By Brad Wilmouth
On Sunday’s World News Tonight, at the end of a full report on liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health scare from the weekend, ABC reporter Kyra Phillips misleadingly gave the impression that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had reacted to her health problems by ghoulishly speculating about replacing her when, in reality, she was referring to comments the Republican leader made six months ago.
Phillips began the pre-recorded portion of her report by recalling that Justice Ginsburg went to one hospital Friday evening with a fever and was then transferred to Johns Hopkins. The ABC correspondent then pivoted to speaking generally about the political significance of her seat, and recalled her history of health problems, including being treated for cancer in recent years.
Concluding the pre-recorded portion of the report, Phillips jumped back to the present to inform viewers: “Tonight, the Court saying Ginsburg is home and doing well.”
Then, appearing live, Phillips wrapped up her report by making it sound like McConnell might have suggested over the weekend that he would fill her seat if it became vacant, even using the word “meanwhile,” making it sound like his comments came during her current illness:
KYRA PHILLIPS: Tom, Ginsburg also saying she’s determined to serve as long as she is mentally agile, and giving no indication that she plans to step down. Meanwhile, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear that he plans to fill any vacancy that arises before the end of the Trump administration. A lot hanging in the balance here, Tom.
Articles posted yesterday by both the New York Times and Salon also referred to McConnell’s comment but were referring to an appearance he made in May of this year where he was asked what he would do if a vacancy occurred during the presidential election year.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters and is reposted with permission.