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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  June 12, 2009
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Topic category:  Government/Politics

Stuart Taylor: White Male Hack?

Tom Goldstein: "For what it's worth, as someone who has written things about Judge Sotomayor that are either neutral (summarizing her opinions) or favorable (rebutting the charge of racism), I've had the chance to have several exchanges with Stuart about her. My impression is that Stuart has had concerns, but that he has been focused on important points and quite thoughtful."

Is Stuart Taylor a white male hack?

The white male part is undisputed, but those saying he's a hack are wicked and/or whack.

BEWARE: If you are not supporting the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the next United States Supreme Court Justice (and Taylor is currently undecided and awaiting the confirmation hearing), "Unapologetic Feminist" and MSNBC hit man Keith Olbermann may target you.

Taylor was.

"Unapologetic Feminist," in "Stuart Taylor is an Idiot" (May 24, 2009), declared Taylor "Poster Boy for White Male Privilege" (big news to Taylor's wife and two daughters) and declaimed against "the intense hatred that Stuart Taylor (lawyer and leader of white men everywhere) is dishing out to Sonia Sotomayor."

"Unapologetic Feminist" quoted from a deplorable diatribe as follows:

"The crusade for colorblindness has gained momentum in the media scrutiny of Sonia Sotomayor, a reported front-runner for the Supreme Court, and a self-proclaimed Newyorkrican.

"Amidst tense disputes over Sotomayor’s qualifications and ideological leanings, Stuart Taylor’s latest National Journal column cautions that Sotomayor would embrace a dangerous form of 'identity politics' that subordinates true merit to political correctness.

"Taylor finds this unnerving, arguing, 'her basic proposition seems to be that white males (with some exceptions, she noted) are inferior to all other groups in the qualities that make for a good jurist.'

"Stuart Taylor goes on to say:

It follows that the Supreme Court might well be a wiser body — other things being equal — if the next justice is a Hispanic woman of outstanding judgment and capability. But do we want a new justice who comes close to stereotyping white males as (on average) inferior beings? And who seems to speak with more passion about her ethnicity and gender than about the ideal of impartiality?

"This Stuart Taylor guy is a real piece of work. He will defend his white male privilege to the end and he is ruthless. The sexist, racist words that Taylor throws around are so obvious. Whenever a white male attacks the 'capability' of a candidate who is clearly capable, like Sotomayor, it is obvious sexism and racism. The real truth is that white male candidates are much more likely to be sub-par and unqualified, as they have risen to the top, not based upon their merit, but thanks to their whiteness and their maleness. However, when a white male candidate is considered, his capability is assumed.

"I really want Obama to pick a female justice of color to ensure that America is getting the best and most qualified person for the job. We have overpicked the pool of white males for powerful positions in this country to the point that we are down to the bottom of the barrel. I don’t want to settle for mediocre white men when I can get a brilliant Latina."

Taylor--attorney, columnist for the National Journal and contributing editor for Newsweek--writes about legal, policy and political issues. A graduate of Princeton College and Harvard Law School (where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, Taylor practiced law for a few years and then covered legal affairs and the Supreme Court for eight years for The New York Times (when it still had some claim to respectability). He is co-author of Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and The Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by The New York Times for his Supreme Court coverage and for a National Magazine Award by the National Journal for his columns on the Duke case.

Solidly independent and tenaciously centrist (but always wrong when he disagrees with me), Taylor impressed me (and many more) by incurring the wrath of the Far Left by criticizing former President Bill Clinton for his misconduct, refusing to demonize former Independent Counsel Ken Starr, supporting the confirmation of Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., exposing the evil of political correctness as applied to the ludicrous gang rape claim of Crystal Gail Mangum eagerly embraced by The New York Times and much of the liberal media establishment and the administration and many faculty members of Duke University, and opposing racial preferences and judicial activism (by both liberals and conservatives).

"Worse," perhaps, to the Far Left, Taylor lamented dishonest newspaper reporting before the election last year.

As I wrote in a September 24, 2008 article titled "Stuart Taylor Wants An Honest Newspaper!":

"Like Diogenes looking for an honest man, Stuart Taylor is seeking an honest newspaper covering the current presidential race.

"Good luck!

"The title of Taylor’s latest article in non-partisan National Journal is candid, correct, commendable, courageous and compelling: 'The media can no longer be trusted to provide accurate and fair campaign reporting and analysis.'

"I think it has been some time since 'media' could be 'trusted to provide accurate and fair campaign reporting and analysis,' but the campaign reporting and analysis of 'media' with respect to the 2008 presidential campaign plumbed new depths of inaccuracy and unfairness.

"A comparison of the media treatment of the two rookies, United States Senator Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. of Illinois, who is part black, and Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, who is all woman, shows blatant bias in favor of Obama and against Palin.

"Note: Taylor is NOT a Palinite.

"Taylor: 'I was deeply dismayed by the 72-year-old McCain's reckless choice of the inexperienced and untested Palin to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. But I am also deeply skeptical when I see front-page headlines like "As Mayor of Wasilla, Palin Cut Own Duties, Left Trail of Bad Blood" (Washington Post, September 14), or "Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes" (New York Times, same day). Such loaded language is a badge not of a newsroom committed to impartial investigation but of an ideological echo chamber.'

"Deep dismay notwithstanding, Taylor fully acknowledged 'a double standard driven by liberal bias at most major news organizations.'"

Note to "Unapologetic Feminist": Taylor not only did not provide sexist criticism of Palin (a white feamle), but defended Palin against scurrilous ideology-driven attacks.

Not content to leave castigation of Taylor to "Unapologetic Female," MSNBC's shrill shill Keith Olbermann included Taylor in his Worse, Worser and Worst Person in the World contest and added insult to (very slight) injury by making Taylor runner up.

In a June 4, 2009 commentary titled "Olbermann's Mosquito Bites," Taylor promptly acknowledged Olbermann's attack.

Taylor's title obviously implies that Olbermann is a mosquito and his bites are mere nuisances, but malaria is an infectious disease that is transmitted through mosquito bites and malaria is dangerous.

Taylor:

"I hear that Keith Olbermann declared on MSNBC Tuesday evening that I am 'runner-up' for his 'hypocrisy award' and also 'a fraud.'

"In case anyone takes Olbermann seriously, I identify below the false and misleading assertions of fact that he packed into his 60-second diatribe.

• Olbermann claimed that I characterized Sonia Sotomayor's 1974 letter to the editor accusing Princeton University of discrimination as a 'decisive' reason to oppose her nomination.

False. I wrote nothing close to that, and I do not see Sotomayor's letter as disqualifying. I have consistently indicated that debate about this nomination should focus mostly on her judicial decisions and speeches, which I have analyzed at length. My only critical comment in my brief post about her 1974 letter was that 'some may see [it] as evidence that she was predisposed to look for the worst, not the best, in the institution that had afforded her such opportunities.'

Olbermann quoted that sentence, but then falsely implied that I had been far more damning -- while omitting my statement in the preceding paragraph that others may see her success at Princeton as proof of her brilliance in overcoming the discrimination of which she complained.

• Olbermann claimed that Sotomayor's 1974 letter was 'milquetoast and accurate' in complaining 'about the lack of opportunities for Hispanics at her school.'

False again. 'Milquetoast?' Sotomayor's language -- which Olbermann carefully avoided quoting -- made Princeton sound a bit like a genocidal dictatorship. She accused the school of 'institutional discrimination,' of 'total absence of regard, concern and respect for an entire people and their culture,' and of 'an attempt -- a successful attempt so far -- to relegate an important cultural sector of the population to oblivion.'

'Accurate?' Sotomayor did not cite a single example of discrimination by anyone against a single Hispanic student. Nor did she cite a single specific opportunity that had been denied to any Hispanic student. Her entire complaint was that Princeton had no Puerto Rican or Chicano administrator or faculty member; had fewer students of those ethnicities than Sotomayor wanted; and had no 'permanent' course dealing 'in any notable detail' with the Puerto Rican or Chicano culture.

• Olbermann claimed that in 2006 I characterized then-Judge Samuel Alito's legal memos of two decades before as 'too distant and irrelevant to matter' in the debate over his nomination.

Highly misleading. I never said or implied that Alito's old legal memos did not matter. I did write (as quoted elsewhere in Olbermann's rant) that Alito's critics had 'ignored much evidence that his 15 years of steady, scholarly, precedent-respecting work as a judge tell us more about him than a handful of widely (and misleadingly) publicized memos that he wrote more than 20 years ago.' I also showed that Alito's memos (unlike Sotomayor's 1974 letter) had been both widely publicized and grossly distorted by (among others) The Washington Post and The New York Times.

•Olbermann concocted his 'hypocrisy' and 'fraud' charges by juxtaposing his misrepresentation of what I wrote about Sotomayor with his misrepresentation of what I wrote about Alito.

Dishonest. My approach to analyzing both nominees has been the same: Old letters and memos are of some relevance but should not be distorted, and actions as a judge are much more relevant.

"In smearing me as unfair to Judge Sotomayor, Olbermann ignored the fact that on the day she was nominated I praised her intellect and accomplishments (while expressing some concerns) on his own network (MSNBC), BBC, the 'Charlie Rose' show, and 'The Diane Rehm Show.'"

The truth is not an impediment to an Olbermann smear, so don't expect context from him!

Many responses to the Taylor commentary posted at the National Journal website are a delight.

jo: "Olbermann is a lying, gutless coward and the biggest hack in the history of television."

Joan: "I wouldn't be overly concerned about Oblermann. When a jackass brays and no one is watching or listening, does it make a sound?"

Tom Goldstein: "For what it's worth, as someone who has written things about Judge Sotomayor that are either neutral (summarizing her opinions) or favorable (rebutting the charge of racism), I've had the chance to have several exchanges with Stuart about her. My impression is that Stuart has had concerns, but that he has been focused on important points and quite thoughtful."

Pat Furlong: "If a cable host makes outrages and malicious statements - but no one watching - did it really happen or do we even care?

Turoldus: It is good to reflect that Ogre Man's epitaph will read: 'Too Dumb for ESPN.'"

Charlie Weinstock: "While I appreciate your frustration with the sports guy, I really do think the only person happy about this exchange today is Olbermann himself. At least somebody is paying attention to something he said. In my opinion, somewhat akin to Joan's earlier, the longer you go without watering these hothouse tomatoes, the sooner they'll dry up and blow away."

Thomas S.: "Thank you, thank you, thank you for your response to Keith Olbermann's mischaracteriztion of your commentary. As a regular viewer of his program, he often spends much of his hour on air disparaging people including writers as yourself and even ordinary citizens (who may make it into the news thanks to YouTube). Few if any of the people he attacks ever respond to him by calling him out. I commend you for what you have done here. Please keep up the good work!"

Mark M.: "The notion that Stuart Taylor is a hack conveys the terminal silliness of partisan politics in America. Nuts on the left and whackos on the right. Thank you Mr. Taylor, for your moderate, enlightened and perceptive judicial commentary."

But a writer at Media Matters for America seems to have found Olbermann inspiring.

"Stuart Taylor continues his hacktacular Sotomayor coverage

"June 08, 2009 2:09 pm ET by Eric Boehlert

"His disdain for the female, Hispanic nominee continues to seep out, even though the serious Beltway press considers Taylor to be a beacon of legal reporting.

"The latest smear: Taylor claims that in a 35-year-old letter that Sotomayor wrote to her college newspapers (this is the type of trivia Taylor focuses on for her 2009 confirmation), the nominee described Princeton University as 'a genocidal dictatorship.'

"Those nutty words, of course, aren't Sotomayor's, but are Taylor's, who's flummoxed that anyone who attended the Ivy League school could possibly ever critique it, let alone a minority woman just a few years after Princeton opened its doors to co-eds. Taylor's annoyed that Sotomayor raised objections three-and-a-half decades ago about how Princeton dealt with (or didn't deal with) its Puerto Rican student population.

"Shorter Taylor: Ungrateful!

"But here's a sampling of the language Sotomayor used in her 1974 letter. Read it and keep in mind that Taylor claimed she practically compared Princeton to a 'genocidal dictatorship':

It has been said that the universities of America are the vanguard of societal ideas and changes. Princeton University claims to foster the intellectual diversity, spirit, and thoughts that are necessary components in order to achieve this ideal. Yet words are transitory; it is the practice of the ideas you espouse that affect society and are permanent. Thus it is only when Princeton fulfills the goal of being a truly representative community that it can attempt to instill in society a respect for all people — regardless of race, color, sex or national origin.

"Like we said, Taylor is just hacktacular."

The Far Left's new term of endearment for Taylor appears to be "hack."

"Stuart Taylor Goes Through The Looking Glass," posted by "hilzoy" on June 8, 2009:

"In his column this week (h/t), Stuart Taylor argues that most Americans want racial preferences abolished, and 71% want the Ricci decision overturned. (That's the case in which New Haven threw out a test for promotions when all but one of the candidates who passed were white.)

" * * *

"In all seriousness: I can't believe that Stuart Taylor wrote this article with a straight face....

"It's hackery, pure and simple.

In that article, titled "Race: Sotomayor And Obama Versus Voters" (June 6, 2009), Taylor had written something very troubling to "hilzoy":

"Conservative critics of Judge Sonia Sotomayor may be digging themselves into a hole if they keep hurling the tired old 'liberal activist' slogan at her. The reason is that her supporters can plausibly retort that these days, the Supreme Court's conservatives are as activist as the liberals, especially on racial issues.

"But conservatives and like-minded centrists can win the political debate if they focus not on buzzwords but on in-depth, civil discourse about the very big issue on which Sotomayor and her liberal supporters are most at odds -- and the conservative justices most in tune -- with the vast majority of Americans.

"That issue is racially preferential affirmative action. By this, I mean the many forms of supposedly benign discrimination against whites and Asians that have been engineered over the past 45 years to advance blacks and Hispanics in the workforce, in college admissions, and in government contracting.

" * * *

"None of this is to suggest that [Judge Sonia Sotomayor]'s racially preferential actions put her outside the liberal Democratic mainstream. Quite the contrary. Most liberals are addicted to racial preferences and identity politics.

"But this puts liberal Democrats very far out of sync with the overwhelming majority of Americans, including us centrists. President Obama made noises during the campaign that seemed to suggest he understood this. But the Sotomayor nomination -- for all her inspiring accomplishments, powerful intellect, and devotion to the underprivileged -- looks like a strong Obama endorsement of the racial preferences and identity politics that she has supported."

Having followed Taylor since the last millenium (and warned him last fall that Obama did not deserve his support and would not govern as a centrist), I find the charge that Taylor is a hack absurd and comtemptible and applaud his intellectual integrity and educability as the Age of Obama proceeds and simple civility recedes.

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is gaynormike@aol.com.


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