Today's Washington Post profiles Leah Ward Sears, chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, under the header "Supreme Court Prospect Has Unlikely Ally." The subhead explains a little further: "Friendship With Thomas May Complicate Chances for Left-Leaning Georgia Judge."
Wait a second. Her chances may be complicated simply because of her friendship with Clarence Thomas? Who says?
As it turns out, no one.
Oh, sure, the Post tried, right up top, to make the case that her friendship could hurt Sears' chances:
Many years after that phone call, the friendship that has endured makes for one of the more intriguing subplots of President Obama's upcoming decision. In naming Souter's replacement, Obama is likely to choose a liberal jurist. Some in the civil rights community are hoping that person will be an African American, such as Sears, to soothe the lingering bitterness over the appointment of Thomas, a conservative who is the court's only black justice.
But if the choice does turn out to be Sears, the nation's first black president would be nominating someone whose closest friend on the court is the very person civil rights activists have accused of failing to represent African Americans' interests.
But that's as close as the paper came. In 1,400 words, the paper gave no indication that anyone would oppose Sears because of her friendship with Thomas. In 1,400 words, the paper quoted or paraphrased nobody -- named or otherwise -- saying the friendship gave them concerns about Sears.
And Sears and Thomas have vastly different records.
So why was a 1,400 profile of Sears focused so heavily on Thomas?
The first 8 paragraphs -- and 21 of 25 overall -- involved Thomas.