Big AP scoop: People of Praise scrubbed its website of Barrett references ... in 2017

Gee, I wonder when the Associated Press will catch up to the agenda-scrubbing at Black Lives Matter. 2023? 2025? They report today in an “analysis” that People of Praise, the group to which Judge Amy Coney Barrett belonged, removed all references to her and her husband.

Three years ago, that is …

A religious organization tied to Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, sought to erase all mentions and photos of her from its website before she meets with lawmakers and faces questions at her Senate confirmation hearings.

Barrett, a federal appeals judge, has declined to publicly discuss her decades-long affiliation with People of Praise, a charismatic Christian group that opposes abortion and holds that men are divinely ordained as the “head” of the family and faith. Former members have said the group’s leaders teach that wives must submit to the will of their husbands. A spokesman for the organization has declined to say whether the judge and her husband, Jesse M. Barrett, are members.

But an analysis by The Associated Press shows that People of Praise erased numerous records from its website during the summer of 2017 that referred to Barrett and included photos of her and her family. At the time, Barrett was on Trump’s short list for the high court seat that eventually went to Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

They also removed references to Barrett’s extended family more recently:

Last week, when Barrett again emerged as a front-runner for the court, more articles, blog posts and photos disappeared. After an AP reporter emailed the group’s spokesman Wednesday about members of Jesse Barrett’s family, his mother’s name was deleted from the primary contact for the South Bend, Indiana, branch. All issues of the organization’s magazine, “Vine and Branches,” were also removed.

Why remove them now? A spokesman offered the obvious explanation:

“Recent changes to our website were made in consultation with members and nonmembers from around the country who raised concerns about their and their families’ privacy due to heightened media attention,” Connolly said.

Gee … ya think? After watching what happened to Brett Kavanaugh and his classmates from high school and college in 2018, I’d bet that fellow members of the Barretts would prefer not to get entangled in oppo research efforts by Senate Democrats, then or now. Especially now.

At any rate, why would People of Praise remove references to the Barretts in the summer of 2017? I’d guess that they wanted to get out of the crossfire that her nomination to the Seventh Circuit produced. Barrett’s well-reported participation in the charismatic ecumenical group was a part of the context that eventually produced Dianne Feinstein’s remark, “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s a concern.” It was also used to paint her then, as now, as some sort of embodiment of the novel The Handmaid’s Tale.

Besides, this news is three years old, and it’s meaningless. Barrett got confirmed in September 2017, and has three years of appellate-court work on which people can draw their own conclusions about fitness.  Nor does it have any legitimate bearing on her confirmation process now. This is just an attempt to paint Barrett as suspicious over something she herself didn’t do, and was done over three years ago. It’s not fake news, but it is old news — and irrelevant to boot.

In case you’re wondering, a search of the Associated Press portal doesn’t produce any results for “black lives matter website” or “black lives matter agenda.” The latter seems like a fairly important omission, regardless of the scrubbing issue.