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Revisionism on Anita Hill

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in Washington, D.C., June 1, 2017 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Michael Kruse writes in Politico about the Hill–Thomas hearings of 1991, when Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Joe Biden supposedly “opted not to have testify at least three corroborating witnesses to the alleged sexual harassment and ended up presiding over a panel that swaths of watchers saw as a GOP-spearheaded male chauvinist inquisition of Hill more than a good-faith, socially conscious effort to listen and learn.” (For more about the strongest of these testimonies, and why it wasn’t strong at all, see here.)

Kruse adds, “Women seethed.”

Not most of them. The Los Angeles Times found that women believed Thomas over Hill by a 48-41 percent margin, and favored his confirmation 48-25 percent. The New York Times reported, “Asked whose account they believed more, twice as many of those who were polled said Judge Thomas’s as said Professor Hill’s. There was little difference in response between men and women, or between blacks and whites.” CNN found that 57 percent of women favored Thomas’s confirmation while 31 percent opposed.

Liberals seethed. Too many journalists have a habit of treating them as a stand-in for women.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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