Not to step on DougJ’s shoes, and I’m sure he’ll have something to add to this later, but Jeffrey Rosen is back at it again with a defense of his Sotomayor hit job. Glenzilla has the response worth reading:
What really happened here is now manifest — and typical. A couple of Rosen’s secret friends don’t like Sonia Sotomayor and called him to encourage him to smear her in the pages of The New Republic. Rather than do the work to determine if these “questions” about her abilities had merit — by, say, conducting a thorough survey of her key judicial opinions the way a conscientious law professor might — he instead set out dutifully to undertake the mission assigned to him by these “eminent legal scholars” by calling the people they handpicked for him, who then eagerly attacked Sotomayor. Rosen then mindlessly wrote it all down — including facts that were either false (the footnote) or highly distorted (Judge Cabranes’ New York Times statement about Sotomayor, which was clearly a compliment, not a criticism), and then sent it to TNR, which slapped a provocative and (by Rosen’s account) misleading headline on it and then happily published it. That Rosen himself was a chief champion of John Roberts, and had already expressed concerns that Obama might take diversity into account when appointing someone to the Supreme Court, undoubtedly made Rosen more than happy to be chosen to carry out this dirty task against someone who is most assuredly not part of his circle.
In other words, Rosen did what the modern journalist of the Respectable Intellectual Center does by definition: he wrote down what Serious People told him to say, agreed to protect their identity, and then published their very purposeful chatter without doing any real work to verify, investigate or scrutinize it. As a result, a woman who spent the last four decades of her life using her talents and intellect and working extremely hard to reach amazing heights in the face of great obstacles is now widely viewed as an intellectually deficient, stunted, egotistical affirmative-action beneficiary who has no business being on the Supreme Court — all thanks to the slimy work of Jeffrey Rosen, his cowardly friends of the Respectable Intellectual Center, and The New Republic.
The thing that really stands out for me is that this was so urgent, so vital, so important, that the TNR and Jeffrey Rosen had to smear this woman BEFORE SHE WAS EVEN THE NOMINEE. It wasn’t just that the initial piece was riddled with errors, that it was based on the catty and cowardly chatter of anonymous law clerks, nor that it was such an obviously fact-free smear job that even the Powerline refused to give it any weight and dismissed it as a “gossipy report,” but what seems so particularly egregious to me is that all of this was done before she was even the nominee.
This has irreversibly changed her life, her workplace conditions, and her relationships with the people she works with right now, and she may never be nor was ever in line to be the nominee. Regardless, thanks to Rosen and the editiorial genius of Franklin Foer, a substantial portion of the country has been presented a portrayal of her as “an intellectually deficient, stunted, egotistical affirmative-action beneficiary.” Does anyone here think that if they were in Sonia Sotomayor’s shoes they would be re-thinking their relationship with all their past and current associates? Wouldn’t you be looking around at your co-workers wondering which one had said nasty things about you, knowing full well there was no way to clear your name or defend yourself? What Rosen and these anonymous sources did to her was not only unprofessional and inexcusable, it was cruel and it was a pre-emptive smearing. How would any of you like a whisper campaign published against you in the TNR for a position you aren’t even seeking or probably aren’t even in line to receive? How would Jeffrey Rosen like it?
And given a few days to think about what he has done, Rosen obliviously comes out and apologizes not for what he has done, but for a headline he claims he had nothing to do with. But don’t worry, Sonia. He and his anonymous sources just had the country’s best interests at heart, and he did say that he, personally, thinks you are “able.”
The Tim Channel
I hope she gets the nomination.
For maximum karmic irony, Rosen needs to get Sonia as his judge for sentencing.
It’s clear the guy is guilty of something. We just need to pry up every rock of his life to find out what.
I were her, I’d be thinking pretty seriously about a lawsuit, since malice of the petty, gossipy, schoolyard sort seems to abound here.
@The Tim Channel: I’m rooting for her now, and I know nothing about her.
I imagine she won’t have her career derailed by one stupid article in TNR, shoddy as it is. And no way should Obama give this any credence when choosing folks. Anonymous score settling can be seen for what it is.
Woodrow "asim" Jarvis Hill
Not to go all “Daily Howler” on this, but, as repeated here over and again, it’s how the game is played amongst the Villagers. No deep research that takes months to do right, no detailed reporting on the issues, no attempts to actually listen and report on ALL sides of an issue.
No, can’t have that — takes too long. Instead, just write on rumors and “hot tips” and “ten things wrong with X” that can get on the next blog post to feed the monster that is the 24-hour news cycle. It’s why I avoid cable news and many political blogs like the plague — all too much of what they do now is echo someone else’s talking point.
They aren’t reporting the problem. They are the problem, too often, now. No wonder Stewart and Colbert get all the ratings…
Anyone whom Obama nominates with the possible exception of Roy Moore will get the same treatment. Remember; Rosen is a part of the crowd that always dutifully parrots the line that whomever the Dems nominate for president is the most liberal Senator/Governor/Whatever in the history of the fuckin’ universe.
i live in the bronx a part of the year, and she’s highly thought of there by people without axes to grind. what a pen1s-licking tool rosen is.
Rosen = sneaky backdoor nut sucker
I’m as much of a First Amendment absolutist as the next person, but there are days when I wish our libel laws were more like the UK’s. If a UK magazine did this, Judge Sotomayor would end up owning the place, because there is no way the defendants could afford to pay the damages.
Maybe it’s time to do some digging on Rosen.
(See: Scalia, Antonin)
“This has irreversibly changed her life, her workplace conditions, and her relationships with the people she works with right now….”
No, not really. She’s a federal judge on a Court of Appeals with lifetime tenure. Trust me, no one’s gonna be whispering and giggling when she walks by.
Why bother? According to Rosen’s standards here, you don’t need any actual dirt to smear someone. Just a lot of third-hand hearsay and conjecture.
For instance, I’m told that Rosen masturbates daily to a laminated picture of William F. Buckley.
There were two shitty parts of this:
One- She hasn’t been nominated for anything yet.
Two-Rosen acknowledged in the piece that he hadn’t taken the time to do any homework.
That pissed me off. If this woman is so “dangerous” that we need to smear her before she even gets offered the job, I say she’s hired.
Fuck ’em. You go Sonia. I hope you get it.
Can Jeffrey Rosen prove he’s not a closeted child molester? How do we know that the rumors aren’t true?
Just to make some heads explode, Obama should nominate OJ Simpson. Granted, Simpson doesn’t have a law degree but he’s certainly spent a lot of time in court. That should count for something.
But she has lady parts, John.
It makes it ok if she has lady parts, right?
I really can’t wait for a better news media. I mean that literally, we’re dying with this incestuous band of newspaper destroyers.
I think she has to be pretty tough to have endured what you endure being from the “wrong side of the tracks” and without parental and social pull at the schools she went to. But that isn’t to say that it wasn’t disgraceful of Rosen to let himself be used to smear her with anonymous quotes.
But you know its terribly meaningful that Glenn and the other bloggers and commenters forced Rosen and TNR, even for one second, to step back. The truth is no one but insiders is paying attention at this point and if Sotomayor gets the nod Obama and his people are smart enough to roll her out with some fantastic backing. Rosen is going to look pretty stupid if/when she gets walked in to her confirmation hearings by some top, famous, white lawyers and old grey beards. And she’s not going to be put up unless they can back her to the hilt and use her story to get her confirmed.
So Rosen’s story, if it doesn’t sink her right away, is going go right down the memory hole. And he’ll be the first to try to suck up to her later once she’s on the court.
I’m sorry that Neal Katyal’s name got dragged into this. I think Glenn makes too much of that whole line of succession thing. Katyal is a stellar lawyer and a stellar person and a personal hero of mine. I think what happened is that Rosen was too busy and too egotistical to actually write a serious review and critique of Sotomayor’s work and he called around and asked a few people, possibly even including Katyal, who gave him their opinion (interested and disinterested) and who may have been quite shocked to see how he traduced her in print. Family get togethers are going to be fun after the shit hit the fan and Katyal suffers from the connection to Rosen.
From Australia I have to ask – are defamation laws completely useless in the USA? I’m frequently amazed at the malicious lies that get published in the US with the victim apparently having no recourse in the legal system.
In most British Commonwealth countries a piece like Rosen’s would make him and his publisher potentially liable for substantial damages. It’s likely that he’d have to publish a grovelling apology.
Has ‘freedom of speech’ really degenerated into freedom to slander and ruin the reputations of others at will?
Sources close to Rosen insist that’s not true. The picture is, in fact, all the way up his ass.
But this has backfired: first, there is no way Obama will choose Rosen’s first choice. nope. none.
second, now people are digging for info and vetting Sotomayor so that we will have heard the worst BEFORE she is nominated and what we hear after can now reasonably be chided as part of the original hit job.
so, Rosen has increased sotomayor’s chances of nomonation and confirmation. that is how obama plays the game
@TR: Don’t do that.
@gorp: You either, Gorp.
Be better than that.
There’s a reason England has its Libel laws it has (but I’m still against them.) Times like this I wish the US gave us the right to sue someones ass off.
Serious question. Does anyone actually read TNR?
@Ken Lovell: What defamation laws? Rosen was just speculating on what if someone said this. I hate to be flippant but Rosen’s article was vague enough to protect him but to do the job that he wanted done.
Oh, okay, no rumors. But it is really amazing what you hear.
fwiw, the commenter named “Lawyer” had some good counterpoints about all this on yesterday’s thread on this subject.
Unfortunately, he/she was then him/herself smeared by a name-calling asshole who shall remain nameless, but whose raison d’etre on this and other blogs seems to consist entirely of calling other people names.
What can be said is this:
Jeffrey Rosen is a terrible journalist, and one who gives Judy Miller a good name by comparison. He should be ashamed of himself, and the New Republic should issue a retraction followed by an apology.
@Ninerdave: It doesn’t matter if anyone reads TNR. Rosen has done his job and demeaned a very deserving candidate.
I think Obama needs to look seriously at Sotomayor, and if he finds her qualified to be a SCJ nominate her. And when he’s announcing his pick Obama needs to say:
“I not only nominate Sotomayor to be a SCJ because I find her to be an exceptional legal mind that will bring honor to the position, I also nominate Sotomayor to be a SCJ because I will not be tolerate the attempts of hack journalists who rely solely on cowardly anonymous sources to both smear a good person and to nefariously influence my hand of governorship. I am sure there are people who don’t think Sotomayor should be a SCJ, and I welcome that debate. But I will not stand for the deliberate skulking attack on someone’s good name as a substitute for debating one’s position. Thank you”.
Obama, you can borrow the jist of that if you want.
But it’s too likely to be true and thus should not be considered newsworthy.
Luckily for Sotomayor, nobody reads TNR anymore.
To many people, “journalism” isn’t a profession which has certain professional guidelines to be upheld and even honored, but a guild-like class solidarity promotion system, within which courtiers to the establishment demonstrate their fealty on command.
Well, that’s not true. It’s not “many people” who view journalism that way. It’s just the vast majority of the leadership of the news producing corporations of the U.S., who will always choose to promote the in-group needs of their class associates and the hawkish ideology which reigns over any actual “journalism”, and all of the ‘journalists’ who wish to be seen as on the path upward.
At the end of it all, I can’t help but think Rosen did a lot more damage to his own reputation than to Sotomayer’s. Because, a year or two down the line, is anyone really going to be quoting TNR against Sotomayer on a job interview? And yet, I guarantee you that the next less-than-stellar Rosen column is going to be greeted with cat calls of “That’s almost as bad as his SCOTUS nominee hit job.”
And can I just say, after watching the slow-speed clusterfuckplosion of print journalism – from the Bush v Gore bullshit to the Iraq War ramp up to Congresswoman Harman’s suppression of wiretapping stories before the election to the Bill Kristol / Karl Rove / Johan Goldberg Op Ed insanity – can I just say fuck’m all? Print journalism can go die in a god damn fire. If a reporter has something that really needs to be aired out, put on Digg.
Pretty much, yeah. The only way to get damages is to prove that the newspaper or magazine acted maliciously when they did so, i.e. that they had evidence that the story was false but published it anyway.
Our tabloids have gotten caught out a couple of times printing out-and-out falsehoods and had to pay up, but mostly you can say whatever you want about a public figure and they have very little recourse unless they can prove malice.
ETA: As a federal judge, Sotomayor would count as a public figure — it’s not just movie stars.
@eemom: The only thing I saw Lawyer post was this, and I didn’t see anyone shouting him down.
And my reaction remains the same- I don’t know anything about her, but for me the facts have not changed- Rosen’s piece was nothing but a catty hit job on her, and she should be judged on her legal reasoning and abilities, and not anonymous reports about her temperament.
Update: NM. I just scrolled down and found it now. Yeah, he did get shouted down.
@eemom: I’m sorry, but I have to disagree. While the thread kinda devolved into a worthless shitstorm, the information provided by Lawyer advanced nothing. The information provided left us at exactly the same place: anonymously sourced “conventional wisdom” that Sotomayor is nothing more than an “Afirmative Action Justice.” Even if I grant that Lawyer was being totally truthful and had the best of intentions, it is worse than useless.
Furthermore, she hasn’t been nominated. It won’t matter unless she is nominated. And there will be plenty of opportunity for such to come it if she is nominated.
Shorter Rosen: What hit job? My column was perfectly fair and balanced.
The New Republic needs to to do some housecleaning and they should start with Jeffrey Rosen, Michelle Cottle, and Michael Crowley.
or William B. Fuckley
and JC wrote:
um, no. you are grossly over-estimating how many people read (or care about) TNR. what Rosen said was unfair but I doubt the judge will suffer much from it, as others mention above.
I also am rooting for Sotomayor now without any idea of whether she’s really a good judge. I haven’t seen anything about her that makes me think she would be a bad choice, although I doubt she’s as liberal as I would like.
But I have to tell you when I read the title of this post I thought this was going to be about Megan McCain’s latest attempt at column writing. Today’s topic, sex and the GOP — sort of.
If you read the comments there at Wonkette you’ll see why.
@John Cole: Hah, see! I learned something about my writing style by comparing our posts, Professa. You can’t help teaching me something…for free! ! ! 1 1 ! 1ll
[sing] Free learnin’! Free learnin’! I gots me free learnin’! [/sing]
I agree with Eric at 24
I was wondering whether this absurd attempt to attack her won’t, like the ceaseless Right wing accusations that Obama was closet “ghetto” or “gangsta” or “stupid” or whatever the favorite shit was that day, going to backfire.
Does anyone remember just how weirdly shocked right wing commenters were when Obama aced the debates. And how the whole line that there will be “rappers” at the White House and how Obama and Michelle will be so trashy has (almost) entirely dissapeared from the right wing line of attack. It finally just got to jarringly out of sync with the reality people were seeing.
Now Rosen only engaged in a little genteel, pseudo intellectual, smearing but if they choose to go full frontal racist and sexist and she at all can surmount the sterotypes she will see opposition to her crumble within a few minutes of opening her mouth. We can only hope that they really go over the top on their accusations and that it all falls as flat as those attacks on Obama did.
And of course, I agree that Rosen is a cowardly wanker who wouldn’t recognize journalistic ethics if they bit him in the butt.
I’ve been collecting anonymous insights into Rosen. Most of which are probably not totally accurate.
Whatever the truth is about what happened between him and Norm, and the leather boys and the crack it’s almost certainly true that it’s all in the past and won’t happen again.
Reports that he had a solid B average at State seem to be true. If 3.1 is a solid B.
He did visit some farms with Mickey Kaus, supposedly.
It is possible to sue in the US.
Carol Burnett vs National Enquirer
But it’s rare, because the libel has to be an outright lie, and the plaintiff has to prove it. Carol Burnett’s parents were both alcoholics, and it was a subject she felt strongly about.
This kind of piece discussed here, with sniggers and hints, would be a non-starter.
Serious answer. No. Not for a long time. But I used to read it a lot. Once it was a good magazine.
@John Cole: It’s easy to expect that most posters are above slime but in this case I respectfully disagree with you. Rosen wrote an article hoping to make news and to have a lot of whackos cite his article. There is no amount of slime that can thrown at him that is equal to the harm that he has done.
@John Cole: i went back and read the thread. the offender is evidently one JDM. I don’t know of this commenter.
@ John Cole
Thank you, John.
@aimai: Well, it certainly won’t make any new friends in the Latino community. And what really needs to be remembered is if now Obama doesn’t pick her, Rosen and TNR will run with the whole “what was lacking in Sotomayor” storyline.
This is how the GOP got to have it both ways for years.
This was bullshit from the start and that Foer allowed it is a disgrace.
What a monstrous hack.
Rosen, you will never, never ever, be an “intellectual,” you stinking tiny-brained wiper of other people’s bottoms.
@AhabTRuler: Yes… I went back and read Lawyer’s comments, and what followed, and they’re no better or worse than the content of Rosen’s article; they amount to anonymous hearsay.
My pit bull is in awe of Greenwald’s tenacity.
The Cat Who Would Be Tunch
@Woodrow “asim” Jarvis Hill:
This is what befuddles me. Perhaps you can say I’m a bit daft but when I read a news article or hear about some event, it takes make at least several hours, if not days or weeks, to process the information with what I already know to put it in proper context. Granted, some things just speak for themselves and there’s very little needed to contemplate.
So in this instance, how can someone who has little to no experience following Sotomayor’s public work go from indifference to being a definitive expert? It’s ridiculous.
This part from Rosen’s rebuttal is particularly problematic:
There are three ways to read into this.
1) Rosen is shifting blame and obfuscating his role in the matter.
2) He really wasn’t reponsible for the headline. In that case, whoever settled on the headline needs to have better communication skills with the writer. That really inspires confidence in me about TNR, a magainze that serves to inform and communicate ideas with the public. Still, the fact that someone else settled on the words “case against” should clue you in on how the article was going to be received by your readers.
3) So the article was to convey questions of Sotomajor’s temperament after info from several liberal scholars. It would help Rosen’s case so much better if he could elaborate on the number of liberal scholars he spoke to. Hell, I could say that I spoke with a number of people who thought that Jamaicans catch seafood by throwing nets over their islands to capture flying fish. All I would have to do is find >1 person who would say such a thing. And that doesn’t even call into question, as Greenwald points out, whether those legal scholars were even “liberal”.
@Libby: Yes, I do see why.
BUT I read the article and a dozen comments and I have to confess that I don’t get it. I guess the extra thick Wonkette layer of snark makes it harder for me to discern the point being made by McCain (or Wonkette). Plus I’m too lazy to read the original article by McCain.
Maybe my problem is thinking that there IS a point to Wonkette (or McCain).
I knew Rosen during and after college (we were classmates). I’m pretty sure that we worked for Joe Biden’s 1988 presidential campaign. Wonder if that connection is worth anything these days…
That should have read “I’m pretty sure that he worked for Joe Biden’s 1988 presidential campaign.”
I know I didn’t ;-)
I can’t believe anyone still reads TNR. And then mainstream US “journalists” wonder why there are blogs… It’s because they don’t do their job. They have to be the laziest, most transparently craven when it comes to their relationship to official power, people on the planet. Read any of the print media coming out of any other Western, industrialized country and you’ll see the poor quality of much of American so-called journalism. And then it’s clear why so many Americans turn to the blogosphere to find out what is actually going on.
Cheer up Mr. Rosen, with that kind of work, you can always get a job at the Washington Post.
Brick Oven Bill
My only opportunity to observe SotoMayor was through observing her behavior on the tape where she was giggling about secretly making policy within the Judicial Branch, and then giggling again when she said that she knew she should not say this on tape, and then going on to say it anyway.
In this manner, she does not get any points for judiciousness or temperance with me.
In mannerisms, my observation from that tape is that she is most accurately described as a cross between Gloria Estafan and Rosie O’Donnell, with a Whole Lot of Rosie.
The bench seems deep for this particular demographic group.
They can write this crap because if the editor did his job Rosen and the like would scream that liberal bias is oppressing their opinion so instead we get this. And then they accuse those who point out the errors of being hysterical losers in pajamas living in mental hospitals in Iowa.
I’m not here to argue, but the “Lawyer” commenter said he/she practiced before Judge S. IMO, that’s a legitimate basis on which to comment on a judge’s intellect and abilities.
Also, the point he/she was making is that the bashing by this Rosen schmuck should not be a reason to support her nomination over others that might be a better choice. I gotta say that strikes me as a pretty damn good point, too.
The point where I agree with Greenwald the most is that anonymity destroys any credibility. I am open to criticism of Justice Sotomayor (if she is even nominated), but it needs to be a public argument based on substance, not hearsay.
Who argue? Discuss, respectfully!
Anywho, I’m off to make baconated string beans.
And her comes B(ottle) O(f) B(ooze) rounding 3rd base!
@Brick Oven Bill:
Linky please Bobbolu.
BOB, bad mushroom dreams do not count.
@John Cole: Sorry John! Your house, we play nice now.
I haven’t read a single one of the comments, but based upon this I am 100% behind this woman’s nomination. Go Sonia!
In mannerisms, my observation of Brick Oven Bill is that he is most accurately described as a cross between Gary Glitter and Joeseph Goebbels [sic], with a whole lot of ol’ Joe.
Yeah, um, I like the BBC too, but they’re the exception. Not to defend our craptacular media, but saying the rest of the Western world has it right is like pining for the golden age of journalism here in the States—it’s bullshit. Mencken and Stone were outliers, Woodward and Bernstein had to swim against the current, et cetera. Journalism, like everything else, has generally sucked everywhere all throughout history.
Again, there’s no excuse for how shoddy it is here, but hoo boy is there ever precedent.
@Litlebritdifrnt: Hey, I don’t think we should go off half-cocked in the other direction either. Anything and everything that can be described or analogized in such a manner should only ever go off fully and completely cocked, and that includes, strangely enough, Supreme Court nominations.
Brick Oven Bill
Per request, A Whole Lot of Sotomayor.
“All of the legal defense funds out there, they’re looking for people with court of appeals experience” because “the court of appeals is where policy is made.” Sotomayor then tried to backtrack, saying, “I know this is on tape and I should never say that, because we don’t make law, I know. Um, okay. I know. I’m not promoting it, I’m not advocating it.”
@agum: Frankly, I don’t think BOB is himself tonight.
Oh spare us the drama. In his comment defending Rosen’s hacktacular work, “Lawyer” gets on here and anonymously gripes about Sotomayor as well, thus demonstrating both irony and that he/she entirely missed the point of DougJ’s post. “Anonymous criticism is sometimes accurate” …therefore all anonymous criticism should be thoughtfully judged according to it’s veracity…oh, except we can’t do that, because it’s criticism from anonymous douchebags who won’t put their names to what they have to say and whose credibility, motives, etc., we can’t judge for ourselves.
What’s so infuriating about Rosen’s piece, and what “Lawyer” didn’t seem to grasp, is the fundamental unfairness of an article that is issued before Sotomayor is even a legitimate nominee, and from which she is incapable of defending herself. Whether Rosen intended it or not (and if he didn’t, then he’s a moron) he struck a blow against Sotomayor in that the blogosphere and punditry are now wondering “Hmmm…well, is she too dumb and angry to be a Supreme Court justice?” Good luck defending yourself against that, Judge Sotomayor. And that’s what people like commentators here and around the progressive blogosphere are angry about, while “Lawyer” is busy taking a principled stand on the pre-eminent issue of whether anonymous criticism is “sometimes” right and patting him/herself on the back for standing up to the angry Left in a blog comments section.
Stephen Colbert already got to that shtick anyway.
Ehrm……….not really. It’s all quite fucked, mostly.
@Brick Oven Bill:
I would say that she was saying, since the SCOTUS doesn’t take many cases, the Courts of Appeal end up having the final say in most cases. Maybe a poor choice using a wingnut code word of “policy made”, but the fact is courts do make policy when the congress is not clear, or has not, or will not deal with certain issues. Just a fact of life, that legal opinions do affect our lives with the force of policy, no way around it. And those opinions often do jerk a knot into lawmakers asses to actually make a legislative policy that would then supercede a court opinion. And she shouldn’t have had to explain herself in a rational de-wingnutted world.
I’m particularly mystified by these words.
Obviously, the most effective time to analyze a potential nominee’s suitability is before he or she is nominated. I have no idea if Rosen has an axe to grind about Sotomayor, but I’m not assuming anything about her yet.
Rosen’s piece represents a tiny piece of the information I hope to have about Sotomayor and other potential nominees before the nomination is made. Clearly, the sources he is talking about are never going to speak on the record. I doubt if Rosen is lying (I’m never been a Rosen fan, but I’ve also never seen him as dishonest.) and I’m willing to accept that there are people who think Sotomayor is a) not that bright and b) lacking in judicial temperament. I’d be amazed, in a country where some substantial percentage of the population thinks Obama is a socialist/communist, if there weren’t lots of people who felt that way.
As for her intelligence, I’m aware of many people who hold important positions whose intelligence I doubt (G. Bush comes to mind though with luck he’ll never hold another position as long as he lives). And temperament is often a matter of opinion.
Rosen wrote his article. It is a minor piece that has inspired a wide response. That’s good. It gets more information out there.
There are always reasons to oppose (or at least not favor) a nominee. The Supreme Court game has become one in which younger and younger people are appointed in the expectation that they will serve several decades. Sotomayor is relatively young, but I read that she has diabetes. If Obama is looking for a candidate to serve as long as possible, Sotomayor would be a poor candidate — statistically speaking. My brother was a diabetic and died at fifty.
There is no such thing as the one best nominee for a Supreme Court seat. Personally, I favor the nomination of a woman and a minority for Souter’s seat (I’m a white male). Sotomayor qualifies on those counts, but so do others about whom I know little or nothing yet. Given two female minority possibilities of similar age and qualifications — one with diabetes, the other without, I’d absolutely go with the non-diabetic.
If Obama selects Sotomayor, I’ll wish her a long life and hope that she has the intelligence and judicial temperament to be a progressive force on the court for many years to come.
I think people are over-reacting to Rosen’s article. If his were the worst thing to appear in our current media, we’d be in pretty good shape.
Note: Personally, I would never write an unsourced piece like Rosen’s.
oh, spare me the drama about sparing you the drama.
Two simple points: (1) the impact of Rosen’s piece is being ridiculously overstated; and (2) no lawyer in their right mind who practices before a judge would ever criticize them publicly.
St. Glenn de la Zilla wouldn’t know about that though, since his actual experience practicing law is pretty minimal……a fact of which you, like his other adoring groupies, may perhaps be unaware.
It may have been, if we had some reason to believe that “Lawyer” had actually done that.
You’re not here to argue, eh?
You’re now engaging in what you were previously denouncing the commenter in the other thread for doing.
Normally, I would agree with this reasonable standard. But the reality is we have 4 full on right wing judges, and at least two of which are certifiable wingnuts that are the very definition of “activist” judges. So I think I want a balance for this quartet until such time as they are gone. A firebreathing liberal lion would be nice so long as they are smart and qualified and like Led Zeppelin.
Another simple point: retired lawyers or lawyers who no longer argue before a judge don’t have to give a shit.
You’re not making the points you think you are.
@eemom: (1) is irrelevant and so is (2).
Rosen wrote an unsourced, malicious, article of hints, rumors and allegations. He got rightly pilloried for it. It doesn’t matter if he wrote it for the East Bumfuck Tribune. The criticism he’s received is valid, whether it came from Glenn Greenwald, Glenn Reynolds, or Glenn Beck.
@eemom: For not being here to argue, you are doing a pretty solid job of it. :P
Having said that, I would tend to agree that no practicing lawyer would openly criticize a judge if they were going to have to appear before them, which, if you ask me, is all the more reason not to write thinly sourced anonymous hit pieces on people who aren’t even yet a nominee.
Additionally, I stand by my point- there was no point to the initial Rosen piece but to smear her. I have no idea if yshe is a good judge, and my judgment on these matters is always suspect. I don’t think that the Rosen hit piece and my distaste for it means she is qualified.
But I do think there was something profoundly tawdry about what happened, and his back peddling and refusal to address the footnote even increases my spidey senses. I’m also aware this is not a phenomenon limited to the right- I have watched with dismay at what some on the left have been doing to that Miss California. All she basically said was that she has the same position on gay marriage as Obama, and a smear campaign ensued.
Finally, I find this to be particularly unpersuasive:
Is that how we judge wrongs these days? By how much damage it does? So if I were to hit someone with a baseball bat, so long as it doesn’t break any bones, it is ok?
Finally, I am hardly a Greenwald fanboy. When I think he is wrong, I say so. When I think he is right, I will say so. I think he is right here. I think your distaste for what I will agree is over-the-top praise for him at times is coloring your opinion here.
Sounds like the Bush administration’s torture policy.
It’s the Jeopardy Journalism we are currently afflicted with. Unnamed source(s) raise questions and before you know it a Fox/CNN Chyron is born ?????, and a bobblehead fiesta ensues, to discuss just when the poor schlub stopped beating his/her wife/husband.
Rosen just provided the murky suspicion to kick it all off, and he is not the only one.
Well, you got me there.
If Rosen had said, I find her to be unintelligent and poorly thought out because of decision A, B and C, citing her opinion, I don’t think anybody would have a problem.
Given that he basically said “I’m too lazy to do any kind of work, but here’s why people should think she’s that way anyway,” we should scorch his hide off for being an incompetent hack.
Nice little attempt at dismissal, but you surely can’t be as dense and/or naive as this statement makes you appear to be.
The whole obvious purpose for Rosen carrying his wingnut buddies water is to make Sotomayor radioactive going in and therefore hoping to scare Obama off of nominating her at all. Then his buddies won’t have to be revealed for the dead-in-the-water, low-lives they are when they’re forced to attack her publicly. And thus risking more seats going to the Dems in the next election in the backlash against them.
@AhabTRuler: Yeah, what you said. As I commented in that thread, my objection to Rosen’s piece has nothing to do with Sotomayor herself. It has to do with the fact that he wrote an article in a deliberately slanted way, using anonymous facts, taking a quote out of context which would have weakened his point had he used the full quote, and then admitted he didn’t know enough about her to actually form an opinion. If that’s true, why write now? Why not wait?
As for Lawyer, I am with the others. I have no idea whether s/he is a real lawyer or not, and s/he refused to back up his/her opinions with any….what is it we call them…oh, yeah. Facts. Yeah, them.
Rosen’s piece makes me inclined to look more favorably upon Sotomayor, but it will not sway me into supporting her if I don’t think she’s worthy of the seat. The only caveat to that is how that worthiness gets defined because usually, the qualifications are shaded in such a way that they are favorable to the majority.
P.S. I actually found the second Rosen article to be infinitely better than the first one. Still, both of them left much to be desired.
gwangung, yeah, that. Facts. We like ’em.
Gil, I think, is right that while you do have things like the BBC and The Economist coming out of the UK, the rest of the world’s journalism is no better or worse than what you see in the U.S. and there’s quite a lot of high quality work generated by the top print media outlets in the U.S. (NYT, WSJ, WaPo, etc).
The problem really lies in something asim mentioned up @ comment 8, which is that there’s not a lot of in-depth reporting anymore and we end up with a lot of “he said/she said” journalism. This is, in part, a sad side effect of the loss of advertising revenue that’s really crushing print media outlets. It takes a significant amount of money to fund long term investigative/enterprise reporting and, a lot of the time, papers just don’t have the resources (be they financial or in terms of bodies on the streets) to do this well.
Another problem, well known to folks who read sites like this one, is that of what Atrois calls “the village mentality”. Some of that group think mentaility is well addressed in this long essay by Walter Pincus about journalistic narcissism.
To get back to the Rosen piece for a second, we talked very briefly at school about it today and I know I would have gotten laughed at by any of my professors if I’d dared to turn that piece of crap in. Thinly sourced, heavy on attacks but short on names, and ending with an admission that basically says, “I didn’t do my damn job.”
TNR obviously has it’s problems. However, there are still some very good things over there (Damon Linker has been killing it recently and Jason Zengerle is great as well) and while it does produce some bad writers and run some truly odious articles, it’s still one of the few places that will bring along young journalists and give them a chance to flourish.
I’m coming from the perspective of a 31 year old master’s candidate in journalism, so I think about these things often and realize that I’m something of a softie for print in general and opinion journals like TNR in particular, because that’s the kind of writing I like. But I fully recognize the massive problems throughout the print journalism sphere.
That’s what we have in far too much of science journalism, covering evolution and global warming. It betrays that the reporter doesn’t know what he’s covering, making him/her vulnerable to a) fast talking bullshit or b) moneyed, influential power leaning on him/her.
Hm. Coincidental that the leaners are often Republican/right wing?
I TRY not to argue…..but admit I’m easily provoked.
I do think GG is a ridiculously overhyped, self-important blowhard, and certainly admit that influenced what I said above.
But I STILL think the flamed-out Lawyer dude from the previous post had a point about how the smear of Sotomayor by Rosen should NOT prompt we progressives to rally sheep-like behind her nomination, when she may not be the best qualified.
Exhibit A, the various people on this thread who said they would do exactly that, knowing nothing about her qualifications. B’lieve that includes you, Mr. Cole (see comment 5).
I’m completely serene about Obama’s ability to ignore these horrible, scheming blowhards and pick a decent judge.
I have preferences. I’d like to see someone come out of a state court. One of the things I liked about Obama during the primary was the he didn’t disparage his work as a state legislator. I think they’re really important. I liked that he wouldn’t apologize for it, or demean it.
State law is nitty-gritty: criminal law, property law, family law. The messy stuff. I think a state law perspective would be valuable, particularly on this current court, but I’m a little biased in that direction.
Plus, it would be fun to have a liberal on the court who could lord it over the phony state’s right’s conservatives.
We’re all assuming that there were anonymous sources but there’s no way to know, is there? Maybe Rosen just made everything up.
Whether the sources exist or not, by not naming anyone he left himself and his relative Neal Katyal, who may well have nothing at all to do with any of this, open to nasty speculation. That’s one more mistake Rosen made by quoting only his invisible friends. I hope Katyal is kicking his butt right now.
To be honest, if the frothing at the mouth right wing mob is agin it, then I can pretty much say that I am for it. There has to be a reason that this early in the game that a right wingnut commentator has come out against her, that is all the more reason for me to support her nomination. If the wingnuts have a problem with her then obviously I think she is the bees knees. Period.
well, OK, but that doesn’t preclude us progressive sheep from gnawing Rosen to death with our toothless gums for the unmitigated contempt he had for his readers, does it?
@eemom: I’m actually going to support whoever he nominates. Rooting for someone when they have been crapped all over is hardly a ringing endorsement of everything the person has done.
I think what was done here was a real injustice to Sotormayer.
The perfect example of this is George Will’s continuing debasement of himself on the pages of the WaPo in re: global warming. You have the authors of the report Will cites saying that he’s interpreting the data wrong, and you have other reporters and columnists at Will’s OWN PAPER saying that he’s wrong and yet…Fred Hiatt still sees fit to print discredited drivel.
It boggles the mind.
It’s an embarrassing, shameful piece of work. I think it’s great he has to tangle with Greenwald for the next 6 months.
Hah! Good luck. I hope he has stamina. He’ll need it.
He sounds exhausted already. I’m tired reading that thing.
It’s friggin Thursday already, man. All’s I know is, whatever you do, do not give Sonia the burger.
If you have to write another piece to explain your first piece, your first piece sucked.
If your second piece fails to apologize for the sucking of your first piece, your second piece sucked too.
i gotta add to the smear campaign, david letterman’s bit about her that was linked at tpm where he took a clip of a latina teevee judge and edited it to an insulting degree. seems to me that kind of thing has much more negative impact because sotomayor’s not a known figure; this is the first introduction people have to her, and it’s complete mockery.
as for how rosen conducts his business — is this really news that he and his ilk are corrupt, lazy hacks where the casual destruction of a person’s reputation is all in a day’s work.
@linda: I just took a look at that Letterman bit, and holy shit, what was he thinking?
tripletee (formerly tBone)
Hiatt should refuse to share Will’s searing, fussy brilliance with the world just because some pointy-headed science types disagree with him? Tut tut, you slack-jawed jeans-wearing cretin.
yeah … pretty fucking ugly wasn’t it?
Besides which, what is the over/under on the # of Supremes that Obama will get to replace in his first term?
Greenwald has been fabulous in his bitchslaps of Rosen and all comers.
@tripletee (formerly tBone):
Do these jeans make me look fat? That’s what I want to know.
My goodness Mr. Cole-you are so articulate. It’s too bad that a few years ago you put that talent to use supporting the invasion of Iraq and all the suffering and death and torture and displacement that has come out of that glorious war. Oh well. WTF-let’s just move on. Lots of respectable people like John Cole got it wrong. Too bad about all the victims. But shame is not part of Mr Cole’s game-or Andrew Sullivan’s or Dick Cheney’s.
yeah moderate that comment. I’ll come back to see if it got published.
Jeffrey Rosen is an intellectually deficient, stunted, egotistical, white-skin-privilege beneficiary.
I agree. Unfortunately, I expect Obama’s choice to be far to the right of where I want the nominee to be. But that’s where Obama is.
John Cole wrote:
Perhaps the saddest thing to me is that I can imagine Obama appointing someone I won’t support. I really, really, really hope that doesn’t happen. The court needs a big leftward kick in the pants.
Expert drive-by. Run along now.
“an intellectually deficient, stunted, egotistical affirmative-action beneficiary To give Rosen the benefit of the doubt, he may have accidently cut & pasted this from Clarence Thomas’s biography
This is how they are. I’ve never seen any of the MSM pundits who condoned Ken Starr’s hunting of Clinton express any regret at the fact that Monica Lewinsky’s life has been unalterably changed for the worse – that anytime she makes a new acquaintance, she knows their first thought will be of her sucking Clinton’s cock.
At the other extreme, if any of the pundits who urged us into war with Iraq in 2002 and early 2003 have felt guilt because hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis lost their lives in the chaos of 2003-07, I’ve never heard it.
This is all a big, fun game to them. The notion that the lives of real people are altered by the decisions they help make happen, or the smear campaigns they enable, rarely seems to enter into their calculus.
Thank goodness we have a President who wants a Supreme Court Justice who is cognizant of the real-life effects of her/his rulings.
He’s a grownup. They aren’t.
I’m so glad our journalist class learned their lessons from their coverage of the runup to the Iraq War. I’m so glad we don’t have any more Judith Millers running around.
We certainly know that he hasn’t even issued a denial of the rumored child molestation, yet. And isn’t that the real issue here? What kind of person thinks child molestation is “no big deal”?
I read about the Villagers everyday, but for some reason, reading this post today reminds me of Hunter S. Thompson’s diatribe in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”:
“For instance, I’m told that Rosen masturbates daily to a laminated picture of William F. Buckley.”
Yeah, it’s on You-tube
Does this stupid bastard have any idea that last November, the American people took diversity into account when deciding to elect the first minority president in the nation’s history?
Americans are starting to embrace diversity. It’s about goddamned time, too.
@Screamin’ Demon: When I first glimpsed your name I read it as Screamin’ Dijon. I need to step away from the computer.
It is hard to believe that any person (man or woman) who graduated from Princeton (Summa Cum Laude) would actually receive the designation as “not that smart”.
I would submit that whoever said that is “not that smart”.