October 2, 2007

Anita Hill reemerges, as she must, to respond to the Clarence Thomas memoir.

In an op-ed in the NYT:
In the portion of his book that addresses my role in the Senate hearings into his nomination, Justice Thomas offers a litany of unsubstantiated representations and outright smears that Republican senators made about me when I testified before the Judiciary Committee — that I was a “combative left-winger” who was “touchy” and prone to overreacting to “slights.” A number of independent authors have shown those attacks to be baseless. What’s more, their reports draw on the experiences of others who were familiar with Mr. Thomas’s behavior, and who came forward after the hearings. It’s no longer my word against his.
Many people were involved in bringing Hill forward and bolstering her testimony, but it was in a situation where there was a powerful political motivation to destroy him. It was hardly the usual he-said-she-said situation. There was a huge crowd of promoters behind both of them.
In a particularly nasty blow, Justice Thomas attacked my religious conviction, telling “60 Minutes” this weekend, “She was not the demure, religious, conservative person that they portrayed.” Perhaps he conveniently forgot that he wrote a letter of recommendation for me to work at the law school at Oral Roberts University, in Tulsa. I remained at that evangelical Christian university for three years, until the law school was sold to Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Va., another Christian college. Along with other faculty members, I was asked to consider a position there, but I decided to remain near my family in Oklahoma.
I don't think Thomas's quote connotes that she lacks religious belief. Take the word "religious" in context, between the adjectives "demure" and "conservative." I think he's using the word "religious" to connote a certain type of demeanor -- perhaps someone who forgives, turns the other cheek, and judges not. (Under my interpretation, you can criticize him for stereotyping religious people.)
Regrettably, since 1991, I have repeatedly seen this kind of character attack on women and men who complain of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. In efforts to assail their accusers’ credibility, detractors routinely diminish people’s professional contributions. Often the accused is a supervisor, in a position to describe the complaining employee’s work as “mediocre” or the employee as incompetent. Those accused of inappropriate behavior also often portray the individuals who complain as bizarre caricatures of themselves — oversensitive, even fanatical, and often immoral — even though they enjoy good and productive working relationships with their colleagues.
True and important. If only the politics could be set aside. If only Hill had also addressed what happened to our perceptions about the seriousness of sexual harassment during the Clinton era, when the politics cut the other way.

***

I'll update this post when I've read through the relevant part of the memoir. When I picked up the book yesterday, I intended to go right to the part about Anita Hill, but I let myself read the first page -- "My father had broken the only promise he ever made to us" -- and got caught up in the chronological narrative.

ADDED: Captain Ed attacks Hill.
Old, unsubstantiated allegations only have credibility among those who use them for political purposes. Contrast Hill's reception to that of Paula Jones and her allegations of indecent exposure and sexual harrassment against Bill Clinton. Unlike Hill, Jones made her complaint contemporaneously, and pursued legal action through the channels that Hill espouses in this column after the incident got publicized. All of the same people who lined up behind Hill against Thomas didn't just ignore Jones, but called her every name in the book, including "trailer trash". Hill, who thinks that she helped lead an evolution in how harrassment gets treated, somehow neglects to mention Jones as part of that evolution.
Oliver Willis attacks Thomas ("absolute filth... whose odor wafts from every case he gets his grubby little paws on").

55 comments:

EnigmatiCore said...

I have a request for every Althousian commenter. Please, answer me these questions three. You don't have to post your replies; merely make them and think about them.

1) Do you believe Anita Hill, or Clarence Thomas?

2) Do you believe Paula Jones, or Bill Clinton?

3) Are you a liberal or a conservative in your political leanings?

With your answers in mind, if you are a liberal who believes Anita and Bill, or a conservative who believes Paula and Clarence, I have a thought for you.

It is possible that you are right. But it is also very possible that you are putting political ideology ahead of truth, justice, and the American way (apologies, Superman). You may want to look at other cases, be it the way you react to Congressional misdeeds or candidate white lies, to see if there is a strong correlation between what you believe about who is lying and who isn't and what you want to have happen politically.

For if you are one who is letting ideology guide you in such matters, you are a very dangerous person. There is nothing that says that America cannot have its own totalitarian movement arise, and if you are blindly accepting of those who say, politically, what you want to hear, you may very well be an enabler that they need.

Paul Zrimsek said...

1) Clarence Thomas.
2) Neither.
3) Conservative.
4) "Totalitarian movement"? Get a grip.

Paddy O. said...

EnigmatiCore, those are good questions and needed. This isn't just true about this topic. This is true about everything.

We choose a side and interpret information according to that side. We give more grace to those we agree with on an array of topics. We look to have fail the ones who we disagree with.

But though we have a predisposition to partisanship we aren't all possessed by it.

And with the questions you ask we can't just say it's our partisanship but we can look at other factors.

Maybe, in fact, the facts make us partisan rather than our partisanship making up our facts.

Anita Hill only came forward during a very, very politically charged moment in which there was an absolute expectation that someone would try to do what she did. It might be true but the timing is interesting.

And she's the only one.

Clinton, however, has a history, a hushed up history for the most part, one filled with murmurings and whispers of buried stories and a acknowledgment that he really is that kind of person who would do things like that. We were given the marked dress, after all.

So my personal tendency to believe Thomas and not Clinton has to do with the broader narratives of their lives, not my partisanship.

Completely unrelated... Ann, I spent a day and a half out in your old territory of Madison this past weekend. A wonderful, wonderful city. I can see why you love it and why you feel drawn back to it.

Simon said...

Hill writes: "Justice Thomas offers a litany of unsubstantiated representations and outright smears ... about me...." Sounds like a description of Hill's own testimony.

I join all Paul's answers to EnigmatiCore except number four, insofar as I think there's already a quasi-totalitarian movement in this country.

MadisonMan said...

1). Neither
2). Neither
3). Liberal, I guess.

The truth is most often somewhere in between the two Poles.

I'll have to look for a picture of Anita Hill. Clarence Thomas has aged greatly since his confirmation (haven't we all?!) But I haven't seen a picture of Ms. Hill since way back when, so I still picture her as young.

paddy o.: You were here on a particularly nice weekend weather wise (if you could ignore the hawkeye infestation)

Roost on the Moon said...

it was in a situation where there was a powerful political motivation to destroy him.

Given the frequency with which Althouse brings up Clinton's infidelity, it is worth noting that this little piece of baggage never gets brought along on those posts.

Simon said...

Another obvious point: anyone who believes Hill's version of events should ponder why she filed an opinion piece in the New York Times instead of a libel suit. I'd suggest it's because truth is a defense to libel.

cyrus pinkerton said...

1. Anita Hill
2. Paula Jones, generally
3. Your question is too simplistic and misleading, especially since rightwingers are not truly conservative anymore. However, I'm certainly not at all comfortable with the modern reactionary GOP.

shadow said...

“She was not the demure, religious, conservative person that they portrayed.”

You're over parsing, Althouse, as you often do.

Of course he's questioning whether she's truly religious - as well as whether she's truly demure and truly conservative.

Ann Althouse said...

Simon: The book just came out. Maybe she will. That would stir things up.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Another obvious point: anyone who believes Hill's version of events should ponder why she filed an opinion piece in the New York Times instead of a libel suit. I'd suggest it's because truth is a defense to libel.

Pure stupidity.

EnigmatiCore said...

To those answering "neither", you are being slippery. If you have one person claiming harassment and the other saying it did not happen, then "I don't know" is a valid answer but "neither" is a cop out. One is mostly telling the truth and one is mostly not.

Other comments:

"Pure stupidity."

I guess that could be the reason she wrote it, but I doubt it.

"Get a grip."

You believe that such a thing can never happen? I hope you are right. I suspect, however, that people everywhere, including in Venezuela, never thought that it would happen to them. People always know better.

Simon said...

Ann - we will see. But I'm not holding my breath. I see no reason to believe a word from Hill's mouth, any more now than then.

Willis' post is the usual pablum about Thomas, and doesn't deserve the dignity of a response.

Pogo said...

1) In the 1990s, Hill. Now? Thomas.
2) In the 1990s, I believed Bill. Rabidly. Now, after Monica et al, I never believe anything Bill Clinton says. I don't know the Jones case well enough to say whether she is being truthful.
3) Conservative.
4) "Totalitarian movement"? The left always sees this arising in the right, when, as Orwell noted, the true seeds are in the left, hence communism and socialism and national socialism and now the soft fascism of Britain.

But keep looking to the right while it sneaks up port side.

MadisonMan said...

Isn't libel notoriously difficult to prove?

I agree it would stir things up. But why give the book more publicity, if it's libelling you?

Simon said...

Enigmaticore: if you don't like "neither," I'll put it this way: I don't care. I have no interest in that. Here's what I know about Bill Clinton and Scooter Libby: regardless of how they arrived at such a point in their lives, regardless of the circumstances around them, they were put under oath before a grand jury and made a statement they knew to be a lie. That's perjury. It's enough to send someone to jail, and it's enough to impeach a civil officer of the United States, up to and including a President. So I don't care about Paula Jones and her tawdry little allegations, and I think one can indeed answer that question "neither."

EnigmatiCore said...

"Maybe, in fact, the facts make us partisan rather than our partisanship making up our facts. "

In some cases, I can see that. Which is why I said that one really needs to look at their overall approach.

If you think that Hill lied and Clinton lied, but that Bush did not shade the truth and that Tom Delay was the victim of a witch hunt and that Vitter needs to be forgiven and Craig did nothing wrong and that Ried is knee deep in shenanigans and Hillary is corrupt, and so on and so on, then it gets harder to believe that it is the facts leading to beliefs rather than beliefs leading to beliefs of what the facts are.

Similarly, if you think Bill was the victim of many false attacks aimed at bringing him down, Thomas got away with being a sexual brute, Hillary is the victim of a VRWC, that Republicans are all about Duke Cunningham and Bernie Keric while Hsu could happen to anyone and Murtha's cozy deals are nothing to be concerned about and that Bush lied and people died and the Swift Boat vets were lying liars who lied, just like Petraeus, odds are you have decided that nothing is true except your political agenda.

And (speaking to the crowd here), in your gut you know if the shoe fits. You'll dismiss the thought, but you know it despite the effort to ignore it. The question is, will you intentionally continue to bury your humanity? Is politics that important to you?

As you say "yes" to yourself, I hope you have pangs or regret.

EnigmatiCore said...

Simon-- I don't care is 'better'.

But neither is wanting to have tea and no tea. It only works in cheesy videogames about sarcastic books.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The question is, will you intentionally continue to bury your humanity?

Oh, for fuck's sake. GET A GRIP.

Simon said...

OT:

Pogo said...
"'Totalitarian movement'? The left always sees this arising in the right, when, as Orwell noted, the true seeds are in the left, hence communism and socialism and national socialism and now the soft fascism of Britain."

That's because left-right is a misleading scale. The better scale, per Hayek, runs from planning and government control through to freedom. The difference between national socialism and socialism is the class and priorities of their supporters, Hayek argued, but in all significant regards, they're identical. So the left is definitionally on the side of planning (and thus against freedom), hence the incipient threat of control and thus totalitarianism. And of course, you see this clearly illustrated in today's environmental left that wants to control our economic behavior, lately under the rubric of a response to climate crisis. Of course, it's a "curious coincidence that the solutions advaced by advocates of this putative crisis ... just happen to line up with the pre-existing political preferences of these people. A lot of climate change evangelists come across as people who possesed the solution long before they hit on the problem to justify it. ... Global climate crisis, if true, is an extraordinarily convenient truth for most of its proponents because it can be used to demand the kind of solutions ... of massive regulation of what businesses and individuals can and can't do that those people have long believed in. ... [Are we to believe that it's] just coincidence that climate change is the orthodoxy of the left, and the solutions they advocate are basically the same solutions they advocate for everything else?"

Simon said...

EnigmatiCore said...
"If you think that Hill lied and Clinton lied, but that Bush did not shade the truth and that Tom Delay was the victim of a witch hunt and that Vitter needs to be forgiven and Craig did nothing wrong...."

I don't think anyone really believes that DeLay was a "victim" of a witch hunt or anything else. He was a monstrosity who presided over the near-complete betrayal of the principles which brought us into power in 1994. You'll have to be more specific about the charge against Bush.

I do concede that there's more of a problem with Craig v. Vitter, and I do think people may have been emboldened to demand Craig go because a Republican governor would appoint his replacement, and were perhaps not as gung-ho to push Vitter out when his replacement would be a Democrat.

EnigmatiCore said...

Gee, Paul. You sure seem like such a swell fellow. Either that or a smug ass. Hard to tell, actually.

Paul Zrimsek said...

God knows I'd like to feel smug about my ability to look at a perfectly ordinary human foible without seeing in it either an omen of creeping totalitarianism or, God help us, a loss of humanity. But since at least 99% of the race can do that too, I'm reduced to gaping in disbelief at those who can't.

Pogo said...

Re: "from planning and government control through to freedom. "

Coincidentally, last night I was reading through some of my underlined passages in Bruce Caldwell's "Hayek's Challenge: An Intellectual Biography of F.A. Hayek", and came across almost an identical quote on planning.

So the trust in a governemnt solution (and hence risk for Total State Control) exists among the current Democrats by definitional default, but also among today's crop of Rockefeller Republican goo goos.

zzRon said...

1)Thomas
2)Jones
3)Neither...but you would think me conservative leaning.

My answers have nothing (that I am aware of) to do with politics, but instead have to do with evidence of the senses as well as certain subjective feelings. I havent trusted Bill Clinton since the first time I saw him on TV - well before he was elected. He struck me as a liar back then, and has done nothing but reinforce my opinion since. Clarence Thomas did not. But maybe its because I always try to give black guys the benefit of a doubt :-).

Totalitarian movement? Get a grip.

Trooper York said...

Who do I believe?

Well I believe in Magic.

Do you believe in magic in a young girl's heart
How the music can free her, whenever it starts
And it's magic, if the music is groovy
It makes you feel happy like an old-time movie
I'll tell you about the magic, gonna free her soul
It's like trying to tell a stranger 'bout rock and roll

If you believe in magic don't bother to choose
If it's jug band music or rhythm and blues
Just go and listen it all starts with a smile
You won't wipe off your face no matter how hard you try
Your feet start tapping and you can't seem to find
How you got there, it all blows your mind

If you believe in magic, come along with me
And we'll dance until morning baby just you and me
And maybe, if the music is right
I'll see you tomorrow, late at night
And we'll go dancing, baby, then you'll see
How the magic's in the music and the music's in me

Yeah, do you believe in magic
Believe in the magic of a young girl's soul
Believe in the magic of a rock and roll
Believe in the magic gonna set you free
Aaahhh, yea, heah

Do you believe in magic, yeah
Do you believe like I I II believe
Now do you believe like I believe in magic
Do you believe like I believe in magic
Do you believe like I believe in magic
(John Sebastian 1965)

Joe said...

I found Anita Hill's current comments rather hypocritical. She doesn't address the substance of Thomas's remarks nor the substance of her original complaints; instead she engages in the very ad hominem attack of which she accuses Thomas.

Her response rather ironically supports Thomas's claims about how she responds in both style and substance.

I was also bemused that Hill seems to be afflicted with the same inability to understand alliteration which has been affecting leftists these days. (I suppose it's because it's easier to parse and criticize individual words than the substance of what was said. [And, yes, put the left in power and rightests will do the same crap, though I don't recall it being to the same degree in the past--I'm sure right-wing wackos will soon disabuse me of my illusion.)

Paddy O. said...

MM, I drove in late Saturday night, after the football crowd departed. Then I drove away, in the rain, yesterday morning. Sunday was indeed a perfect sort of day. Perfect for brunch at a little place that used to be an old house, but now has a kitchen staff that yells when an order is ready. Then a long walk by the lake, where I made note of benches and spots I'd only seen before here in Ann's pics. Had some ice cream and watch people feed ducks that signs say they are not supposed to feed.

Coffee and good conversation at Barriques near the capital building. Then dinner outside at Sardine, listening to the gentle waves and watching the occasional boat go by. The weather was ideal, and the city teased me with all sorts of loves.

John said...

"Simon: The book just came out. Maybe she will. That would stir things up."

Ann, how much money do you want to put behind that maybe? I will take any bet you put up. No way is she filling a libel suits. She knows better than anyone else she is a liar and wouldn't dream of putting herself in court over it.

Henry said...

A couple of things jumped out at me in Hill's editorial.

First, she presents herself in this oddly passive way -- she feels deeply, but never appears to act.

So she writes that "Mr. Thomas approached me about working for him..." and "Thomas hired me not once, but twice while he was in the Reagan administration..."

One assumes that Hill applied for the jobs for which Thomas hired her, but here, as ever, her position is one of unreproachable passivity.

Other parts of her editorial are painfully compromised by history: "Today, when employees complain of abuse in the workplace, investigators and judges are more likely to examine all the evidence and less likely to simply accept as true the word of those in power"

Back in 1991, Hill asked that her word be accepted when there was no corroborating evidence. For days, the "judges" in the Senate allowed her to attack Thomas's character when "all the evidence" was in her head.

Those who would accept as true the word of Anita Hill have to fall back on her all-important qualifier at the end of the sentence: it is only "those in power" whose word should be doubted.

Trooper York said...

Garry: You know, when I get back there, I'm going to show you something called crouching tiger, hidden penis.
(Old School 2003)

Blake said...

It only works in cheesy videogames about sarcastic books.

That's gotta be a reference to "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", doesn't it? (Though I, personally, wouldn't call a text adventure a "video game".)

Blake said...

Trooper,

Wrong John Sebastien song:

Welcome back,
Your dreams were your ticket out.

Welcome back,
To that same old place that you laughed about.

Well the names have all changed since you hung around,
But those dreams have remained and they're turned around.

Kirk said...

EnigmatiCore,

Anybody can cherry-pick data to prove a slanted point. The problem with your list of questions is that it's too short.

Try adding Larry Craig, Mark What's-his-name, Bob Packwood, and a random sampling of others going back to Wilbur Mills and JFK, and then see if you can detect a partisan pattern, OK? Or, since you subsequently mentioned Reid and his corruption, can't you also include Ted Stevens and long list of other names with a mix of R and D after them?

cyrus pinkerton said...

All of the same people who lined up behind Hill against Thomas didn't just ignore Jones, but called her every name in the book, including "trailer trash".

"Captain Ed" is wrong about the facts, and not just in this particular claim. That said, I don't imagine that his eagerness to lie will hurt the case he is trying to make to his reactionary rightwing readers.

The interesting question is why Althouse would bother to quote from and link to such complete garbage.

Ralph said...

Cyrus, are you saying Dems didn't call Jones "trailer trash", which they certainly did, or that it wasn't the same Dems who actively worked against Thomas?

I find it odd you call the free-spending DC Repubs "reactionary."

cyrus pinkerton said...

Ralph,

I'm simply noting Captain Ed's dishonesty. The people who supported Hill against Thomas are not the same as the people who referred to Jones as "trailer trash." By lying about the facts here and in several other instances in his commentary, it is clear that he's not trying to appeal to a rational audience.

Ralph, I'd be interested to know which "Dems" called Paula Jones "trailer trash." Can you post a list of a dozen or so "Dems" who referred to her that way? And if we're really going to have this general conversation about Anita Hill again, can we at least strive for accuracy this time around?

Ralph said...

Carville famously said about Jones, "this is what you get when you drag a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park." Her accent, nose, and hair were widely abused, as I'm sure you recall. I'll give most Dems credit that they let the Clintonistas do most of their own dirty work, because I don't think they trusted Clinton anymore than the Repubs did by that point.

Ken said...

I finally found someone like Anita Hill, Crystal Mangum. Of course, Crystal had only Durham County DA Mike Nifong to promote her lies. Anita had the despicable Howard Metzenbaum.

Answers:
1 Thomas, without question
2 Jones, with some skepticism
3 Conservative

I have no doubt that totalitarian movements exist, have existed and will continue to exist in the future. Everyone allows their ideology to color their judgement of facts. I am perhaps a dangerous person. But I freely admit that my opinions exist. Do totalitarians ever admit that anything is opinion with them?

The threat is from those who believe they have no opinions, that everything they believe is fact.

Brian said...

How about somebody fact-check Anita Hill and the NYT on something really simple? Oral Roberts University closed and *donated* (not sold) its library, not to Liberty University in Lynchburg, but to Pat Robertson's Regent University. Regent and Liberty are not the same thing.

Liberty's school of law didn't exist way back then. She didn't state this as a vague sort of thing in the NYT op-ed. She wrote, "Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia," noting it as an "evangelical" institution. If her amazing memory here is as good as it was during the Thomas hearings, I think I'll go with Thomas. ;)

cyrus pinkerton said...

Ralph,

You've managed to name only one Democrat. If, as you insist, "Dems" called Paula Jones "trailer trash," why are you struggling for names?

You then wrote this:

I'll give most Dems credit that they let the Clintonistas do most of their own dirty work...

How do you think this compares to the smear job done on Anita Hill by rightwing operatives? And how did most of the GOP respond? Did they condemn the attack on Hill or did they let this group do the dirty work for them?

Pogo said...

cyrus,

If Anita Hill was indeed lying, was it still a "smear job"?

cyrus pinkerton said...

Pogo wrote:

If Anita Hill was indeed lying, was it still a "smear job"?

Yes. "A little bit nutty and a little bit slutty" is clearly a smear job. Don't you agree?

Simon said...

Cyrus - agreed, that phrasing is without doubt intended to smear. But that doesn't mean that she was telling the truth or that she shouldn't have been attacked with whatever weapons were to hand. You can't go into a boxing match, slug the other guy with bare knuckles and then complain that the other side ain't playing beanbag.

Ralph said...

A little bit nutty and a little bit slutty
That was well after the fight was over, by (currently) lefty muckraker Brock. Remember, she was teaching at Oral Roberts! Doesn't that make her a bit nutty (or really desperate) by definition?

cyrus pinkerton said...

Simon,

It always was perfectly fair to question the credibility of Hill's testimony and to examine her motives. Unfortunately, rightwing operatives decided to smear her instead. In my opinion, that particular use of "whatever weapon is at hand" was neither reasonable nor honorable.

Given the nature of the attacks on Hill, it's more than a little hypocritical for rightwingers to moan about Paula Jones being called "trailer trash."

cyrus pinkerton said...

Ralph wrote:

Remember, she was teaching at Oral Roberts! Doesn't that make her a bit nutty (or really desperate) by definition?

You won't have to work very hard to convince me that anyone teaching at Oral Roberts is a "little bit nutty." But I'm still waiting to see how you will explain where the "little bit slutty" part of the description comes from.

Revenant said...

You've managed to name only one Democrat. If, as you insist, "Dems" called Paula Jones "trailer trash," why are you struggling for names?

How do you think this compares to the smear job done on Anita Hill by rightwing operatives?

The amusing thing about this is that Cyrus has only managed to come up with a single example of a "rightwing operative" smearing Hill -- and that one example happened after Thomas had already been confirmed. I wonder why he's "struggling for names"?

The amusement value is further enhanced by the fact that the "rightwing operative" in question is currently fronting a leftie propaganda outlet that just got done smearing Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly -- not that Cyrus minded those smears, of course.

Ralph said...

I read Brock's book years ago, but I can't remember that much in it about Hill herself, certainly no substantiation for "slutty"--that would have stuck in my mind. It was mostly about the machinations on the Judiciary Committee that got her to testify publicly.

Jeff Alworth said...

There's no way to handicap what has become one of the longest-running and contentious battles of he-said, she-said in American history.

What can be said, however, is that every time it arises, Thomas plays the victim card. It was more persuasive before he was sitting on the Supreme Court.

Revenant said...

he-said, she-said

Given that all the witnesses backed Thomas, the more accurate description would be "she said, everybody else said".

It was more persuasive before he was sitting on the Supreme Court.

That makes no sense. Hill's lies didn't magically stop being lies after Thomas was confirmed, nor did Hill cease to peddle them to the press.

MikeinSC said...

In the end, Anita Hill was a lawyer with extensive education and Paula Jones was not.

That Hill simply decided to follow him around like a puppy for years is not exactly a ringing endorsement for her honesty in this regard.

If he was as offensive as she claims --- following him from job to job is baffling.
-=Mike

Methadras said...

The entire time I was watching Thomas' confirmation hearings on television with Anita Hill specifically in mind, I was always wondered why she even bothered to come forward to offer her 'testimony' against Thomas. The pubic hair on the Coke can is all that anyone really cared about and made the headlines. It didn't matter one wit to the Senate panel that moved him forward and now look were we are. Talking about his book and, oh gee Anita Hill needs to set the record straight. Again.

Too many jims said...

Simon said...
Another obvious point: anyone who believes Hill's version of events should ponder why she filed an opinion piece in the New York Times instead of a libel suit. I'd suggest it's because truth is a defense to libel.


The are a number of reasons that one might not file a libel suit other than "truth is a defense". But let's assume that is the only reason one decides not to file such a suit.

Shouldn't we be asking why Clarence Thomas wrote a book rather than filing a defamation suit? Certainly he could have sued her in 1991 and probably could now based on her NYTimes piece. (I did not fully research defamation law to make this comment so if there is a "you can defame all you want in congressional testimony" exception (or something of the sort), then I apologize.)

Juan Laff said...

1. Clarence Thomas
2. Paula Jones
3. Libertarian

Funny, no one else ever remembers him speaking to anybody that way ever. Stand by your lie, Anita.