Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Alito HeadLine Comparison: Nothing If Not Predictable

Here are the headlines from four major MSM print dailies about yesterday's first day of confirmation hearings. Does any one of them stand out to you as being slanted in one direction or another?

The Los Angeles Times:

Alito Tries to Defuse Doubts

  • Bush's nominee says he's not bound by ideology, but Democrats promise sharp questions for the man who could tip the high court's balance.
The Washington Times:

Alito vows equal justice for all

Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. promised a panel of senators yesterday that he would dispense justice to the rich and poor equally and without ideological bias if confirmed to become the 110th Supreme Court justice.

The New York Times:

Focus of Hearings Quickly Turns to Limits of Presidential Power

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 - The opinion is more than 50 years old, and it is not even binding precedent. But just minutes into the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., it took center stage and seemed to lay the groundwork for the questions he will face concerning his views on the limits of presidential power.

The Washington Post:

Alito on Day 1: 'A Judge Can't Have Any Agenda'
Court Nominee To Be Questioned By Senators Today

Samuel A. Alito Jr. sought to reassure senators yesterday that divisive policies he once advocated as a government lawyer do not necessarily signal how he would rule if confirmed to the Supreme Court, saying a judge "can't have any preferred outcome in any particular case."

The Chicago Tribune:

Alito: `A judge can't have any agenda'
No one is above or below the law, nominee says in opening remarks

WASHINGTON -- Pledging "to do equal right to the poor and the rich," Judge Samuel Alito said Monday that if confirmed to the Supreme Court he would respect the rule of law and "administer justice without regard" to a person's standing in life.

My home town paper, the L.A. Times, does not disappoint me in my expectation that it would have the most slanted headline. The Washington Times (a conservative paper) and the Chicago Tribune seem straight-up in their headlines and ledes. As for the Washington Post and the New York Times, you can decide: Do those headlines and ledes seem straight-up or not?


Anonymous Chris Evans said...

I think you may be reaching for something that's not there, Lowell. None of those headlines are false or misleading. What's wrong about wanting to defuse doubts about oneself? Isn't that the main goal of the confirmation hearings, to defuse what your critics are saying about you and win over the Senate?

Not everything in life is so clear-cut Republican vs. Democrat, Conservative vs. Liberal, warloving gun-toting neocon nutball vs. well-intentioned educated peaceloving socialist.

The LA Times may have had a mild slant to it, but I think you're wrapping yourself up in this us vs. them mentality that has so divided our country. Wouldn't this blog be better served by putting forth compelling arguments that could convince a wacked out liberal like myself that Alito really isn't the devil incarnate that the libs in the blogosphere make him out to be.

As for me, I'm undecided on the matter, because as we've seen in the past, Supreme Court judges often turn out completely different than we thought they would be going into their hearings.

Meanwhile, I've been reading disturbing news about the president's signing statements that basically opine that while he's a wartime president he can ignore the law he's signing. You have spent a heckuva lot more time studying the law than I have. Can you reassure me that George starting a war and then claiming he's above the law while we're at war is a good thing for the Republic?


Posted by Chris Evans

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 8:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Marine Mom in St Paul said...

I had to post this...at first glance I thought the LA Times headline displayed above said, "Alito Tries to Defuse Boobs". Time to get my reading glasses--and yet...a crazy bit of truth there. 

Posted by Laurie Johnson

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 8:59:00 PM  

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