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June 27th, 2017

Insight

Judge Garland and the Left's Disdain for Truth

Dennis Prager

By Dennis Prager

Published March 22, 2016

Judge Garland and the Left's Disdain for Truth

The mainstream media -- that is, the liberal media -- share all the views and characteristics of the left. Among these is the left's view of truth. There are honest individuals with left-wing views, and dishonest individuals on the right. But truth is not a leftist value. Everything the left believes in is more important than truth: social justice, economic equality, reducing carbon emissions, expanding the power of the state, battling sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, racism, and above all of these, destroying its conservative opposition.

The media's coverage of President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court should serve as one of the most blatant examples of both the left-wing orientation of the news media and their willingness to play with truth.

On March 16, the day after Garland's nomination, every major mainstream news outlet, both print and electronic, depicted the judge as a centrist.

The first sentence of The New York Times front page read: "WASHINGTON -- President Obama on Wednesday nominated Merrick B. Garland to be the nation's 113th Supreme Court justice, choosing a centrist appellate judge."

Similarly, the Los Angeles Times front-page headline said: "Obama's choice of popular centrist Merrick Garland for Supreme Court puts GOP to the test."

Another headline, seen in the Washington Post, read: "Merrick Garland's instinct for the middle could put him in the court's most influential spot." That same day, the Post published a second article mentioning how "Garland's deep resume and centrist reputation appear to have positioned him well to earn the president's nod."

Two days later, the Los Angeles Times featured a news analysis on its front page, in which a reporter wrote that Garland may actually be "the most moderate Supreme Court nominee anyone could expect from a Democratic president." The reporter also calls Garland "a superbly qualified judge with a cautious, centrist record."

There is no truth to any of these reports -- something easily proved by both Judge Garland's decisions and, amazingly, by the newspapers' reports themselves.

Take the Los Angeles Times' front-page "news analysis," for example. After describing the judge as a moderate and centrist, the LA Times reporter writes:

"If the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a staunch conservative, is replaced by a moderate-to-liberal Justice Garland, the court would tip to the left on several key issues, like abortion, affirmative action, the death penalty, gun control, campaign spending, immigration and environmental protection."

In other words, the very same author who describes Garland as a centrist believes that Garland votes left on essentially every major issue confronting the nation and the Supreme Court.

Additionally, that very same day The New York Times headlined that Garland is a centrist, it published an article on the nomination noting that "If Judge Garland is confirmed, he could tip the ideological balance to create the most liberal Supreme Court in 50 years."

In reviewing Garland's decisions, this Times piece placed Judge Garland to the left of Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, way to the left of Justice Stephen Breyer and minimally to the right of Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg.

By their own accounts, the liberal media lied in describing Garland as a centrist.

And the more research one does, the bigger this lie appears.

In a column in The Wall Street Journal, Juanita Duggan, President and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, wrote that Garland is so anti-small business and so pro-big labor, that "This is the first time in the NFIB's 73-year-history that we will weigh in on a Supreme Court nominee."

What worries the NFIB, she explains, is that "in 16 major labor decisions of Judge Garland's that we examined, he ruled 16-0 in favor of the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board)."

Elsewhere in the Journal, the editorial board wrote that they can't think of a single issue on which Garland would vote differently from the four liberal Justices that already sit on the bench.

Tom Goldstein wrote in the SCOTUSblog that Garland favors deferring to the decision-makers in agencies. "In a dozen close cases in which the court divided, he sided with the agency every time."

Another source reads that "Judge Garland would be a reliable fifth vote on all of these legal issues."

Those are all the fundamental issues that divide the left from the right.

So, the entire left is lying about Judge Garland, who, for the record, seems like a truly decent man who possesses a first-class mind. They do so because getting a fifth left-wing vote and weakening the Republicans is far more important than truth.

And believe it or not, there is an even worse lesson here, namely the media's effectiveness in saturating society with its mendacious version of reality. Unless an American makes the effort to study the issue -- and most do not -- they take the news media's version as truth. The terrible lesson, which has been affirmed time and time again since the 1960s, is that a free society can experience brainwashing as effectively as a totalitarian state.

The reporting on Garland is that false.

This past Friday, a left-wing mob shut down a Donald Trump rally in Chicago. Most Americans viewing what happened saw it for what it was — another left-wing assault on the speech of those with whom they differ and on traditional American civility.

Not surprisingly, the media reporting has concentrated overwhelmingly on Trump for incendiary and inexcusable comments he has made at some of his other rallies that were disrupted by protesters. For example, he offered to pay any legal bills incurred by a man in the audience who sucker-punched a protester as he was being led out of a Trump rally.

Many have also noted the alleged assault by Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who was accused of trying to grab Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields' arm. (I say "alleged" because I have watched the video of the alleged incident four times but could not ascertain what actually took place.)

For the record, I have been relentless in my criticisms of Donald Trump, both in print and on my radio show, preferring any other Republican candidate. Based on his past, I have not had any reason to trust him as a conservative or as a Republican, and he has exhibited serious character flaws.

Nevertheless, truth must trump opposition to Trump.

And the truth is that the left-wing attack on Trump's Chicago rally had little, if anything, to do with what the incendiary comments Donald Trump has made about attacking protestors at his events. Leftist mobs attack and shut down events with which they differ as a matter of course. They do so regularly on American college campuses, where conservative speakers — on the rare occasion they are invited — are routinely shouted down by left-wing students (and sometimes faculty) or simply disinvited as a result of leftist pressure on the college administration.

A couple of weeks ago conservative writer and speaker Ben Shapiro was disinvited from California State University, Los Angeles. When he nevertheless showed up, 150 left-wing demonstrators blocked the entrance to the theater in which he was speaking, and sounded a fire alarm to further disrupt his speech.

In just the last year, left-wing students have violently taken over presidents' or deans' offices at Princeton, Virginia Commonwealth University, Dartmouth, Providence College, Harvard, Lewis & Clark College, Temple University and many others. Conservative speakers have either been disinvited or shouted down at Brandeis University, Brown University, the University of Michigan and myriad other campuses.

And leftists shout down virtually every pro-Israel speaker, including the Israeli ambassador to the United States, at every university to which they are invited to speak.

Yet the mainstream media simply ignore this left-wing thuggery — while reporting that the shutting down of a pro-Trump rally is all Trump's fault for his comments encouraging roughing up protestors at his events.

That the left shuts down people with whom it differs is a rule in every leftist society. The left — not classical liberals, I hasten to note — is totalitarian by nature. In the 20th century, the century of totalitarianism, virtually every totalitarian regime in the world was a leftist regime. And the contemporary American university — run entirely by the left — is becoming a totalitarian state, where only left-wing ideas are tolerated.

Tens of millions of Americans look at what the left is doing to universities, and what it has done to the news and entertainment media, and see its contempt for the First Amendment's protection of free speech. They see Donald Trump attacked by this left, and immediately assume that only Trump will take on, in the title words of Jonah Goldberg's modern classic, "Liberal Fascism."

And if these millions had any doubt that Trump alone will confront left-wing fascism, Trump's opponents seemed to provide proof. Like the mainstream media, the three remaining Republican candidates for president — John Kasich, the most and Marco Rubio the least — blamed Trump for the left-wing hooligans more than they blamed the left. It is possible that in doing so Senators Cruz and Rubio and Governor Kasich effectively ended their campaigns and ensured the nomination of Trump as the Republican candidate for president. The combination of left-wing violence and the use of it by the other GOP candidates to wound Trump rather than label the left as the mortal threat to liberty that it is may clinch Trump's nomination.

And if the left continues to violently disrupt Trump rallies, they — along with the total absence of condemnation by the Democratic Party and its presidential candidate — may well ensure that Donald Trump is elected president. Between the play-Fascism of Trump and the real Fascism of the left, most Americans will know which one to fear most.

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JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles.

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