The Gray Lady Who Cried Wolf

Aaron Flint posted on February 15, 2011 23:48 :: 1359 Views

For those of you who missed this follow up by The Wall Street Journal last week, James Taranto offers a hilarious fact-checking response to The New York Times criticism of Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT). 

The New York Times continues its fraudulent campaign to depict conservatives and Republicans as, in the words of its latest editorial on the subject, purveyors of “Dangerous Threats.” The latest purported example:

Representative Denny Rehberg, a Republican and Montana’s House member, boasts that he brings Made-in-Montana solutions to Washington. purpose of putting a species on the list is to protect it, not to endanger it further. The Times editorializes that Rehberg “did not mean that Judge Molloy should be protected and nurtured, which is the actual purpose of the species law.” It seems reasonable to assume that the Times is correct on this point: Rehberg meant to suggest it would be desirable if “judicial activists” dwindled in number.

“Endangered species” as a political metaphor did not originate with Rehberg any more than “blood libel” did with Sarah Palin. A New York Times editorial from March 2, 1981, was titled “Endangered Species in the White House.” No, Ronald Reagan did not bring a rhinoceros into the Oval Office. Rather, as the editorial explained, he was considering the abolition of an executive board: “The Council on Environmental Quality, a tiny but important unit that advises the White House, has been placed on the endangered species list.”


The New York Times editorial page, which frequently backs the continued and unnecessary Endangered Species Act protection of wolves in Montana, is fully on the re-elect Jon Tester bandwagon.  (Remember the puff piece editorial they ran about “Farmer Jon” as he was hiding from his constituents during the health care debate?) The Times now has this editorial posted, bashing Rehberg for his line at the Montana Legislature which expressed his hopes that activist federal judges (like US District Judge Don Molloy) would be placed on the Endangered Species List.  Here’s part of what the Times had to say, quoting a guest opinion column written by Judge Molloy’s kids :

Taking Mr. Rehberg’s spokesman at his word, the idea that a judge should be singled out in political retribution because a congressman doesn’t like his rulings is outrageous. As the judge’s children wrote, a judge has “a constitutional responsibility to interpret and apply the laws that Congress enacts, based on the facts and law presented in the courtroom, and not on public opinion.”

Mr. Rehberg, who likes to quote Thomas Jefferson when it suits him, should re-read the Constitution. The judiciary is a separate, co-equal branch of government. Federal judges have life tenure in order to make impartial and independent judgments. Mr. Rehberg should protect the judge from political pressure, not subject him to a nasty kind that encourages others to do the same.

I was going to link to the op-ed by Judge Molloys kids earlier today, but I have a lot of respect for his family (even if not for Judge Molloy’s tenure on the bench.)  That combined with the fact that I think we should keep people’s kids out of the middle of the political arena kept me from posting an excerpt. 

It is worth noting, once again, that it seems pretty clear that Rehberg’s speech showed a desire to see Judge Molloy off the bench, not some call for violence.  But- since we’re in the mood of posting op-eds from people’s kids:  I imagine the Helena IR and other papers will now post guest opinion columns from the sons and daughters of asbestos victims shunned by Judge Molloy, the sons and daughters of loggers put out of work by Judge Molloy, and the families in Northwest Montana that are out of work and facing double digit unemployment with mines being blocked by Judge Molloys decisions.  Oh wait- all three county commissioners from Lincoln County wrote a letter criticizing Judge Molloy.  They didn’t get an op-ed; they got a tiny letter to the editor.  I guess the people in Libby just need friends, or fathers, in high places.  Maybe then they will get the New York Times attention. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *