Sotomayor Not a Rags-to-Rags Story, AP Explains

This Associated Press story (“Debate Over Who Sotomayor Is a Sensitive One,” 5/29/09) sure is confused. Luckilyreporter Sharon Thiemermakes at least that much clear from the very start:

There are two sides to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor: a Latina from a blue-collar family and a wealthy member of America’s power elite.

The White House portrays Sotomayor as a living image of the American dream, though its telling of the rags-to-riches story emphasizes the rags, a more politically appealing narrative, and plays down the riches.

Yes, somehow the White House picked her despite the fact that she is no longer poor–and still pretended that she was the “living image of the American dream,” which as we all know is to remain poor one’s entire life.

That’s not the end of it. The AP also writes:

On ethnicity, Sotomayor herself has recognized–and contributed to–the dichotomy. She proudly highlights her Puerto Rican roots but hasn’t always liked it when others have.

The evidence:

Yet years ago, during a recruiting dinner in law school at Yale, Sotomayor objected when a law firm partner asked whether she would have been admitted to the school if she weren’t Puerto Rican, and whether law firms did a disservice by hiring minority students the firms know are unqualified and will ultimately be fired.

So she’s proud of being Puerto Rican and she takes offense at the notion that she couldn’t have gotten into Yale if she weren’t? What a “dichotomy.” The AP goes on to note that Sotomayor “won a formal apology from the firm.”

We do learn, as well, that her brother is a doctor “whose practice doesn’t accept Medicaid or Medicare– programs for the poor and elderly–according to its website.” Great–now her sibling isn’t poor anymore, either?

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.