With journalists particularly focused for weeks now on Justice Clarence Thomas and the gifts he has received over the years from Harlan Crow, a close friend and billionaire, the recent revelation that Justice Sonia Sotomayor has a larger financial issue has exposed the press complex. The approach, or the lack thereof, to her issues warrants its own column.
News Avoidance Syndrome – VARIOUS OUTLETS
- Hold on; you expect the media to look into ALL of the justices, not just the conservatives?!
The overriding issue in all of this financial disclosure hype is the implication of influence being bought. There are quibbles over whether gifts like rides on a private jet or hotel stays at resorts with friends needed to be disclosed by ethics rules. You get the sense of losing the narrative when you see explanations like, “Why not disclose if it is not pay-for-play?”
While all of the hype has been of Clarence Thomas and the gifts he has received from Harlan Crow, there is a detail often left off the table – Crow has not appeared before the Court, so what he supposedly has gained is never made clear.
Sonia Sotomayor has been receiving payments from imprints affiliated with Penguin Publishing in figures dwarfing those of Thomas. It is estimated she has collected over $4.6 million over the years of her tenure. Now, this is not to say she is in the wrong, but Penguin has had a number of cases come to SCOTUS, and Sotomayor has not recused herself from any of these decisions. Other justices, it has been noted, did recuse as a result of publishing deals. Again, this is not to imply the judge is guilty of ethical wrongdoing, but on balance, when you consider what Thomas is being targeted over, it would appear there should be far more interest in the Sotomayor situation. Instead, there has been silence.
It Turns Out Liberal Justices Are Caught Up in Their Own Ethics Concerns https://t.co/W0orcT426S— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 4, 2023
DNC PR Firm – PROPUBLICA
The undercurrent to all of this reporting on Justice Thomas (and to a lesser degree, Justice Neil Gorsuch) has speculation rising that this is an attempt to justify a dose of court-packing by Jose Biden. Leading this particular charge has been ProPublica, and the outlet has come out with yet another financial…well, we have to guess this positioned as a scandal.
The latest is that it was found that Harlan Crow has paid the tuition of a young nephew the Thomases have taken into their family. That appears to be all of it; these monsters have seen fit to – put a child through school?
Both Kinds of Standards – NEWSWEEK
Over at Newsweek, they have managed to address the Justice Sotomayor issue, but we get the sense it has been done grudgingly. The amusement is that in detailing the cases, any mention of the Sotomayor issue has to be noted that it is being brought up by conservatives. Yet, while detailing Justice Thomas's financials and mentioning the Justice Gorsuch story – while even noting ProPublica’s reports – there is no mention that this is being done by leftists or liberals.
This means Newsweek holds that any mention of liberal justices having issues is done in a partisan fashion, but detailing the issues of conservative judges is simply straightforward reporting. Uh-huh.
Conservatives call out Sotomayor's $3M from publisher amid Thomas reports https://t.co/s6J7KNyfz3— Newsweek (@Newsweek) May 4, 2023
Pre-Written Field Reports – MSNBC
- Does Joe not have a production staff who scans headlines for him?
We here at RFTH take a concerted effort to steer from the likes of "Morning Joe," otherwise, this column would contain daily entries and generate snores. But sometimes, they just beg for inclusion. Today was just such a morning. As this always intrepid crew delved into this story, the laughter became inevitable
First, Mika dared to attempt saying, “Again, we try to be objective ourselves…,” to which the only response can be, well don’t give up, you might achieve it someday. But then Mr. Scarborough attempts to sway viewers with his it-is-all-just-so-obvious delivery while managing to get things so obviously wrong. Joe tries to draw up a hypothetical comparison, completely unaware that there is a very tangible comparison taking place right now:
For conservatives who are trying to dismiss this, I cannot even begin to imagine what would happen if it were Justice Sotomayor. Again let’s be really clear about this, everybody at this table would be shocked, and outraged, and be critical if this were a liberal justice.
This is simply a wonderful dose of denialism that is supremely tough to match.
Joe Scarborough responds to the latest Clarence Thomas non-scandal by saying "imagine what would happen if it were Justice Sotomayor" and "everybody at this table would be shocked and outrage and had be critical if this were a liberal justice" Who wants to tell him? pic.twitter.com/EsBrzPF8uL— Alex Christy (@alexchristy17) May 4, 2023
Presentation Paradox – CNN
- Seriously gang. No, really – SERIOUSLY?!
At CNN, they actually had the stones to bring back and place on the air, disgraced self-abuser Jeffrey Toobin. More than that, he was discussing the Clarence Thomas issue.
We have no idea what he said. There are absolutely ZERO reasons to watch. Every living soul was justified in avoiding this on the basis that CNN wanted to have a discussion about legal ethics with Jeffrey Freakin-Toobin!
Jeffrey Toobin comes on CNN and weighs in on Clarence Thomas' ethics issues https://t.co/D2f7tDx7bV— Kristi (@TheyCallMeNans) May 4, 2023