HBO Movie Is a 'Hit-Job' on Clarence Thomas

Reporter who covered hearings says it sides with Anita Hill
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2016 11:39 AM CDT
HBO Movie Is a 'Hit-Job' on Clarence Thomas
This image released by HBO shows Wendell Pierce portraying Clarence Thomas.   (Frank Masi/HBO via AP)

Stuart Taylor of the Brookings Institution covered the Clarence Thomas hearings as a reporter 25 years ago, and he makes the case in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that the new HBO movie on the topic is a "Hollywood hit-job" on the Supreme Court justice, as the headline puts it. Confirmation makes a show of being evenhanded, but its presentation, particularly in what it leaves out, is telling, writes Taylor. Those behind the movie clearly want viewers to think Anita Hill "told the whole truth" in her allegations of sexual harassment, and that Thomas "was thus a desperate, if compelling, liar." Among Taylor's complaints: The movie doesn't mention that some of Hill's "most shocking charges" emerged only in her public testimony, not in an earlier written statement or in an FBI interview.

It also fails to mention that Hill denied five times under oath being told by a Democratic staffer "that she might be able to force Mr. Thomas to withdraw without being publicly identified." Later, after talking with her lawyers, she admitted being told this. There's more, including the dozen or so women who testified on Thomas' behalf and the seemingly friendly phone calls Hill placed to Thomas in the years after leaving her post. Taylor's take: "While it is hard to believe Anita Hill simply made the whole thing up, she was far from credible—and the behavior that she alleged was inconsistent with everything else we know about Clarence Thomas." Click for the full column. (Read more Clarence Thomas stories.)

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