Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Clarence Thomas - still bitter after all these years

I watched the 60 Minutes interview with Clarence "whoop-de-damn-do" Thomas and was disgusted that his negative remarks about Professor Anita Hill were not balanced in any measure by a response from Ms. Hill or anyone who would like to defend her reputation. Turns out I was not alone. Here's what Frank Rich had to say:

On CNN, Jeffrey Toobin, the author of the new best-seller about the court, The Nine, said that it was "real unfair" for 60 Minutes not to include a response from Ms. Hill, who was slimed on camera by Mr. Thomas as "not the demure, religious, conservative person" she said she was.

Ms. Hill, who once taught at Oral Roberts University and is now a professor at Brandeis, told me last week that CBS News was the only one of the three broadcast news divisions that did not seek her reaction to the latest Thomas salvos. Mr. Kroft told me that there were no preconditions placed on him by either Mr. Thomas or his publisher. "Our story wasn't about Anita Hill," he said. "Our story was about Clarence Thomas."

I'm going to follow the lead of the blogger at Ramblings of a Madwoman (a recently discovered blog - it's very good!) and attempt in my small way to make up for the shoddy journalism displayed by Steve Kroft in his 60 Minutes feature by posting an excerpt from Ms. Hill's NY Times op ed:

...I will not stand by silently and allow him, in his anger, to reinvent me. ...

Regrettably, since 1991, I have repeatedly seen this kind of character attack on women and men who complain of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. In efforts to assail their accusers’ credibility, detractors routinely diminish people’s professional contributions. Often the accused is a supervisor, in a position to describe the complaining employee’s work as “mediocre” or the employee as incompetent. Those accused of inappropriate behavior also often portray the individuals who complain as bizarre caricatures of themselves — oversensitive, even fanatical, and often immoral — even though they enjoy good and productive working relationships with their colleagues.

Finally, when attacks on the accusers’ credibility fail, those accused of workplace improprieties downgrade the level of harm that may have occurred. When sensing that others will believe their accusers’ versions of events, individuals confronted with their own bad behavior try to reduce legitimate concerns to the level of mere words or “slights” that should be dismissed without discussion.
Read the rest here.

3 comments:

PookyShoehorn said...

Thanks for the mention, the link, and also for letting me know about the 100 women who blog list.

I look forward to visiting NiteSwimming often, as well!

cali said...

hey, thanks pookyshoehorn...in the future may I call you "pooky" or "shoehorn" for short? :)

PookyShoehorn said...

Of course -- my friends all call me Pooky!