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Pay No Attention to That Rove Behind the Curtain

Reported by Nancy - July 22, 2005 -

Last night (7/21) on Special Report, Brit Hume used his one-on-one interview segment to talk with Shannen Coffin about SCOTUS nominee Judge John Roberts. The interview provided no new info, simply rehashed the info that been repeated in the MSM over the past 2-3 days, & will undoubtedly continue to be repeated for a while. Not coincidentally, this allowed a political news program like Special Report to pretend that Rovegate is already over & done with.

At 6:20pm (EDT) Hume showed a clip of Sen Ted Kennedy (D-MA) talking about Roberts's nomination, then began the interview. Coffin described Roberts as a "judicial conservative." Hume opined that "no judge would confess to" using their own preferences to make decision, with which Coffin agreed. Hume asked for "concrete examples" of Roberts's rulings that show his approach, & Coffin cited the "infamous french-fry case (in which a teen was arrested for eating fries in the DC subway). Coffin stated that Roberts had said this was "a really dumb thing to do", but the arrest was Constitutional under the 4th Amendment (probable cause) & that "all he [Roberts] did was apply the law ... on a policy matter he thought was bad." They also discussed the Hamdan case. Hume called those "good examples of judicial restraint" & asked "how can you know or why do you feel" Roberts won't change once he's appointed to SCOTUS. Coffin said to look "at his personal life", calling Roberts "very grounded ... family man ... loves his kids ... a brilliant leader not a follorwer." Coffin even threw in a gratuitous slam, saying Roberts is "not going to be spending time on the DC cocktail circuit" or "time in Geneva" having foreign experts tell him how to rule. Hume asked who Roberts admires, & Coffin said he admires Rehnquist & that's a mutual admiration. Hume asked if Roberts admires Scalia, & Coffin said he hadn't "heard him express anything" about Scalia. Hume said that Roberts will be asked his views on abortion, & noted that Roberts's wife held a position with an anti-choice group. Coffin piously proclaimed that "Jane's views on abortion should not be fair game."

Comments: If you want to know Coffin's opinion of Roberts, it would probably be easier just to read the op-ed piece he published 7/19 in the National Review Online, where he practically canonizes him & where his byline says:

Shannen W. Coffin is a partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Steptoe & Johnson. A former Department of Justice official, Coffin now practices constitutional and appellate litigation.

Here are some of Coffin's other recent activities:
*He was on "Good Morning America"" (ABC) on 7/20/05 discussing the the article referenced above
*He wrote an article for NRO on 7/6/05 entitled "The Left's Last Stand: It's Judicial Armageddon"
*He argued VP Cheney's case (whether Cheney had to reveal who advised him in the making of the Bush admin's energy policy) at the district court level.
*He wrote an article for the NRO last year entitled "Abortion by Any Other Name...is still a murder", This was reprinted in "Orthodoxy Today"

Gee, do ya think Coffin's got a little bias here?

The interview, as usual with Hume, was low-key & relatively unprovocative. But what's the point of giving free air time to someone who's already enthusiastically endorsed the nominee? What's the point of re-hashing old information? The only point I can see is to distract viewers from thinking about Karl Rove, Valerie Plame, the leaked memo, the damage done to national security ...

And when is Hume going to invite someone -- anyone -- who could even remotely be considered progressive to be his guest?

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (Hume's selection of interviewees, this particular interview, lack of Rove). Specifically, I don't want to have to read *ANYTHING* about Roberts. O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.