web. Sure, you expect somebody like Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh to skew everything to the right, just as you expect Rachel Maddow to view everything through a liberal lens. But I thought FoxNews.com and ABCNews.com had to at least pretend to deliver unbiased news.
In ABCNews.com’s coverage of Kagan, they use a relatively flattering picture of her. She’s kind of smiling a half smile, appears well-dressed, and has her hands spread out as if she is Jesus and the world is hungrily lapping up her words.
The headline reads, “Supreme Pick? Elena Kagan Gets Nod as Obama Nominee.” And the article begins:
President Obama has selected Solicitor General Elena Kagan as his second nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, ABC News has learned.
If her nomination is approved by the Senate, Kagan would fill the seat left open by the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens and become the fourth woman ever to sit on the nation’s highest court.
Kagan, 50, is considered one of the finest legal scholars in the country, dazzling both fellow liberal and conservative friends with her intellectual and analytical prowess but also her ability to find consensus among ideological opposites.
“She’s a solid, hard working, intelligent, really smart lawyer, who’s had an extraordinary amount of experience in the law even though she hasn’t been a judge,” said Greg Craig, former White House counsel, on “Good Morning America.” “Politically, I think she’s also as mainstream as they can get.”
We are left with a delicious taste in our mouths. She’s supreme! She’s a woman! She’s dazzling and impressive!
Flip over to FoxNews.com. Here’s the picture they use:
It’s about as unflattering as a picture can get. Her skin is pale, her hair looks thin, and it appears as if she just picked a booger and is rolling it around in her left hand as she snaps at somebody off camera. Directly under this picture on the front page, the teaser reads: “President Obama set to nominate Solicitor General Elena Kagan to Supreme Court, potentially making her the first justice without judicial experience in 38 years.”
The article reads:
If confirmed by the Senate, the relatively young Kagan– 50 years old– will fill the gap left by the imminent retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens.
The pick is hardly a surprise; as speculation over a handful of choices finally settled on Kagan over the weekend. Liberals and conservatives alike speculatively staked out positions on her nomination. Conservatives have already said Kagan’s confirmation would amount to a rubber stamp of the Obama agenda that many Americans are opposed to.
Hurdles for Kagan in her confirmation process could include the fact that she has never been a judge and her push to oust military recruiters from the Harvard Law School campus when she was dean. Kagan opposes the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Democrats, on the other hand, may like that Kagan is known for her ability to coalesce opposing sides and the fact that when she worked for President Clinton, she successfully negotiated with Republican Senator John McCain (AZ) for federal authority to control the sale of cigarettes.
Zero mention of the fact that she’d be the fourth woman ever to sit on the court, zero mention of her record of achievement, and the only mention of her being dean at Harvard Law is buried in a comment about her “ousting” military recruiters, because that’s sure to rile up Republicans. The one positive thing they attempt to say about her is that Democrats might like her because she negotiated with McCain to control the sale of cigarettes. Obviously conservatives are not expected to see this as a positive, but rather another example of her pushing Obama’s socialist agenda.
I mean, maybe I’m just pointing out the obvious here, but isn’t that a little disturbing? Where can we turn to assure that we get a fair, objective report of political news? Is there even such thing? What about people like me, who honestly don’t know anything about Elena Kagan and would like someone who is completely free of political agenda to tell me what she’s about, what her nomination means for the future of the court and which way she likely to vote on issues that matter to me?
Fox, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, if you are reading this: I’m pissed. Please leave the opinionating to the blogs and give it to us straight.