Sunday, October 15, 2017

The reason that the Senate voted to confirm Clarence Thomas was that Anita Hill’s testimony was riddled with lies

Maureen Dowd has an unfortunate habit of smearing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas any time she addresses the topic of sexual harassment
writes the Federalist's Mark Paoletta, author of the Justice Clarence Thomas website.
Dowd [in her column] neglects to mention that the American people, after watching the Thomas-Hill hearings live—unfiltered by the media spin machine—believed Thomas. … There was no gender gap on disbelieving Hill. Only 26 percent of women believed her, compared to 22 perent [sic] of men.

One of the key reasons Americans believed Thomas was the sheer number of women who came forward to defend him. Twelve of his former colleagues, including several who were Hill’s friends and colleagues, testified under oath that they did not believe Hill’s allegations and that Thomas would never say such lurid things. Indeed, Thomas had been through four previous FBI background checks, and no such allegations had ever surfaced.

The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Thomas because Hill’s story did not add up, and her testimony in front of the committee was riddled with lies. Try as she might, she could not explain away her decision to follow Thomas to another job after he had allegedly harassed her, or her repeated phone calls to Thomas over the years after she left government employment.

 … The problems with the testimony of Hill and her corroborating witnesses are too numerous to review here, but here is a website with a good summary of all the discrepancies. Dowd also conveniently leaves out that Sen. Nancy Kassebaum concluded that Hill did not prove her case and voted to confirm Thomas.

 … Dowd recently said “Feminism sort of died” in the 1990s when its leaders defended the sexual misconduct of Bill Clinton “to protect the progressive policies for women that Bill Clinton had as president.” The flip side of that is feminists, including Dowd, who use baseless allegations of sexual misconduct to attack a political opponent such as Thomas. This type of weaponization has hurt progress on stamping out sexual harassment.

Perhaps Dowd does not feel constrained by journalism ethics because she writes an opinion column for The New York Times, but to peddle the Hill story as if it were fact in spite of all evidence suggesting it to be fiction is the height of irresponsible journalism. To perpetuate this lie is as morally reprehensible as starting it in the first place.

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