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Tuesday, April 26, 2022
MRC Sharpened Knives, Spread Narratives To Attack SCOTUS Nominee Jackson
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's war on Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson began before she was even nominated, attacking any possible nominee President Biden would name as a radical. When was nominated, MRC executive Tim Graham tried to otherize her by using only her first name. followed by his underliings laboring to tar her as extreme despite not knowing much about her, attempting to build on the right-wing narrative it was pushing a month earlier about a yet-to-be-named nominee. The demonizing of Jackson -- and defense of her demonization -- continued ahead of her Senate nomination hearing.

Kevin Tober rushed to defend Fox News host Tucker Carlson for "daring to ask for Biden Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s LSAT scores," ignoring that it was pointed out by MSNBC's Joy Reid that Carlson had never demanded the LSAT scores of any other SCOTUS nominee. Tober tried to pretend Carlson's requestr wasn't rooted in racism:

The fact of the matter is, that is not Carlson's argument. His problem with Biden nominating her is not because she's black, but because Biden nominated her because she was a black woman. That's not to say she isn't qualified, but Carlson wants to see Biden tout her credentials and not her skin color.


America is the ultimate meritocracy where anyone can achieve their dreams if they put in the work and earn it. Appointing Judge Jackson because of her skin color, is not just unfair to those who may be more qualified who aren't black, but it is also unfair to Jackson that her accomplishments and life story are being boiled down to her skin pigmentation. Joy Reid is the real racist, not Tucker Carlson.

The MRC then did its usual whining that non-right-wing media wouldn't trash Jackson like a common Fox News:

  • Curtis Houck groused that an ABC show "decided to give the Biden White House an assist in its PR campaign to confirm far-left judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court by interviewing three 'lifelong friends' 'who know her best' on 'what' we need 'to know.'"
  • Scott Whitlock summarized what he called media "puff pieces" on Jackson, huffing that one can "expect the liberal media to do everything they can to pave the way to an easy confirmation for President Joe Biden’s pick.
  • Kyle Drennen grumbled that CBS "offered a 'lovely' profile of the federal judge by chatting with her 'oldest friends.' The members of Jackson’s self-described 'hype team' were given a national platform to swoon over the “brilliance” of their BFF," further whining that "Completely missing from the sycophantic coverage was any critical examination of Judge Jackson’s actual record."

The MRC also got mad that Republicans were being called out for already dismissing Jackson out of hand, even though they voted to confirm her for lower courts. Alex Christy tried to blame Democrats for this: "After decades of Democrats politicizing Court nominations going all the way back to Robert Bork, CNN waited until a Democratic appointee to lament that the general partisan nature of the process. A few days later, Christy complained that a "confused" Judy Woodruff tried to nail down Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell -- who had weirdly suggested that Jackson's refusal to take a position on "court packing" was a reason to disqualify her -- was not rushing to endorse her; he toured how McConnell claimed that "Republicans will treat Jackson respectfully, unlike how Democrats treated Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh."

That did not happen, of course. Indeed, the very same day of Christy's post on McConnell, the MRC received its marching order to build a new anti-Jackson narrative as forwarded by, yes, one of McConnell's fellow Senate Republicans, as Kevin Tober detailed:

On Wednesday, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) posted a lengthy Twitter thread with damming evidence of Biden Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s record of being soft on child porn offenders. All three evening news broadcasts (ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News & NBC Nightly News) ignored Hawley’s allegations. This comes in stark contrast to the way the networks treated the baseless allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process in the fall of 2018. 

While the networks ignored these troubling allegations, they were busy reporting on the St. Patrick’s Day parade, Food deserts, and the weather.

Nicholas Fondacaro similarly whined under a headline that referenced Jackson's purported "leniency with pedos" that "The View" hosts "avoiding the apparent evidence of Jackson going easy on sex offenders and child porn peddlers. Instead, they came to her defense by arguing that she’ll 'very literally' 'outshine each and every one'of the conservative justices nominated by former President Trump."

Christy returned to complain that Republicans' gutter strategy was being called out:

For his Friday show on MSNBC, MTP Daily host Chuck Todd tried his hand at comedy as he confidently proclaimed that Republicans will blame Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for inflation because that is all they have. Giving the “Republican” perspective for the panel discussion was former party chair Michael Steele who agreed and claimed Jackson’s confirmation hearings will provide Republicans good opportunities to raise money.


Todd then interrupted to affirm Steele’s take, by dismissing Senator Josh Hawley's concerns about Jackson and her record on pedophiles and child porn peddlers. “Well, Hawley apparently, is only, appears to be interested in this for his fundraising…Just put one out today,” he scoffed.

Christy then touted one guest as "accurately explaining the Republican view" by pointing out that "Republicans would attack Jackson as soft on crime and for representing Gitmo detainees." He didn't explain why it was a bad thing for someone who worked as a public defender, as Jackson had, to defend criminals in her job.

Tober lashed out at one commentator who claimed Hawley's attack on Jackson could get her killed, insisting that Hawley was just "attempting to hold a Supreme Court nominee accountable for her record on the bench." He didn't mention that Hawley's accusations had already been discredited -- narratives are more important than facts, after all.

Mark Finkelstein then felt the need to circle back to defending Carlson demanding Jackson's LSAT score, despite conceding that no other SCOTUS nominee's LSAT score had ever been provided, let alone demanded:

So . . . just exactly what is wrong with asking for her LSAT score? If we were choosing among doctors, would it be "repugnant" to ask for their MCAT scores?  [Jomathan] Capehart must see this as a suggestion that Jackson is black, therefore she's unqualified. Before Jackson was named, Capehart suggested because she was black, she'd be more qualified and brilliant than anyone who came before her.


Brown Jackson's LSAT score [like Obama's college transcripts] will probably never be publicly disclosed. It's not usually done in Supreme Court confirmations. But let's ask: Would the MSNBC suits really have fired Capehart if he had cursed Carlson? It seems more likely that, to the contrary, his viewers and bosses would have applauded him.

Unsurprisingly, Finkelstein did not demand or even advocate that, say, Brett Kavanaugh's LSAT score be released.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2022 11:00 PM EDT

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