MediaWatch: February 1992

Vol. Six No. 2

Nina Destroys Evidence


With no help from the media, the Anita Hill myth continues to fall apart. In the March Essence magazine, Hill denied that she was ever a conservative.

She explained: "There is this sense that I was an absolute staunch conservative, that I was opposed to affirmative action, that I supported Robert Bork. A lot of that has been misunderstood. First of all, I have never been against affirmative action, and while I was extremely uncomfortable with the way the hearings were conducted, I did not support Robert Bork on the issues. My position is that the man should not be judged on his personality. We decided we didn't like him as a person, that he was strident, arrogant, and therefore he was not a good person for the Supreme Court position. My position was that he should stand or fall on the issues." Hill also told Essence that at the EEOC, she "was often antagonistic to the position of the Reagan Administration."

Meanwhile, NPR reporter Nina Totenberg offered this lecture on the February 25 CBS This Morning: "Our job is to make sure the information is accurate, legitimate, a story." Just what she failed to do.

Asked about new stories on Hill such as The American Spectator exposé detailed last month in MediaWatch, Totenberg told TV, etc.: "I had heard a good deal of that and did not consider it proven.... My standards for what is good enough to put on the air are high, and I have not found anything to date sufficient to put on." And when Totenberg told investigators that she destroyed documents to protect her sources, a practice that ignited the media during Iran-Contra, The Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times did not consider it newsworthy.