When Kentucky lawyer John Bush was nominated by President Trump for a federal appeals court position, his blogging pseudonym “G. Morris” was covered in an article by BuzzFeed — because his political opinions are relevant. But during his confirmation hearing, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) delved a little deeper into the sources Bush promoted as a blogger, and watching him try to explain his penchant for birtherism and conspiracy theories was notably cringe-inducing.
Frankin pointed out that Bush relied heavily on World Net Daily, a site that pushes a grotesque mix of birtherism, racism, conspiracies, and biblical End Times nuttery.
“One of the qualities I look for in a judge is judgment,” Franken said before he started his line of questioning. Franken then zeroed in on an article sourced by Bush that claimed a reporter in Kenya was detained because he was investigating Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
“What point were you trying to make in this post?” Franken asked. “It was a post titled ‘Brother’s Keepers,’ as in — this is the name of it — ‘Keep that anti-Obama reporter in jail.'”
Bush was clearly uncomfortable with the line of questioning.
“Well, first of all, before getting into the particular post, I have to tell the committee, there are some things I’ve written on the posts, or the blog, that I wish I could phrase differently or said differently at this point,” Bush replied. “That particular post, I don’t recall all the details of it, but I was certainly not intending to endorse any views of another group as far as birtherism goes.”
Franken then pointed out that the WND article wasn’t the only questionable source used by Bush. “How did you decide which sources were credible? And do you believe that World News Daily is a credible source?” Franken asked.
Bush tried to dodge the question, but Franken pressed harder. “Let me ask you again — How did you decide which sources were credible, and how did you decide that World News Daily is a credible source?”
“I don’t know whether I decided that or not,” Bush said, “I just really cannot remember.”
After Bush repeatedly cited his faulty memory as a means to avoid answering the question, Franken said:
“Using sources that engaged in fake news, hate speech. And again … 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. Thank you.”
Watch the full exchange in the video below:
[HT Shareblue] Featured image via screen grab