07/03/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Sotomayor, Gingrich, and the Demise of Our Press Corps

To chase the "racist" story, the press had to play dumb on an epic scale in order to pretend that Judge Sonia Sotomayor's "Latina woman" quote was perhaps just as damning as Newt Gingrich and company claimed it was; to pretend maybe Sotomayor did think she was better than everyone else.

And, boy, did everyone in the press play dumb. Providing even passing context for the quote was basically banned. The Village Did. Not. Allow. It.

They all reported on the "Latina woman" quote. They all reported it was controversial. And they all failed to explain that Sotomayor was specifically discussing discrimination cases when she made the remark.

Bottom line: It was virtually impossible for news consumers to understand what Sotomayor was referring to with the 8-year-old "Latina woman" quote. It was impossible for them to understand that the judge was not making some sort of sweeping proclamation about the superiority of Latina judges. But it was possible, given the purposefully sketchy reporting, to see how Sotomayor might be prejudiced. And sadly, I have a hunch that was the whole point of the misguided newsroom exercise

Read the entire Media Matters column here.