Day in Brief Transcript 7/10/18


Depending on where you stand politically, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, is either a reactionary ideologue or the best thing since sliced bread.


Kavanaugh began making his case to senators on Tuesday. What’s clear is that there will be a bruising confirmation battle that may focus as much on Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy as on his years as a Republican operative.


Barring some unforeseen developments, Kavanaugh is likely to be confirmed in a close vote and the country will be as divided as it was before he was nominated.


The President is bouncing from the Supreme Court debate, to the debate over relations with NATO and Vladimir Putin. Trump arrived in Brussels after repeatedly attacking most countries in the North Atlantic multiple defense pact for not living up to their defense spending obligations. The NATO summit begins Wednesday. The head of the EU Council is already warning Trump to appreciate his allies.


Trump will then head to England, where he’s not likely to get a warm reception either, before meeting with Putin on Sunday in Helsinki. Trump says that summit will be the easiest of his meetings. It’s a topsy-turvy world, when meetings with Russia are easier than meetings with France and England.


For days, the world anxiously watched the heroic attempt to rescue the Thai soccer team from the depths of a flooded cave. Today, thanks to a massive international effort, the last handful made it out safely. Their rescue teaches an important lesson that the whole world can come together with a single goal. If only world leaders would learn that lesson…


Now, our alternate universes segment, the great divide between liberal and conservative media. If you’d watched the giddy coverage of Kavanaugh on Fox last night, you might have been surprised that they didn’t pop champagne. Contrast that with the incessant lamenting on MSNBC, which almost demanded a funeral dirge as background music.


But we’ve come to expect that from both of them.


Worse was that before Trump announced his nomination of Kavanaugh, ABC teased: “Tonight on Nightline, Terry Moran reports on the controversial Supreme Court Justice pick.”


You could make the argument, in this highly-polarized environment, that any choice Trump made would be controversial. But, ABC still portrays itself as an objective news source, not a Fox or MSNBC. So it should not deem a choice controversial, before knowing what it was.  Maybe it was sloppy writing or they just didn’t care.


The reality is that the national media is increasingly invested in controversy, seeking to find any conflict to highlight or even create. It’s outrage TV, and it’s a great disservice to the media’s public trust.


Finally, Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and the head of the Federal Reserve, Jay Powell, all went to high school at Georgetown Prep in Bethesda, Maryland. I went to day camp there. Clearly, I didn’t catch whatever was in the air.


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