CBS Crawford supplies GOP with falsehoods about Kagan and then reports that GOP will use those falsehoods

Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

CBS chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford reported on this morning's edition of CBS' The Early Show that Senate Republicans will attack Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan as a "liberal activist" based on memos she wrote while clerking for Justice Thurgood Marshall. But Crawford's predicted GOP attack on the Marshall memos largely echoed falsehoods and distortions that Crawford herself promulgated.

We've noted that, on June 3, Jan Crawford distorted Kagan's memos to Marshall to suggest that she is outside the mainstream of legal thought on abortion, guns, and gay rights. The day after her initial report aired, Crawford wrote a post about Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, calling the memos "troubling." And conservatives have since echoed her reporting.

However, none of Crawford's reporting was accurate, even down to Crawford's suggestion that the Marshall memos had just become available and that they necessarily represented Kagan's own views.

Furthermore, legal expert Eugene Volokh has definitively debunked the idea that Kagan's memos were controversial. Volokh said that the memos "show her doing what she was supposed to do."

Nevertheless, Crawford has pronounced herself "baffled" as to why her inaccurate reporting generated criticism.

And Crawford is still at it. On today's edition of CBS' The Early Show, Crawford reported on what to expect when Kagan's hearings begin this afternoon, and she put the Marshall memos front and center. Crawford reported that Republicans "will try to paint her as a liberal activist, pointing to memos she wrote as a clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall and while an advisor to President Clinton."

Along the way, Crawford also uncritically reported the myth that Kagan lacks sufficient experience to be a justice without even mentioning the highly relevant fact that the American Bar Association rated Kagan Well Qualified.

Whatever else we've learned about Kagan, we now know one thing for sure: You can't trust Crawford's reporting on her nomination.

Posted In
Government, Nominations & Appointments, The Judiciary
Person
Jan Crawford
Show/Publication
The Early Show, CBS News
Stories/Interests
Supreme Court Nominations, Elena Kagan
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