The Spectacle Blog

Blind With Rage

By on 1.23.06 | 4:27PM

While patrolling the New York Times op-ed page for nonsense is usually best avoided (it's a quick path to burnout), the Gray Lady's editorial on Judge Alito deserves comment. Contempt has driven the Times to laziness -- factual and intellectual.

The first sentence gives away their irrational disdain for Alito:

If Judge Samuel Alito Jr.'s confirmation hearings lacked drama, apart from his wife's bizarrely over-covered crying jag, it is because they confirmed the obvious.

Crying jag? Admittedly, your scribes here at TAS HQ had to look that one up: it's some sort of slang for "a state or feeling of exhilaration or intoxication usually induced by liquor," or "spree." So Mrs. Alito breaking down after witnessing the cheap browbeating of her husband is akin to a drunken outburst? If Republicans had made a Democrat nominee's wife cry, she'd be getting group hugs on the Today Show. Turn the tables and the Times smears her.

The rest is mostly mindless repetition of the Democrats' charges during the hearings: unitary executive, unlimited presidential power, curbing Congress, etc. But the old "little guy" charge is made again: that Alito "has consistently shown a bias in favor of those in power over those who need the law to protect them." Everyone needs the law to protect them: men, women, corporations, consumers, whites, and blacks. John Edwards' "two Americas" are most separated in liberal circles, academia, and major journalism, like the New York Times. They offer no proof or even quantitative measure of Alito's cases. That's because their view of the law is completely outcome-based. Thankfully, Judge Alito rules on the merits of the cases, not by the color of the parties.

One last quick note: isn't amazing that at 5 p.m., after 17 hours of being posted on the New York Times website, Sen. Lincoln Chafee's name (that's one "f," not two) is still misspelled. The editorial writers and copy editors must have been preoccupied, marveling over their clever use of "crying jag."

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