In broadcast network stories on how Ginni Thomas left a phone message for Anita Hill (“I would love you to consider an apology sometimes and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband”) , a revelation which ABC and NBC decided merited their lead slot, the network journalists couldn't resist scolding her for her conservative political activity.
“Ginni Thomas has long stretched our idea of what a spouse of a non-partisan Supreme Court justice should be,” ABC's Sharyn Alfonsi contended, explaining: “A long-time conservative activist, she now heads Liberty Central, an advocacy group opposing what she characterizes as the leftist tyranny of President Obama.”
On CBS, Jan Crawford declared the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas “has come under scrutiny” because “she formed a grass-roots conservative group and speaks at Tea Party conventions.” NBC's Andrea Mitchell echoed: “Recently, Virginia Thomas has emerged as a high-profile Tea Party activist and skilled fundraiser,” calling that “an unusually partisan role for a Supreme Court spouse, as the New York Times wrote on the 19th anniversary of the hearings, the same morning Mrs. Thomas called Anita Hill.”
NBC displayed the Saturday, October 9 article: “Activism of Thomas's Wife May Raise Judicial Issues.”
Jan Crawford, on the Wednesday, October 20 CBS Evening News:
Ginni Thomas, once the silent spouse, has come under scrutiny. She formed a grass-roots conservative group and speaks at Tea Party conventions. Her call to Anita Hill came the same morning the New York Times published a story questioning her political activities as the wife of a Supreme Court justice.
From the NBC Nightly News:
ANDREA MITCHELL: Recently, Virginia Thomas has emerged as a high-profile Tea Party activist and skilled fundraiser.
GINNI THOMAS, SEPTEMBER 2: America's at risk and I didn't know how far President Obama and the leadership was going to take us.
MITCHELL: An unusually partisan role for a Supreme Court spouse, as the New York Times wrote on the 19th anniversary of the hearings, the same morning Mrs. Thomas called Anita Hill.
19 years and a new generation is blithely ill-informed. As I tweeted:
Ignorance at Brandeis. Andrea Mitchell on NBC NN: “Anita Hill's students, well some said they had no idea who she was until today.”
— Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.