The unstory

What’s most impressive about the nomination of John Roberts is how the White House made it into the unstory.

I don’t see the blogs going crazy. There isn’t much to say. Atrios very briefly had a moment’s hope that Roberts had a connection to Iran-Contra. Oops. Wrong John Roberts. Nevermind.

We’re not hearing scandals or scandalous opinions from the guy. We’re not hearing any particular protest that he’s the whitest white guy they could find.

The TV pundits and blathershows and the columnists aren’t using their scarce ink and airtime to probe every Roberts angle because there aren’t any.

As I mentioned below, Kos et al were already moving on — like the good political strategists they are — to figure out how to find victory in defeat. And they’re back to hammering the Rove story.

In an absolutely bizarre post today, PowerLine defends Roberts against gay gags (because he was once caught in plaid pants).

It is the unstory.

Nonetheless, Howard Kurtz’ Reliable Sources is talking about Roberts coverage and reaction on CNN this Sunday and I’ll be on. Gee, I hope they don’t think it’s going to be so quiet that they have to invite Bernie…..

The unstory

The unstory

: What’s most impressive about the nomination of John Roberts is how the White House made it into the unstory.

I don’t see the blogs going crazy. There isn’t much to say. Atrios very briefly had a moment’s hope that Roberts had a connection to Iran-Contra. Oops. Wrong John Roberts. Nevermind.

We’re not hearing scandals or scandalous opinions from the guy. We’re not hearing any particular protest that he’s the whitest white guy they could find.

The TV pundits and blathershows and the columnists aren’t using their scarce ink and airtime to probe every Roberts angle because there aren’t any.

As I mentioned below, Kos et al were already moving on — like the good political strategists they are — to figure out how to find victory in defeat. And they’re back to hammering the Rove story.

In an absolutely bizarre post today, PowerLine defends Roberts against gay gags (because he was once caught in plaid pants).

It is the unstory.

Nonetheless, Howard Kurtz’ Reliable Sources is talking about Roberts coverage and reaction on CNN this Sunday and I’ll be on. Gee, I hope they don’t think it’s going to be so quiet that they have to invite Bernie…..

  • http://www.havecoffeewillwrite.com Jeff Hess

    Shalom Jeff,
    Yes, it’s an unstory. Perhaps that is so because people, like myself, think that there are more important stories out there right now (like Rove) and we are waiting to see what comes out of the confirmation hearings.
    B’shalom,
    Jeff Hess

  • Jim

    We haven’t heard from the Fundies yet. Although they do have a hatred for Catholics, lets wait for the Puritans to have their say. I can hear them digging, now.

  • John

    Based on the liberal-to-conservative ratio on the recently-department “Capital Gang”, at best you could only expect a 3-to-2 left-right inbalance on Howard’s CNN show, as opposed to the 5-to-1 slant Donnie allowed on his broadcast. Though they could always bring back Bernard Kalb for some windy pontification at the end of the broadcast to tilt things a litte more to the port side…

  • margaret

    I cannot believe–after the comments you have received below–that you brought up Bernard Goldberg in this post. You really don’t get it, do you?

  • John

    BTW — in a follow-up to Wednesday night’s debacle, Deutsch apparently interviewed a high-priced New York City hooker on his Thursday night show (insert your own joke here…)

  • http://whatattitudeproblem.blogs.com/home/ greg

    I guess I’m not tracking. Are you really spoiling for a fight over this guy? I guess that vacation did more for you than I thought. You’re apparently feeling pretty darn near invincible at this point, instead of merely refreshed and renewed. It must really gall you that Rove is not going to resign or be fired or go to prison, and now Roberts is going to be named [after token resistance from the usual suspects] to the SCOTUS. What in the world is this country coming to?
    On another subject, though, you were right all the way down the line on Donny Deutsch’s show. Goldberg is just an embarassment at this point to me. It’s increasingly difficult to defend the man and his attitude, despite how I may agree with some of what he has to say.
    So I guess it all evens out somewhere.

  • Charlie (Colorado)

    The question is, did you bother to read the Powerline post and the links before you announced it was bizarre? Or did you just hear about it from someone else?

  • http://farhanmemon.blogspot.com Farhan Memon

    Salaam Jeff,
    I don’t see why there necessarily has to be a fight between the democrats and the republicans over this guy. Obviously I was disappointed in his concurrance in the recent ruling upholding Bush’s Guantanamo policy, but if this guy is decent and honest just because he is a Conservative doesn’t disqualify him per se.
    As much as I hate to say it, Bush won the election and that gives him the right to pick his nominee. It also gives the minority the right to scrutinize the nominee but if there are no faults with him, he ought to be confirmed. At least that’s where I stand now.
    FM

  • Mike G

    I hear there’s a picture of Bush in lime green polyester bellbottoms. WHY HAS THE MEDIA KEPT THE TRUTH FROM US!

  • kl

    Yeah, now the Kos line is that the Roberts nomination is intended to draw the press away from Rove, but dumb ol’ George Bush didn’t count on the fact that most news organizations have more than one reporter. Keep hope alive, Kos!

  • MIke G

    Jesus, go read the Washington Post today on how Roberts and family looked like Necco wafers in their dress clothes. Appaerntly there is nothing so bizarre and ominous in America as dressing up traditionally when you’re at the frickin’ White House. (And yet the same article rags on the volleyball girls for wearing flipflops. Apparently there’s a very narrow range of dress casual which is now permissible, according to the fashion police.)
    And I’d like to know what foodstuffs previous nominees have been compared to. “Looking like a row of Oreo cookies in their tray, Clarence Thomas and his wife…” “Looking like a small, gnarled poppyseed bagel, Ruth Bader Ginsburg…”

  • Mumblix Grumph

    Kos has made me see the light. Because of the Rove deal. I swear that I will NEVER vote a third term for George Bush.

  • Right of Center

    uhm, just for the record, did you actually read the posts you mention?
    Just want to make sure…

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Oh for God’s sake…. IT’S A JOKE, PEOPLE!… I guess Berniacs are just as humorless as their god, Bernie. Lighten up, folks!
    And Charlie: I went to PowerLine all by my little old self and read and clicked without any outside agents’ help. Your point?

  • Right of Center

    I am not a “Berniac”. I have never read any of his books, and know almost nothing about him at all. But I recently learned I don’t need all that rubish and time wasting nonesense. I just need a book title or two and then *I* decide what he is all about and “defend” his points to the last!

  • http://www.beatcanvas.com Brett

    How did the White House make it an unstory? What’s the big deal – Bush picked a guy impeccably qualified, well-recommended, and scandal-free. He picked a good candidate… that makes it an unstory? You were hoping for a more Jerry Springer-esque candidate? Is that what makes for a story?

  • JimN

    I think there are two reasons it’s a “non-story”, at least for now. First, Roberts doesn’t have much of a paper trail. Second, there’s a realization among (at least some of) the Democrats that knee-jerk obstuctionism just looks bad to the voters, except for the hard-core base.
    It won’t be a rubber-stamp process. You’ll see some stalling on procedural matters by the Democrats to buy time to dig something up, and anything they find will be played to the hilt. But unless something particularly damaging turns up, there won’t be a fillibuster.
    It would be either really naive or transparently cynical to enter into an agreement not to fillibuster Bush’s judicial nominees without accepting as a given that a conservative Republican president’s judicial nominees will be at least somewhat conservative. Without something specific and pretty damning, it would be hard for the Democratic members of the “gang of fourteen” to claim “extraordinary circumstances” without looking like cynical partisan hacks.
    The Democrats aren’t being passive, just smart.

  • Right of Center

    “The Democrats aren’t being passive, just smart.”
    …for now. I don’t think NOW or NARAL will let them continue. Which odly, will be good for the GOP. Nothing would help Bush nominate another Bork than for the Dems to go for Robert’s throat.
    I found it interesting while reading the NY Sun today (I read more than just the headline) that the paper (of all papers) seemed to be providing some ammo for abortion proponents against Roberts.

  • http://whatattitudeproblem.blogs.com/home/ greg

    Methinks Jeff is a little thin-skinned after getting keelhauled in that earlier post. Cheer up, Jeff. For better or worse, our nation — including the vaunted blogosphere — has the collective attention span of a seven-week-old puppy. For reasons I won’t go into here and now, I know this to be true.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com Jersey Exile

    I don’t think NOW or NARAL will let them continue.
    I think the Dems would rather have Karl Rove’s head than block a mostly harmless nominee to the Supreme Court. Bush may have made a critical error in offering up someone as inoffensive as Roberts for the post, because the only alarm bells he’s setting off are among the uberleftistas, whom the Dems can more or less afford to ignore (because who else are they going to vote for?).
    Should be interesting to see how this one plays out…

  • Right of Center

    How gratifying to think of NOW or NARAL as the “uberleftistas”, untrue but a nice thought.

  • Ryan

    Who knew Bernie “Capt. Insano” Goldberg had so many devotees?
    But then again, I see the same thing on the left.
    When the red meat throwers are attacked for throwing red meat, the jackals don’t like the interuption to their food supply.

  • Charlie (Colorado)

    Jeff, my point would be two-fold:
    (1) you’ve made it clear you don’t have any trouble criticizing someone’s “ideas” without finding out what they are, so I wondered if your opinion of Powerline was any better informed than your opinion of “100 People”; and,
    (2) the whole of the “bizarre” Powerline post was a link to Charmaine Yost, who linked a bunch of other people making some really vague inferences to sugegst that the NYT is hinting Roberts is gay; Powerline then says that’s a “contemptible” way to attack him.
    From this, we deduce apparently that you think it’s “bizarre” to suggest that it’s contemptible to fag-bash John Roberts.
    On the other hand, I think I can claim to know you well enough from your writing to believe that you would think it contemptible to fag-bash anyone, gay or straight.
    From this we must infer either that you didn’t read what Powerline said, or that both do and don’t believe it’s contempible to fag-bash someone, which to be frank seems a helluva lot more bizarre than anything Powerline said in their post.

  • http://www.jason-preston.com Jason Preston

    I know it’s been said in here, but I’d like to reiterate the point that Roberts was supposed to be a move away from Rove, and it’s worked well enough in that (as far as mainstream media coverage goes) – I’ve seen less Rove on the front page.
    This is a good little post about the transition and why, with congress out of session for 5 weeks, Roberts is a non-issue at the moment.

  • kl

    “I know it’s been said in here, but I’d like to reiterate the point that Roberts was supposed to be a move away from Rove, and it’s worked well enough in that (as far as mainstream media coverage goes) – I’ve seen less Rove on the front page.”
    There might be another reason for that, but then, I’m a fascist.

  • JimN

    Bush may have made a critical error in offering up someone as inoffensive as Roberts…
    I know we’re all supposed to be cynical here, but at the risk of throwing out a batshit-crazy, outside-the-box theory: what if this has nothing to do with Karl Rove? What if Bush just figured that Roberts would be a)a good justice (by Bush’s standards), and b)hard for the Dems to portray as Lord Voldemort without making fools of themselves?
    As for the timing, Bush had to submit a nomination sometime. It’s late July, the court session starts in early October, and the Democrats can be counted on to stall at least a bit in hope of digging something up. If Bush had waited until the press finished chewing on the Karl Rove bone, he’d be running a risk that Roberts might not be confirmed in time to start the next session.
    I’m just sayin’…

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    A little oversensitive, Charlie? I’m just saying the discussion about plaid pants is bizarre and it is. Pop open a beer, fella. Kick back. Relax. Everything in life is not an attack, unless you make it one.

  • Right of Center

    At least Charlie read and understood your point prior to taking you to task for it. His version of “it’s a little hard to take” referred to more than what could be *assumed* from the post title.
    (why, do I suddenly feel like I am talking to Dell?)

  • margaret

    “A little oversensitive, Charlie? I’m just saying the discussion about plaid pants is bizarre and it is. Pop open a beer, fella. Kick back. Relax. Everything in life is not an attack, unless you make it one. ”
    “why, do I suddenly feel like I am talking to Dell?”
    That would be, sad to say, because you are.