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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

MSNBC WEIGHS IN: Against John Roberts. Tuesday evening during Joe Scarborough's show, this phrase kept appearing during the discussion of the Robert nomination: "John Roberts: Overturn Roe v. Wade." This falsely implies Roberts spoke against Roe as an appellate judge. In fact, Roberts took that position during his tenure as a lawyer in the administration of President George H.W. Bush. He did so as a government attorney representing the executive branch's view that Roe was mistakenly decided on legal grounds. (Pressed during his 2003 confirmation hearing for the appeals court for his own views on the matter, Roberts said: "Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land. ... There's nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent.") Obviously, the intent of running "Overturn" was to incite pro-choice MSNBC viewers against the Roberts nomination. This is not to accuse Joe Scarborough of anti-Roberts bias; I doubt he even saw the headline during his live show. Joe may want to find out who was on duty in the headline-writing department during his program the night before. Perhaps that headline writer is asking for a break from working in TV news.