October 02, 2007

Blogging Thomas

Remember Anita Hill? Neither do I, but I think she was the woman who wrongly accused some Duke lacrosse players of rape.

Wait, my mistake. Actually she was the woman that accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his 1991 Supreme Court nomination hearings. Ms. Hill gets an additional 15 minutes of fame this week what with Justice Thomas's autobiography getting published. The New York Times today helpfully gives her a platform upon which to again stage her grievance theater. Ed Morrissey, however, provides some context:

I recall that it was Hill who went to the Judiciary Committee with a litany of unsubstantiated representations and outright smears in 1991. The committee had noted the lack of substantiation and had dismissed her effort until someone leaked it to the press. Her colleagues testified that they had never witnessed any of the events or any other harrassing behavior from Thomas when they came before the committee. In fact, at the time, the other women who worked for Thomas testified to his professional mien in the office.

Captain Ed also notes that Hill, a graduate of Yale law school who one might think would have learned something about the timeliness of claims, waited ten years before accusing Thomas of anything.

Which brings me back to the Duke non-rape case. But for the blogosphere (by which I mean largely, but by no means solely, conservative bloggers), those lacrosse players would have been sacrificed at the alter of Mike Nifong's political ambition and the MSM's racial narrative. During Thomas's confirmation hearings, there was of course no conservative blogosphere to question an accuser whose credibility was questionable, or to fact-check a MSM eager to use any accusation to bludgeon a Republican Supreme Court nominee. The media transmitted the narrative of the defenseless woman being harassed by a lecherous supervisor gladly, and without question. The fact that this narrative mirrored the character assassination which left-wing interest groups and Senate Democrats wanted I'm sure was just a coincidence.

Those hearings are now remembered for popularizing "sexual harassment," thus making the caddish the criminal, and setting up a legal regime that wastes millions of dollars in litigation and sensitivity training courses every year. I think, however, that they should also be seen an example of what would happen if there was no conservative blogosphere looking over the shoulders of both the press and policymakers.

Posted by JakeM at October 2, 2007 11:33 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

As someone raised by a Duke-graduate Judge, this case peaked my interest in more than a few ways. The best coverage of it by far was on a blog called Durham-In-Wonderland, which was apolitical - but written by a Democrat.


Posted by: Brud Lee at October 2, 2007 06:54 PM

I actually link to KC Johnson, author of 'Durham in Wonderland', guest-blogging at Volokh Conspiracy. Although he cites some early liberal Nifong-doubters, Johnson also acknowledges liberal organizations (specifically, the NY Times and NAACP) taking positions that bolstered prosecutorial misconduct.

Given the conservative interest in the case -- linking to, feeding off and popularizing Johnson's yeoman's work in the face of the MSM's politically correct narrative -- I think it's fair to call the case a victory for the conservative blogosphere.

Still, I didn't mean to slight Johnson's work, and if that's how the post came off, it certainly wasn't my intent.

Posted by: JakeM at October 2, 2007 07:31 PM

Wasn't the Anita Hill accusation the genesis of the idea in the MSM of "the serious nature of the charges" taking precedence over actual evidence?

Posted by: G Rex at October 3, 2007 12:28 PM

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