Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ethics Scandal or Media Bias?

From ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross (hat tip to Hoystory):

At the historic swearing-in of John Roberts as the 17th chief justice of the United States last September, every member of the Supreme Court, except Antonin Scalia, was in attendance. ABC News has learned that Scalia instead was on the tennis court at one of the country's top resorts, the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Bachelor Gulch, Colo., during a trip to a legal seminar sponsored by the Federalist Society.

... Scalia's absence ... raised questions about the propriety of what critics call judicial junkets.

"It's unfortunate of course that what kept him from the swearing-in was an activity that is itself of dubious ethical propriety," said Stephen Gillers, a New York University law professor, who is a recognized scholar on legal ethics.

Scalia Mum

Scalia spent two nights at the luxury resort lecturing at the legal seminar where ABC News also found him on the tennis court, heading out for a fly-fishing expedition, and socializing with members of the Federalist Society, the conservative activist group that paid for the expenses of his trip.

From Brit Hume on a Fox News Channel program:

Brit Hume: And speaking of the Supreme Court, ABC's "Nightline" last night reported that Justice Antonin Scalia missed the John Roberts swearing-in at the White House because he was playing tennis and going fly-fishing at a resort in Colorado courtesy of the conservative Federalist Society. The report mentioned only in passing that Scalia taught a legal seminar while on the trip. It quoted at some length New York University law professor Steven Gillers who said the whole thing was unethical. While "Nightline" identified the Federalist Society as conservative, it characterized Gillers only as an ethics expert. In fact, Gillers is a left-wing Scalia critic who once described the prospect of Republicans in control of both the White House and Congress as a nightmare. As for Scalia, that seminar he taught in Colorado was a 10-hour course for more than 100 lawyers and law students open to members and non-members alike of the Federalist Society. He received no fee for it; expenses only.

Why did ABC omit the information that Fox then had to report? Why did ABC fail to mention that it was quoting a partisan critic? Why did ABC fail to report that Scalia received no fee for teaching a 10-hour seminar open to all?

Liberal bias in the mainstream media is pervasive. ABC' reporting on this supposed "ethics scandal" is merely one more example.


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