Desperate Conservatives Fling Anti-Semitic Attacks at Kagan

For Immediate Release

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Jess Levin (202) 772-8162

jlevin@mediamatters.org

Desperate Conservatives Fling Anti-Semitic Attacks at Kagan

After targeting her appearance, sexuality, conservatives go after Kagan's religion

WASHINGTON - Today, Media
Matters for America
responded to MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan and
leading conservative judicial activist Manuel Miranda, both of whom
recently
commented on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's religion. Buchanan complained
that with Kagan, the Court would have too many Jews, while Miranda claimed
to
be "very familiar" with Kagan's "sort of Jewish socialist culture in New
York."

"After
failing to make a dent in Elena Kagan's sterling reputation, right-wing
media
figures have resorted to attacking her religion,"
said Ari
Rabin-Havt, Vice President for Research and
Communications at Media Matters. "It is shocking and
deeply offensive to hear them explicitly opposing
her nomination because of her faith."

Rabin-Havt
added: "Conservatives should immediately
distance themselves from this kind of criticism and focus on Kagan's
qualifications
."

BACKGROUND

As Media Matters has repeatedly noted, media
conservatives have been lobbing substance-free attacks at Kagan since
President
Obama announced her nomination. They have attacked
her
appearance
and questioned her sexuality. Now, Miranda and Buchanan
have
resorted to targeting Kagan's faith.

During a
May 12 Accuracy in Media podcast, Miranda said
[emphasis added]:

I think the real concern is, the question has to be, is
Elena Kagan still a socialist? And
the reason -- the reason I say that is because in her early writings,
in her early life, in the formation of her political sense, it is pretty
clear that
she is an American socialist. She comes from that
background. I grew up in New York, she grew up
in New York. I'm
very familiar with the sort of the Jewish socialist culture in New York,
which has an enormous
pedigree, has done wonderful things in promoting a way of life and
developing American
society, but at the end of the day is still socialist. And so there is
the question
whether Elena Kagan still has that roots.

Buchanan discussed
Kagan's nomination in his May 14 syndicated column [emphasis added]:

Indeed, of the last seven justices nominated by Democrats
JFK, LBJ, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, one was black, Marshall; one
was Puerto Rican, Sonia
Sotomayor. The other five were Jews: Arthur Goldberg, Abe Fortas, Ruth
Bader
Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan.

If Kagan is confirmed, Jews, who
represent less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, will have 33
percent of the Supreme Court seats.

Is this the Democrats' idea of
diversity?

But while leaders in the black community may be upset,
the folks who look more like the real targets of liberal bias are white
Protestants and Catholics, who still constitute well over half of the
U.S.
population.

Not in living memory has a Democratic president
nominated an Irish, Italian or Polish Catholic, though these ethnic
communities
once gave the party its greatest victories in the cities and states of
the
North.

What happened to the party of the Daleys, Rizzos and
Rostenkowskis?

And not in nearly half a century has a Democratic
president nominated a white Protestant or white Catholic man or woman.

[...]

If Kagan is confirmed, the Court will consist of three
Jews and six Catholics (who represent not quite a fourth of the
country), but
not a single Protestant, though Protestants remain half the nation and
our
founding faith.

Buchanan's
comments have been criticized by the Anti-Defamation League as "bigoted"
and by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who wrote
" It
sounds like Mr. Buchanan longs for the days when religious quotas kept
people
out of high-ranking positions in government."

For
more information on the myths and falsehoods surrounding Kagan's
nomination,
please see:

Myths and
falsehoods about Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination

###

Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

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