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Ear to the Ground

Justice Scalia Gets Most of His News From Talk Radio

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Posted on Oct 8, 2013
Photo by Stephen Masker [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The man who was once the Supreme Court’s most conservative justice (now there’s a depressing past tense) tells New York magazine that he gets most of his news listening to talk radio on the way to and from work.

Last year a study showed that people who get their news from talk radio are less informed than those who get their news exclusively from “The Daily Show.”

Here’s the exchange from the interview:

What’s your media diet? Where do you get your news?
Well, we get newspapers in the morning.

“We” meaning the justices?
No! Maureen and I.

Oh, you and your wife …
I usually skim them. We just get The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times. We used to get the Washington Post, but it just … went too far for me. I couldn’t handle it anymore.

What tipped you over the edge?
It was the treatment of almost any conservative issue. It was slanted and often nasty. And, you know, why should I get upset every morning? I don’t think I’m the only one. I think they lost subscriptions partly because they became so shrilly, shrilly liberal.

So no New York Times, either?
No New York Times, no Post.

And do you look at anything online?
I get most of my news, probably, driving back and forth to work, on the radio.

Not NPR?
Sometimes NPR. But not usually.

Talk guys?
Talk guys, usually.

Do you have a favorite?
You know who my favorite is? My good friend Bill Bennett. He’s off the air by the time I’m driving in, but I listen to him sometimes when I’m shaving. He has a wonderful talk show. It’s very thoughtful. He has good callers. I think they keep off stupid people.

As Brad Friedman recalls, Antonin Scalia’s “good friend Bill Bennett” said in 2005, “you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.” That’s where a Supreme Court justice gets his knowledge about the world. Read more of Friedman’s breakdown from the New York interview here.

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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