Thursday, February 23, 2006

Could Dana Milbank trivialize his journalism any more than when he appeared in orange gear on TV to mock Dick Cheney? Well, he's sure trying to demonstrate that he's the master of the focus on the trifling rather than the substantial. Here is his coverage of Samuel Alito's first day in public on the Court.
In his first day on the bench, Alito laughed obligingly at Justice Antonin Scalia's joke about river discharge. He stroked his chin thoughtfully and rocked in his chair, just as the more senior justices do. The eight questions he asked -- on the finer points of the Clean Water Act and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission -- put him on course to surpass within days the total number of questions Justice Clarence Thomas has asked in 15 years.

The new student had some awkward moments as he adjusted to his surroundings. He tried to talk at the same time as 85-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens, then quickly backed down. He continued the questioning of a government lawyer after the time for the argument had expired. And, in his haste to depart the chamber, he forgot the rules of seniority and stepped in front of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; the 72-year-old Clinton appointee was uninjured.