June 7, 2009

{H/t Dave]

Well, at least Charles Krauthammer didn't call Sonia Sotmayor a racist on Fox News Sunday. He just argued that she's basically a Latina supremacist:

KRAUTHAMMER: It’s a big deal because it tells you it was not a slip. It is who she is and who she thinks she is.

And the reason it’s disturbing is because Obama -- the premise of Obama’s candidacy was always that he was the post-racial American. And here he is appointing as his first truly important appointment a person who can only be called pre-racial.

He gave a speech in which he emerged on the world stage and said, “We’re not black America, white America, we’re not Hispanic America, Asian America. We are the United States of America.” And she says as a wise Latina, she has physiological, cultural endowments which make her superior to a white judge.

The real issue here is she’s going to end up on the court, but we can’t have a national debate about this issue. The civil rights movement abolished the idea of a superior race or class or ethnicity in America.

Are we going to have a person like her who believes that some ethnicities are endowed with a superior endowment and superior judgment and superior entitlements as a result of race?

Juan Williams attempted to knock this down by explaining what she was in fact trying to say with these remarks. But even he failed to explain a very simple, fundamental fact about the comment: She made it strictly within the context of a discussion on race- and sex-discrimination cases.

As we noted awhile back:

In that context, what Sotomayor was saying was neither controversial nor even particularly noteworthy -- it is in fact a matter of simple common sense. Of course someone who has lived through the realities of race and sex discrimination will be better attuned to the consequences and realities of the laws that judges will rule upon than someone who has been shielded from those realities.

Eric Boehlert examined the problem in even greater detail recently at Media Matters, and pointed out that there's been a massive failure across the board within the media to explain this simple fact:

So why is the press playing dumb? Simple. Republicans in the U.S. Senate have made it rather clear that they are not planning any sort of wholesale opposition to Sotomayor's nomination. But reporters and pundits are banking on nomination drama, so they're willing to chase, and legitimize, the "racist" storyline. To do that though, the press has to play dumb on an epic scale about the "Latina woman." To pretend it really was some kind of Battle of the Sexes proclamation.

Bottom line: Reporters and pundits must avoid providing any kind of context for the "Latina woman" quote in order for that storyline to survive even modest scrutiny.

Well, mission accomplished because I just did a Nexis search and found that during the last ten days there have been more than 950 media mentions of Sotomayor and "Latina woman." Then I looked to see how many of those 950-plus news reports included the word "discrimination" as a way to put that quote in context.

Answer: Less than 20.

Or, approximately two percent of news reports have managed to do journalism's most basic task, which is to provide all pertinent information. Instead of informing news consumers, the press has been actively misinforming them about Sotomayor.

That's how dishonest the coverage has been.

If you're disgusted too, go here and sign the petition.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.