Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


Will Anyone Be Balanced About Sotomayor?

posted by Douglas Howe

What a shame.
The days of news being reported neutrally, accurately, and fairly are gone. I am so uninspired by tuning into the news networks and President Barack Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor is a clarifying example.
What a great news cycle this could be! Oh, how many great stories could be told. Our constitution endures. An underprivileged American girl has achieved beyond most and may soon be part of the highest court in the land. Our nation has diversity at the top, as our first ever African-American President has nominated a Latina to serve as a Supreme Court Justice.
But, instead, we have partisan politics. Not in the House of Representatives or the Senate, but on the networks.
From the first moment after receiving my text from CNN that Ms. Sotomayor would be the choice, their news–both online and on television–told the great American story but also focused on the political fight to follow. Fox News, the staple for so many Evangelical Christians and Conservatives, told the story in a markedly different way. Watching CNN, this felt like a no-brainer nomination. Watching Fox News, it felt like Ms. Sotomayor may win the political fight but that she probably isn’t the finest choice in the land. MSNBC was off the charts in their cheers for her and the political ease with which the nomination will progress. It was all almost an exact reversal of their reporting when Mr. Roberts and Mr. Alito were nominated. That’s not news. That’s politics.


It’s one thing for the networks to have a bit of a slant. But the chasm has grown so wide that it takes away from the real story.
I hope the Senate confirmation process raises up the law rather than bringing down the dialogue. I hope there are great questions asked and answered regarding the role and the rule of law. Perhaps the liberal majority in Congress will give conservatives the opportunity to lead a change in the tone and tenor of the debate.
I think CNN has got it the closest to the mark. I think Fox needs to be a bit more fair and balanced. And this is a great time to start.



  • Richard

    The problem is that unless the Supreme Court nominee is a fire-breathing conservative, Fox News will treat them as an heir to Stalin. And MSNBC is giddy over the “fact” that Sotomayer is a liberal. (In reality her record indicates she is much more of a centrist in the Souter mode.) I wish that the media would just look at the facts and not get into the hysterical froth-at-the-mouth politics of the nomination.

  • Charles Cosimano

    The media has always been biased one way or the other. The notion that any coverage was fair to all sides is simple nonsense.
    Now, for myself, I don’t give a hoot in hell about the childhood of a Supreme Court nominee. I think that is a waste of good airtime.

  • James Coleman

    This is our political system at work. It is an adversarial system. When the Republicans were in power, the Democrats and their media friends went ballistic. Now it is reversed. This doesn’t make the Dems or the Reps bad people. They are fulfilling their jobs. In this way, ever nominee gets vetted. So don’t worry about the Reps. The Dems run everything and will get their way, unless they get drunk with power. But politicians never do that, do they?
    And I’m with you, Charles. What does their childhood have to do with anything? I’m sure Hitler had an interesting childhood, too.

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