Sandra Day O’Connor forecasts Dictatorship

Why didn’t the American press chase the story?

By Jack Shafer
Posted Monday, March 13, 2006, at 7:11 PM ET  On Slate

The smoke drifting out of your computer over the weekend was not the result of a fried motherboard but the scent of bloggers setting themselves on fire in response to Nina Totenberg’s NPR Morning Edition Friday, March 10, dispatch. Totenberg had attended a speech at Georgetown University given the night before by retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in which O’Connor invoked the word “dictatorship” to describe the direction the country may be headed if Republicans continue to attack the judiciary. O’Connor’s voice was “dripping with sarcasm,” says Totenberg. But the retired justice didn’t name Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, or Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, as the leading perps, in part because she didn’t need to. (See‘s transcription of Totenberg’s NPR segment.)
Filled with fury, the bloggers wanted to know why the mainstream media—outside Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s Countdown—hadn’t mentioned O’Connor’s broadside. The only newspaper stories I could find on the topic today were from England’s Guardian, with Julian Borger reporting and writer Jonathan Raban filing an opinion piece on it.

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