Thomas Gallatin / January 21, 2022

Why Did NPR Peddle Fake News on SCOTUS?

To smear Justice Neil Gorsuch’s reputation so that the American public will look with suspicion upon any of his rulings.

The effectiveness of a good hit piece depends on its ability to convince unwitting consumers to accept a negative and disingenuous caricature of the targeted individual or individuals. Much of the mainstream media has long practiced this deceptive tactic, as the leftist propagandists’ goal is primarily to direct the public how to think rather than to merely provide them with information as free of political bias as possible.

Taxpayer-funded National Public Radio has long played the game of claiming to be a “straight news” outfit committed to informing the American public, when in fact its reporting presents a clear biased political and cultural perspective that is designed to push listeners to accept a leftist worldview. Take NPR’s popular program “All Things Considered.” The title itself drips with arrogance and snooty intellectual elitism. A more honest program title would be “Some Things Considered, All With a Leftist Bias.”

The latest example of this blatant bias comes via a story by longtime NPR “journalist” Nina Totenberg, who peddled fake news targeting conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Totenberg’s story title essentially tells it all: “Gorsuch didn’t mask despite Sotomayor’s COVID worries, leading her to telework.” Totenberg staked her claim of a masking/COVID-based rift between the conservative and leftist justices based upon unnamed “court sources.”

It was clear that Gorsuch was Totenberg’s intended villain, as she noted that “[Sonia] Sotomayor has diabetes, a condition that puts her at risk for serious illness … from COVID-19,” and that despite requests from Sotomayor and Chief Justice John Roberts that all the justices wear masks, “They all did. Except Gorsuch, who, as it happens, sits next to Sotomayor on the bench.” She then added, “His continued refusal since then has also meant that Sotomayor has not attended the justices’ weekly conference in person, joining instead by telephone.” Then comes the character smear to “prove” the point: “Gorsuch, from the beginning of his tenure, has proved a prickly justice, not exactly beloved even by his conservative soulmates on the court.”

The day following NPR’s story, Justices Gorsuch and Sotomayor issued a joint statement calling the reporting “false.” The two explained: “Reporting that Justice Sotomayor asked Justice Gorsuch to wear a mask surprised us. It is false. While we may sometimes disagree about the law, we are warm colleagues and friends.” Furthermore, Roberts also denied Totenberg’s story, stating, “I did not request Justice Gorsuch or any other Justice to wear a mask on the bench.”

Following the direct and unequivocal denial of the story’s accuracy from the three justices who were the subjects of it, one would think a responsible journalistic outfit would swiftly issue an apology and correct the record. But that would undercut the whole reason for the story in the first place, which is to try to convince the American public that Gorsuch is a bad guy and therefore a bad justice. NPR rejected that it was false while “clarifying” via a spokesperson that “Totenberg never reported that Justice Sotomayor asked Justice Gorsuch to wear a mask, nor did she report that anyone admonished him.”

So who are you going to believe — a biased NPR reporter who has repeatedly expressed negative views of conservative justices, or Gorsuch and Sotomayor themselves? Recall that NPR was forced to issue a mea culpa after it was learned that Totenberg, who has long reported on the Court for NPR, had a close personal relationship with Ruth Bader Ginsburg that she never publicly revealed. The fact of the matter is that NPR and Totenberg have a political agenda, and that agenda is to promote leftist views as “reasonable” and “mainstream.” They often employ deceitful smear stories designed to demonize conservatives in the minds of the American public, hoping this will cause them to reject conservative ideas, views, and opinions. That’s the point of this latest fake news.

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