WashPost Reveals It Passed On Alito-Upside Down Flag Story In 2021

News & Politics

The conservative reaction to the freakout over Justice Samuel Alito’s flags has been to argue that this is a phony scandal ginned up by liberals and journalists (but we repeat ourselves) to delegitimize the Supreme Court. A Saturday report from the Washington Post appears to confirm those beliefs, as Justin Jouvenal and Ann Marimow reported that the Post passed on the story in 2021.

The duo began, “The wife of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. told a Washington Post reporter in January 2021 that an upside down American flag recently flown on their flagpole was ‘an international signal of distress’ and indicated that it had been raised in response to a neighborhood dispute.”

They also report that the Post, at the time, saw no reason to view the upside flag as being connected to sympathy for the January 6 rioters and the belief that Samuel and Martha-Ann are different people, “The Post decided not to report on the episode at the time because the flag-raising appeared to be the work of Martha-Ann Alito, rather than the justice, and connected to a dispute with her neighbors, a Post spokeswoman said. It was not clear then that the argument was rooted in politics, the spokeswoman said.”

Back in 2021, since-retired Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes went to the Alito home where “the justice denied the flag was hung upside down as a political protest, saying it stemmed from a neighborhood dispute and indicating that his wife had raised it.”

Jouvenal and Marimow further recall Martha-Ann imploring Barnes to ‘“Ask them what they did!’ She said yard signs about the couple had been placed in the neighborhood. After getting back in the car, she exited again and then brought out from their residence a novelty flag, the type that would typically decorate a garden. She hoisted it up the flagpole. ‘There! Is that better?’ she yelled.”

They also note Alito’s statement to the Post back then was “almost identical” to what he told The New York Times when the story broke.

The rest of the article is spent giving biographical details on the Alitos or rehashing the liberal case that Alito did something wrong and should recuse himself from all January 6-related cases, even going so far as to get former federal judge Nancy Gertner, the words “Clinton-appointed” being nowhere to be found, to imply Alito was lying, “The ‘notion that [Justice Alito] let it happen or didn’t pay attention is extraordinary,’ Gertner said. ‘He understood the context. They were having a political battle, and this was a political statement.’” 

In 2021, the Post saw nothing newsworthy in the case of the Alitos’ upside down flag, but in 2024, they threw themselves under the bus in order to fall in line with the rest of the media trying to make something into a bigger deal than it is.

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