But they had no interest in substance that might underline just how radical Kagan's positions might be. The networks almost completely ignored Kagan's key role in the Clinton White House efforts to promote the monstrous act of partial-birth abortion. CNSNews.com reported that in 1996, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) sent the Clinton White House a proposed draft statement on partial-birth abortion that declared a panel they convened "could identify no circumstances" under which this skull-puncturing and skull-vacuuming procedure would be "the only option" to save a woman's life or preserve her health.
On Dec. 13, 1996, Kagan wrote this language would be a "disaster" if released publicly, since it clearly contradicted what President Clinton had claimed. Kagan wrote to ACOG's associate director of government relations with suggested prose the medical group could use. Partial-birth abortion, she claimed "may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman." Weeks later, ACOG's public statement carried those exact words from the White House.
Three years later, Justice Stephen Breyer repeated those same words in declaring Nebraska's partial-birth abortion ban unconstitutional.
Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee said that armed with these documents, "it appears that Kagan was perhaps the key strategist in blocking enactment of the partial-birth abortion ban act." He believes that Kagan had "her hands on this from the beginning to the end."
A scandal? A controversy? A (SET ITAL) story (END ITAL) ? Only CBS legal reporter Jan Crawford came anywhere close on the "CBS Evening News." She played a snippet of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, pressing Kagan to admit the notes to ACOG were in her handwriting, but the CBS viewer saw just seconds of this exchange with zero context what these two people were discussing -- other than the generic topic of abortion. The grisly specifics were omitted.
This example only underlines how anyone who wants to follow weighty issues of public policy, including Supreme Court jurisprudence, should never rely on network television. These networks gave much more time and loving care to England's Prince Harry falling off a horse on a visit to New York. That is the intellectual depth the public should expect from the air-headed TV "news" elite -- at least when Democrats are the ones changing the Supreme Court for the next two or three decades.
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