Ginsberg's Death Exposes Washington Post's Hypocrisy, and NY Gov. Cuomo's Double-Standards

P. Gardner Goldsmith | September 21, 2020

This first act of the tragic media-politician political play to gain leverage from the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg lends great credence to the adage, “If they didn’t have double-standards, they’d have no standards at all.”

Cases in point: the Washington Post and Democrat New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

A pause, here, to let you recover from this reality-challenging surprise.

But, indeed, 'tis true! In a well-timed, well-researched tweet, Newsbusters' Scott Whitlock found and published side-by-side comparisons of how the Washington Post presented its report on the 2016 death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and how it presented its report on the death of Justice Ginsberg.

And, guess what? They painted Scalia as a divisive, controversial figure, and painted Ginsberg as a heroine.

The Post’s Scalia headline from Feb 14, 2016 bellowed, "Supreme Court conservative dismayed liberals."

The Post’s Ginsberg headline from September 19, 2020 sang, "A pioneer devoted to liberty."

Which not only exposes an incredible difference in the Post editors’ treatment of the two, it exposes their profound misunderstanding of the word “liberty.”

Scalia, a Reagan appointee, generally trended in his opinions towards a pro-federalist, limited-government, Natural Rights, Lockean, “Originalist” view of the strictly enumerated powers the feds created for themselves when they wrote the US Constitution and its amendment process. Certainly, many liberty-minded people might argue that he could have gone further, especially where the issue of Habeas Corpus hearings was concerned and when he undercut the right to keep and bear arms in the 2007-2008 “Heller” case, but, next to Clarence Thomas, Scalia was viewed as an “Originalist” who hewed closer to what the Founders designed, and that design hewed towards limited powers for the feds and limitations on the states through many of the Amendments.

Ginsberg, a Clinton appointee, generally approached cases with a “creative” approach to both the enumerated powers the Founders placed in the rules of the US, and a “living document/interpretive” attitude towards its wording – which undercuts the work the Founders put into choosing the words, and makes irrelevant the amendment process they wrote into the document. After all, why bother having an amendment process to change the wording of the “rules” when one can “interpret” new meanings from the words already extant in it?

This also meant that Ginsberg tended to hew more towards the expansion of the federal bureaucracy and regulatory state save for areas such as privacy. She extended this trend towards supporting “privacy” to include matters of life and death – specifically centering on state bans or restrictions on various forms of abortion. And that overreaching lack of recognition for the Fourteenth Amendment requirement of “equal protection under the law” often saw her excoriated by conservatives for not consistently understanding life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all human life.

NewsBusters’ Scott Whitlock noticed the Post’s double-standard right away, and published a piece mere moments after the leftist “newspaper” published its gushing anti-journalism in praise of Justice Ginsberg.

In fact, he noted in his piece that Post writers Robert Barnes and Michael A. Fletcher called Ginsberg “controversial” just once in their coverage of her passing. But if one reads Barnes’ 2015 piece on Scalia, one sees that the image of him as a combative and argumentative man of controversy is woven throughout.

For example:

It is hard to overstate Justice Scalia’s effect on the modern court. Upon his arrival, staid oral arguments before the justices became jousting matches, with Justice Scalia aggressively questioning counsel with whom he disagreed, challenging his colleagues and often dominating the sessions.


Justice Scalia was just as ready for combat outside the court. He relished debating his critics at law schools and in public appearances, although he sometimes displayed a thin skin.

Of course, this could, very well, be spot-on. Scalia did engage people in debate, and he challenged people. Whether one believes he had a thin skin, while Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s personality was such that she got along with people more easily? Well, that’s hard to tell unless one knew them better than most of us who have been affected by their decisions.

But just that observation ought to indicate something.

Perhaps it indicates that the government has too much power, that we’re affected by the decisions of these folks, and we can’t voluntarily withhold our money to stop paying them to control us.

Of course, these aren’t matters the Post often discusses. And, as one can see in Whitlock’s tweet, the Post not only offered an atonal, sour headline about Scalia and a flowery headline about Ginsberg, the leftist standard-bearer also devoted only half a page to the obit story on Scalia, while it devoted an entire page to its laudatory piece on Justice Ginsberg.

Even the photo sizes were different, with Scalia’s picture, taken from a news event, smaller than the photo of Ginsberg, which looks like a posed, well-lit portfolio picture.

Perhaps this sounds petty to a leftist who loved Ginsberg and disliked Scalia, but these are clear differences displayed by a so-called “newspaper,” not a blog site. This is supposed to be “objective reporting,” and, again, it shows us that no one can be objective.

But at least leftists could try to be fair and not look like hypocrites. Sadly, like the Post, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo could stand to work on this problem, as well.

On September 19, The Grio’s Emeka Dibia reported that Cuomo announced his plan to spend taxpayer cash on a statue of Ginsberg to be erected in her birth-city of Brooklyn.

This is a man who, on June 23, offered praise for people destroying statuary, claiming it was “healthy expression.” This is a man who, on June 22, joined NY City Mayor Bill DeBlasio to support the idea of the tax-subsidized NY Museum of Natural History removing the statue of President Theodore Roosevelt that’s stood since 1940 outside its Central Park, West, entrance.

Personally, I think Teddy Roosevelt was a criminally dangerous enemy of liberty, and I don’t like the idea of tax money being taken in the first place, not to mention it being used on statuary that many people might find horrifically offensive and yet would be forced to support it.

But that’s the difference between someone who believes in liberty and Andrew Cuomo. He doesn’t seem to care about the earnings or opinions of others. He doesn’t even seem to care about their individuality.

In his press release covering his Ginsberg statue plan, he even had the gall to use phraseology like, "she was a monumental figure" -- how apt and obvious to connect it to the creation of a tax-funded and erected statue on tax-funded land.

Indeed, Cuomo offered no indication that this would be privately funded or located on private lands. And he added the final insult by saying "we all can agree" that she deserves this honor. Classic collectivism. You, dear New York reader, actually aren't allowed to agree or disagree, you're told what will be done and then forcibly included in the "we".

And this coming at a time when leftist rioters and leftist politicians are TEARING DOWN STATUES.


Cuomo is a master gas-lighter on a grand scale. If the average person speaks up about this, he's prepared to attack them, which might be a large reason behind why he's doing it.

Here’s the bottom line. Ruth Bader Ginsberg the human being courageously fought against cancer. She for her life.

She also spent 27 years on the Supreme Court – living on taxpayer payments even as she held power over other core aspects of taxpayer freedom. The idea that Cuomo will extract taxpayer cash to build a monument to her is a continuation of the injustice done to taxpayers.

How about a novel concept? How about leaving people alone to decide what to do with their lives, and not force them to pay for a statue to be erected in honor of a woman whose legacy is so controversial – even if the Washington Post doesn’t bother acknowledging that fact?