As we all know Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor calls herself ‘a wise latina’ but the phrase has got her in hot water with critics, especially Republicans, as they question whether she’s racially biased.

We’ve been examining how American news outlets are covering Sotomayor’s hearings and found an interesting thread. In an effort to make the confirmation hearings interesting news outlets from CNN, to Democracy Now! to the Washington Post are searching out ‘wise latinas’ across the country to spill their thoughts on the ultimate ‘wise latina’ - Sotomayor.

The Washington Post kicks us off a video snapshot of those waiting to get into the confirmation hearings and featured a sampling of proud Latinas.

“I think she’s a great qualified person. I believe she was nominated based on her qualifications and her experience.”
“She’s the most qualified candidate we have in this country to serve on the Supreme Court.”


Democracy Now! interviews Jenny Rivera, a Latina law professor and former Sotomayor law clerk.

“Jenny your response to the whole controversy over the ‘wise Latina’ comment?”
“Well my response to that is I’m certainly not surprised that has become the mantra of critics because there’s nothing really to attack. She has stella credentials, she has an incredible record, an incredible experience and she is a moderate jurist.”

CNN’s Rick Sanchez searched out the ultimate wise Latina and no it’s not Sotomayor, it’s his mother.

“You like Sotomayor? And you’re proud? Proud? Proud because someone like you has [inaud] Oh you’re proud because she came from nowhere like you.”

A Baltimore Sun blogger and TV critic called out CNN for running with this type of coverage.

“Talk about overproduced and misguided as to where the focus should be, CNN seemed to think its talking-head analysts mattered more than what was happening in the Senate hearing room.”

MediaMatters.org also chimed in saying it’s ridiculous how the press is playing dumb by interviewing wise Latina women in an attempt to ‘truly’ understand the ultimate Wise Latina. They add it makes the coverage quote epically dishonest.

“…reporters and pundits are banking on nomination drama, so they're willing to chase, and legitimize, the “racist” storyline. To do that though, the press has to play dumb on an epic scale about the "Latina woman.”

Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert sums up with his perspective whatever angle the networks worked the coverage was just plain bad.

“I’m a little drowsy, I spent the whole day watching the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings. It was like watching Ambien colored paint dry. It, it was so boring it put her own family to sleep.”

So what do you think of the coverage of Sotomayor’s hearings? Is it manufactured, necessary or just plain misguided?

Sotomayor: Running 'Wise Latina' Into the Ground

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Jul 15, 2009

Sotomayor: Running 'Wise Latina' Into the Ground

As we all know Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor calls herself ‘a wise latina’ but the phrase has got her in hot water with critics, especially Republicans, as they question whether she’s racially biased.

We’ve been examining how American news outlets are covering Sotomayor’s hearings and found an interesting thread. In an effort to make the confirmation hearings interesting news outlets from CNN, to Democracy Now! to the Washington Post are searching out ‘wise latinas’ across the country to spill their thoughts on the ultimate ‘wise latina’ - Sotomayor.

The Washington Post kicks us off a video snapshot of those waiting to get into the confirmation hearings and featured a sampling of proud Latinas.

“I think she’s a great qualified person. I believe she was nominated based on her qualifications and her experience.”
“She’s the most qualified candidate we have in this country to serve on the Supreme Court.”


Democracy Now! interviews Jenny Rivera, a Latina law professor and former Sotomayor law clerk.

“Jenny your response to the whole controversy over the ‘wise Latina’ comment?”
“Well my response to that is I’m certainly not surprised that has become the mantra of critics because there’s nothing really to attack. She has stella credentials, she has an incredible record, an incredible experience and she is a moderate jurist.”

CNN’s Rick Sanchez searched out the ultimate wise Latina and no it’s not Sotomayor, it’s his mother.

“You like Sotomayor? And you’re proud? Proud? Proud because someone like you has [inaud] Oh you’re proud because she came from nowhere like you.”

A Baltimore Sun blogger and TV critic called out CNN for running with this type of coverage.

“Talk about overproduced and misguided as to where the focus should be, CNN seemed to think its talking-head analysts mattered more than what was happening in the Senate hearing room.”

MediaMatters.org also chimed in saying it’s ridiculous how the press is playing dumb by interviewing wise Latina women in an attempt to ‘truly’ understand the ultimate Wise Latina. They add it makes the coverage quote epically dishonest.

“…reporters and pundits are banking on nomination drama, so they're willing to chase, and legitimize, the “racist” storyline. To do that though, the press has to play dumb on an epic scale about the "Latina woman.”

Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert sums up with his perspective whatever angle the networks worked the coverage was just plain bad.

“I’m a little drowsy, I spent the whole day watching the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings. It was like watching Ambien colored paint dry. It, it was so boring it put her own family to sleep.”

So what do you think of the coverage of Sotomayor’s hearings? Is it manufactured, necessary or just plain misguided?
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