On Thursday morning, as the broadcast networks all seized on Democratic demands for an FBI investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault claims against Brett Kavanaugh, reporters on NBC, ABC, and CBS were quick to point to the Bureau’s investigation of Anita Hill’s sexual harassment claims against Clarence Thomas in 1991. However, none of the supposed journalists could seem to remember that the outcome of that inquiry was inconclusive.
After last-minute accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Anita Hill is back in the spotlight, and Boston Globe reporter Stephanie Ebbert got prime front-page space Wednesday for an incredibly fawning interview of Hill, who accused her boss Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment near the end of his Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1991. Ebbert’s story is headlined like a lament, and both the headline and the story itself assume the guilt of both Thomas and Kavanaugh, who each happen to be conservative Republican nominees: “Happening again? Hill’s not surprised.”
During an exclusive softball interview with Anita Hill on Wednesday’s Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos teed her up to accuse Senate Republicans of trying to intimidate or “destroy” Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser by inviting Christine Blasey Ford to testify at a Judiciary Committee hearing on Monday.
ABC News political analyst and former George W. Bush campaign official Matthew Dowd decided not to wait until Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Instead, Dowd not only hammered the current nominee, but he also reached all the way back to 1991 and stated that Clarence Thomas has at least one thing in common with Kavanaugh: They’re both “sexual predators.”
The erupting charges of “attempted rape” against Brett Kavanaugh when he was 17 show just how shameless the Democrats and the “Facts First” media have become. They are promoting charges where the accuser can’t remember when or where it happened. That is enough to stop a Supreme Court nomination?
With a week to go until the scheduled Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to interview Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford, the liberal media were frantically trying to paint the proceedings as misogynistic Republican men beating up on an innocent victim. Both ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News spent a whole segment during their Tuesday broadcasts stoking those fears.
Introducing Jill Abramson on CNN this morning, Alisyn Camerota said, "you say that you shudder to think what will happen" when Christine Ford is questioned at Monday's scheduled Senate hearing. Replied Abramson: "I think that the Republicans, despite all the changes that have happened in the generations since those [Clarence Thomas] hearings, are still going to go in with a strategy to save this nomination at all costs. And if that means destroying, destroying Dr. Ford, I hate to even think about it, but I think it's going to be the same kind of political circus that we saw back in 1991. That's what worries me."
We’ve seen the media and the Democrats use this playbook before. When Justice Clarence Thomas was well on his way to being confirmed in 1991, the Democrats brought forth Anita Hill to accuse Thomas of sexual harassment, in a last ditch attempt to derail his nomination. And while it remains to be seen if the media turn the Brett Kavanaugh nomination process into a similar circus it’s instructive to see what they did back then.
With the charges of an alleged attempted sexual assault swirling around the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the liberal media pounced on the obligatory comparison to the allegations of sexual misconduct against Justice Clarence Thomas by Anita Hill. On NBC Nightly News, correspondent Andrea Mitchell rewrote history and implied that Hill’s claims were credible, hoping the charges would sink the nomination this time around.
It’s not as if we haven’t seen this before. Twenty-seven years ago, a last-minute accusation of sexual harassment prompted the Senate to re-open Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearings; the ‘he-said, she-said’ confrontation was a media spectacle, including prime-time coverage on the broadcast networks. When it was over, the Media Research Center analyzed the coverage, and found journalists criticized Republicans for being too harsh on Anita Hill, while criticizing Democrats for being too soft on Thomas.
Where have we seen this play before: A woman comes forward to accuse a conservative of inappropriate behavior in hopes of harming him sufficiently so he will be unable to achieve his policy objectives? People with even short memories will recall “act one” was Anita Hill, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma, who in 1991 accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Ultimately, it was Hill’s word against Thomas’ and he was appointed to the Supreme Court by a Senate vote of 52-48.
In light of the recent accusations against Les Moonves, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver found it his duty to address workplace harassment and to help resurrect an old liberal hero. On his July 29 show, after giving his own thoughts about sexual harassment, Oliver turned to the person he said “kickstarted” the conversation about workplace harassment back in the 90s; this was none other than Anita Hill who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment after he was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1991.