President Bush has chosen former federal judge Michael Mukasey as his pick for attorney general. In March of 2003 Mukasey ruled that the government had to allow Jose Padilla to have legal counsel. As Lara Jakes Jordan of the Associated Press reports:
That ruling offered a glimpse of what colleagues describe as Mukasey's trademark brusqueness and impatience with people who waste his time. But it also endeared him to the liberal-leaning American Center for Law and Justice, which supports his confirmation, while raising a red flag for conservatives with whom Mukasey met Sunday to try to appease.
The liberal-leaning American Center for Law and Justice? Surely they can't be talking about Pat Robertson's ACLJ, the group he created as a counterpoise to the ACLU, can they? More after the jump.
I couldn't find anywhere where this egregious malpractice of journalism on the part of the AP had been diaried, so I'm breaking my self-imposed hiatus from DailyKos to shine a light on it.
The American Center for Law and Justice was created in 1990 by the
liberal-leaning right-wing Christian conservative Pat Robertson. The ACLJ's chief legal counsel is the liberal-leaning conservative Jay Sekulow, who in 2005 TIME Magazine called one of the "25 Most Influential Liberal-leaning People Evangelicals" in America.
The ACLJ has taken such
liberal-leaning conservative stands as opposing restrictions on protesters outside abortion clinics, defending Bible clubs and student-led prayer in public schools, and pushing the "partial birth" abortion ban. Sekulow was an advocate for the parents of Terry Schiavo, and in one case served as counsel of record for the liberal-leaning terrorist group Operation Rescue.
Did Lara Jordan know who the ACLJ was when she wrote that Mukasey had endeared himself to this "liberal-leaning" group but needs to prove himself to conservatives? Did she simply fail to do the research on her article?
(I don't know anything about Jordan personally, and I'm not sure what it means that when I do a search on her name one of the first things I turn up is an article by Joseph Farah on WorldNetDaily ripping her for something she wrote about Rick Santorum. But apart from any question of personal bias on her part, the description of the ACLJ in her article is completely unacceptable, and a perfect example of how the So-Called Liberal Media (SCLM) isn't. What liberal media, indeed?)
Does misrepresenting Mukasey as a judge with a tough, conservative record who has nevertheless endeared himself to a liberal-leaning group and, in the process, raised concerns from conservatives make Mukasey appear moderate? If so, who would benefit from the Associated Press making Bush's appointee for attorney general appear more moderate than he really is?