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WSJ: NARAL v. Roberts - The ad practically screams: We're desperate to find something
Wall Street Journal ^ | August 10, 2005 | Editorial (full text)

Posted on 08/10/2005 4:56:24 AM PDT by OESY

We suppose NARAL Pro-Choice America has to do something with the funds it's raised for an anticipated battle over President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, but it may find that the vicious national TV ad that starts airing today may backfire. The ad practically screams: We're so desperate to find something to pin on John Roberts that we're not above making things up.

The ad focuses on a friend-of-the-court brief then-deputy Solicitor General Roberts filed in 1991 in the Supreme Court case Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic. It accuses Judge Roberts of siding with "violent fringe groups and a convicted clinic bomber," and urges viewers to call their Senators to oppose his confirmation. It concludes: "America can't afford a justice whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans."

It's true that the brief sided with the pro-life protest group, Operation Rescue -- but that's a deliberate distortion of what the legal case was actually about. At issue was whether federal courts could use an 1871 civil rights law enacted to protect blacks against the Ku Klux Klan to stop pro-life blockades of abortion clinics. Mr. Roberts argued the case before the Supreme Court, saying that a pro-life protest did not constitute discrimination against women. In 1993, a 6-3 Supreme Court agreed.

NARAL says the ad will air in Maine and Rhode Island tomorrow (presumably to create pressure on Republican Senators Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Lincoln Chafee) and on cable nationwide. If this is a foretaste of the Roberts confirmation, better lay in the Listerine.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Maine; US: Rhode Island
KEYWORDS: ads; bush; chafee; desperatedems; naral; nominees; prochoice; roberts; scotus; snowe; supremecourt; susancollins; wsj

1 posted on 08/10/2005 4:56:26 AM PDT by OESY
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To: OESY

By trying to expose Roberts in a dishonest and disingenous way, NARAL is exposing itself for what it really is. It is not about protecting women's rights, it is about protecting the money machine of the abortion movement.


2 posted on 08/10/2005 4:59:30 AM PDT by marvlus
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To: OESY

Trying to cut the RINO's from the herd, eh?


3 posted on 08/10/2005 4:59:42 AM PDT by NonValueAdded ("Freedom of speech makes it much easier to spot the idiots." [Jay Lessig, 2/7/2005])
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To: OESY

This is gonna backfire on the Left. To assosciate Roberts with terrorists is just silly. It makes them look stupid because it is a stupid charge. If this is the best they've got, he's in.


4 posted on 08/10/2005 5:00:08 AM PDT by kjo
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To: OESY
Yeah but to a very small but loud minority on FR, Roberts is the next Ginsberg.

Their source, the word of the LA Times.

5 posted on 08/10/2005 5:02:46 AM PDT by Dane ( anyone who believes hillary would do something to stop illegal immigration is believing gibberish)
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To: kjo
This is gonna backfire on the Left. To assosciate Roberts with terrorists is just silly. It makes them look stupid because it is a stupid charge. If this is the best they've got, he's in

Looks like a double barreled attack on Roberts from the left.

NARAL ginning up the large group of lefty moonbats, the LA Times ginning up the samll but very loud righty moonbats.

6 posted on 08/10/2005 5:06:07 AM PDT by Dane ( anyone who believes hillary would do something to stop illegal immigration is believing gibberish)
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To: Dane
Yeah but to a very small but loud minority on FR, Roberts is the next Ginsberg.

I believe the fear is he will be the next Souter, not Ginsburg. We all knew what Ginsburg was but the GOP rubber-stamped her anyhow. The Dems don't play as nice.
7 posted on 08/10/2005 5:08:51 AM PDT by over3Owithabrain
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To: OESY

NARAL and Nancy Keenan have gone fishing....without hooks or bait!


8 posted on 08/10/2005 5:09:47 AM PDT by Bushbacker1 (Kill 'em til they're dead! Then, kill 'em again!)
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To: OESY

"We suppose NARAL Pro-Choice America..."

They really mean, "We suppose NARAL, Pro-Abortion America.."

Let's not confuse Pro-Choice with Pro Abortion. I am pro-Choice. And I choose life. This is the problem today. We need to go after the left and ask them what Pro-Choice really means because we are all pro-choice. We just choose different things.

I am Pro-Choice ande I also choose having my own retirement account rather than Social Security.


9 posted on 08/10/2005 5:19:59 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Liberal Talking Point - Bush = Hitler ... Republican Talking Point - Let the Liberals Talk)
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To: over3Owithabrain

"I believe the fear is he will be the next Souter, not Ginsburg. We all knew what Ginsburg was but the GOP rubber-stamped her anyhow. The Dems don't play as nice.
"

No he won't. Each day the RATS attack him is another bee in his bonnet. Roberts is smart enough to understand that the attacks on him from the left is not where he wants this country to go. The best play the RATS really have is to pay respect to him, like they somewhat did for Souter and O'Connor. You catch flies with honey, not vinegar.


10 posted on 08/10/2005 5:22:43 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Liberal Talking Point - Bush = Hitler ... Republican Talking Point - Let the Liberals Talk)
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To: OESY
it's about time. roberts was generating suspiciously little friction til now.

This PROVES that abortion is no longer the cause celebre for the leftwing democrats. NARAL is on its own. It's over. Roe v. Wade will fall.

I just wonder what the freaking commies are going to seize next...oh, yeah -- the gay agenda, nukes, iraq, racial profiling...who knows what they'll torture logic with next.

11 posted on 08/10/2005 5:23:11 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (see my FR page for a link to the tribute to Terri Schaivo, a short video presentation.)
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To: over3Owithabrain
Ginsberg, Souter, who cares.

My point was that a very small but loud minority on FR ran with the LA Times article as the word of god.

12 posted on 08/10/2005 5:23:56 AM PDT by Dane ( anyone who believes hillary would do something to stop illegal immigration is believing gibberish)
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To: OESY
Abortion IS the liberal sacrament. Its the only thing the Left is passionate about next to eternally expanding government. They're hoping that by painting Roberts as an extremist, they can preserve the one thing they truly hold dear next to government.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
13 posted on 08/10/2005 5:26:07 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

It just proves what we already knew. They are not pro choice, they are PRO ABORTION.

Can Roberts sue for this kind of slander?


14 posted on 08/10/2005 5:33:08 AM PDT by TNCMAXQ
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To: OESY

What's funny about this is that Roberts is about as moderate a nominee as they're gonna get. So let them spend, spend, spend. If Roberts is defeated, there's a whole slew of hard-liners right behind him.

I don't see Bush buckling like Nixon did after the Senate defeated two conservatives.


15 posted on 08/10/2005 5:38:31 AM PDT by cotton1706
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To: OESY

This NARAL ad is not that much different from Rush's parody spot:

"...Roberts is a Catholic (whisper voice: "Catholic!") who takes his orders from the Pope who is from Germany ("Germany!")...


16 posted on 08/10/2005 5:45:53 AM PDT by leftcoaster
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To: OESY

Kind of like watching a two year old scream and kick the floor, aint it?


17 posted on 08/10/2005 6:19:50 AM PDT by jmaroneps37 (The ratmedia: always eager to remind us of why we hate them.)
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To: OESY
Funny thing, after reading this article I went to the NARAL web site and saw the ad. At the end, it encourages you to call your senator, which I did (Nelson of FLA).

I told the senator's staffer that after seeing the NARAL ad, I have become a bigger supporter of Judge Roberts, and want to see him confirmed.

Of course the staffer in BN's office could not relate to my sarcastic logic.

18 posted on 08/10/2005 6:23:58 AM PDT by GWB00
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To: leftcoaster
This NARAL ad is not that much different from Rush's parody spot:

"...Roberts is a Catholic (whisper voice: "Catholic!") who takes his orders from the Pope who is from Germany ("Germany!")...

That was a parody? Hell, I thought that was for real./sarcasm off

19 posted on 08/10/2005 6:27:49 AM PDT by GWB00
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To: OESY

It's amazing to see NARAL dig so deep to make the most outrageous connection possible. it's unreal. These guys are dispicable.


20 posted on 08/10/2005 7:19:58 AM PDT by Politics4Fun
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To: Politics4Fun

Got a chance to read that WSJ editorial today, and I was nodding my head the whole time. Who does NARAL think they're fooling with these ridiculous scare tactics?


21 posted on 08/10/2005 8:28:50 AM PDT by Pop Fly
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To: GWB00
see the ad here
22 posted on 08/10/2005 8:45:49 AM PDT by Optimist (I think I'm beginning to see a pattern here.)
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To: Optimist

Their flagrant intention to misrepresent facts and smear a good man is what makes this so wrong. I just hope the people who see this trash take the time to read up on how wrong it truly is.


23 posted on 08/10/2005 8:54:31 AM PDT by Politics4Fun
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To: Politics4Fun

Not only that, they have the gall to issue a press release which compounds the injury by claiming: "We are not suggesting Mr. Roberts condones or supports clinic violence," when that, of course, is exactly what their ad does. NARAL, plainly and simply, is trying to assassinate Roberts' character - we should not take another "Bork"-ing!!


24 posted on 08/10/2005 5:59:08 PM PDT by clawrence3
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To: Senator Kunte Klinte
CNN, Keeping Their Viewers (Mis)Informed (Updated & Bumped)


The controversy over NARAL's advertisement opposing the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court may not do the damage that the pro-abortion lobbying group desired, but it may well bury what's left of CNN's credibility. After taking a beating today when the nonpartisan site Factcheck.org called its claims that Roberts supported violence against women "false" and "especially misleading", NARAL still managed to sell the advertisement to a television channel -- and not just any TV station, but supposedly truth-based CNN, according to the Drudge Report:

CNN has reviewed and agreed to run a controversial ad produced by a pro-abortion group’s that falsely accuses Supreme Court nominee John Roberts of filing legal papers supporting a convicted abortion clinic bomber, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
The news network has agreed to a $125,000 ad buy from NARAL for a commercial which depicts a bombed out 1998 Birmingham, AL abortion clinic. The Birmingham clinic was bombed seven years after Roberts signed the legal briefing the ad question!


That just starts the smear, according to the Annenberg group Factcheck, which denounces the ad in no uncertain terms:

An abortion-rights group is running an attack ad accusing Supreme Court nominee John Roberts of filing legal papers “supporting . . . a convicted clinic bomber” and of having an ideology that “leads him to excuse violence against other Americans” It shows images of a bombed clinic in Birmingham , Alabama .
The ad is false.

And the ad misleads when it says Roberts supported a clinic bomber. It is true that Roberts sided with the bomber and many other defendants in a civil case, but the case didn't deal with bombing at all. Roberts argued that abortion clinics who brought the suit had no right use an 1871 federal anti-discrimination statute against anti-abortion protesters who tried to blockade clinics. Eventually a 6-3 majority of the Supreme Court agreed, too. Roberts argued that blockades were already illegal under state law.

The images used in the ad are especially misleading. The pictures are of a clinic bombing that happened nearly seven years after Roberts signed the legal brief in question.


NARAL still insists that its advertisement is accurate. However, Factcheck provides a transcript right on its page which it refutes in almost every sentence contained in the ad. Read all of the Factcheck post in order to see just how dishonest NARAL got in its smear campaign.

And CNN now wants to run the ad for NARAL. That tells you how much CNN values their own credibility.

More in a moment. I'm going on the Hugh Hewitt show to discuss this.

UPDATE: Carol Platt Liebau and Peter Robinson filled in for Hugh this week, and we discussed what CNN could do to avoid the inevitable backlash it will suffer from running an ad so filled with falsehoods and smears. My prediction will be that CNN sees the outrage this ad has generated and reconsiders. However, it will issue a press release saying that Drudge's report was premature and that CNN did not agree to the ad sale at all.

If CNN runs this ad after the easy refutation on display at Factcheck, the remaining shreds of credibility they retain will dissipate, revealing themselves to be nothing but shills for the Left.

UPDATE II: I missed this in the Post article:

The NARAL ad, set to begin airing tomorrow on local channels in Maine and Rhode Island and nationally on the CNN and Fox News cable networks, features Emily Lyons, a clinic director who was badly injured when a bomb exploded at her clinic in Birmingham in 1998.
Shame, shame, shame on Fox News as well. What are they trying to prove -- that they can get as corrupt as CNN?

UPDATE III and BUMP: Radioblogger has the transcript of my appearance on Hugh Hewitt's show last night. Also, regarding Fox News, I'm hearing that Fox has NOT sold national advertising time to NARAL for this ad, but that individual Fox Broadcasting outlets have done so in a few markets. These broadcast outlets have agreed to air the smear spot, but not their networks:

Bangor
WABI CBS
WLBZ NBC
WVII ABC

Portland
WCSH NBC
WGME CBS
WPFO FOX

Presque Isle
WAGM CBS

Providence
WPRI CBS
WNAC FOX

Notice that NARAL appears to target Maine and Rhode Island. It looks like an attempt to persuade Lincoln Chaffee, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe to abandon Roberts.

UPDATE IV: Radioblogger has the official CNN response:

Ms. Goldberg sent me an e-mail with CNN's statement regarding the decision to air the NARAL spot. Here it is:
CNN accepts advocacy advertising from responsible groups from across the political spectrum who wish to express their views and their opinions about issues of public importance. So that viewers can further research the claims being made within the ads, the messages must identify the name of the sponsoring organizations, usually by displaying a website address.

Within CNN news programs, the more prominent and newsworthy advocacy advertisements will be reported on, fact checked and debated.


They aren't as smart as I thought they were. Perhaps they figure to pick up some respect for not backing away from NARAL, but as Duane asks, just how can one square the qualifier "responsible" with the people who produced this smear of an ad?

UPDATE V and BUMP TO TOP AGAIN: The Media Blog at NRO confirms what I heard this morning -- that Fox did not sell any airtime to NARAL:

A Fox News spokesman just told me, "[NARAL] actually never approached us for a buy. You’ll see a correction in the Washington Post tomorrow." So Fox News will not be running the false ad. However, CNN seems to be supplementing its "this ad is not totally outrageous" defense with a soupçon of "everyone is doing it." Neither defense holds up.
Ken Mehlman appeared on the new Situation Room to blast the advertisement, Media Blog reports. I'll have to double-check the transcripts later, even if Abbi Tatton and Jackie Schechner didn't mention this post (read MB's entire post to see why I say that!).

UPDATE VI: MB@NRO followed up with Dan Balz, who wrote the Washington Post piece. He told MB that his source on the Fox buy was ... NARAL. So much for being a "responsible" group, although the Washington Post certainly is -- Balz promises a correction in tomorrow's edition.

Posted by Captain Ed, http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/
25 posted on 08/10/2005 7:09:15 PM PDT by OESY
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To: OESY

Hmm...I seem to recall a certain thread the other evening when Roberts was called a gay activist for some pro-bono work he did. The nuts are falling from the trees on both sides of the road.


26 posted on 08/10/2005 7:17:34 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill

No, it is not like that. The guy didn't do anything claimed by this ad. I am simply sick of the gutter politics by this group of NARAL idiots. He had nothing to do with this bombing, AT ALL.


27 posted on 08/11/2005 1:45:34 PM PDT by hardknocks
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