April 18, 2016

"I covered the confirmation hearings in 1991. HBO’s movie heavily edits history to favor Anita Hill."

Writes Stuart Taylor Jr.
Despite a surface appearance of fairness, “Confirmation” makes clear how it wants the hearings to be remembered: Ms. Hill told the whole truth and Mr. Thomas was thus a desperate, if compelling, liar. Her supporters were noble; his Republican backers were scheming character assassins.

This is consistent with how the media conveyed the story at the time and, especially, in the years hence. Yet immediately after millions of people witnessed the hours of televised testimony, polls showed that Americans by a margin of more than 2 to 1 found Judge Thomas more believable than Ms. Hill. Viewers of “Confirmation” were deprived of several aspects of the story that might have made them, too, skeptical of Ms. Hill. The most-salient of many examples....
Go to the link for the details.

I haven't watched the show. I'd have to force myself. I remember the original quite clearly and don't feel any urge to watch actors endeavoring to seem like the real people or to worry about how HBO is trying to manipulate us in the direction I would assume they'd manipulate us. For me, there's no entertainment value and no educational value. I'd rather see a documentary about sexual harassment and the American public mind in the 1990s, beginning with the you-just-don't-get-it scolding that was delivered over the high-tech-lynched body of Clarence Thomas followed by the it's-just-sex championing of the Democratic Party hero Bill Clinton. That was one hell of a transition.

79 comments:

rhhardin said...

You can watch the whole thing on C-Span anyway.

Hill was shown to be a liar by her own witness, Judge Susan Hoerchner.

Hoerchner, relating how devasted Hill was on the phone, said that even her sympathy didn't alleviate Hill's suffering.

Sympathy only fails when the recipient knows that there's nothing to be sympathetic about.

Otherwise it's a welcome fellow-feeling. The worse the experience the better it works.

Martha said...

You nailed it, Professor Althouse.

David Begley said...

The Left excels in rewriting history.

tim in vermont said...

So now that we got the "truth" about the pube and the Coke can, maybe we can start talking about rape in high places.

Laslo Spatula said...

Girl with the Pony Tail on the Treadmill:

The old days must've been so much easier.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

You could suck your boss's cock and get a raise.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

Suck his cock and get a promotion.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

Now they're afraid to do anything.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

Wear a tight skirt and top and they're even afraid to look.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

Look! My tits are right here! See?

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

You want to smother your face in these tits? Let's talk.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

No: they're too afraid.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I'd suck my boss's cock for a raise.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

It'd have to be a big raise, of course.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

My tits are worth the payments on an Audi.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I need a raise.

(pony-tail swish, pony-tail swish)

I am Laslo.

Earnest Prole said...

Whiplash

tim in vermont said...

What Althouse said. I know I am a bit of a Johnny-One-Note on Hillary and Bill, but I really think that there are a lot of young people whose minds are possibly open to hearing the actual facts if presented clearly and logically.

Hagar said...

There was nothing "high-tech" about it. Just straight forward lying all around.

I read Justice Thomas' book, and failed to see where Thomas and Hill could have been together in the same places long enough for the relationship Hill claimed to possibly have developed.
I have never heard of Thomas' statements of his itinerary being questioned in the media, though that is something that should be easy enough to check, and I am reasonably sure anything he wrote in that book has been gone over with an enlarging glass and a finetooth comb.

Gahrie said...

Don't forget the defenestration of Bob Packwood in between.

Milton Zenobia said...

Althouse gets a kickback for shilling subscriptions to the WSJ.

PB said...

Anita Hill was basically tossed aside by the liberal establishment as she failed to bring down Clarence Thomas' confirmation. Yes, she existed practicing and teaching law, but she was damaged goods.

Michael McClain said...

The LibCong rewrite the past to ensure the future.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that it was back in the day when the seriousness of the accusation was more important than the facts behind it. And, most importantly, before so many of Thomas' accusers running interference for President Clinton, who really did sexually assault women, up to, and including possibly, raping them, as well as committing workplace sexual misconduct. Thomas was tarred for what, at worse, if it had been true, would have been a bad sexual joke, and probably wouldn't have made the papers if it had happened after Lewinsi's Blue Dress.

Of course, Hill was never credible, except for to the hard left who so desperately wanted to derail Thomas' nomination. A conservative Black had been nominated to take Thurgood Marshall's seat. And, to rile up all the black women (like Hill), he was married to a white woman. He was, in short, a race traitor, and had to be destroyed. But, of course, they weren't successful, and since his elevation to the Supreme Court, has had one of the clearest voices on the Court (and, yes, his forceful speaking in his opinions is why he is my favorite Justice).

campy said...

I'd like to read the story. Anyone find a way around the paywall?

rehajm said...

The Hollywood Hit-Job on Justice Clarence Thomas

Googling the title above might get you through the paywall.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

campy said...

I'd like to read the story. Anyone find a way around the paywall?

As usual with the WSJ, if you google some of the text the link from google should work

Hagar said...

The Democrat left tried to "bork" Clarence Thomas and failed. End of story.

Peter said...

But why one would want to watch a fictionalized re-enactment of an event when actual video of the event is available?

In any case, although Hill's political psychodrama (Surely "J'accuse!" would have been a better title for the re-enactment?) failed to derail Thomas' confirmation, it did succeed in launching (at least) a thousand mandatory-for-all corporate training sessions. And thereby secured the employment of at least hundreds of facilitator zampolits in the process of bolstering the absurd assertion that "women never lie about that" (but even if they do, any accusation against you will surely derail your career and all but make you radioactive).

Perhaps an honest documentary would have drawn a line from Thomas' "high-tech lynching" to today's DoE bullying of colleges to deny due process to those accused of sexual misconduct (perhaps with a detour through McCarthyism)?

rehajm said...

If it's not on right before Game of Thrones nobody under the age of fifty will ever see it.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't have a subscription and I didn't need one to get to the article.

I guess the link I put up has a number in it that only worked for me.

Maybe try googling some of the language.

I'll redo the link i a way that might help.

I'd get a subscription, as I have for the NYT, if it would allow me to get links that would then work for you.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't understand why a paper that wants to influence opinion would make the commentary columns unreachable to nonsubscribers. They don't want to have an effect?

Robert Cook said...

"Of course, Hill was never credible...."

She was entirely credible.

Laslo Spatula said...

"I don't understand why a paper that wants to influence opinion would make the commentary columns unreachable to nonsubscribers. They don't want to have an effect?"

They only want to affect the people who already subscribe. And have DC or NY addresses.

No sense wasting such pearls on the non-elite.

I am Laslo.

campy said...

"She was entirely credible."

This is funny even by Cook's standard.

Whirred Whacks said...

I just finished watching the 10-part OJ series (FX). It was significantly better than I thought it would be. Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark and Courtney Vance as Johnny Cochran were superb and should win Emmys later in the summer.

What was interesting to me (I had forgotten) was how quickly and easily the "domestic violence and battered wife" narrative of the prosecution was trumped by the "racism of the LAPD" narrative. Of course, the 1992 LA Rodney King riots of 1992 helped that a lot (OJ trial was in 1994-95, and Clarence Thomas hearings were in 1991).

William said...

This story and its aftermath is far more revelatory of the hypocrisy of the left than of the moral defects of Justice Thomas. They should give it a rest.......There have been men in public life--and not just President Clinton--who have been accused of far worse crimes than Justice Thomas, and those crimes are passd over in discussions of their careers. Kobe Bryant recently retired. There was lavish praise of his athletic skills and scant mention of the credible rape charges that were brought against him........Perhaps Judge Thomas rented dirty movies and made obscene remarks to Anita Hill. Who knows? But why are these the defining moments of his life, and the drowned woman a footnote to he distinguished career of Ted Kennedy.

Bruce Hayden said...

She was entirely credible.

She was only credible to you because you wanted her to be. My view is that if it had been a trial by jury, instead of by the MSM and the left, his attorneys could have asked for sanctions (for a frivolous case) with a straight face. He had going for him that the supposed joke was only offensive if you wanted it to be, that most wouldn't have been offended, he had a lot of corroborating witnesses, hers were after the fact and not very plausible, and she followed him to further employment after that. Was she more upset about the joke, or that he had been nominated for Thurgood Marshall's seat, had been uninterested in her, but instead had married a white woman (Hill apparently is still not married, as she nears 60, but did apparently have a long term boyfriend).

Whirred Whacks said...

With its recent string of impressive hits -- Fargo, The Americans, OJ Trial -- FX has become the new HBO.

holdfast said...

Feminism means whatever it needs to mean to advance the interests of Democrat politics at any given moment. That is all you need to know.

The Lewinsky scandal was a small bit of Rebublican payback foe the Thomas hearings. Hoisting Clinton by his cum-stained petard.

Robert Cook said...

"But why are these the defining moments of his life...."

I thought the defining moments of his life have been and are the many moments in all the years he has been and will continue to be a Supreme Court justice.

damikesc said...

Cook, she wasn't. If for no other reason than she followed him like a puppy dog to different jobs when her new bosses asked her to stay.

Sydney said...

I remember the original testimony. I remember thinking how silly the accusations were. Made me resent the waste of legislative time it took. The other thing I remember is how radio and television commentators and news readers suddenly changed the pronunciation of "harassment" from the usual American "har-ASS-ment" to "HAIR-ass-ment." They changed it so they wouldn't be saying "ass" all the time. It saturated the airwaves that much.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Those hearings featured two main witnesses who both seemed to be telling the truth.

The credibility issue came down to whether the conduct Anita Hill alleged amounted to sexual harassment. Taking offense at "Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?" as sexual harassment did tend to prove over-sensitivity and misreading situations.

In the same way, having Anita Hill played by Kerry Washington is going to make it impossible to separate Kerry's never-the-victim always-the-gladiator character Olivia Pope in the TV series Scandal.

Bruce Hayden said...

Kobe Bryant recently retired. There was lavish praise of his athletic skills and scant mention of the credible rape charges that were brought against him........

To be fair to Bryant, she admitted consenting to sex, and, indeed, had gone to his room for just that reason. The issue was always that she had apparently believed that he was going to use a different orifice. Rationally, I don't think that she should have been surprised - there are almost innumerable women trying to have sex with men like him, and some of them are going to do it just to get pregnant. Can't happen where he went. Of course, this was then, and now we have to deal with Yes means Yes, the rising trend of positive consent for each step, and that women are automatically believed when their stories differ from the men's stories.

AS I have said before, I have interesting memories of the case, living at the time on the other side of Vail pass from Eagle county, and having a reason to be in the county court house during one of his appearances. Whole bunch of the press, national and international, were lined up in their tents waiting for his party to come out. Knew people who knew her, etc.

TreeJoe said...

"In the same way, having Anita Hill played by Kerry Washington is going to make it impossible to separate Kerry's never-the-victim always-the-gladiator character Olivia Pope in the TV series Scandal."

That series is just ludricrous. "We have to kill my father" becomes "We have to work with my father" and back and forth between 1-2 episodes is annoying. Huck kills a busload of innocents and no one sweats that. It's just: oh, hey, he's just been brainwashed can't blame him!

Also, it's been a long time in the series since Olivia Pope was anything OTHER than playing the victim and actually sucking at her job.

Robert Cook said...

"She was only credible to you because you wanted her to be."

She was credible because she was credible...period. I had never heard of Clarence Thomas prior to his being named to become a justice of the court, and I had no prior opinion about him of any kind. I had never heard of Anita Hill, either. I had no personal or political reason to root for her just to see him humiliated or rejected for appointment. (She was humiliated by the process, as well, and her reputation has been more damaged than his.) If Thomas had not been appointed, Bush would have named another conservative judge to fill the spot. I certainly had no expectation of a liberal judge being named in any case, so it didn't matter to me if Thomas or someone else was approved for the court.

I still think Hill was telling the truth.

Kyzernick said...

Why?

Virgil Hilts said...

I have a much better memory of the great SNL spoof than the actual hearings. http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/cold-opening/n10108
Ted Kennedy probably was not really involved in the hearings but he should have been.

campy said...

"Why?"

If two paragons of morality such as Ted Kennedy and Pat Leahy believed her, why wouldn't you?

Rick said...

I'd rather see a documentary about sexual harassment and the American public mind in the 1990s, beginning with the you-just-don't-get-it scolding that was delivered over the high-tech-lynched body of Clarence Thomas followed by the it's-just-sex championing of the Democratic Party hero Bill Clinton. That was one hell of a transition.

Their actions matched their principles perfectly throughout the entire process.

damikesc said...

I had no personal or political reason to root for her just to see him humiliated or rejected for appointment. (She was humiliated by the process, as well, and her reputation has been more damaged than his.)

Shouldn't false allegations lead to that? If you make claims against somebody with no actual verification of them happening, shouldn't you suffer negative repurcussions for doing so?

I still think Hill was telling the truth.

Then why did she leave jobs to follow him when the incoming bosses asked her to stay?

When were they alone together long enough to even BEGIN this alleged relationship?

Bruce Hayden said...

To me, one of the humorous things about that video was Al Franken playing Senator Simon. I think that it would still be embarrassing to be from Minnesota, which not only had a professional wrestler for governor, but now has a bad comedian as a real Senator.

damikesc said...

That series is just ludricrous. "We have to kill my father" becomes "We have to work with my father" and back and forth between 1-2 episodes is annoying. Huck kills a busload of innocents and no one sweats that. It's just: oh, hey, he's just been brainwashed can't blame him!

Shonda is an incredibly overrated television producer. Her stories seldom make any sense on anything except the most superficial basis.

Also, it's been a long time in the series since Olivia Pope was anything OTHER than playing the victim and actually sucking at her job.

Wife watches the show regularly and from what little I've seen recently, yeah, that seems accurate. Also doesn't appear anybody is really damaged by NOT having her on their side, making the claim of her super competence a bit tenuous.

Qwinn said...

"One hell of a transition"? Why the reluctance to call it rank naked hyperpartisan hypocrisy? In fact just "hypocrisy" would've sufficed, though all the rest is also indisputably true.

Tom said...

We've moved from a high tech to a digital lynching. We should be ashamed.

Birches said...

@ Bruce Hayden

I think it's reasonable for a woman back then to not realize THAT was common practice back then for NBA players. I'd be more skeptical if the case happened today.

Sebastian said...

"That was one hell of a transition." You mean, unlike all the other transitions the left foists on us? Each time, of course, history has to be rewritten. Thomas accused of harassment? Lynch him! Fast-forward: Clinton accused more credibly by more women with more evidence? Vast right-wing conspiracy! Bimbo eruptions and sleazy sluts and it wasn't even sex and --. Fast-forward: Hillary! not Prog enough? Shame on Bill! Hail Monica, feminist icon, whose shame was all in her mind, poor girl.

Civil unions a slippery slope toward SSM? No way! Fast-forward: SSM a slippery slope toward polygamy? No way! Until --

Affirmative action a recipe for reverse discrimination? No way! Fast-forward: affirmative action as color-blind application of neutral rules? Racist!

Feminism as special pleading for female privilege? No way! Fast-forward: equal protection and sure process for all sides in college sexual harassment cases? Sexist!

Gabriel said...

@Whirred Whacks: Courtney Vance as Johnny Cochran

Was Phil Morris not available? If he was, to fail to cast him in that role is outrageous, egregious, preposterous.

Sammy Finkelman said...

This is one of the thinbgs that they say it is a case of he-said, she-said. But that is not true. There was much to prove Anita Hill was a liar.

This article contains some proofs I did not know, and omits something I did.

I did not know, or remember anyway, that her testimony was contradicted by 2 FBI agents and by a Democratic staffer. In the case of the FBI agents she maintained her position, but in the case of the Democratic staffer, she reversed herself. The lie about the FBI agents was that they told her that she need not discuss things that wre too embarassing (which was her reason for raising new allegations) The lie about the staffer was that he or she did NOT tell her, (or she didn't remember being told) that she might be able to force Clarence Thomas to withdraw his nomination without her name ever having to become public.

The lie that's not mentioned here is that all the other staffers said she was constantly trying to get close to Clarence Thomas while she claimed she was trying to avoid him. There was much to cross check about her story.

I actually started out believing her, and, after listening to her testimony, concluded that she lied. (As Stuart Taylor writes that was what public opinion showd at the time, but the propagandas has been the opposite. Somebody needs to make the original testimony available on DVD.)

The thing that made it clear to me that she was lying, was this repeated claim that she followed Clarence Thomas to another job because she was afraid of losing her job if she stayed where she was because President Reagan wanted to abolish the Department of Education.

This was built upon a Democratic Party lie. Abolishing the Department of Education would not have meant stopping anything that the Department of Education was doing. But that was what Democrats wanted people to think, and eventually Reagan gave up.

Before there was a Department of Education, it was part of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) which, after the split, was renamed Health and Human Services (HHS). There was talk of making it into a Foundation. Senator Arlen Spector (R-Penn) repeatedly questioned her about the fact that she had civil service protection and Anita Hill pretended not to understand what he was talking about.

I am not sure what would have disappeared if the Department of Education had been abolished - a layer of bureacracy, invitations to international conferences for some people - I really don't know. I still don't know what that was all about. More protection against budget cuts because there's no Secretary of HEW?

Sammy Finkelman said...

Neither the article, nor the movie of course, goes into the leak. Anita Hill was forced to go public. She had previously made vague allegations of sexual harassment as her reason for quitting her job. She was forced to elaborate on them, or be depicted as a liar or a coward. Instrumental in the leak was a round robin letter signed by Yale Law school graduates.

To put this another way, Bill and Hillary Clinton were probably instrumental in the leak , and when it became it became public, Bill Clinton announced his candidacy for president. (October 3, 1991)

http://www.c-span.org/video/?21803-1/governor-bill-clinton-dar-presidential-campaign-announcement

http://www.aim.org/publications/aim_report/1991/10b.html

Both NPR and Newsday made the charges public on the weekend, (Oct. 5-6)

I don't think the timing - and the fact that Bill and Hillary Clinton were ale Law School graduates) was a coincidence.

Nina Totenberg burned her notes to conceal the source of the leak, and it hard tp determine its exact timing

http://www.npr.org/2016/04/14/474265633/nprs-nina-totenberg-recalls-breaking-anita-hills-story-in-1991

I don't know if anybody else has connected the dots. (Most people probably don't even know the dotes to connect. Try to find some mention on the Internet of that round robin letter)

Well, one person, maybe, did, and he probably had some confidential sources.

David Brock signed a contract to write a book about the Anita Hill leak - and then, instead, wrote a book called "The Real Anita Hill" - about Anita Hill but not about the leak - and since then he has become a yellow dog defender of Bill and Hillary Clinton. I say he was so then. He was BOUGHT OFF EARLY.

coupe said...

We're still paying the price for her antics.

You can't even ask a woman for a blow job anymore without them hiring a lawyer for sexual harassment.

If I wanted to harass women I would have rubbed my pee-pee on their leg.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

I'll be looking for those HBO Pre-occurence retrospective Documentaries of Senate hearings for the next S.C. nominee.

I've got a real education from those West Wing documentaries. So informative!

Sammy Finkelman said...

Clarence Thomas seemed to be of the opinon that some of the witnesses corroborating Anita Hill were lying - and she had not claimed sexual harassment at all to anybody back in the 1980s.

But I thought they could be telling the truth, because Anita Hill was always vague, according to them. It could be it was just an all purpose excuse Anita Hill used for leaving. On the other hand, maybe the other witnesses told very carefully prepared lies.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Robert Cook said...

"If Thomas had not been appointed, Bush would have named another conservative judge to fill the spot. "

But he might not have bene confirmed. We were already at the poinbt where we are now. Clarenece Thomas only got confirmed because he was African American.

That was the last time a Senate of the opposite party of the president has confirmed a United States Supreme Court nominee.

In New Jersey, the Democratic State Senate refused to confirm a nominee of Governor Chrios Christie to the New Jersey Supreme Court for six years. (They insisted he re-apointthe sitting justice)

Governor Chris Christie just caved in. He made a deal now that he's endorsed Donald Trump. He appointed a Democrat whom he and the State Senate agreed upon.

Sammy Finkelman said...

I think the reason the sexual harassment Anita Hill related seemed so minimal, was that she was lying, and she didn't want to tell too big a lie.

Alternatively, she didn't want to make the conduct too bad because, had the "sexual harassment: been more serious, then, not complaining at the time, would have seemed cowardly and unfair to other women.

In any case, for whatever reason, she made as minimal a complaint as she could get away with, and had to be coaxed into adding more.

That's one thing that makes me believe she really did make vague claims to other people in the 1980s. (Not to anyone she worked with or anyone who could check it out or anywhere where iit might get back to Clarenece Thomas or her coworkers.)

rcocean said...

The whole point of hearing was to destroy Clarence Thomas. It had nothing to do with educating people on "Sexual harassment". There are several things that showed Hill had no credibility. (1) she never told Thomas to stop "harassing" her, and then followed him to another agency, and then socialized and asked him for help years after the event. (2) she kept no notes nor did she tell the other women in the office. (3) the vast majority of people in the office supported Thomas' version. (4) Hill is a lesbian and Thomas picked up on that.

She really wanted to stab Thomas in the back, destroy his once in lifetime chance of being a SCOTUS Judge and do it privately - but the Senate committee decided to hold hearings. So, her little plot didn't' work.

Fernandinande said...

coupe said...
If I wanted to harass women I would have rubbed my pee-pee on their leg.


That's what pub(l)ic transportation is for.

rcocean said...

This "High Tech Lynching" and the response to Clinton's Lewinsky scandal showed me Liberals will do anything to win. Any idea they are moral or really believe in anything except power is bullshit.

Big Mike said...

That was one hell of a transition.

Oh! You noticed that, did you? It's one reason why I feel contempt for Democrats all the way down to my bones. That, and Hillary Clinton.

I don't understand why a paper that wants to influence opinion would make the commentary columns unreachable to nonsubscribers. They don't want to have an effect?

Cut your way past the BS twice in one morning, Professor. You. Are. On. A. Roll.

Sam L. said...

Of course HBO rewrote the story. Would anyone expect otherwise?

Fred Drinkwater said...

Regardless of Hill's credibility, it is true that there were white collar workplaces where heavy-duty lockerroom sex joking was a thing. I heard comments like "Isn't that the guy you had to blow to get your promotion?" and "This [boardroom] table's nice; we could really get it on here." (the latter said by boss to female subordinate in front of the client and their bankers. That female, perhaps unusually, responded with "I don't know, Bob, I don't think it's big enough for the two of us.")
Lots of professional women from that period have nodded and told me similar stories. They never looked shocked to hear of such things.

Darrell said...

Hill's story fell apart when their old law professor took the stand. After the "traumatic" incidents had taken place, the professor hired Hill and Thomas to help with the final push on a law book that was due at the publishers. He lived in a small town, miles away from anything important, and he gave her directions. He told her at the time that Thomas was coming, too, and she had no issue with that. Immediately after the phone call, Hill called Thomas up for a ride. The ride turned to be something like 6 hours in the car. When the job was over, since Hill had been complaining about the long car ride back, the professor offered to drive her to a train station, about 45-minutes away. There she could get a direct train back to the city. She refused and went with Thomas.

DavidD said...

"...beginning with the you-just-don't-get-it scolding that was delivered over the high-tech-lynched body of Clarence Thomas followed by the it's-just-sex championing of the Democratic Party hero Bill Clinton."

Why anyone believes anything the Democrats say anymore is beyond me.

William Chadwick said...

Remember, kids: there is no truth but socialist truth.

Gahrie said...

Bush would have named another conservative judge to fill the spot.

Are you sure about that? That's not what history shows....the pattern is, Republican president names judicial conservative...nomination is killed, someone more moderate (and often outright progressive) is nominated. That most progressive and inventive of justices, Harry Blackmun, was Nixon's fourth choice for that seat.

CatherineM said...

I have no desire to watch it either for exactly the same reasons, Professor. Wasted enough prime time on this then. I also knew it would be biased towards this "hero."

The same people who call Justice Thomas names adore Clinton. That was not lost on me.

Unknown said...

You knew this was going to be a biased piece of shit when the actress playing Juanita was hitting the press saying it wasn't a biased production. I think the HBO executives are smarting that they lost 45% of their audience share coming right out of the gate. And lets face it political "docudramas" have a hard time drawing eyeballs. I hope they take a bath on this.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"I don't understand why a paper that wants to influence opinion would make the commentary columns unreachable to nonsubscribers. They don't want to have an effect?"

The effect they want involves synonyms-of-sundry* methods of getting money from (potential) consumers by branding, or perhaps even more importantly getting wealth without consumers but with donors instead such as The New Republic or MSNBC model.

The brand is worth more for its decision to keep gates as are the Clubs Marx Wouldn't Belong To Because Marx, worth paying more for this conspicuous consumption even if, inherently contradictory, other people don't know you pay to read the WSJ, as by God you know you pay for it and (can) read it. Frankly, this mindset applauds itself for being so conspicuous in the consumption it can recognize it and cause inner-purrs of narcissistic validation without outside interference, even though ostentatiously the motivation for purchase of the subscription is to show others what kind of person you are.


My hubris already unchecked but only at certain unfrequent prompts, this is why I so greatly fear thanking Althouse with a recurring subscription-like donation, knowing damn well I am lucky to have gotten so far for nearly-free as I could have paying for lesser info attached to lifetime debts, however fearing the elevation to a subscription as a potentially foundation-separation event I may not withstand or recover adequately from.

*I've had too much use of the term sundry recently for my tastes although I retain consciously no bias, or harbors of, any individual that has, or will, use the term as they deem fit.

Rusty said...

Sammy.
I remember watching the hearings and paying close attention to what the Democrats on the panel were saying and also their expressions. It was a dog and pony show.

Sammy Finkelman said...

rcocean said...4/18/16, 10:49 AM

She really wanted to stab Thomas in the back, destroy his once in lifetime chance of being a SCOTUS Judge and do it privately

No, I don't think so. She didn't want to do anything. She had to be coaxed into coming forward. A committee staffer also had to tell her that it might not become public. And then she lied about being told that. And had to retract.

This is where Bill and Hillary Clinton come in. This is the way I see it:
They knew, through the grapevine, or Bill Clinton's mammoth Rolodex of contacts, that Anita Hill had made these claims. I think one of the persons she made the claim to was also a Yale Law School alumni. I think maybe even from the same class as Hillary.

So I think Bill and Hillary Clinton thought this would be useful in denying Clarence Thomas conformation, and they +wanted to do it, not because they were so liberal, but, because, as a Democrat, Bill Clinton would be committed to opposing conservative Supreme Court nominees, particularly because of Roe v Wade, but he didn't want to lose anything from the other side. This way he could have his cake and eat it too.

There was a round robin letter signed by Yale Law School graduates urging her to come forward. That is, go to the committee. I think that's when that letter had to be.

Anita Hill felt compelled to go to the committee in order to maintain her credibility and her reputation among people who knew her - among people to whom she had told that she left her job with Clarence Thomas because she had been sexually harassed. Actually, she just wasn't very good at it. She was basically embarassed into it. She was shamed into coming forward.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Now the Senate Judiciary Committee, under Joe Biden, and others, had a policy when it came to personal allegations against judicial nominees, and I think Joe Biden spoke about it. They would check it out, but, if it had no bearing on their fitness for office, and in most cases that would mean, it did not involve breaking the law, or the law that was broken was minor and never prosecuted, they would not let it affect their recommendation and would keep it a secret. Otherwise, a lot of people would be disqualified. In other words, they were not interested in allegations of using drugs or extramarital affairs.

So the committee heard what Anita Hill had to say, and decided it was not relevant.

Then, somebody leaked it to Nina Totenberg of NPR and to Newsday.

Now I think Bill Clinton maybe had something to do with that. The committee felt forced to clarify the issue. They were probably coming under some political pressure from people on Bill Clinton's Rolodex. Bill Clinton announced for president right before the leak.

David Brock signed a book contract to write abook about the leak and then, instead, wrote an entirely different book - "The real Anita Hill" - against Anita Hill, but nothing about the leak. My theory is, he was already on the side of the Clintons by that time. It took him a few years to make it official.

Brock's Anita Hill book, is, of course, chock full of inaccuracies and dubious claims.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1993-05-23/news/9305230007_1_mayer-and-abramson-clarence-thomas-anita-hill-jane-mayer

For example, Brock's central thesis hinges on the possibility he constructs that Hill fabricated her charge and that her supporting witnesses, who said she had told them of Thomas' alleged harassments years earlier, may actually have been told of another harassing supervisor for whom Hill had worked and that Hill simply failed to correct the false impression.

That's based on the fact that Susan Hoerchner gave a date of 1981 as to when miht have been told this by Anita Hill. I think Susan Hoerchner sai she was not gven a name. Now, of course there are two other possibilities: Susan Hoerchner was totally lying, or she made a mistake about the date, because it didn't stick in her mind in what precise year she was told this.

The important point about this is (I think the book does this - I didn't read the book) David Brock conceals the all-important fact that Anita Hill was shamed into going to the committee.

It was not her idea. She didn't want to do it - most likely, because it wss not true. She also had never elaborated on the nature of the "sexual harassment" to anybody she had told this to, so she had to make things up. They couldn't be too bad, or she wouldn't look good to her friends.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Rusty said...4/19/16, 6:00 AM

Sammy.

I remember watching the hearings and paying close attention to what the Democrats on the panel were saying and also their expressions. It was a dog and pony show.


I wasn't watching the Democrats or maybe even watching while they were speaking. I watched the testimony of Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas and one or two others, or parts of it.

Public opiniopn changed after that testimony, and not in favor of Anita Hill. But a myrth was circulated that she was viindicated and, in time, Republicans even came to apologize or acknowledge they were not good. The majority of public opinion is now maybe the other way but only because they didn't see the testimony.


Sammy Finkelman said...

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1993/08/12/the-hill-thomas-mystery/

At the time of the hearings, most of those polled—men and women, black and white—said they believed Thomas and not Hill. Thomas was narrowly confirmed by the Senate and now sits on the Supreme Court for life. But within a year the polls shifted: more people said they believed Hill than Thomas.

That's really, really, bad - a tribute to propaganda.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Maybe it is possible that Anita Hill claimed sexual harassment at a time when she would have been referring to another boss. His basis for saying she was talking about someone else other than Clarence Thomas was that Susan Hoerchner said she and Anita Hill stopped having regular telephone conversations when she moved to California in September, 1981, and this was just about also the exact time when she first went to work for Clarenece Thomas.

I have no trouble believing that Anita Hill made this sort of allegation about more than one person (or no person in particular) She used that as a conversation stopper, so she wouldn't have to explain why she quit her job(s).

When she failed at her jobs, Brock claims, she fabricated sexual harassment charges as a cover-up to avoid the shame of acknowledging her inadequacy. For example, when a partner in the now disbanded Washington law firm of Wald, Harkrader & Ross suggested that in view of her unpromising record she would do best to leave her job as an associate, she told friends she was leaving because she had been sexually harassed. Thomas, because a mutual friend (since deceased) had asked him to look after her, rescued her from her failure at the Wald firm by giving her a job at the Department of Education.

Now we get to the question, how did some of her friends know or think that she was talking about Clarence Thomas (because she made this kind of allegation later too)

And also how might it have been possible for Bill and Hillary clinton to be among those in the know, as I suspect.

It almost has to be Yale Law School alumni who told others - other people would not have been so interested in who would be a Supreme Court Justice, and anxious to influence the apointment. Anita Hill was from the Yale Law school graduating class of 1980. Clarence Thomas was from the Yale Law School graduating class of 1972, as was Hillary Rodham. Bill Clinton, was from the Yale Law School graduating class of
1973, although a year older than Hillary - he had spent most of two years at Oxford.

I'd like to know more about that round robin letter that urged her to tell her story. When was it written? Who signed it? Who maybe didn't sign it? Were all the signers from the class of 1980, or not? I think hat letetr probably made it look like alot more people knew about her (vague) allegations than actually did.

Brock makes Anita Hill out to be deliberately telling the story, when she really was pressured into it.

When Thomas was nominated in July 1991, Hill’s old friend and Yale Law School classmate Susan Hoerchner, a workers’ compensation judge in California, telephoned Hill and asked her if Thomas wasn’t the “pig” who, Hill had confided, had harassed her back in 1981. Hoerchner’s memory was confused, says Brock. When she later repeated her story to Senate investigators, she dated her conversation with Hill about harassment to the spring of 1981. But that was several months before Hill had started working for Thomas. If Hill had told Hoerchner in spring 1981 that she was being harassed, Brock writes, then it must have been by some other man than Thomas—or maybe Hill, in telling of harassment, was referring only to the phony cover story she had made up in order to avoid admitting she had been asked to leave Wald, Harkrader & Ross.

Hill, according to Brock, should have known that if Hoerchner had the right date she had the wrong man.


Why didn't she correct Hoerchner? Because she wanted to be on people;s good side - she wanted to have friends.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Hill’s story that she had been harassed by Thomas, according to Brock, was floated in Washington on the liberal cocktail-party circuit, where Nan Aron of the Alliance for Justice, which was lobbying against Thomas, picked it up from a “still-unidentified guest.” She passed the story on to Senator Edward Kennedy’s aide Ricki Seidman and Senator Howard Metzenbaum’s staffer James Brudney, a Yale Law School classmate of Hill’s, who tried to persuade Hill to talk. Brudney supposedly used his close friendship and “special influence” with Hill to lure her into telling her story to the Senate—first by misleading her by telling her she could do so anonymously, and then by having two feminist lawyers induce her to write a signed statement which she faxed to the committee. Finally, Brock alleges, “the confidential charges were leaked to the media by Senator [Paul] Simon and Jim Brudney, the true villains of the piece.” (Brock purports to draw this conclusion from documents in the public record, even though Peter Fleming, the Senate’s own independent counsel in charge of an exhaustive investigation of the leak following the hearings, declined to reach such a conclusion.) Newsday’s Tim Phelps and National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg broke the story in the press. Thus, Brock’s perjury theory concludes, Hill’s vengeful fib snowballed unexpectedly into a command performance on national TV.

I'm just wondering if somewhere in this whole story are not Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Who was the "unidentified guest?" And how did the unidentified guest know? And was the story circulated in more than one way?

Sammy Finkelman said...

http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1077&context=yjlf

"But then Brock undermines his own two theories-both of which allowed
that Hill was sexually harassed, but not by Clarence Thomas-by stating that
she has a pattern of specious complaints about harassment.":

This sounds like a bad book.

The whole point is she made up (vague) stories, and didn't want to admit she made it up, so much so, she was embarassed and shamed into going to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Susan Hoerchner, also was changing her story later, to support the idea it was Clarence Thomas, but when Anita Hill made that claim to her in 1981, it could not have been about Clarence Thomas.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Newsweek version of first hintof Anita Hill's story:

http://www.newsweek.com/anatomy-debacle-204540

In August, Nan Aron, head of the Alliance for Justice, which opposed Thomas, got a call from a person saying Thomas had harassed an employee named Anita Hill in the early '80s. The male caller, whom Aron says she knew, had been a classmate of Hill's at Yale Law School. It isn't known whether he was calling at Hill's behest or even with her knowledge. In any event, Aron passed along the information to the staff of Democratic Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, the only member of the Judiciary Committee to vote against Thomas's successful nomination to the federal appeals court in Washington in 1990.

So theer we have Yale Law school graduating class of 1980.

She was really pushed into it.

Even then:

According to Biden, Hill demanded confidentiality, that Thomas not be informed of her charges and that the FBI undertake no investigation. Hill told Grant that she wanted to share her concerns with the committee to "remove responsibility" and "take it out of [her] hands." Biden decided not to tell other committee members of the allegations. Only he, Metzenbaum and Kennedy knew at this point.

As time went on:

Finally, two days later, in what was at least the seventh conversation that week between Hill and the Judiciary staff, Hill said she would submit a statement of her charges to the committee and then agree to bring in the FBI. Throughout these September negotiations, some senators suspect Hill was in regular contact with aides to Kennedy and Metzenbaum, especially Brudney. Thomas's supporters point to them as the source of alleged arm-twisting on Hill. Sen. Dennis DeConcini, a Democrat, says it's apparent that "a Labor-committee aide was giving her advice." Similarly, the White House wonders if Metzenbaum and Kennedy staff badgered Hill into relenting on confidentiality.

Rich Rostrom said...

What is surprising about this?

This is a product of the same Hollywood which

Gave two Academy Awards to ex-Communist Lilian Hellman's fraudulent "memoir" of anti-Nazi heroics (starring Reds Vanessa Redgrave and Jane Fonda), stolen from the actual life of psychiatrist Muriel Gardiner. ("Julia")

Made a hagiographical biopic on Mexican artist Frida Kahlo which never mentioned her devoted admiration for Stalin. ("Frida")

Portrayed Dalton Trumbo as a heroic victim of right-wing persecutors who labelled him a Communist, when he was in fact a Communist. ("Trumbo")

Recounted Dan Rather's attempted smear of President George W. Bush with obviously forged documents with continual insinuations that the charges were true anyway. ("Truth")

The "re-shaping" of the Thomas hearings by anti-Thomas popular media began that same year: Glamour named her one of 10 "Women of the Year" for 1991, and gave her a "Special Tribute" in 1992. The stream of favorable coverage of Hill has never stopped, while Thomas has been subtly vilified as ignorant and stupid. By 2000, the perception which Americans had gotten from actually watching the hearings had been reversed.

This is just the cherry on top.

mikee said...

I watched the hearings on CSPAN. At the close of the hearings, after the last gavel, Leahy and Kennedy are talking on live microphones, thinking they are not.

They commented about the political effect the hearings would have, "if anybody watched them," and I quote exactly, and then they both broke up laughing.

I wish to hell the HBO show had included that historical vignette.