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Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Aaron Klein Kagan-Bashing Fail Watch, Guilt-By-Association Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein's latest attempt to attack Elena Kagan is nothing more than a desperate attempt at guilt-by-association -- and a massive failure of logic as well.

In his May 18 WorldNetDaily article, Klein essentially claims that because Kagan hired "radical regulatory czar" Cass Sunstein to work at Harvard Law School, Kagan must share Sunstein's views -- indeed, Klein claims that "Sunstein, like Kagan, has advocated extraordinary restrictions on speech."

Klein is lying about Kagan's views on free speech. Klein selectively quotes Kagan to make his case, obscuring what she actually said. He again falsely claims that Kagan said that "speech that promotes 'racial or gender inequality' could be 'disappeared'" by the government when, in fact, Kagan was talking about the "uncoerced disappearance of such speech."

Klein also writes that "in a 1996 paper, 'Private Speech, Public Purpose: The Role of Governmental Motive in First Amendment Doctrine,' Kagan argued it may be proper to suppress speech because it is offensive to society or to the government." In fact, Kagan specifically stated that "government may not limit speech because other citizens deem the ideas offered to be wrong or offensive."

Klein claims that "Kagan shows strong beliefs for court intervention in speech, going so far as to assert free speech should be weighed against 'societal costs'" -- which is the very same view that the Supreme Court holds. Klein also ignores the specific instances Kagan cites in which "societal costs" outweigh free speech, like child pornography, obscenities and "fighting words."

UPDATE: Klein appeared on Fox Business last night, where he not only failed to correct the record on Sunstein, he spread his false, distorted claims about Kagan's views on free speech and falsely claimed that the group Free Press, which supports net neutrality, "advocates government control of the Internet."

Further,  Klein has never told his readers that legal experts find Kagan in the mainstream on issues of free speech -- presumably because the truth would conflict with his lie-ridden anti-Kagan narrative.

Klein is also misleading about Sunstein. He highlights Sunstein's "proposing that Congress hold hearings about mandates to ensure websites post links to a diversity of views on issues" without mentioning that Sunstein has since renounced that idea.

Klein's "reporting" on Kagan has repeatedly been shown to be untrustworthy -- we can't name an article that doesn't contain a major factual error or misrepresentation. Why, other than bias and hate, is Klein allowed to continue his factually deficient charade?

Finally, there's Klein's incredibly illogical premise that because Kagan hired Sunstein, she is responsible for every view Sunstein has ever uttered. Klein has been silent about the fact that Kagan also hired conservative professors at Harvard Law School, like Jack Goldsmith, who while in the Bush adminstration wrote memos advising how to skirt Geneva Convention restrictions on CIA transfer of terror detainees.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 1:22 PM EDT

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