August 05, 2005

New York Times Goes Into the Gutter... Again

Drudge reports that the New York Times is going to considerable excess to "dig up dirt" on John Roberts. This is utterly ridiculous:


The NEW YORK TIMES is looking into the adoption records of the children of Supreme Court Nominee John G. Roberts, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. The TIMES has investigative reporter Glen Justice hot on the case to investigate the status of adoption records of Judge Roberts’ two young children, Josie age 5 and Jack age 4, a top source reveals. Judge Roberts and his wife Jane adopted the children when they each were infants. Both children were adopted from Latin America. A TIMES insider claims the look into the adoption papers are part of the paper's "standard background check."

I may be confused, but why are the private adoption records part of a "standard background check" of John Roberts. The only real information that would likely result from such a search would relate to the background of the children or the children's biological parents. How would that impact the ability of John Roberts to serve on the Supreme Court?
More likely, the Times was hoping to find something that made the adoptions look improper or that John Roberts used his political influence to make the adoptions happen. Evidently, they found nothing. The adoption by John Roberts of these two children was a blessing. John Roberts should never have to apologize or defend himself for offering to take care of and love two unwanted children and thereby making the lives of those two children better.
I guess that The New York Times, which has always been an advocate of the right to privacy, has, by its actions, now qualified its support for the right of privacy. Evidently, it supports the right of privacy when it relates to a woman's right to abort an unwanted child but not when a couple decides to adopt an unwanted child. Yeah, that makes sense...
Update: According to an e-mail signed by Joe Plambeck, the Public Editor of the Times, the New York Times made initial inquiries, but is not pursuing the story: "In the case of Judge Roberts's family, our reporters made initial inquiries about the adoptions,as they did about many other aspects of his background. They did so with great care, understanding the sensitivity of the issue. We did not order up an investigation of the adoptions. We have not pursued the issue after the initial inquiries, which detected nothing irregular about the adoptions."

For more reaction to this story, check out these sites:

James Taranto: "And it's very important to investigate every aspect of a prospective Supreme Court justice's life. After all, he may threaten the right to privacy!"

Hugh Hewitt: Every time I think that MSM has finally hit bottom and cannot find a way to fall off the floor, some part of it digs a new cellar to dive deeper into.

Flopping Aces: "Brit Hume is reporting tonight that the NYT is conferring with lawyers on the best way to unseal adoption records. These are records where even the adopted children themselves have a hard time unsealing but for some reason the NYT wants them unsealed. Their excuse is that its a normal routine to check adoption records. They have got to be kidding....I would like them to name one public figure they have investigated where they wanted adoption records unsealed. This is just complete and utter foolishness. This simple act show's the public the utter disdain the MSM has against conservatives and their protection of the ultra-left agenda. Just plain disgusting."

Captain's Quarter's: "I didn't realize that Supreme Court appointees had to pass a New York Times "standard background check". Silly me. I thought that the Times' job was to report news, not dig up personal dirt about the adoption of minors by political figures.... I don't care how much "sensitivity" the Times thinks they showed to the Roberts during their inquiries. The adoption of their children doesn't have anything to do with Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court. If they had a tip with substantiation that he used his influence to do something illegal, then asking around about it would be understandable, if potentially explosive when handled incorrectly. However, just because the Roberts chose to adopt does not give the Times the moral authority to start asking questions about it as part of a "standard background check" or any other kind of investigation. The Times should confine their interest to points germane to Roberts' ability to perform as a Supreme Court jurist, not go on fishing trips into the most personal parts of his family life.

Britt Hume:"There is no indication The Times had any evidence there was anything improper in the family's adoption of five-year-old Josie and four-year-old Jack, both born in Latin America. Sources familiar with the matter told FOX News that at least one lawyer turned the Times down flat, saying that any effort to pry into adoption case records, which are always sealed, would be reprehensible."

The Noonz Wire: "And so it goes. Into the gutter wades investigative reporter Glen Justice to perform what amounts to opposition research against 4 and 5-year-olds. One can almost envision Justice, disappointed to find that the adoption papers did not implicate John Roberts in some sort of elaborate child kidnapping plot funded by Halliburton and abetted by pro-life groups acting under the direction of Tom DeLay, laying in wait outside the Roberts home so that he can rifle through the day's trash like some low-rent private investigator."

Protein Wisdom:"Remember: the Times is only fishing around and asking lawyers how they might get private adoption records unsealed because they’re suspicious about John Roberts’ commitment to the privacy rights of women and homosexuals."

Professor Bainbridge: I find the NY Times' reported effort to dig into the adoption records of SCOTUS nominee John Roberts' children totally despicable. It's just another example of how the MSM's overweening belief that they are the untouchable masters of the universe blinds them to the privacy-invading low-life scum that they in fact are. Putting yourself forward as a prospective public servant should not mean abandoning all privacy rights, especially when it comes to your children. Some things simply ought to be off-limits.

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