When Donald Trump nominated right-wing Kentucky lawyer John Bush for a federal appeals court seat, Bush was forced to come clean about his blogging alias, “G. Morris,” which he used on his wife’s blog, “Elephants in the Bluegrass.”
At Bush’s Senate confirmation hearing, Minnesota’s Al Franken dug into Bush’s blogging, sharply questioning the lawyer’s judgement when it came to his sources.
“One of the qualities I look for in a judge is judgment,” Franken said. He then asked why Bush decided to use World News Daily, a site Franken described as “a website known for peddling conspiracy theories, fake news, and white nationalism,” in his posts:
World News Daily was also well known for trafficking in birtherism — the widely debunked and racist belief that President Obama was not born in the United States. The article you quote from suggests that a reporter in Kenya was detained by the government because he was investigating “Barack Obama’s connections in the country.” What point were you trying to make in this post? It was a post titled “Brother’s Keepers,” as in—this is the name of it—“Keep that anti-Obama reporter in jail.”
After some prevarication, with Bush trying in vain to say he wouldn’t have said things quite the same way today as he did then, he said, “I don’t know whether I decided that [World News Daily was credible] or not. I just really cannot remember.”
Franken challenged him further: “So you were free—you felt free to put posts out that cited sources that you knew were not credible?”
Bush protested, “As a blogger, I was making political statements—”
Franken cut him off mid-sentence: “—Using sources that engaged in fake news, hate speech. And again, what I was saying was, is that I think we have to, when we’re confirming judges, look at judgment. And in my mind, using my judgment to confirm someone to the circuit court who felt free to blog posts, and can’t answer how he decides whether to cite a source or not, whether it’s credible or not, that’s disturbing to me.”
Bush was “irked” when the Kentucky Supreme Court threw out a law criminalizing sodomy between consenting adults; said that slavery and abortion are the “two greatest tragedies” in our country; and argued that women should not be admitted to military academies because military academies are not “compatible with the somewhat different developmental needs of most young women.”
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