HuffPost presents highly partisan source as neutral ‘constitutional law scholar’
July 18, 2022
HuffPost misleads us by emphasizing the academic legal qualifications of someone who is simply offering tactical political advice. It’s not the advice that is wrong, and it’s not the person offering it either — it’s HuffPost’s description of the source it uses.
HuffPost says that its information comes from Alan B. Morrison, “a constitutional law professor and associate dean at George Washington University Law School,” and refers to him repeatedly as a “constitutional law scholar.” Those things are true.
But an important and informed person giving a straight view perhaps? Not really.
The actual advice is that the Democratic Party should sue to have ex-President Trump banned from running again under the 14th Amendment. This is politically partisan advice, this is not impartial legal advice at all. It’s about the tactics to stop former President Donald Trump from winning again – the great Democratic fear being that if he does run he will win again. Well, maybe.
We do want to make clear that we’ve no problem at all with Morrison writing a column giving such advice. It is, after all, a free country. It’s entirely true that Morrison holds those positions. That his daughter has just been appointed a Federal Judge by the Biden admin is a source of pride – she was brought up right and has made something of herself. But that is a possible indication of the way the political winds blow at home.
Even that Morrison is politically partisan isn’t a problem. We’ve been known to confess to such sins ourselves. It’s how HuffPost describes him and his views that is.
HuffPost was specifically set up to be a progressive alternative to the conservative media of its founding day. It’s now part of the BuzzFeed empire and ranks at No. 26 for news and media publishers. It gains some 60 million visits a month from that position.
“A constitutional law scholar and associate dean said Trump should be barred from standing” and “Progressive lawyer with Biden administration links said Trump should be barred from standing” are, in this case, the same statement. Both are highly biased although in different ways.