aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Love the name
Not the politics. I had forgotten all about Liz Trotta when I ran across her in a Media Matters piece headlined, Fox’s Liz Trotta wrong: More watched networks’ election night coverage than Fox’s.
Responding to former CBS News correspondent Bill Lynch’s claim that CBS’ bias was “more blue hair than blue state,” Trotta replied, “I can’t just let that go by,” and described what she identified as “the feminization of news,” calling it “part of the leftist ideology.” Asked for a final thought, she replied, “Where was everybody election night? They were watching Fox.”In fact, election night ratings show that the three network news outlets each had more viewers than Fox News Channel:
Fox News 8.1
Trotta was a conservative even when, as the first woman to cover a war for television, she went to Viet Nam. This from an admiring Columbia Journalism Review review of her 1991 book, Fighting For Air:
As a conservative, Trotta was especially adrift, uncomfortable with what she perceived as the growing liberal bias of her colleagues against the war. She is disdainful of journalistic and civilian opponents of the Vietnam War, dismissing them as woolly-headed poseurs, suggesting that the military—many of whom she befriended and admired—could have won the war if not for interfering politicians, liberal journalists, and raunchy hippies.
I bet she’s at home and happy at Fox.
HRC’s new leader
Joe Solmonese, chief executive officer of EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest political action committee, was named president of the Human Rights Campaign today by the organization’s board of directors and foundation board.Solmonese today announced that, upon taking the helm at HRC on April 11, 2005, he will tour the country, meeting with the American people, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community members and leaders at town hall meetings and other events in the workplace, communities of color and in communities of faith.
I wish him well.
Racism, Rehnquist & gay marriage
Jeffrey Rosen has a terrific profile of William Rehnquist (Rehnquist the Great? Even liberals may come to regard William Rehnquist as one of the most successful chief justices of the century) in the April Atlantic, unfortunately available by subscription only. Rehnquist was appointed to the court at the moment of my political awakening, newly liberated by the automobile and the anti-war movement (in Harrisburg, PA with the Berrigan brothers) at the age of 16 in 1971. When Rehnquist warned, in 1969, of “the danger posed by the new barbarians” I myself was but a budding barbarian.
Later Bob Woodward’s flattering portrait in The Brethren softened me somewhat so that by the time he was named Chief Justice, I was more forgiving. But still, there was this:
During his clerkship, which began in 1952, Rehnquist wrote two highly controversial memos to [Supreme Court Justice Robert] Jackson that would provoke firestorms during his own confirmation hearings, in 1971 and 1986. In the memos Rehnquist seemed to urge Jackson to dissent in two historic civil-rights cases: Brown v. Board of Education, which would strike down school segregation, and Terry v. Adams, which would block efforts to exclude blacks from the pre-primary selection of Texas Democrats. Rehnquist claimed during the hearings that he was expressing these views at Jackson’s request-an assertion disputed by Jackson’s secretary. Several legal scholars believe that Rehnquist probably lied in denying that the views were his.
I’m inclined to believe he lied. I’ve mellowed enough now that I don’t even hold it against him. Those who held views that from our vantage point today are unacceptable, even “barbaric”, are not the problem. It’s those who even today hold those views that I find frightening. That’s not Rehnquist:
Rehnquist ultimately embraced the Warren Court’s Brown decision, and after he joined the Court he made no attempt to dismantle the civil-rights revolution, as political opponents feared he would. His change of position reflected not only his reverence for the Court as an institution but also his sense that once a majority has spoken, the decision has a legal force that must be obeyed.
A reasonable person could wonder, after reading Rosen’s piece, would today’s crop of conservative justices have the same respect for the law and reverence for the institution?