Justice Gorsuch gave an interview to Ainsley Earhardt on Fox & Friends this morning. The Justice was clearly doing the interview to promote his book which was published in September. But his decision to appear on Fox & Friends raised concern among some, including CNN’s Brian Stelter:
Justice Neil Gorsuch is on "Fox & Friends" right now. The Q: How is it appropriate for a Supreme Court justice to try to goose sales of his three-month-old book by chatting on one of the most partisan shows on TV?
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 17, 2019
Stelter’s concern about partisanship is misplaced for a couple of reasons. First, the interview with Earhardt was a pretty straight affair asking the judge about his perspective on the law. There is even a segment of the interview in which Gorsuch emphasizes that he and his fellow justices rise above partisanship in their personal relationships with one another. Secondly, Gorsuch previously appeared on CNN for the same purpose, to promote his book. You can see his interview here.
For that matter, this is hardly the first time a Supreme Court Justice has appeared on a partisan show to promote a book. In fact, Brian Stelter himself seemed pretty excited when Stephen Breyer appeared on Colbert’s show:
I just saw a tweet from you goosing another Supreme Court justice’s appararance on a partisan TV show. https://t.co/vmMlmdpKHv
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) December 17, 2019
Jay Caruso highlighted several examples of left-leaning Justices appearing on left-leaning programs.
— Jay Caruso (@JayCaruso) December 17, 2019
Justice Sotomayor appeared on David Axelrod’s CNN show last November. Did Stelter object to that? And how did he feel about the networks RBG special in which the left-wing icon was promoted as a hero? Any problem with this?
CNN: "Gorsuch going on TV is totally out of line"
Also CNN: pic.twitter.com/0igSuR0iZ6
— Caleb Hull (I'm With the CCP Don't Ban Me) (@CalebJHull) December 17, 2019
Actually, Stelter helped promote that one so I guess he wasn’t upset about it:
"RBG" premiering on TV now >>> https://t.co/SkO5l93G7n
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 4, 2018
Stelter wasn’t alone in objecting to the Gorsuch appearance. CNN contributor Susan Hennessy said it was a bad look:
When it was pointed out Gorsuch had also been on CNN she said that was somehow different:
Playboy contributor Amee Vanderpool objected to Gorsuch’s use of Republican talking points aka his use of the phrase “Merry Christmas.”
I think Gabriel Malor really summed up the reaction to this interview when he noted that none of the people objecting have said anything about the interview itself. This is just hyperventilating about Fox News:
It would be one thing if Gorsuch had gone on TV and criticized a political candidate during an election (*cough*Ginsburg*cough*).
But these journo bozos can't even point to anything Gorsuch even said that they find interesting, alarming, or noteworthy.
— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) December 17, 2019
This is media partisanship at work and confirms that Stelter is far from being a neutral observers of the media’s work. On the contrary he’s so utterly partisan that he often makes a fool of himself as he did here.
Finally, I’ll point out that Gorsuch did make some interesting points, including one about the importance of the separation of powers, in this interview. “Every country in the world has a great bill of rights these days,” Gorsuch said. He continued, “My personal favorite is North Korea’s. Yes North Korea. It promises everything we have: A right to free speech. A right to privacy. And my personal favorite especially this time of year, the right to relaxation.
“But the fact of the matter is that those rights aren’t worth the ink on the page. They’re not because all power is accumulated in one man’s hands. What Madison knew is that people are not angels and that we need to separate powers to keep us free.”
Here’s the full interview: