Ever since the publication of The Real Anita Hill last spring, journalist David Brock has been a busy man.
Brock, who spoke at the Science Center last night, is the reporter whose book about Hill and her battle against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas prompted almost as much controversy as Thomas' confirmation hearings themselves.
"Writing and publishing "The Real Anita Hill' has been a real education," Brock told an audience of about 100 in a lecture sponsored by the Government Department. An education, he said, that was akin to being tarred, feathered and ridden out of town on a rail.
According to Brock, the book--a 400-page inquiry that suggested that the University of Oklahoma Law School professor's charges of sexual harassment against Thomas were fabricated--prompted a "hysterical condemnation" of him for not supporting a liberal "cultural consensus."
"In short, [it was] the kind of vilification heretofore reserved for conservative Supreme Court nominees," said Brock, a reporter at The American Spectator.
Brock said that when the book was first published last spring, he was systematically ignored, and later attacked by a coterie of liberal columnists and special interest groups with a "suspension of professional ethics and fair play."
Prominent commentators--including National Public Radio's Nina Totenberg and The New York Times' Anna Quindlen and Anthony Lewis '48--issued scathing attacks of the book.
But Brock counterattacked last night, accusing Totenberg of "actively misrepresent[ing] or cover[ing] up aspects of the story for political reasons," and alleging that Lewis never actually read the book.
And he denied charges that the book was simply a vendetta against Hill and the women's movement.
"When I watched the hearings, I believed Anita Hill. I know not a lot of people are going to believe me when I say this, but I did," Brock said.
"Had I amassed a case that Clarence Thomas was guilty, I would have written that book," he said.