The mainstream media will take and run with just about anything they get their hands on, and accusations of Judge Neil Gorsuch’s involvement in a “Fascism Forever” club in high school are a perfect example of when that can go wrong.
The New York Post, U.K. Daily Mail, U.S. News and World Report, and Vice News all ran stories Thursday claiming that Gorsuch founded and actively participated in a student group known as the “Fascism Forever Club” at his high school, Georgetown Prep.
“Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch founded and led a student group called the ‘Fascism Forever Club’ at his elite high school,” the Daily Mail reported. “The club was set up to rally against the ‘left-wing tendencies’ of his professors while attending a Jesuit all-boys preparatory high school near Washington D.C.
“The name may be inconvenient for a Supreme Court nominee facing a tough confirmation battle,” the Daily Mail continued. “However it also shows the depth of Gorscuch’s right-wing credentials — and his penchant for mischief while attending his exclusive prep school in the 1980s.”
Of course, this is ridiculous — even if Gorsuch were hell-bent on propagating a fascist agenda, he wouldn’t do so by creating a group called “Fascism Forever.”
Plus, it was high school. Give me a break.
Ed Whelan of the National Review also called the seriousness of the story into question, claiming that he had been “reliably informed” that “Fascism Forever” never existed.
“The supposed evidence for their claim is the blurb on him in his high-school yearbook,” he wrote. “Earth to newspaper reporters: High-school yearbook editors sometimes have a sophomoric sense of humor.
“I am reliably informed that no such club ever existed and that there was instead an inside joke among friends in the senior class that parodied political debates happening at the school,” he continued. “A contemporary of Gorsuch’s at the school also tells me that yearbook editors added stuff to student blurbs without their permission.”
It’s just a bad joke by a yearbook editor, folks.
Hopefully, we will see the mainstream media putting out retractions for their takes on this non-story — but that’s probably not the way to bet.
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