Matt Drudge is reporting that the New York Times is digging into the adoption records of John Roberts’s children:
The NEW YORK TIMES is looking into the adoption records of the children of Supreme Court Nominee John G. Roberts, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
The TIMES has investigative reporter Glen Justice hot on the case to investigate the status of adoption records of Judge Roberts’ two young children, Josie age 5 and Jack age 4, a top source reveals.
Judge Roberts and his wife Jane adopted the children when they each were infants.
Both children were adopted from Latin America.
A TIMES insider claims the look into the adoption papers are part of the paper’s “standard background check.”
Bill Borders, NYT senior editor, explains: “Our reporters made initial inquiries about the adoptions, as they did about many other aspects of his background. They did so with great care, understanding the sensitivity of the issue.”
(Via Confirm Them, which is newly blogrolled.)
Now, keep in mind: Drudge gets stuff wrong.
But, as we wait to see whether the story is confirmed by a more reliable source, let’s agree on the obvious: if the story is true, it is outrageous. There is no possible legitimate excuse for this.
To my leftist readers especially: can I get an “Amen”?
P.S. I think I know where The Times may be going with this: although they were adopted from Latin America, the skin of Roberts’s children appears to be white, not brown or black. My understanding is that, generally, parents seeking adoptions can specifically request children of a certain race — and generally do.
So, if Roberts’s children are white, perhaps he and his wife requested that. Is that the NYT‘s proposed “gotcha”? If so, my statement stands: it’s outrageous.
UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt quotes the response that the New York Times is giving to inquiries (thanks to commenter Andrew for the tip):
Thanks for writing to us.
While the public editor does not usually get involved in pre-publication matters, Bill Keller, the executive editor of the paper, told us that he would not stand for any gratuitous reporting about the Roberts’s children.
He said that as an adoptive parent he is particularly sensitive about this issue.
In addition, a senior editor at the paper wrote, “In the case of Judge Roberts’s family, our reporters made initial inquiries about the adoptions, as they did about many other aspects of his background. They did so with great care, understanding the sensitivity of the issue. We did not order up an investigation of the adoptions. We have not pursued the issue after the initial inquiries, which detected nothing irregular about the adoptions.”
Office of the Public Editor
The New York Times
What is “gratuitous” as opposed to “appropriate reporting” on a nominee’s children. Who were the “initial inquiries” made to and for what purpose? What does with “great care” mean, and how did that “sensitivity” end up on Dr[u]dge.
Looks like some staff got ahead of Keller and way ahead of public opinion, and the cover up is under way. But there’s a lot of admission in the response –admission that the paper did indeed think it appropriate to dig into the adoption, and all the scurrying in the world won’t obscure that.
It certainly looks like we do have an admission, of sorts. But many questions remain. Hugh has articulated the main ones. I don’t think this story is going away. I am very interested to know more about what digging The Times did before Keller put a stop to it — and why they ever thought the subject was an appropriate avenue of inquiry to begin with.
UPDATE x2: A leftist named TBogg takes issue with Drudge. He says he thought the kids were from Ireland. They sure don’t look like they’re from Latin America.
This TBogg fellow also has this charming observation:
I’m waiting for an article that questions a man and his wife building high-powered careers, marrying late, and then, in their mid-forties, adopting infants to accessorize their public profiles. When these kids are graduating from high school, their parents will be in their sixties. I’m all for adoption, but I cringe when I see middle-aged successful couples adopt children to decorate their lives in an effort to “have it all”.
I’m all for blogging, but I cringe when I see some cretin like this pretending to read the minds of people who must adopt to have children.
UPDATE x3: I like Jeff Goldstein’s take on TBogg (it’s Jeff Goldstein, so don’t be shocked if there’s profanity):
One wishes TBogg would have cringed first at the crass clairvoyance of his own petty suggestion and saved us all the trouble of having to read the fucking thing.
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