NPR reporter with false SCOTUS story same who launched Anita Hill sex assault scandal on Justice Thomas 30 yrs ago

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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.”

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.”

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:


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