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The Clarence Thomas (And Sam Alito) Defense Center

The Media Research Center continued to defend Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as ethical concerns about him continued to mount -- and it also had to defend fellow right-wing justice Samuel Alito from similar allegations.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 11/10/2023

The Media Research Center, it seems, can't stop defending Clarence Thomas against his growing financial disclosure scandals. Alex Christy -- who has been the MRC's most vociferous defender of Thomas -- Christy spent a May 6 post whining that a commentator insisted that criticism of Thomas isn't politically motivated:

Washington Post associate editor Jonathan Capehart spent Friday’s PBS NewHour laughing at GOP allegations that Democrats are going after Justice Clarence Thomas simply because they do not like the Supreme Court’s recent rulings, implausible arguing this is just about transparency. Meanwhile, New York Times columnist David Brooks tried to find a centrist middle ground on the controversies surrounding the Court, but ultimately just twisted himself into a pretzel.

Host Geoff Bennett asked Capehart about “the Senate hearing you mentioned, this past week, it made clear that a code of conduct, if Congress does act, it won't be a bipartisan congressional effort, because Republicans accuse Democrats of casting doubt on the Court because the Court hasn't been ruling in Democrats' favor. How might this play out?”


Capehart’s claims require that people believe that history began yesterday, to ignore Brook’s earlier remarks about Harlan Crow being pro-choice, and the concentrated campaign also go after John Roberts, his wife, Neil Gorsuch, the Federalist Society, and conservative law schools in hopes that the quantity of attacks influences voters and the justices themselves more than the quality. Capehart’s claims are also impossible to take seriously when Democrats and media personalities are using Crow to demand that Thomas resign or be impeached because he is Crow’s puppet all while burying similar controversies with liberal justices.

The specific controversy regarding a "liberal justice" Christy is referring to is his Sotomayor whataboutism. And Christy is not about to admit that his intent in bringing up Sotomayor is nothing but political motivation.

Jeffrey Lord's May 6 column lashed out at the "liberal media" for hyping Thomas' ethics issues, then repeated stories from the New York Post -- which he didn't identify as a right-wing publication -- referencing Sotomayor and Republican narratives about President Biden. He huffed that "the attacks on Justice Thomas by The Washington Post, columnist Marcus and others are nothing more than the latest attempt at a 'high-tech lynching' of a powerful and persuasive conservative black man." But he didn't identify the New York Post's attacks on Sotomayor and Biden as similarly partisan attacks from a biased publication.

The defensive hits kept coming:

  • Tim Graham's May 8 podcast touched on "the Democrat/media crusade against Justice Clarence Thomas."
  • In a May 10 post on a "Frontline" documentary on Thomas, Christy was annoyed that Thomas' relationship with Crow was referenced and also that it was noted that "Thomas's opinions have often been in line with the conservative politics of his friends."

Christy ranted against more criticism of Thomas in a May 12 post, adding a different liberal justice to play whataboutism over:

NYU law professor and former Sonia Sotomayor clerk Melissa Murray joined MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle on Thursday’s The 11th Hour claimed that Clarence Thomas is a hypocrite for wanting to overturn affirmative action while he takes vacations with Harlan Crow. At the same time, both Ruhle and Murray praised Elena Kagan for refusing a bagel platter.

Murray lamented that “Justice Thomas who likely will be part of a six justice majority to overturn affirmative action in a few weeks on the grounds that it's government largesse and undeserved where he has been accepting largesse from a billionaire super donor who has been ferreting him all over the world, to the Galapagos on super yachts and on private jets, so I mean the contrast could not be more striking and it really is disheartening.”

What is really disheartening is that not only did Murray decline to offer any actual legal arguments for affirmative action, but she and Ruhle alleged that Kagan stands in stark contrast to Thomas.


While Ruhle and Murray heap praise on Kagan for declining some bagels, they conveniently ignore the controversy behind her decision not recuse herself from the Obamacare ruling despite being Obama’s solicitor general.

Christy had to go all the way back to 2011 to find this bit of whataboutism. And as with Sotomayor, Kagan's recusal issue is not on the same level as Thomas' lucrative relationship with Crow.

The MRC's aggressive defense of Thomas continued throughout the summer as ethical concerns continued to pile up. Christy complained those ethical lapses were discussed in a June 7 post:

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell suggested on Tuesday’s edition of The Last Word that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should be impeached for “selling too much of himself” to billionaire friend Harlan Crow. Later, during an interview with President and CEO of the Brennan Center for Justice, Michael Waldman, it was essentially admitted that their biggest problem with Thomas and the rest of the Court is that it rules in ways they do not like.

During a lengthy diatribe against Crow, O’Donnell reported that he has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but that his lawyer does not believe Congress has the authority to write an ethics policy for the Court. Towards the end of that rant, O’Donnell proclaimed, “The only disciplinary option that the Founders left us, in the Constitution, for dealing with a Supreme Court justice who gets caught selling too much of himself to a billionaire is impeachment in the House of Representatives, followed by trial, conviction, and removal from office by the United States Senate.”


Neither Harlan Crow nor any of the lawyers placed by Jane Roberts has never had business before the Court, but that didn’t stop Waldman from claiming, “In some ways, this is new. In some ways, there is not much precedent for the level of, frankly, corruption that we're seeing.”

Actually, Christy's claim that Crow "never had business before the Court" is not quite true.

Rich Noyes helped Thomas play victim (and took yet another shot at Anita Hill) in a July 1 "flashback" post:

Conservatives certainly remember the awful treatment Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas faced at his 1991 confirmation hearings, including the endless media coverage granted to utterly unproved charges of sexual harassment by a former employee, Anita Hill. At the time, Thomas referred to the televised hearings as a “high tech lynching” perpetrated by those who would torpedo the conservative jurist’s nomination.

But from the very moment President George H. W. Bush nominated Thomas to the Court on July 1, 1991 — exactly 32 years ago today — journalists employed nasty and often racist language to denigrate Thomas as unfit to replace Justice Thurgood Marshall, whose retirement had created the vacancy that needed to be filled.


Given the media mindset of the moment, it was no surprise news organizations leaped to elevate Anita Hill’s harassment allegations, which appeared only after the confirmation hearings had officially ended and Thomas’s nomination had been sent to the Senate floor for what seemed like certain approval. Joe Biden’s Judiciary Committee quickly scheduled new hearings — a last gasp for liberals to try and torpedo the nomination.

Another July 1 post by Christy complained that someone said something mean about Thomas:

Joy Reid, the eponymous host of MSNBC's The ReidOut, welcomed The Nation’s justice correspondent Elie Mystal onto her Friday show to recap the week’s Supreme Court decisions and naturally, incendiary hot takes soon followed including that Justice Clarence Thomas is a “mutilated version of a black justice” who is his wife’s puppet.


Mystal then proceeded to make the evidence-free claim that Thomas has something personal against his colleague, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, “One of the other things you really realize when you read through his concurrence is just how angry he is at Ketanji Brown Jackson for having the temerity to be another black person on the Supreme Court. He apparently thought he got to be the only one. He thought that he had pulled up the ladder for everybody else, right?”


Clarence Thomas has been very vocal about how he views affirmative action and how it diminished his and other’s successes and perpetrates racial stereotypes, but Mystal ignored all that so he could get a few cheap laughs from Reid.

Kevin Tober attempted yet another round of Sotomayor whataboutism in a July 11 post:

The Associated Press committed a random act of journalism Tuesday when they ran a story exposing how left-wing radical Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s staff pushed public institutions where she went to visit to purchase her memoirs or other books. Given the heavy interest given by the “big three” news networks on so-called conflicts of interest surrounding constitutionalist justices like Samuel Alito or Clarence Thomas, the fact that the networks refused to report on this during their evening newscasts shows they were hypocrites.

Instead, the evening newscasts ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News covered a disruptive passenger forcing a commercial plane to land (ABC), video of a volcano erupting in Iceland (CBS), and Leslie Van Houten’s release from prison (NBC).

Tober didn't explain how Sotomayor is a "left-wing radical" or how this claim (which, appearances aside, is legal) eclipses Thomas' ethical lapses, or even how it makes those calling for the Supreme Court to follow an ethics code look "hypocritical."

A July 21 post by Graham repeated an attack from another right-wing outlet on ProPublica, which exposed Thomas' ethical conflicts:

The investigative reporting group "ProPublica" boasts it is an “independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest," but the tilt of its targeting is hard to miss. Its most recent crusade has focused on the allegedly shabby ethics of conservative Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

Katelynn Richardson at the Daily Caller reported seven of the nine ethics experts cited in ProPublica’s stories on Thomas and Alito have collectively given over $100,000 to Democratic campaigns and left-wing causes, FEC records show. Several also work for organizations calling for Thomas’ resignation that are backed by donors that also fund ProPublica, the Caller previously reported.

As you might expert, the ProPublica stories did not disclose these ethics experts’ donations or the fact it shares donors with groups pushing for Thomas to resign.

Graham failed to disclose that the Daily Caller is a biased right-wing website -- ironic given how they attack the alleged bias and nondisclosure by ProPublica. The next day, Graham complained that the right-wing obsession with turning Thomas into a hero and martyr was noticed (with lots of whataboutism, natch):

Friday's Washington Post included no story on the House Weaponization Subcommittee's hearing with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Breitbart's Emma-Jo Morris on Big Tech censorship. But the front page had an obligatory front-page story on a grand jury investigating Donald Trump and this amazing scandal piece: "Federalist Society figure uses his sway before and after naming of justices."

It's a scandal that Leonard Leo would organize positive publicity about a conservative Supreme Court justice. This is somehow.... unethical? Right under the "See more on A4" tag was a plug for the Senate Democrats passing a Supreme Court ethics bill.

In 2016, positive PR was organized around Justice Thomas serving 25 years on the court. But the year before, the Post was on the organized PR bandwagon celebrating the "Notorious RBG." They were a part of that, so apparently it wasn't scandalous. Maybe liberals don't have to raise money for that when media outlets will do it for free. CNN made a gushy RBG documentary.


A decent chunk of this article report on how Thomas friend Mark Paoletta was paid to attack anti-Thomas propaganda like the HBO film Confirmation, which celebrated Anita Hill. He worked with CRC Public Relations (disclosure: this is also the MRC's PR firm) to -- gasp! -- create a pro-Thomas Internet page and they -- gasp! -- "bought ads from Google to boost favorable internet content about Thomas."

Then the Thomas boosters organized a pro-Thomas documentary titled Created Equal, made by filmmaker Michael Pack. The Post acknowledges Leonard Leo's counterpoint that CNN made their RBG film, and that "Participant Media, founded by businessman Jeff Skoll, whose foundation donated millions to left-leaning groups, later acquired and distributed the film."

When conservative PR is a scandal and liberal PR is just PR, you get the distinct sense that the "Democracy Dies in Darkness" folks really don't like people organizing an opposing pile of publicity. They called this "a more aggressive approach that sought to sway public opinion through mass media."

The Washington Post never attempts this?

Note that Graham made no effort to defend the right-wing lionization of Thomas -- he simply tried to distract from it. He did, however, make a rare disclosure of a conflict of interest in acknowledging that the MRC shares a PR firm with the Thomas promoters.

Nicholas Schau used a July 26 post to uncritically quote a Republican senator complaining that ProPublica reported things about Thomas that right-wingers didn't want people to know:

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) went scorched earth on the massive George Soros-affiliated machine that went after Justice Clarence Thomas.

Lee exposed the hypocrisy of the Democrats who complained about dark money while benefiting from it and the hypocrisy of the Clarence Thomas hit pieces by ProPublica. Lee noted that many of the left-wing organizations connected to ProPublica–like the leftist Sandler Foundation and Soros’s Open Society Foundation–have used the outlet’s reporting to fund efforts to pack the Court and force Thomas to resign. He knocked ProPublica for “supporting this [court ethics] legislation; openly, actively, aggressively gunning for it” in its reporting. Soros’ Open Society Foundations funneled $1,625,008 into ProPublica between 2016 and 2021.

Hit pieces like those written by ProPublica come as Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), plot to advance an outrageous Supreme Court-related ethics bill that “would impose a code of conduct” for justices on the Court, despite the fact that there are “pre-existing ethics rules in places [sic] for the justices, governed by a separate body.”

Neither Schau nor Lee identified anything false or misleading in ProPublica's "hit pieces" on Thomas. Schau also failed to explain why it's so "outrageous" to make Supreme Court justices follow a code of ethics.

A July 31 column by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. repeated Graham's earlier criticism of the Washington Post for pointing out how he and his fellow right-wingers, like Leonard Leo, are spending lots of money trying to turn Thomas into a conservative hero/martyr: "Leo gives money to his friends. They break no laws by spending money. There is nothing devious about what they do with the money. ... Nor is Thomas the only member of the court to be endowed by rich Americans."

Defending Alito

Thomas isn't the only right-wing Supreme Court justice the MRC has had to defend from ethical questions about them. When it was revealed that Justice Samuel Alito took a luxury fishing trip with a conservative billionaire who later had cases before the court (from which Alito did not recuse), the MRC rushed to distract from it -- which is why there was a lot of whining that the media covered it and not the congressional testimony of MRC darling (despite his record of failure) John Durham the same day. Kevin Tober was first up in a June 21 post:

Credit where it’s due, but NBC Nightly News was the only one of the “big three” evening news broadcasts to cover the congressional hearing where former Special Counsel John Durham testified that evidence he uncovered during his probe into the origins of the Trump/Russia collusion hoax did not warrant the FBI opening up its investigation called “Crossfire Hurricane.” Despite this and many other newsworthy moments from Durham’s five-hour testimony, ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS Evening News looked the other way.

Instead, the two networks hyped a report from the left-wing outlet ProPublica that claimed Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito didn’t disclose a trip he took with a friend who happened to also be a donor to conservative causes.

Tober followed up a few hours later more fully whining about the Alito coverage:

ABC’s World News Tonight and CBS Evening News each ran stories hyping the dishonest story in ProPublica which accuses Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito of being unethical in not reporting a trip he went on in 2008 that was paid for by a Republican donor. Meanwhile, ABC & CBS ignored former Special Counsel John Durham’s five hour long testimony before Congress in which he testified that evidence he uncovered during his probe into the origins of the Trump/Russia collusion hoax did not warrant the FBI opening up its investigation.

“This time, it's Justice Samuel Alito under scrutiny for luxury travel paid for by a billionaire Republican mega donor. ProPublica, a nonprofit media organization, reporting that in 2008, Justice Alito flew to Alaska for a fishing trip on a private jet that belonged to a hedge fund manager whose businesses brought several cases before the Supreme Court,” ABC’s justice correspondent Terry Moran lectured at the beginning of World News Tonight’s segment.

Moran added that “in a private photo obtained by ProPublica, did not pay for his flight and he did not report the trip on his annual financial disclosure forms.”

Meanwhile on CBS Evening News, Nikole Killion snarked “Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito hoisted a big catch during a 2008 trip to Alaska that came with big perks according to ProPublica.”

“That included free travel on a private jet chartered by hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer with $100,000 each way, plus lodging at a thousand-dollar-a-night resort covered free of charge by then owner, conservative donor Robin Arkley,” she added.

Killion did add that Alito “said he was not aware Singer had an interest in any party,” and that he “argued the flight was not consequential because the seat would have otherwise been vacant.”

It should be noted that ProPublica undermined their own reporting in the 73rd paragraph of their story sliming Alito. As our friends at The Daily Caller point out “ProPublica included a crucial detail in the 73rd paragraph of its story alleging Justice Samuel Alito violated ethics rules for failing to disclose a private jet ride he accepted: a federal judge, who went on the trip with Alito, previously asked the judiciary’s financial disclosure office for guidance on a similar trip and was told his transportation was not reportable.”

Maybe instead of reporting on 15 year old manufactured controversies, ABC & CBS should cover real stories that happened that day.

It's quite funny to hear a guy who played the Clinton Equivocation to distract from Donald Trump's (second) indictment complain about old news being reported (and besides, it isn't old news to the rest of the country).

In a June 22 post that offered a hypocritical complaint that the judge overseeing Trump's (second) indictment was appointed by Trump, Alex Christy added that "when it came to the news surrounding Justice Samuel Alito’s 2008 fishing trip to Alaska, it made sure that partisan affiliations were known, going 6 for 7, even if the word 'Bush' was absent."

The MRC was oddly silent on the fact that, rather than respond to a ProPublica request for comment before its article was published, Alito ran to the Wall Street Journal, where he was allowed to publish a preemptive attack on it. ProPublica pointed out that Alito effectively lied to it by having a spokesperson say he would comment on the story, which led to an attack on ProPublica by the Journal itself, which then led to a ProPublica article detailing how the prebuttal came to be. Strange that an organization purportedly dedicated to "media research" wouldn't have an opinion on something like that.

Ana Schau served up a larger defense against criticism of Alito on the first anniversary of the Alito-written Dobbs opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade in a June 28 post:

Joy Reid, host of MSNBC’s The ReidOut, spent a segment of Tuesday evening’s show angrily denouncing Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who she condemned for being “bitter, vindictive, and aggrieved.” She also took this opportunity to complain about Alito’s alleged conservative activism in the Supreme Court, especially with the Dobbs v. Jackson case, which he had written, and to once again point how he “really loves favors.”

Reid introduced the matter by calling Alito the Court’s “most outwardly bitter, vindictive, and aggrieved justice,” and inserting a complaint about the Dobbs decision being “the vengeful majority opinion” that she thought it was.

She then cited an opinion piece on Politico by Aziz Huq entitled, “Samuel Alito: One Angry Man,” in which he railed incessantly over Alito’s open conservatism and perceived anger issues throughout his whole career. Reid quoted the line where Huq said that the only way to understand Alito was by looking at “his anger,” and trying to see where it came from.

Reid inserted a comment here on Alito’s 2008 fishing vacation with billionaire Paul Singer, who had several cases that had gone through the Supreme Court at the time, which Alito had not recused himself from. Reid quipped:

It's sort of ironic that Alito seems so angered that his personal and religious views are falling out of favor, considering, this is a guy who really loves favors.

Schau complained that Reid "disgustedly described Alito’s activities as being nothing more than how 'he seems to revel in, like, trolling the libs'" -- but then undermined her own criticism by adding:"This may be one of the truest things she’s ever said before. Trolling the libs is quite fun." If it's "quite fun," it can't be disgusting, right?

More Thomas defense

When ProPublica published more reporting on Thomas -- this time, highlighting all the other right-wing billionaires with whom he has vacationed -- the MRC again flew into a rage ... at ProPublica. Nicholas Fondacaro ranted in an Aug. 10 post that ProPublica was perpetrating a "high-tech lynching" of Thomas:

The day after the House Oversight Committee released detailed financial documents that exposed how much foreign money was being funneled to the Biden family, leftist ProPublica dropped another hit piece to continue their high-tech lynching of Justice Clarence Thomas. The report was parroted by CNN News Central on Thursday. And despite giving the smear job oxygen, they reluctantly had to admit there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

Anchor John Berman led into the segment by clutching his pearls because Thomas had hung out with “billionaire friends,” something the liberal media permitted the Obamas to do.

CNN correspondent Tom Foreman rattled off ProPublica’s list of “extraordinary big gifts,” which included “38 destination vacations, 26 private jet flights, 12 VIP passes to pro and college events, two stays at luxury resorts in Florida and Jamaica, one standing invitation to an uber-exclusive golf club, and there was a voyage around the Bahamas by yacht, helicopters.”

Of course, Fondacaro played whataboutism:

Former advisor to Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Guest took to Twitter to call out how former liberal justices like the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg had taken “157 trips, 28 international trips,” and Stephen Breyer accepted “233 trips, 63 international trips.” That’s in contrast to the “109 reported trips, 5 international trips” taken by Thomas in a similar amount of time.

None of that was mentioned by Foreman, but that didn’t stop him from falsely suggesting that Thomas was the recipient of more trips than anyone in Washington D.C. “Even in a town in D.C. where a lot of people trade favors, this is an awful lot of favors worth, according to ProPublica, millions of dollars and they don’t think they’ve accounted for all of it yet,” he claimed.

Guest also called out ProPublica for taking gifts from liberal dark money organizations. “ProPublica is funded by folks including the Sandler Foundation to the tune of $40 MILLION & the George Soros backed Foundation To Promote Open Society to the tune of over $3 MILLION,” he wrote.

Fondacaro cited nothing inaccurate in ProPublica's reporting, which means that all of this rage is because it reported the truth about Thomas.

Curtis Houck complained the same day that "both CNN and MSNBC have been all over the latest smear campaign from far-left ProPublic targeting Justice Clarence Thomas for having wealthy friends as the latest piece aimed at having the conservative jurist removed from the court." He too failed to identify anything inaccurate in the article. That was followed by Tober whining:

Continuing their egregious behavior of ignoring the newly released records by House Oversight Committee chairman James Comer (R-KY), detailing payments that the Biden family received from corrupt business associates in foreign countries like Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, ABC's World News Tonight decided to instead hype a non-story about United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas allegedly accepting gifts from donors. This is just one more glaring example of the liberal news networks deliberately ignoring scandals involving Democrats while going all in on every little perceived instance of a conservative controversy.


Yet, by ProPublica's own admission, they have "not identified any legal cases the benefactors had before the Supreme Court, but that Thomas may have violated the law and judicial norms by not disclosing the gifts." Davis didn't explain what those laws or judicial norms are that Thomas supposedly broke.

In yet another Aug. 10 post, Peter Kotara complained that another TV show noted how Thomas benefited from right-wing billionaires:

On Thursday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC, co-host Mika Brzezinski, Politico White House editor Sam Stein, and former Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) desperately peddled crazed claims about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. They claimed a new ProPublica report on Justice Thomas’s gifts received while in office was evidence he was being bribed in order to rule in favor of certain individuals, despite the fact that report noted the donors did not have cases before the Court.

In order to justify this conspiracy theory, they were forced to invent the existence of some shadow entity working behind the scenes to organize Thomas’s vacations and benefitting from his rulings on the Court.


To fill this massive plot hole, Stein had to make up a conspiracy theory. He asked “You know, someone clearly, or at least I would think, is organizing these types of outings and maybe even matching a donor with the event ... who is doing the organization around this? And are they the ones who actually have a stake before the Justice?”

So they want people to believe that since the actual donors weren’t receiving favors from Thomas, there had to have been some secret organizer plotting in the shadows who conveniently no one knows the identity of who get favorable rulings from Thomas. Time for liberals to put on their tin foil thinking caps and try to figure that one out.

Clay Waters concluded the MRC's Aug. 10 blitz by grumbling that PBS' "NewsHour" "offered seven minutes and 20 seconds to the liberal sites ProPublica and Slate finding scandal in vacations offered to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Oh sure, some of the liberal justices had more vacations provided, but...they put those on their disclosure forms, so the liberal sites can explain that away."

Waters returned for an Aug. 14 post huffing that Thomas' predilection for hanging around right-wing billionaires was pointed out, further complaining: "The segment reached beyond Thomas’s undisclosed vacations into psychoanalysis. Thomas has been long loathed by the left for failing to knuckle under after the Anita Hill accusations during his confirmation hearings." It wouldn't be the MRC if it couldn't sneak in a little sniping at Hill.

Jeffrey Lord's Sept. 2 column was a lame echo of Wall Street Journal writer James Taranto lashing out at ProPublica for writing about Thomas:

Again, James Taranto gets it exactly right when he says that “politically biased reporters routinely adulterate the news with tendentious language and prepackaged opinions.”

Exactly again. The problem in this case is that a far-left leaning media has had it in for Justice Thomas - and his conservative activist wife Virginia - right from the get go of his nomination by President Bush. It is telling that when it comes to media scrutinizing of liberals on the Supreme Court - there is none.

Lord and Taranto did not opine about how their rabid defense of Thomas shows that political reporting by right-wing media is even more adulterated by "tendentious language and prepackaged opinions."

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