Truth, Sex, Lies and Videotape
   by Maureen Dowd - she hates everybody

WASHINGTON When I covered the brutal psychodrama of Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill that
ferocious week in October '91, I used to wake up in the middle of the night haunted by the mystery of
who was telling the Big Lie. How could we put someone on the Supreme Court for life without knowing? But
everyone was playing to win, so the truth never really entered into it.

Now, a decade later, David Brock, a right-wing hit man who was in league back then with the Bush White
House, steps forward to talk about truth and lies.

The journalist now says he lied then when he painted Anita Hill as a liar, a woman who was "a little bit nutty and
a little bit slutty," both in an American Spectator piece and a best seller embraced by conservatives called "The
Real Anita Hill." And he says he lied then when he helped the Bushies and conservatives portray Clarence
Thomas as truthful, calling himself "a witting cog in the Republican sleaze machine."

His former conservative allies say that Mr. Brock is lying now in his apologia, contained in a book called
"Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative," to be published in September and excerpted in
August's Talk magazine.

"I had stumbled onto something big," Mr. Brock writes, "a symbiotic relationship that would help create a highly
profitable right-wing Big Lie Machine that flourished in book publishing, on talk radio, and on the Internet
throughout the 90's."

The '91 hearings turned on the Republican effort to smear Anita Hill as an erotomaniac while suppressing
reports popping up from Judge Thomas's friends and supporters that he was often a patron of X- rated movie
houses while a student at Yale Law School in the early 1970's, and that he would sometimes humorously
describe the pornographic movies to his friends and colleagues, just as Ms. Hill had testified he did with her.

To that end, Senator Orrin Hatch said it was unthinkable that Judge Thomas could ever have discussed Long
Dong Silver and other porn with her, because anyone who would do that would be "a psychopathic sex fiend
or a pervert."

Judge Thomas agreed that he would never "approach anyone I was attempting to date as a person with this
kind of grotesque language."

After he ascended to the Supreme Court, two friends of mine, Jill Abramson and Jane Mayer, wrote a book
called "Strange Justice" that reported that, when he worked with Ms. Hill, he regularly rented adult movies at
Graffiti, a local video shop stocked with Long Dong Silver movies. In the book, Kaye Savage, a former career
civil servant in the Reagan White House and social friend of both Clarence and Anita, said she visited Mr.
Thomas's bachelor apartment in the summer of 1982 and saw "explicit photos of nude women."

Mr. Brock writes in Talk that he tried to discredit "Strange Justice" in a Spectator review with the help of
Justice Thomas and the White House. According to Mr. Brock, he used as an intermediary a Bush White
House lawyer named Mark Paoletta to ask Justice Thomas if he had owned video equipment in the early
1980's. "Paoletta," Mr. Brock writes, "came back with a straightforward answer: Not only had Thomas had
such equipment in his apartment, he had also often rented pornographic movies from Graffiti during the years
that Hill worked for him."

Mr. Brock writes that "Thomas passed along, through Paoletta, unverified embarrassing personal information
about his friend" Kaye Savage "that Thomas claimed had been raised against her in a divorce proceeding. . . .
Thomas was playing dirty, and so was I."

Justice Thomas had no comment. Mr. Paoletta told The Times that he had not confirmed to Mr. Brock that Mr.
Thomas rented or watched pornography, and said that Justice Thomas "did not ask me to pass along any
derogatory information about Kaye Savage." And Ms. Savage told The Times that Mr. Brock had "either got it
from Clarence or he got it from Anita, and Anita's my friend."
 
 

A column last week said that Representative Gary Condit was one of the few Democrats to vote
for the impeachment of Bill Clinton; Mr. Condit voted in favor of opening the impeachment inquiry,
but in the end voted against impeachment.
 

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