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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?

Cui bono?

Originally posted to dconrad on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:43 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips on journalistic integrity? (27+ / 0-)

    I can't stick around, I'm leaving for work, but I'll try to check back a little later in the morning.

    45% of Americans for impeachment of George Bush, 54% for Dick Cheney. ARG Poll

    by dconrad on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:38:42 AM PDT

  •  Him am good man in Bizarro world...; ) (4+ / 0-)

    Dudehisattva... <div style="color: #0000a0;">"Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"&l

    by Dood Abides on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:40:07 AM PDT

  •  They did file amicus briefs for the "Bong Hits (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dconrad, xobehtedistuo

    for Jesus" guy.

    Join the College Kossacks on Facebook, or the Republicans win.

    by DemocraticLuntz on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:53:36 AM PDT

    •  But, as a means to defend the first (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      amendment or as a means to bring religious representation to the forefront of the separation of church and state battle? I believe the interest of the ACLJ in that particular case is more in preparation for future battles to promote their openly religious agenda.

      My Homer is not a communist. He may be a liar, a pig, an idiot, a communist, but he is not a porn star. -Grandpa Simpson

      by xobehtedistuo on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:19:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, that's a good point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And even I don't disagree with the ACLJ on every issue. Although I'm an atheist, I've got a certain libertarian streak to me and I'm absolutely in favor of freedom of religious expression.

      It's not so much that Sekulow or the ACLJ are 100% bad (though they are pretty bad on a lot of things), it's just that they're 0% liberal, and I couldn't believe my eyes when I read the AP story.

      45% of Americans for impeachment of George Bush, 54% for Dick Cheney. ARG Poll

      by dconrad on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:32:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's a shock... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ignacio Magaloni, dconrad

    ...that the Associated Press could call such a right-wing organization "liberal-leaning." The American Center for Law and Justice has been around for many years and its agenda is far from a liberal one. Jay Sekulow has also hosted a radio show (called "Jay Sekulow Live") and has made appearances on Paul Crouch's TBN in pressing for his evangelical right legal agenda.

  •  there's another possibility... (6+ / 0-)

    that, like Nedra Pickler, we simply have another AP reporter who is just bloody stupid.

  •  Sekulow has a weekly TV show on Daystar, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    9:30p ET Saturday. It also runs twice weekly on TBN. All listings here.

    As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

    by ticket punch on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:10:11 AM PDT

    •  Sekulow's TV show is unwatchable. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ticket punch, dconrad, xobehtedistuo

      Even for someone interested in Constitutional Law and Church/State issues (as I am), the show is a waste of time.  It appears to be solely about fundraising for the ACLJ.

      And who is that other Sekulow on the show - his brother?

      I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. - Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC

      by Marinesquire on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:20:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Liberal Leaning" to us fringe anti-war moonbats, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    thst translates as slightly right of center doesn't it?

    "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful,,,they never stop thinking of ways to harm our country and neither do we" G W Bush

    by irate on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:28:19 AM PDT

  •  The reference is in paragraph TWENTY-ONE. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    overlander, dconrad

    You don't spin conspiracy, bias, or much of anything else from a single throwaway reference in the twenty-first paragraph of a story filed in the wee hours.

    As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

    by ticket punch on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:40:31 AM PDT

  •  Associated Press writer Corey Williams (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dconrad, xobehtedistuo

    stated last week that Hillary Clinton was the co chair of Wes Clarks 2004 campaign.

    That was a lie and it was edited out in later versions everywhere but Fox news.

    Interns? Maybe.

    Morons? probably.

    I used to know an AP reporter in the days before google. It was a bit more understandable when they made egregious mistakes back then.

    Since I listen to AP radio news which my local Progressive talk uses for hourly news, I have come to the conclusion that it is being pushed to the right little by little and we may be seeing some inexperienced writers getting a little out ahead of the frog boiling.

    Remember retractions have almost no effect. the original meme lives on.

    The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

    by NCrefugee on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:33:59 AM PDT

  •  Oopsy, I guess. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Wink, wink.  Surely, this was a simple mistake?  Wink, wink.

    In any event, I would remove this from the list of complaints about Sekulow's legal work.

    defending Bible clubs

    Anyone here who knows the least bit about me knows that I have a rather viscerally negative reaction to anything 'god' but I see no problem with such clubs anywhere, i.e., no one is being forced into attendance or forced into hearing what they have to say or paying their taxes to support the group (unless you want to get into the incremental costs of the lights on in a classroom so the group can meet).

    Now, if you wanted to say something like, "politicizing an isolated case by giving this incident overwhelming publicity and offering the impression that it is a widespread phenomenon in order to further their blatantly anti-Constitutional views of a Christian America," then I would happily agree with you on this point.

    Give me ten lines from a good man and I'll find something in there to hang him. - Cardinal Richelieu

    by lgrooney on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:35:36 AM PDT

    •  Actually, I would defend Bible clubs (0+ / 0-)

      If a group of students want to get together after school to study a book, and they can find a faculty advisor, then this atheist says that the school must be 100% content-neutral and not ask which book they are studying.*

      If they can form a club to study War and Peace, then they should be able to form a club to study The Bible. Hell, I'll even recommend a study guide: Asimov's Guide to the Bible by Isaac Asimov, ISBN: 051734582X.

      My point was not that their support of Bible clubs shows that they are bad, or wrong, but rather that it contradicts the image of the ACLJ as a "liberal-leaning" group. (Although, admittedly, I can easily imagine the ACLU taking the same case, and I would not feel the need to write a diary if I saw someone call the ACLU "liberal-leaning".)


      * Within reason. I can see if it was extreme right-wing hate literature or The Anarchist's Cookbook that there would be a legitimate basis for concern on the part of the school.

      45% of Americans for impeachment of George Bush, 54% for Dick Cheney. ARG Poll

      by dconrad on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:49:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  By all means the ACLU (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        would take the case.  However, you are conflating, it seems to me, conservatism and christianity.  That's a problem for me because I know damned well that most Democrats, and we're talking a vast majority, believe in something transcendent, i.e., are religious.  Although this is an easy mistake, since we atheists are quite vocal, the truth is we are vastly outnumbered even on the liberal/ progressive side but are offered an assist by those understanding the Constitution and the danger of injecting god into politics and, therefore, keep as quiet as possible about it in political discussions.

        Just saying, we don't want to alienate our friends for whom this religious experience is very often deep and intractable by broad-brushing them as some kind of 'other.'  Especially since we are the 'other.'

        Give me ten lines from a good man and I'll find something in there to hang him. - Cardinal Richelieu

        by lgrooney on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:59:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why not just hire Mullah Robertson directly? (0+ / 0-)

    "When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

  •  I am shocked -- SHOCKED! -- (0+ / 0-)

    to see the Liberal Media® calling a right-wing organization "liberal-leaning."

    Osama has killed his thousands, and Bush his tens of thousands.

    by Sura 109 on Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 08:01:18 AM PDT

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