Deeply, deeply shallow
Every time a president sends the name of a nominee to the Supreme Court up the Hill to the Senate, we can be confident that Our Nation’s Journalism will reduce the matter to some trivial cliche.
Robert Bork was the old-school Martini Drinker. David Souter was the Yankee Bachelor. I suppose it is inevitable that we wind up with this sort of trifling to “humanize” the nominees—particularly now that they all keep their mouths shut ever since Judge Bork was injudicious enough to express what he actually thinks about the Law.
Recently we have been treated to uninformed speculation that Solicitor General Elena Kagan might like girls better than boys. Frankly, I’d just as soon not have to visualize what anyone on the Supreme Court is like in the sack. Please stop.
But over the weekend The Washington Post sounded new depths of shallowness in an article by Style columnist Robin Givhan saying that Ms. Kagan doesn’t sit like a girl: “She sat with her legs ajar.” Expanding on this observation: “In the photographs of Kagan sitting and chatting in various Capitol Hill offices, she doesn't appear to ever cross her legs. Her posture stands out because for so many women, when they sit, they cross.”
I am not making this up.
Today the Columbia Journalism Review posts photographs of Ms. Kagan with her legs crossed in quite the conventional manner. Hard to imagine that CJR has better access to photo archives than The Post.
At this point I confess to a failure of imagination. I cannot come up with a sillier way to write about a Supreme Court nominee, and a shiver passes up and down my spine as I reflect that daily newspaper journalism has carried us to a point beyond the reach of satire.