ABC/NBC Ignore Hawley Questioning Jackson’s Sympathy for Pedophiles

On day two of confirmation hearings for Biden Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson where Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) exposed many of her previous comments showing how she has sympathy for pedophiles, ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News ignored Hawley’s line of questioning during their slanted coverage of the hearings. 

ABC Congressional correspondent Rachel Scott started off her report by whining about how Jackson had to defend “her record against Republican accusations she’s soft on crime.” She then aired comments from Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont, who is not a Republican. 

“What do you say to people who say you’re soft on crime or even anti-law enforcement? Because you accepted your duties as a public defender,” Leahy asked teeing up Jackson.  “As someone who has had family members on patrol and in the line of fire, I care deeply about public safety,” Jackson responded to the softball. 

Scott then reported that Jackson had “pushed back against accusations she handed down light sentences for people convicted of possessing child pornography.” 

As a mother and a judge who has had to deal with these cases, I was thinking that nothing could be further from the truth. And in every case, when I am dealing with something like this, it is important to me to make sure that the children’s perspective, the children’s voices, are represented in my sentences. 

That was the entirety of the coverage of the Senate Republican questioning of Jackson on issues related to her record on child pornography and pedophilia. 

The rest of the segment consisted of Scott airing questions from Republican Senators Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, and John Cornyn about Jackson’s record defending Guantanamo Bay terrorists and Critical Race Theory. 

On NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt opened the nightly newscast by whining that the hearings consisted of “posturing and political opportunism” and seemed to praise Jackson for “resisting attempts by both sides to drag her into partisan food fights.” 

After that gushing by Holt, he handed the segment off the chief White House correspondent Peter Alexander who also ignored Hawley’s grilling of Jackson (click expand):

ALEXANDER: Addressing criticism that her sentences in child pornography possession cases have been too lenient.

JACKSON: As a mother and a judge who has had to deal with these cases, I was thinking that nothing could be further from the truth. 

ALEXANDER: Republican Ted Cruz then highlighted several cases where Jackson’s sentences were shorter than prosecutors recommended.

CRUZ: Do you believe the voice of the children is heard when 100% of the time your sentencing those in possession of child pornography to far below what the prosecutors asking for? 

JACKSON: Yes, Senator, I do, judges don’t just calculate the guidelines and stop, judges have to take into account the personal circumstances of the defendant because that’s a requirement of Congress. 

What both networks ignored was Hawley reading Jackson’s past comments regarding feeling sorry for an eighteen-year-old pedophile: 

Let’s keep talking about this case. You also said to this individual who is an adult, tried as an adult. 18 years old. You also said to him, besides saying that you thought his victims were his peers. You also said there’s no reason to think you are a pedophile. And then you went on to say, again that is another reason why you weren’t — you were only going to give him three months. Because you had judged that he was not a pedophile.

And then you said, and this is something I really need your help understanding. Then you apologized to him. And I just have to tell you, I can’t quite figure this out. You said to him, “this is a truly difficult situation. I appreciate that your family is in the audience. I feel so sorry for them and for you and for the anguish this has caused all of you. I feel terrible about the collateral consequences of this conviction.” And then you go on to say, “sex offenders are truly shunned in our society.”

These comments were pretty stunning and make Judge Jackson look terrible, which is probably why the networks preferred their viewers not to hear them. 

This latest example of the networks ignoring GOP criticism of Biden’s radical Supreme Court nominee was made possible by TD Ameritrade on ABC and Liberty Mutual on NBC. Their information is linked. 

To read the relevant transcript of each segment click “expand”:

ABC’s World News Tonight 
3/22/2022
6:37:16 p.m. Eastern

RACHEL SCOTT: On Capitol Hill today, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson defending her record against Republican accusations she’s soft on crime.

SENATOR PAT LEAHY: What do you say to people who say you’re soft on crime or even anti-law enforcement? Because you accepted your duties as a public defender?

JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON: As someone who has had family members on patrol and in the line of fire, I care deeply about public safety. I know what it’s like to have loved ones who go off to protect and to serve, and the fear of not knowing whether or not they’re going to come home again.

SCOTT: She pushed back against accusations she handed down light sentences for people convicted of possessing child pornography.

JACKSON: As a mother and a judge who has had to deal with these cases, I was thinking that nothing could be further from the truth. And in every case, when I am dealing with something like this, it is important to me to make sure that the children’s perspective, the children’s voices, are represented in my sentences.

SCOTT: Republicans pressing Jackson. The first former public defender nominated to the high court, about her defense of terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay. 

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Did you ever accuse, in one of your habeas petitions, the government of acting as war criminals or holding the detainees –

JACKSON: I’m.. I’m..

GRAHAM: Holding of the detaintees by — by our government that we were acting as war criminals?

JACKSON: Senator, I don’t remember that accusation. 

SENATOR JOHN CORNYN: Why in the world would you call Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and George W. Bush war criminals in a legal filing? It seems so out of character for you.

JACKSON: Well, Senator, I don’t remember that particular reference, and I was representing my client and making arguments.

SCOTT: In the case in question, Jackson did not, in fact, call the American government “war criminals.” She wrote that the alleged “torture and other inhumane treatment” in Guantanamo Bay “constitute war crimes and/or crimes against humanity.”

SCOTT: Republican Senator Ted Cruz then grilling Jackson, the first black woman nominated to the high court, about critical race theory.

SENATOR TED CRUZ: That views every conflict as a racial conflict. Do you think that’s an accurate way of viewing society in the world we live in?

JACKSON: Senator, I don’t think so, but I’ve never studied critical race theory and I’ve never used it.

SCOTT: Cruz then reading from a children’s book called “Antiracist baby” taught at the school Jackson’s teenage daughter attends, where the judge sits on the board.

CRUZ: Do you agree with this book that is being taught with kids that babies are racist?

JACKSON: Senator — I do not believe that any child should be made to feel as though they are racist or though they are not valued or though they are less than. 

SCOTT: Cruz asking Jackson about one children’s book after another. The judge exasperated. 

JACKSON: Senator, I have not reviewed any of those books, any of those ideas. They don’t come up in my work as a judge, which I’m respectfully here to address.

SCOTT: On abortion, Jackson making her position clear.

JACKSON: Roe and Casey are the settled law of the Supreme Court concerning the right to terminate a woman’s pregnancy.

NBC Nightly News
3/22/2022
7:01:30 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Good evening, the sense of history in the room was palpable, even if the process itself followed a familiar Washington path of posturing and political opportunism, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first black woman nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court facing hours of questioning from the Senate Judiciary Committee in day two of her confirmation hearing, praised by Democrats, grilled by weary Republicans, and often resisting attempts by both sides to drag her into partisan food fights, the 51-year-old wife and mom seemed ready for what was coming, defending her judicial philosophy, stay in my lane, she described it in part, on accusations she was soft on crime including handing out lighter sentences for those guilty in child pornography cases, nothing could be further from the truth she said with a flash of emotion. And asked about abortion, Judge Jackson calling Roe V Wade settled law. 

(…)

PETER ALEXANDER: Addressing criticism that her sentences in child pornography possession cases have been too lenient.

JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON: As a mother and a judge who has had to deal with these cases, I was thinking that nothing could be further from the truth. 

ALEXANDER: Republican Ted Cruz then highlighted several cases where Jackson’s sentences were shorter than prosecutors recommended. 

SENATOR TED CRUZ: Do you believe the voice of the children is heard when 100% of the time your sentencing those in possession of child pornography to far below what the prosecutors asking for? 

JACKSON: Yes, Senator, I do, judges don’t just calculate the guidelines and stop, judges have to take into account the personal circumstances of the defendant because that’s a requirement of Congress.

(…) 

CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer
3/22/2022
5:33:36 p.m. Eastern 

SENATOR JOSH HAWLEY: Let’s keep talking about this case. You also said to this individual who is an adult, tried as an adult. 18 years old. You also said to him, besides saying that you thought his victims were his peers. You also said there’s no reason to think you are a pedophile. And then you went on to say, again that is another reason why you weren’t — you were only going to give him three months. Because you had judged that he was not a pedophile.

And then you said, and this is something I really need your help understanding. Then you apologized to him. And I just have to tell you, I can’t quite figure this out. You said to him, “this is a truly difficult situation. I appreciate that your family is in the audience. I feel so sorry for them and for you and for the anguish this has caused all of you. I feel terrible about the collateral consequences of this conviction.” And then you go on to say, “sex offenders are truly shunned in our society.”

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