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In what might be an attempt to circle the wagons around a colleague in the context of what has been labeled fake news, a National Public Radio reporter appears to be implying that two U.S. Supreme Court justices are prevaricating.
In a story that was widely shared across the corporate media ecosystem and via the blue-check brigade on social media, NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg reported that Justice Neil Gorsuch allegedly refused to wear a mask during the Supreme Court’s oral argument sessions, which prompted Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a diabetic, to attend proceedings remotely from her office. BPR wrote the facts of the original story based on the NPR source.
The duo subsequently released a statement that “Reporting that Justice Sotomayor asked Justice Gorsuch to wear a mask surprised us. It is false. While we may sometimes disagree about the law, we are warm colleagues and friends.”
That denial about “maskgate” was evidently not good enough for Totenberg’s co-worker David Gura, who describes himself on Twitter as a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based “media personality.”
Gura threw shade on the joint statement as well as on the media, which perhaps is ironic since, as noted above, news outlets immediately ran with Totenberg’s original scoop.
“[I’m] surprised at how many Supreme Court correspondents I admire are passing along a statement from two justices that is at best false without any context whatsoever.”
I surprised at how many Supreme Court correspondents I admire are passing along a statement from two justices that is at best false without any context whatsoever.
— David Gura (@davidgura) January 19, 2022
Chief Justice John Roberts also chimed in about the alleged controversy: “I did not request Justice Gorsuch or any other Justice to wear a mask on the bench.”
As part of a long thread, conservative influencer Drew Holden pointed out that insofar as those “forever maskers” who touted the original story are concerned, “Many of these people and outlets, you’ll notice, have a professed concern with misinformation. And yet here they are acting as conduits if not outright creators of politically motivated disinformation to smear their opponents.”
Totenberg, whose story contains a nuance that Roberts asked the other justices in some form to mask up, is based on unnamed “court sources.” She said on Wednesday that “NPR stands by my reporting.”
Trouble in High Court as Gorsuch reportedly refuses to mask-up, ‘forcing’ Sotomayor to work remotely https://t.co/9mW37WLPMC
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) January 18, 2022
All nine justices are reportedly tripled-vaxxed and subject to regular testing.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, a self-described liberal, recalled how Totenberg faced accusations of liberal bias in the past.
The professor also chided the wish-casting left for buying into the storyline because of their antipathy toward conservative jurists like Gorsuch.
“It really does not matter if it is false or not. The narrative remains. The story is another manifestation of our age of rage. It is not enough that you disagree with Gorsuch. You have to portray him as a sadistic, borderline homicidal fanatic. In the end, the media just moves on with the next collective primal scream session masked as journalism…We will not be able to restore the trust in the media until these companies abandon reporting ‘in some form’ and return to simple journalism.”
Other observers are expressing similar thoughts:
Somebody explain to me why fake newser @NinaTotenberg is still employed. https://t.co/IEYFgH9Q7D
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) January 19, 2022
Totenberg was also the reporter used by fellow liberal activists to launch the scurrilous attack on Clarence Thomas in an attempt to scuttle his nomination more than 30 years ago.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) January 19, 2022
Nina Totenberg: This thing happened on the Supreme Court according to my anonymous but unimpeachable source
Three literal Supreme Court Justices: No it didn't
Journos: What are they hiding
— jimtreacher.substack.com (@jtLOL) January 19, 2022
Nina Totenberg is the same reporter who leaked Anita Hill's bs sexual assault allegations against Clarence Thomas in order to destroy his nomination to the Supreme Court https://t.co/fzKR2qZNmM
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 19, 2022
Dear Reporters and Other Leftwing Partisans:
I clearly warned you that @NinaTotenberg’s reporting was false.
Before too many of you gleefully regurgitated it, to smear Gorsuch.
Looking forward to the retractions, for the (very) few of you who have any integrity. https://t.co/xjRn5Kot6z
— 🇺🇸 Mike Davis 🇺🇸 (@mrddmia) January 19, 2022
Anonymous sources have recently revealed that Nina Totenberg is a first rate journalist, with an unblemished record of reliable reporting.
I'm sorry, we're now getting updates…so, it turns out Nina Totenberg is now, and has always been, a complete hack. Our bad.
— Joanne Mason (@JoanneMason11) January 19, 2022
People don’t seem to understand that SCOTUS justices almost NEVER comment on statements made by others about them, ESPECIALLY from the media. This is nothing short of incredibly embarrassing for @NinaTotenberg and @NPR.
— Mitchell (@Mitchel13290681) January 19, 2022
This is an extremely silly story. Nevertheless, it is providing a public service by outing the people who, having been corrected twice now, simply can't let it go. https://t.co/Ph99Bj8f8z
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) January 19, 2022
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