Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rehashing Anita Hill

NPR Radio's Nina Totenberg is rehashing the Clarence Thomas hearings:
Thomas was accused of violating the very laws he was charged with enforcing as chairman of the EEOC.

Right out of the starting gate, the hearing was white hot, as Anita Hill, a black 35-year-old law professor, described how her one-time boss had pressured her to go out with him and how he subjected her to sexually explicit conversations when the two were alone in the office. "He spoke about acts that he had seen in pornographic films involving such matters as women having sex with animals, and films showing group sex or rape scenes," Hill testified.
No, that is not the way I remember it. I believe that Hill did not allege that Thomas had asked her out on a date, or that Thomas had violated sexual harassment laws. She merely alleged inappropriate sexual comments.

Even if she did, Totenberg is biased to say "described" instead of "alleged". Thomas denied the charges, and no one substantiated Hill.
Bork had detailed his conservative views at length and been rejected. Now Thomas asserted he had no opinion on such landmark cases as Roe v. Wade, the court's 1973 abortion ruling, and among those expressing incredulity was Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy.

"You're not suggesting that there wasn't any discussion at any time of Roe v. Wade?" asked Leahy.

"Senator," responded Thomas, "I cannot remember personally engaging in those discussions."

According to Feldman, many people doubted Thomas' assertion.

"Most people had trouble believing that someone who had been to Yale Law School [and] had spent a public career in jobs connected to law, could possibly have no opinion on the most controversial legal topics of his generation," he says. "And yet somehow those answers not only did not stand in the way of Justice Thomas' confirmation, but were seen in some way as good politics."
Again, NPR is lying about Thomas. He did not deny having an opinion about Roe v Wade. He only denied participating in a discussion about it with his classmates. Many liberals have accused Thomas of perjury for saying this, but it seems plausible to me. None of his classmates has ever claimed that he was in any such discussion. Lots of lawyers like to discuss controversial legal topics, but Thomas is known as the silent one on the Supreme Court, and he is obviously not one to go out of his way to get into such debates.

After the Thomas hearings, a big majority of the public sided with Thomas. But with years of people like Totenberg lying about the hearing, many people changed to be more hostile to Thomas. I don't know how she gets away with it, since the hearings were televised and the transcripts are readily available.

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