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August 18, 2005
Tim Scheiderer at (703) 683-5004, ext. 126

Associated Press’ Hatchet Job:
Roberts’ Hometown was Exclusively White;
Therefore His Values are Skewed


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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In an amazing leap of illogic and an exercise in poor journalism, AP writers Tom Coyne and Ashley Heher brand Supreme Court nominee John Roberts a possible racist because he grew up in a town that banned the sale of homes to blacks and Jews.

“[T]he exclusive lakefront community where Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. grew up during the racially turbulent 1960s and '70s once banned the sale of homes to nonwhites and Jews. Just three miles from the nearly all-white community of Long Beach, two days of looting and vandalism erupted when Roberts was 15, barely intruding on the Mayberry-like community that was largely insulated from the racial strife of that era..” —Associated Press, 8/17/05

“The AP is pulling a sly trick on the American public. The writers are not bold enough to say Roberts was influenced by his hometown’s laws -- but it's certainly implied. They paint such a picture of exclusion and discrimination by his hometown that it marks Roberts as guilty by association,” said Media Research Center President Brent Bozell. “Clearly, some media will do anything to help defeat Roberts – as they tried with Clarence Thomas – and this vicious smear is aimed at a John Roberts who was all of 15 years old. Is this what the AP is reduced to? ”

The article goes to great lengths to explain why Roberts’ hometown was an inappropriate place for a future Supreme Court justice to be raised by quoting a Long Beach resident who said, “what they didn’t like, they’d restrict.” Guilt by association can be seen by AP’s mentioning, “the Roberts property did not include a racially restrictive covenant, according to LaPorte County deed records, and the restrictions had begun fading away by then.”

“What does this have to do with whether John Roberts is suited to serve on the Supreme Court today?” asked Bozell. “The AP’s sleazy and insipid bias is obvious. What will they do next? Report that one of his neighbors used a racial epithet when Roberts was 5 years old?” concluded Bozell.

To schedule an interview with MRC President Brent Bozell or another MRC spokesperson, please contact Tim Scheiderer at 703.683.5004 x. 126.

To sound off on this topic, visit NewsBusters.org


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