April 25, 2016

The HBO movie about Anita Hill and the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, aptly titled 'Confirmation,' is still hitting a few nerves. The Supreme Court is, perhaps, THE issue that is paramount on many voters' minds as we've seen monumental power wielded by the Judicial Branch since those hearings in the early 1990's. Over a week after its release, Fox and Friends is compelled to rehash the movie, claiming that it 'heavily edited history.'

Today's helping of malarkey on a platter is served up with the help of the unhinged historical accounts of one of Scalia's biggest fan boys. Stuart Taylor, today's 'expert,' has a packed CV: he's a journalist, author, lawyer, law professor and a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institute. He is a known defender of torture enablers, who feels that statistics of sexual assault on women are overblown. Women just make these stories up, dontcha know?

He famously advocated for clemency towards anyone who engaged in torture, on advisement from the Dark Lord, Cheney. Taylor doesn't deny that the Bush administration tortured detainees, but argued that those responsible have already "suffered" enough for their misdeeds.

Taylor's most notorious contribution to right wing causes comes from his book, Mismatch. The Mismatch Theory is the justification for Antonin Scalia's Fisher v. University of Texas arguments. That decision inferred that

some minority students admitted to highly competitive universities fare worse there academically than they would have at less selective institutions.

Mismatch, co-authored by UCLA Law Professor, Richard Sander, was laden with bogus arguments against the whole idea of affirmative action. Of course Scalia was smitten with his conclusions.

Taylor is naturally incensed that Scalia's wing man, Clarence Thomas, was portrayed in the HBO drama as a misogynist, a man who sexually harassed women who were his subordinates. Steve Doocy described conservatives' objection to 'Confirmation' in a way that even the 'poorly educated' could understand:

DOOCY: If you didn't know about that (the actual hearings) and you just watched the HBO show, it makes it look like Anita Hill good, Clarence Thomas bad.

As predicted, Stuart Taylor propounds the ruse that she was not a 'credible' witness. The character assassinations upon the Professor were nothing short of a misogynist witch hunt, conducted by an all male committee, and the movie does a pretty good job of showing how Ms.Hill was truly raked over the coals. Taylor comfortably accepts the mendacious assumption that Hill was a woman scorned.

Taylor also claims that Professor Hill was the only person who made such allegations against Justice Thomas, and this was another easily disproven fallacy.

Some evidence corroborating Hill’s allegations was disallowed; at least one witness who had the same experience with Thomas as Anita Hill was never called to testify.

It was so clear that Anita Hill was telling the truth, with choking embarrassment and manifest reluctance. And it was also obvious that Clarence Thomas was deflecting her allegations by making himself out to be a victim. And the performances of the minority members of the committee — especially Alan Simpson and Orrin Hatch, but not excepting Arlen Specter — were atrocious.

Stuart Taylor is another one of those Beltway journalists who somehow manages to stay relevant, only heaven knows why. It's safe to say he's rarely anything but disingenuous and always on the wrong side of an issue. He is part of that elusive, members-only club, people who never have to worry about a paycheck. They serve their masters by deflecting reality; and it pays well. .

As driftglass so accurately observed:

Until the marketplace starts visiting harsh professional retribution on people like *insert conservative pundit here* the reign of Conservative thugs and their Centrist enablers will never end.

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