Brent Bozell

America was founded on the principle of representative democracy: The government would make policy based on the consent of the governed. Liberal elitists have grown increasingly impatient with this unenlightened system, and more and more, they are relying on judicial activists to remake society in their desired image. Far from being tribunes of the people, these judges are honored by the media elite for going around public opinion -- and the Constitution -- whenever the liberal impulse beckons.

CBS's "60 Minutes" earned the title "Syrupy Minutes" on Nov. 28 with a thoroughly one-sided tribute to the "great" liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, with a focus on how this "great" man publicly suggested George W. Bush was a tyrant.

Scott Pelley hailed how Stevens had "shaped more American history than any Supreme Court justice alive." He especially underlined how liberals see Stevens' opinions on the rights of terrorist suspects as "among the most important of his career." The detention center at Guantanamo Bay is a legal and political mess. One could easily blame the "historic" Justice Stevens; CBS lauds him.

Pelley made no bones of his biases, tossing the softball to Stevens: "There is one inscription and one inscription only above the door to this building." Stevens replied: "Equal Justice Under Law." Pelley continued: "And that applies to foreign nationals who may wish to do this country harm?" Stevens argued: "If they're to be prosecuted for crimes, they're entitled to a fair trial or fair procedures." How comforting.

Pelley highlighted the case of "dirty bomb" suspect Jose Padilla, lamenting how the court's majority "dismissed Padilla's appeal on a technicality," but the heroic "Stevens and three other justices had wanted to rule on Padilla's detention. Stevens aimed his dissent at the Bush administration, writing, 'If this nation is to remain true to the ideals symbolized by its flag, it must not wield the tools of tyrants.'"

Stevens clearly warmed the hearts at CBS News. But they also chopped off the end of his quote. Justice Stevens wrote, "it must not wield the tools of tyrants even to resist an assault by the forces of tyranny." The rights of "forces of tyranny" outweigh the "tools of tyrants," even democratically elected ones? It's outbursts like this that made Stevens a perpetual minority in the public conversation.

Instead of turning to conservative justices for a little balance, CBS turned to fellow liberal Justice David Souter for continuous hosannas. Pelley asked about the Stevens "tools of tyrants" dissent: "How important was that?" Souter declared: "It's as fundamental as any decision that's been made that I can think of on a citizen's liberty in my lifetime."

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
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