How Media Normalized The QAnon Smear Of Judge Jackson

@EricBoehlert
How Media Normalized The QAnon Smear Of Judge Jackson

Judge Jackson

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Signaling that the Republican Party would not allow the Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to be an entirely serious and dignified one, Republican senator Josh Hawley began trafficking vile claims about the first Black woman tapped for the Court.

For the last week, Hawley and his allies have been trying to turn Jackson, arguably the most qualified Supreme Court nominee in the last half-century, into a child-pornography apologist. It’s breathtaking, unconscionable and straight out of the QAnon cult playbook— but the press doesn’t care. In their eyes, there is no decency line that the GOP can ever cross. Nothing is out of bounds for them.

On Fox News, Hawley specifically described Jackson as protecting pedophiles when it came to sentencing: “I haven't been able to find a single case where she has had a child porn offender, a pedophile, in front of her where she hasn't given him the most lenient sentence she possibly could.”

Still, the New York Timesdownplayed the outlandish GOP smears against the mother of two, describing the claims as merely “hostile critiques,” and Republicans “forcefully attacking Jackson’s record.” In a puff piece highlighting four GOP senators this week, the Times elevated Hawley as one “to watch” during the confirmation hearings.

The allegation that Jackson operated as some sort of pro-child pornography outlier on the bench because she sentenced below federal guidelines is obviously false, as ABC News, among others detailed [emphasis added]:

Federal appeals court Judges Joseph Bianco of the Second Circuit and Andrew Brasher of the Eleventh Circuit, both Trump appointees, had each previously sentenced defendants convicted of possessing child pornography to prison terms well below federal guidelines at the time they were confirmed with Hawley's support.

Hawley didn’t make the bogus claims because he thought they were valid, or that they could withstand a moment of scrutiny. He made them to link Jackson to the odious phrases “child pornography” and “pedophile,” which are signaling mechanisms for the QAnon cult.

Signaling that the Republican Party would not allow the Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to be an entirely serious and dignified one, Republican senator Josh Hawley began trafficking vile claims about the first Black woman tapped for the Court.

For the last week, Hawley and his allies have been trying to turn Jackson, arguably the most qualified Supreme Court nominee in the last half-century, into a child-pornography apologist. It’s breathtaking, unconscionable and straight out of the QAnon cult playbook— but the press doesn’t care. In their eyes, there is no decency line that the GOP can ever cross. Nothing is out of bounds for them.

On Fox News, Hawley specifically described Jackson as protecting pedophiles when it came to sentencing: “I haven't been able to find a single case where she has had a child porn offender, a pedophile, in front of her where she hasn't given him the most lenient sentence she possibly could.”

Still, the New York Timesdownplayed the outlandish GOP smears against the mother of two, describing the claims as merely “hostile critiques,” and Republicans “forcefully attacking Jackson’s record.” In a puff piece highlighting four GOP senators this week, the Times elevated Hawley as one “to watch” during the confirmation hearings.

The allegation that Jackson operated as some sort of pro-child pornography outlier on the bench because she sentenced below federal guidelines is obviously false, as ABC News, among others detailed [emphasis added]:

Federal appeals court Judges Joseph Bianco of the Second Circuit and Andrew Brasher of the Eleventh Circuit, both Trump appointees, had each previously sentenced defendants convicted of possessing child pornography to prison terms well below federal guidelines at the time they were confirmed with Hawley's support.

Hawley didn’t make the bogus claims because he thought they were valid, or that they could withstand a moment of scrutiny. He made them to link Jackson to the odious phrases “child pornography” and “pedophile,” which are signaling mechanisms for the QAnon cult.

Reprinted with permission from PressRun

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