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Who Caused Alito's Wife to Cry?

Media Reports Get the Story Wrong

A group cleverly called People for the Alito Way says the Associated Press wrongly characterized an incident at Samuel Alito's hearing today that left his wife in tears.

The AP story, which followed an exclusive from the Drudge Report, placed the blame on a Republican senator rather than committee Democrats -- a fact the conservative group says is just plain wrong.

After taking a steady beating from Senate Democrats today, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.-S.C.) offered an apology to Alito. (Read the full transcript.)

"Judge Alito, I am sorry that you've had to go through this," Graham said. "I am sorry that your family has had to sit here and listen to this."

Alito's wife, Martha-Ann Bomgardner, at this point had begun to choke up. She exited the hearing room and returned after a break holding her husband's hand.

But, according to the AP's account, it was a comment Graham made moments earlier that triggered Bomgardner's emotions.

"And really what I would look at to believe you're not -- and I'm going to be very honest with you -- is: How have you lived your life? Are you really a closet bigot?" Graham asked rhetorically.

The AP story reports:

"Martha-Ann Bomgardner, who had sat behind her husband for hours of questioning over several days, left as her husband was being questioned by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

"'Are you really a closet bigot?' Graham asked Alito. The nominee said no, and Graham said, "No sir, you’re not."

Commenting on the AP story, Coalition for a Fair Judiciary President Kay Daly said: “Mrs. Alito has shown grace under pressure after months of abuse at the hands of well-funded, left wing organizations and their Democratic minions on the Senate Judiciary Committee. For the Associated Press to misrepresent these events in an attempt to smear Republican Senator Lindsey Graham sets a new low in the already subterranean level of journalistic standards on display in Judge Alito’s confirmation process.”


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