Friday, August 12, 2005

The WaPo Hits Another One Out Of the Park

I've commented before, and recently, on the pleasant surprises that can await a visitor to the Washington Post's editorial pages these days, particularly when contrasted with the farcical decline of the New York Times under Gail Collins. Once again, the Post has come out with an unambigious stance that would be almost unimaginable from its rival. Commenting on the despicable attempt by NARAL to smear John Roberts, the Post says:

The ad released this week by NARAL Pro-Choice America is a distressing exception [to the otherwise relative civility of the debate over the Roberts nomination]. Seizing on his role in a 1993 Supreme Court decision as a lawyer for the government, it graphically -- and wholly unfairly -- seeks to tar Judge Roberts with being an apologist for abortion clinic bombings.

In releasing the ad, Nancy Keenan, NARAL's president, said in a statement that she wanted "to be very clear that we are not suggesting Mr. Roberts condones or supports clinic violence." That's funny, because the ad does precisely that. It opens with the scene of a bombed clinic -- a clinic attacked years after the case in question -- and then shows a victim of the bombing. An announcer intones that "Supreme Court nominee John Roberts filed court briefs supporting violent fringe groups and a convicted clinic bomber." It closes with the announcer telling viewers that "America can't afford a justice whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans." A reasonable viewer can only conclude that Judge Roberts -- who served as deputy solicitor general in the administration of George H.W. Bush -- had somehow justified or defended a clinic bombing...

...NARAL is certainly within its rights to disagree with the position the government took in the case. But the impression it creates with this ad is not an argument but a smear-- a smear that will do less to discredit Judge Roberts than it will the organization that created it.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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