Bench Memos

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Re: More Biased Reporting from the Washington Post?


A well-connected source whose judgment I trust (and who is a strong supporter of the administration) tells me that I’m wrong to think that Washington Post reporter Jo Becker might be responsible for the bias in recent Post articles:

Based on some past experiences, I think Jo Becker’s a solid reporter, and that the WPOST’s team on the Roberts’ nomination is not generally in the pocket of the Left. (I wouldn’t say the same thing about the New York Times team.) Consider the possibility that the source of bias in the WPOST articles you mentioned may actually be a function of the different early pr strategies employed by the Left and the Administration. The Left’s primary background briefers are lawyers who are prepared to delve deeply into the substance of ‘controversial’ memos. The Administration’s in-house team has been composed primarily of politicos and communicators who are great at what they do, but can’t be expected to know the nuances of the law and why they matter. Reporters don’t know the substance in depth either, and have therefore defaulted to the Left’s seemingly objective and unchallenged analysis of the hard legal issues. I suspect the Administration realizes this now and is making adjustments to its own team.
If my source’s very disturbing hypothesis is correct (and I now have reason to think it is), I offer my sincere apologies to Jo Becker–and to the other Post reporters whose articles I’ve sharply criticized. (I’m not going to concede that reporters can’t be held accountable for any of the distortions that I’ve identified, but this account would put thing in a very different light.) I also wish the administration luck in its urgent task of making the appropriate adjustments.


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