It didn't take long for The New Republic's Jeffrey Rosen to attack Sonia Sotomayor by using anonymous sources throughout his piece. And don't you just love how the whole tone of the piece is about what a crazy, hot-tempered Latina she is? Nothing like trading in racial stereotypes to smear someone. (That's the subtext of the Morning Joe segment above, too.)
Of course, it's not just Rosen: Think Progress reports it's coming from all the good Villagers.
Glenn Greenwald does a thorough debunking of the smears and also includes his own personal experiences with Sonia to add some real context to the type of person she is.
Jeffrey Rosen's New Republic smear of Sonia Sotomayor's intellect and character -- based almost exclusively on anonymous, gossiping "sources" -- is such a model of shoddy, irresponsible, and (ironically enough) intellectually shallow "journalism" that it ought to be studied carefully. Standing alone, it reveals quite a bit about anonymity-dependent "reporting" generally, The New Republic specifically, and how much of our political discourse is conducted. Most of the gaping flaws in Rosen's piece have been fully highlighted by others.
While most of those criticisms have focused on Rosen's horrendous use of anonymous sources -- one of the most apt reactions to Rosen's piece comes, appropriately enough, in the form of well-earned derision from Wonkette -- I highly recommend this post from Law Professor Darren Hutchinson...
It's really quite sad when Rosen ends his own piece like this:
I haven’t read enough of Sotomayor’s opinions to have a confident sense of them, nor have I talked to enough of Sotomayor’s detractors and supporters, to get a fully balanced picture of her strengths. It’s possible that the former clerks and former prosecutors I talked to have an incomplete picture of her abilities.
Why didn't he just start his piece with this part and then say he'd get back to us? You know, it would be helpful if he was going to preview Sonya Sotomayor to have a more "complete picture," don't you think? Yeah, it's so much easier to smear her character by hanging out at the water cooler than actually do some research.
Likewise, Judge Andrew Napolitano uses anonymous sources to smear Sotomayor as "not a hard worker":
UPDATE: Rosen reacts to the criticism he received on TNR. He was upset with the title of his piece the most and he thought it was misleading to the type of story he wrote. You can be the judge of that.
He also responds to the section I quoted at the end of my piece.
Some readers have also questioned my confession at the end of the piece that I hadn't read enough of her opinions to make a fully confident judgment. Perhaps I conceded too much: I had read enough of her opinions to find them good but not great--like much of the competent but not especially distinctive writing that characterizes most federal appellate opinions. In the past few days, I've read many more opinions, and nothing has called my initial judgment into question...read on
Now he says he did read enough of her opinons...Oh, boy.