Tied to the mast
…but orange now and black

The stubborn roots of the Greenwald / Rosen tiff on Sotomayor

GreenwaldIn light of this morning’s SCOTUS pick of Sonia Sotomayor, Michael Calderone aggregates the liberal blog backlash against Jeffrey Rosen’s “The Case Against Sotomayor,” piece in TNR from a few weeks back.

He correctly points to the defining role played by Glenn Greenwald in shaping the terms of the backlash in his initial and continued response, but, IMO, he misframes, and in so doing weakens Greenwald’s argument.

Greenwald’s response was full of outrage at the, as quoted by Calderone, “ugly, vindictive, and anonymous smear campaign” exemplified by Rosen’s piece, but his critique was not just emotive; to frame it as such is disingenuous. He has been a consistent critic of the misuse of anonymous sources , and Rosen’s piece instantiated exactly what he had long been talking about.

Calderone nods towards this but in a tone of what read to me as faux journalistic neutrality. In fact Greenwald and others (many of whom are linked to from Calderone’s post and Greenwald’s various posts mentioned here) demonstrated a failure by Rosen to meet  basic standards of jounalistic ethics, leaving two possible conclusions: Rosen was shockingly lazy for a journalist occupying such an august post in the establishment, or, he has some interrest in smearing her–no less shocking. I have seen no convincing response to Greenwald’s evidence, either from Rosen or his allies on this issue.

That Rosen’s article now founds the Drudge critique of Sotomayor is an expression of undiluted bad faith.

UPDATE: I wanted to clarify my point a bit. What I want to assert is that the implication of Calderone’s article is that Greenwald is going to be Sotomayor’s champion. He might end up being, though I doubt it. Theer is a big difference between responding to illegitimate criticism and actually being in the boat. Greenwald is not one to be in anyone’s boat, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his criticisms of Sotomayor, as the public vetting begins, will be among the most powerful (at least once we get past the stupid recussitation of Rosen’s argument by the kitchen-sink contingent of the right).


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