John Roberts and the Post’s Tunnel Vision

By July 25, 2005Judicial Nominations

Judicial NominationsInteresting article in Saturday’s Washington Post. Under the favorable headline, “Roberts Supported by Majority in Poll“, they post three questions from a recent poll. Question one basically asks whether folks think John Roberts should be confirmed with the result — 77% saying either yes or having no opinion — providing the grist for the headline. Question #2 is a classic: “Given what you know”, it says (leaving out the obvious clause “from reading and viewing biased media accounts on narrow social issues”), and goes on to ask if he’s more or less conservative than they would have liked. (Some 74% here say “less conservative”, “about right” or “no opinion”). But then comes the coup de grace: “Do you think John Roberts should or should not publicly state his position on abortion before being approved by the US Senate for the job?”

This is a question that should come with a caveat, i.e., , “Pardon us while we carry the water of an increasingly narrow left wing coalition here, by asking you the following question, but….”

NAM President John Engler got into this fray because in his opinion nominees were being viewed through a fairly narrow prism of social issues. As the left dishes it out, the press gobbles it up and elevates the issue. In fact, should he be confirmed to the highest court in the land, John Roberts will spend far more of his time on issues of importance to manufacturers than on social issues. Doesn’t it make sense, then, for the press to evaluate him on the issues on which he will spend the bulk of his time and not on divisive social issues?

Guess that would make too much sense — and it might not sell as many newspapers.

By the way, isn’t this the same Washington Post that called for calm and reasoned debate — not pot-stirring — in evaluating the nominee’s credentials….?