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Author Says He Lied in Book on Anita Hill
June 27, 2001 8:57 AM   Subscribe

Author Says He Lied in Book on Anita Hill "David Brock, who made his name trashing Anita Hill after the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, now says he lied -- and he's sorry."
posted by saralovering (40 comments total)

 
I was wondering when this was going to be posted. The story disgusted me. OK, Mr. Brock, you say you lied (while acting as a partisan hack) about a major public controversy. Who's to say you're not lying now? Also you wrote the Troopergate story. Can you please get the f off the national journalism stage now? Just go try to write the Great American Novel or something? Take up juggling. Hear it takes a while, and it's sort of like what you've been doing all along.
posted by raysmj at 9:26 AM on June 27, 2001


Though Brock isn't credible today, he wasn't credible back then either. At least he's helping to show that politics is filled with partisan creeps of highly questionable ethics.
posted by rcade at 9:30 AM on June 27, 2001


OK, Mr. Brock, you say you lied (while acting as a partisan hack) about a major public controversy. Who's to say you're not lying now?

I did NOT have sex with that woman! :)
posted by UncleFes at 9:30 AM on June 27, 2001


Look. I don't particularly care for David Brock either, but I would rather have an author who lied come forward and correct the record than not. He made comments that became a part of historical record. If he doesn't recant that record stays. He said in the article:

"I think I owe a debt to the historical record to correct it. If I made a mistake here, the mistake would be that I knew these facts five years ago and didn't disclose them."

I don't know what has brought about this change of heart with Brock over the last year. He has apologized for going after Clinton with "Troopergate" and says that many of those accusations were exaggerated. Then recently he spoke out against Bush's nominee for solicitor general, Ted Olson, claiming that Olson was lying when he claimed he wasn't involved or aware of the Arkansas Project.
posted by terrapin at 9:56 AM on June 27, 2001


Terrapin's got a point; he's a sleazebag for what he did, and no amount of confessional is going to change that- although it may do him some good personally to get this off his chest and admit it to himself and others, those who embraced him then despise him now, and those who despised the message can't forgive the messenger. However, despite it being too little, too late, it is as he says good to have the record finally set straight. When they say that journalism is the first draft of history, that's not always a compliment towards the modern press.

Rcade, you bastard! You could at least let us know that was an Ann Coulter article in the link; ugh... *shiver*... that women is as repulsive as repulsive gets.
posted by hincandenza at 10:45 AM on June 27, 2001



that women is as repulsive as repulsive gets.

I think she is kind of cute.
posted by thirteen at 10:56 AM on June 27, 2001


I think she is kind of cute.

Not really my type, I like brunettes, but she's not bad either.

What's the problem, Hin? Look past the superficial political ideology aspect and at the more meaningful physical attributes, man.
posted by UncleFes at 11:28 AM on June 27, 2001


Look. I don't particularly care for David Brock either, but I would rather have an author who lied come forward and correct the record than not.

But is that what's happening here? Were you lying then, Mr. Brock, or are you lying now? No credibility either way.
posted by ljromanoff at 12:42 PM on June 27, 2001


"I came to view these relationships as mutual-use relationships rather than friendships," Brock says. "I was using them and they were using me."

I don't often agree with ljromanoff; but I suspect we have to follow the money here. He says he knowingly wrote lies in the past in order to sell books to conservative partisans. Now we get a big time mea culpa, and guess what? He's got a book to sell!

Somehow I don't believe that personal integrity had anything to do with this sudden change in personal philosophy.
posted by swell at 1:17 PM on June 27, 2001


Whatever Brock did or did not do, lied or did not lie, we have C.Thomas for life! Anbd what we kew and know know for sure is that the Supreme Court is always a batch of partisan-nominated people.
posted by Postroad at 4:12 PM on June 27, 2001


"the Supreme Court is always a batch of partisan-nominated people."

who now get to choose the president...
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:56 PM on June 27, 2001


I see the grandmother of all libel suits coming. He's already publicly admitted to both falsity and malice.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 4:59 PM on June 27, 2001


"the Supreme Court is always a batch of partisan-nominated people."

who now get to choose the president...


Hope those sour grapes taste good.
posted by ljromanoff at 5:53 PM on June 27, 2001


UncleFes: That's the point- when I do look past the insane psycho- hose- beast political ideology, I find the most annoyingly nasally voiced b*tch, all ugly bony pasty limbs and whining and just a scrawny, skinny, skanky... ugh! Truly one of the most repulsive people I've seen in a long time. She's like a younger, female version of former R-WA US Senator Slade Gorton, without Slade's sexual magnetism and charisma.

ljromanoff: the point is that "your side" benefited from his lies, and the lies of Olson & Co., and continue to do so. Casually dismissing him now that it's convenient or beneficial to do so... well, I think you can imagine my opinion there. I can't say that he's not lying now, and lord knows he doesn't have a whole lot of credibility- although he really only started "losing" that credibility once he spoke out against Olson, no? The test is what they use in courts, testifying against interest- one could argue he has self-interest in promoting his book (which doesn't even come out for 3 months, so if this were just a PR gimmick, he'd wait 2 1/2 months...), but he's also opening himself to further dismissal as journalist and author, not to mention potential civil suits. We have been urged by the conservatively biased media to accept at face value the words of people like Hale, Broderick, Jones, etc., even though their self-interest was writ large; why is it so difficult to accept Brock's "confessional" barring evidence to the contrary? After all, he's not making accusations about someone else, he's admitting unlawful conduct on his own part.
posted by hincandenza at 6:58 PM on June 27, 2001



I think she is kind of cute.

She's cute in a Tonya-Harding-trailer-trash-stick-that-Coors-Light-bottle-up-my-butt kind of way.

Um, er, at least that's what I heard, anyway.
posted by jpoulos at 6:59 PM on June 27, 2001


ewww... and I thought I was the one responsible for taking a thread to new lows...
posted by hincandenza at 9:02 PM on June 27, 2001


"the Supreme Court is always a batch of partisan-nominated people."

who now get to choose the president...

"Hope those sour grapes taste good."


So, when you sold the American ideal and Constitution down the river, how much did you get?

Were you lying then, Mr. Brock, or are you lying now? No credibility either way.

How can you ask for the truth when all you seem to care about is getting what you agree with? Please, enlighten me as to how you so reviled what Ms. Hill was subjected to in the name of the "republican" ideal. By the Constitution of the United States, the Supreme Court does not and should not have the right to decide who gets to be the executive leader of our country. Its worse that the deciding vote in a split decision can be seen as cast by a man who is a power mad pervert. And I'd rather have sour grapes (the spinach in my garden is ripe) than have to live with two faces as you do.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:10 PM on June 27, 2001


so, just curious here, how is it that you don't like a columnist and you start going on about her *looks*? you know, "the most annoyingly nasally voiced b*tch, all ugly bony pasty limbs and whining and just a scrawny, skinny, skanky... ugh!"

what has that got to do with what she writes, and is that word "bitch" still acceptable to describe any woman you don't agree with?

I don't hear anyone insulting brock's looks anywhere in this thread, the guy who just admitted that he regularly sells his integrity. not even as a side-jaunt.

just trying to get straight on my etiquette for the new millenium. - rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 9:11 PM on June 27, 2001


For sexy conservative windbags few can beat Fox's Heather Nauert
posted by owillis at 9:18 PM on June 27, 2001


Rebecca - the main reason is that these columnists use their looks to get on TV. Coulter, etc. would be blips on the pundit radar if not for their choice of clothing and makeup.
posted by owillis at 10:21 PM on June 27, 2001


wait a minute. are you saying that men and women are held to entirely different standards when it comes to these things?

also, the *main* reason? no, your looks are the main reason you get to be the weather girl.

to be one of these pundits you have to have something else going on. and I believe there are some female pundits who are not that great looking. I *know* there are male pundits who aren't.


==OT=====
(like the whole line of talk about women's looks isn't)

also, I had a total side thought when I posted that, which is that men hate it when women post things like that. and here' s the line of reasoning that went through my head:

- it makes men feel like they're being scolded which makes them simultaneously feel like

--- they are 3 again and their mother is telling them they are bad
--- women never let them do anything fun

the 3 again thing is a moment of strong emotional memory of, for one second, losing the love of the woman you love the most.

this causes some men to get really angry with the woman in the present and discount them and possibly resort to name-calling.

I don't know, is that what happens? I think that if it is, it goes a long way toward explaining the battle of the sexes and why some men just can't let themselves be respectful to women.

rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 10:57 PM on June 27, 2001


also, "bitch". this is okay? how is this okay? - rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 11:02 PM on June 27, 2001


wait a minute. are you saying that men and women are held to entirely different standards when it comes to these things?

Hey! Who let the chick in? Listen missy, why don't you run along while us menfolk discuss important things... :)

Seeeriously... In the case of Coulter, as owillis put it she uses her female-ness-osity to get these speaking gigs in the first place (although it's not inconceivable that she's completely unaware that her being a tall blonde is the only reason anyone pays to her her speak). The conservative wing was finding it had an image problem when almost every prominent voice on TV etc. was an white, male, effete, poindexter-ish snob. Ann and others like her basically satisfied a niche to have someone other than the decaying Bill Buckley or pusillanimous George Will as an icon of conservatism- it's that whole big tent inclusion thingie Reps have been pushing for a good while now. Coulter's prominence is not through some great talent or insight, but because she's a giiirl; were she a guy, she'd be just another in an indistinguishable mass of media whores- of any political persuasion- willing to show up on MSNBC, FOX, CNN or even Politically Incorrect to spew their diatribes. She'd be Paul Begala but with a lower, more masculine voice...

Brock, see I don't know what he looks like- I have never seen him on TV, so I can only judge him by his written word. Coulter, who I have seen, puts shivers in my spine, she's so nasally and pinched and annoying, every time I see her I just wanna stuff a sock in her mouth to shut her up- but I have that reaction not because of her looks; rather, I learn her politics and her looks transform into a she-beast before my very eyes. If she came on and started talking socialism and overthrowing the corporate fascist state, I'd probably be the one telling you about her dulcet sweet voice and radiant, almost angelic countenance. :)

I'll admit, I'm a sad, sad man.... before you judge me, though, understand that I have precisely the same reaction about that grinning Iowa huckleberry farm boy simpleton grinning idiot with the Bill- Sammon- like psychopathic unblinking creepy fawkin' eyes, Floyd Brown. God, I hate that guy!
posted by hincandenza at 11:28 PM on June 27, 2001



are you saying that men and women are held to entirely different standards when it comes to these things?

Not exactly. What I am saying is that Ann Coulter and her ilk get on TV vs other female conservatives because they look good on TV, which is unfair to them. Coulter is a ninny (Republican or not) and the only reason she gets on the air is because she's a skinny blonde. Period.

There's a lot of truth to the scolding factor as well.

I like to think of myself as a pretty progressive guy when it comes to gender issues, but it even perplexes me when women seem to eat their cake and have it too.

For me, "bitch" is gender neutral. I call men and women bitches.
posted by owillis at 12:07 AM on June 28, 2001


For me, "bitch" is gender neutral. I call men and women bitches.

Can you come up with a single example where you called a man a bitch on MetaFilter? I'm the one who tossed Ann Coulter into this discussion as one of the great examples of unctiousness in politics, but as a self-declared "progressive guy" you ought to be able to recognize the sexism in going off on her appearance and calling her a bitch. I can't imagine any context in which someone would say the same thing about Mort Kondracke.
posted by rcade at 7:25 AM on June 28, 2001


I can't imagine any context in which someone would say the same thing about Mort Kondracke.

Come on Rogers, we all know that Mort Kondracke is John McLaughlin's bitch.
posted by ljromanoff at 7:40 AM on June 28, 2001


I'll tell you what: when you call a man a bitch, I think you mean that he is owned by another man.

when you call a woman a bitch, I think you mean that she's loud, unpleasant, mean, hard to get along with, unpleasant, annoying, and unreasonable. and unattractive.

the two usages just don't equal out for me.

give me another word typically used for a man that indicates simulaneously that he's unreasonable, of poor character, and not to be taken seriously.

"bastard" won't do it; if you were born of unmarried parents, it might sting, but in most cases, everyone will understand that it's being used symbolically, and it doesn't mean anything. when you call a woman a bitch, there's every chance that you mean it. - rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 8:33 AM on June 28, 2001


ljromanoff: the point is that "your side" benefited from his lies, and the lies of Olson & Co., and continue to do so. Casually dismissing him now that it's convenient or beneficial to do so... well, I think you can imagine my opinion there.

First of all, I don't know who you're referring to when you refer to "my side" unless you incorrectly assume I'm a Republican. Secondly, whether or not Brock distorted the facts in his book does not change the reality of what happened to Clarence Thomas. The fact that Brock said that Thomas didn't have a VCR in the early 80s when in fact he did doesn't change the fact that Anita Hill was used as a tool in an attempt to 'Bork' Justice Thomas.
posted by ljromanoff at 11:19 AM on June 28, 2001


when you call a man a bitch, I think you mean that he is owned by another man

Not in my context. A bitch is anyone who whines or drones on incessantly, male or female.

I can't imagine any context in which someone would say the same thing about Mort Kondracke.

Mort's studliness is not the reason he's on TV. It is with Coulter. Contrast to Margaret Carlson who's big in pundit land but is there based on her intelligence or wit vs. how much skin she shows.
posted by owillis at 11:23 AM on June 28, 2001


owillis: Not in my context. A bitch is anyone who whines or drones on incessantly, male or female.

well, I guess I could use racial epithets across races and define a meaning for them that applies to all, but I'm not going to do that: it's too disrespectful of the people it was originally meant to put in their place. - rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 11:32 AM on June 28, 2001


Huh? Word meanings change. "Gay" doesn't usually mean "happy" any more does it?

Don't women often refer to annoying guys as a "dick"?
posted by owillis at 12:09 PM on June 28, 2001


Oliver, are you really deaf to the overtones of misogyny in the comments on Coulter?
posted by rodii at 12:26 PM on June 28, 2001


/==OT=====

(I just thought I'd close that ==OT==== tag rebecca opened a while ago so we could get back to discussing Anita Hill.)
posted by Shadowkeeper at 3:49 PM on June 28, 2001


I dunno, seems to me if someone builds up a career based on their sexuality - there's no problem in knocking them down a peg based on that same element.
posted by owillis at 3:56 PM on June 28, 2001


Speaking of black female pundits who are judged solely by the content of their writing and not their gender or appearance... Jill Nelson has an op-ed at MSNBC today about this very topic (Brock, that is...).
posted by hincandenza at 4:11 PM on June 28, 2001


I dunno, seems to me if someone builds up a career based on their sexuality - there's no problem in knocking them down a peg based on that same element.

You're the one making this an issue of sexuality, so it's a bit cheap to knock her down a peg after putting her there in the first place. Coulter was spawned from the same Heritage Foundation pundit puppy mill as Tucker Carlson, and in both instances their youth, telegenic qualities and strident ideology were far more important than their limited credentials.

However, I can't think of any instance where Tucker or any other male thin-resumé talking head was described as a bitch building a career on his sexuality.

Another example: Farai Chideya's credentials were not terribly impressive when networks such as ABC and CNN started using her as a left-leaning young talking head. Is she building up a career based on her sexuality that makes it fair to call her a bitch?
posted by rcade at 7:54 PM on June 28, 2001


Look. I don't particularly care for David Brock either, but I would rather have an author who lied come forward and correct the record than not. He made comments that became a part of historical record. If he doesn't recant that record stays.

But if he's lying NOW, (and who can say either way, with a book to sell?) then he's injecting new lies into the record. Frankly, his new story is implausible on its face - Thomas admitted to Brock that he frequented a porn store? Um, right.

I see the grandmother of all libel suits coming. He's already publicly admitted to both falsity and malice.

SDB, you may be right for the wrong reasons. Hill et al. have probably lost the chance to file a defamation suit against Brock since teh statute of limitations would have passed long ago. Brock's admissions do nothing to change that.

In fact, if Brock actually lied in his book, Hill could and should have filed a defamation suit at that time. Unless... Brock had evidence that his allegations at that time were true.

The defamtion sit I'm looking forward to is the one which Thomas, Paoletta, Leeden and several other may now have against Brock. Fun for the whole law firm.
posted by mikewas at 3:28 PM on June 29, 2001


Libel law is civil law, and I don't think there's a statute of limitations on civil law.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 3:55 PM on June 29, 2001


Frankly, his new story is implausible on its face - Thomas admitted to Brock that he frequented a porn store?

It sounds plausible to me -- if he thought Brock was a friend he could trust. Based on the way the guy was acting back then, Thomas could easily have considered him a true believer who would never reveal anything that might damage him.
posted by rcade at 7:48 AM on June 30, 2001


Libel law is civil law, and I don't think there's a statute of limitations on civil law.


SDB: Your impression is wrong. There are a variety of statutes of limitations on civil actions of all kinds, mostly ranging from two to five years depending on the state (or district). In a defamation case, I'd be surprised if any state had a longer time limit than five years.

Rcade: Well, that's just a difference of perspective, I suppose. I have a hard time believing a Supreme Court Justice would admit to any member of the media that he had lied durng his confirmation hearings.
posted by mikewas at 11:39 AM on July 31, 2001


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