Wednesday, January 7, 2009

McClatchy puff piece on Obama nominee quotes only Democrats and Obama donors -- not a single Republican

In the latest example of Obama boosterism at McClatchy, reporter Greg Gordon's piece on Obama's nomination of Dawn Johnsen quoted several sources who gave glowing praise for the nominee -- but Gordon neglected to inform readers his sources were all partisan Democrats, and in at least 2 cases, Obama donors. Gordon did not include a single word from any Republican.

About Dawn Johnsen, Gordon noted she is a law professor who worked several years in the Clinton administration. But Gordon left out some information that McClatchy readers should know about. Gordon forgot to mention Johnsen is on the board of directors at the American Constitution Society, a self-described "progressive organization" co-founded by Laurence Tribe. She is also a partisan Democrat. According to this site, Johnsen donated to the Obama and Clinton campaigns. (I see nothing wrong with Johnsen's political contributions, by the way -- Obama is a Democrat so most of his appointees will be Democrats. too.)

But when a reporter presents a source as "non-partisan," readers are entitled to full disclosure. So let's take a look at Gordon's sources.

First up to sing the praises of Dawn Johnsen is Laurence Tribe, the activist law professor from Harvard. Here is Tribe's quote: "One of the refreshing things about Dawn Johnsen's appointment is that she's almost a 180-degree shift from John Yoo and David Addington and (Vice President) Dick Cheney," According to this site, Tribe donated the maximum $4,600 to Barack Obama in 2008. More: Tribe actually campaigned for Obama during the election. Aren't readers entitled to know Tribe is a partisan?

Next, Gordon quotes Walter Dellinger. Gordon simply identifies him as a "law professor." Gordon neglected to mention Dellinger is a Democrat who worked in the Clinton administration. According to this site, Dellinger is also a Dem donor -- including a $2,000 donation to John Edwards in 2004. McClatchy readers should have been given that info to help them evaluate the credibility of Dellinger.

Next up to praise Johnsen is Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California -Irvine law school. Chemerinsky is famous for advocating for left-wing causes. Gordon notes Chemerinsky praised Johnsen and other Obama nominees as "highly professional, experienced lawyers who are not partisans." Not partisans? That is a preposterous claim but Gordon printed it, unchallenged.

That's Gordon's roster of character witness for Johnsen. All are Democrats, at least two are Obama donors. And not a word from a Republican.
Truth to Power?
By the way, Greg Gordon has a history of writing puff pieces on Obama nominess without quoting a single Republican source.
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Anonymous said...

Laurence Tribe

Dawn Johnsen

Walter Dellinger

Kevin Gregory said...

Yup, non-partisans, alright.

Anonymous said...

An article like this is why this site ROCKS! They just can't be unbiased and give it to us straight.

But now a day, I just laugh and get a warm and fuzzy feeling watching all their articles be exposed for what they are, and their news stocks go to a well deserved big zero.

Let me sit back, throw another shrimp on the barbie and vote for this site once more.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:50 thanks

Anonymous said...

Birds of a feather?

Greg Gordon keeping his head in the sand, could only be an improvement.

Anonymous said...

Another try at

Ostrich pic-

Anonymous said...

Here's a tip: Do your best to reach out to former McClatchy employees.

We are out here. And we have tales to tell.

Find us.