Jeff Lord is right to name the reporters who collaborated, but wrong to label one of them, Jan Crawford, as a partisan. My experience is that she is one of the most fair-minded reporters around, very even-handed. Jeff and I became friends during the judicial battles of the last decade, so he should particularly care about this: Jan Crawford is one of the very few “establishment” reporters to consistently give a fair shake to conservative judges and judicial activists (even while of course also being fair to the left as well). She always had the inside scoop on the Bush Admin’s short list for judges; her reporting pretty much exploded the myth of Clarence Thomas as a mindless clone of Scalia’s; and her book Supreme Conflict is an absolutely superb exploration of the personalities, intellectual trends, background, and controversies of the current court.
I don’t know the full context of the “collaboration.” It didn’t sound good, although I can imagine a context in which it might not have been as bad as it appeared — although I DO believe it is symptomatic of a herd mentality and bias that GENERALLY applies in the national press corps. But even this collaboration was objectionable, I do not think this one incident proves Crawford is a partisan; her whole body of work disproves that allegation.
To Jeff: In short, we have every right to be frustrated at the collaboration. But we shouldn’t draw such sweeping conclusions from it about the individual motives involved.
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