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Fox's Megyn Kelly, Chris Wallace Gush Over Sessions' "Wise Latina" Questions For Sotomayor, Ignore His Troubling Record On Race

Reported by Ellen - July 14, 2009 -

Media Matters caught Fox News' Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace gushing over Senator Jeff Sessions' questioning of Sonia Sotomayor, particularly regarding her "wise Latina" remarks, during today's confirmation hearings. Neither of the hosts (nor anyone else that I've heard during nearly continuous watching of Fox News coverage) told the viewers the highly relevant information that Sessions' record on race relations is so troubling that he was only the second man in 50 years not to be confirmed as a federal district judge when Ronald Reagan nominated him in 1986. With video.

Predictably, during the entire day of coverage, Fox's pundits have been using the confirmation hearings to highlight race issues about Sotomayor, particularly obsessing about her "wise Latina" comments: Did she contradict herself? Did she walk them back? Did she answer the questions adequately, etc? And painting her as generally on the defensive. Judging from Fox's reactions, race is the single most important aspect of Sotomayor's nomination. Yet, they continue to overlook the context of Sotomayor's remark, the role of diversity in cases involving race and sex discrimination cases.

Kelly enthused over the "fireworks and some highlights" and the "scathing questions" from Sessions.

Co-host Wallace agreed that Sessions "did a really good job," that he "basically dusted her up" over wise Latina comments.

Yet nobody has mentioned Sessions' very troubling record on race relations: As Amy Goodman reported on Democracy Now today:

Two Republicans, including Arlen Specter, voted against Sessions during his confirmation process. His fellow senator from Alabama, Howell Heflin, also voted against him, citing, quote, “reasonable doubts” over Sessions’ ability to be “fair and impartial.”

Sessions once described the NAACP and American Civil Liberties Union as “un-American” and “Communist-inspired” because they, quote, “forced civil rights down the throats of people.” Critics also testified they had once heard Sessions say he admired the Ku Klux Klan.