PRO PUBLICA USED TO PRETEND TO BE NEUTRAL, BUT THEY’RE LETTING THEIR PARTISAN SHILL FLAG FLY FREELY NOWADAYS: ProPublica Buries Its Clarence Thomas News: The outlet’s latest hit piece unwittingly debunks its own political narrative about the Supreme Court justice.
Justice Clarence Thomas has been attending private events with fierce critics of Donald Trump. That’s the only real news in the latest hit piece from ProPublica, which describes itself “an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force.” But you have to read between the lines to find it.
The outlet obtained a photograph of Justice Thomas with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns. It said Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, was at an event Justice Thomas attended. It presents photographic evidence of that too, though it doesn’t note Mr. Bloomberg’s presence in the caption. And it said Justice Thomas had attended a 2018 event of Stand Together, a network founded by libertarian businessman Charles Koch.
What ProPublica doesn’t say in its 4,500-word piece is that Mr. Burns has described Mr. Trump as “Hitleresque” and “the greatest threat to American democracy since the Second World War.” It doesn’t say that Mr. Bloomberg has called Mr. Trump a “carnival barking clown” and sought the nomination to challenge him in 2020. It doesn’t say that the Koch network is reportedly spending tens of millions to defeat Mr. Trump in 2024.
Why leave all that out? Because ProPublica wants you to think Justice Thomas is in the tank for Mr. Trump. In April it complained: “Thomas’ approach to ethics has already attracted public attention. Last year, Thomas didn’t recuse himself from cases that touched on the involvement of his wife, Ginni, in efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.”
The site misleads its readers by omitting the anti-Trump material from its latest attack on Justice Thomas. Mr. Burns is identified as someone “whose films Koch has financially supported.” The Koch network is described as having “spent over $65 million supporting Republican candidates in the last election cycle.” The piece omits Mr. Bloomberg’s liberal views on the environment but mentions that at California’s Bohemian Grove with him and Justice Thomas was the author Bjorn Lomborg, who “has for years argued the threat of global warming is overstated.”
What ProPublica has disclosed isn’t an abuse of power but a set of facts that, when interpreted without cherry-picking, portray a justice moving in a politically heterodox circle.
Well, to be fair, that’s something that the folks at ProPublica probably can’t imagine.