The cover of the Sunday Book Review, "Thomas Agonistes ," heralds a review of "Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas" an unsympathetic biography of the Supreme Court justice by Washington Post reporters Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher.
The Times handed the reviewing job to Orlando Patterson, a sociology professor at Harvard and long-time Thomas critic, who no doubt made the Times happy with vitriol like this (before even addressing the actual book):
"Thus, although he seriously believes that his extremely conservative legal opinions are in the best interests of African-Americans, and yearns to be respected by them, he is arguably one of the most viscerally despised people in black America. It is incontestable that he has benefited from affirmative action at critical moments in his life, yet he denounces the policy and has persuaded himself that it played little part in his success. He berates disadvantaged people who view themselves as victims of racism and preaches an austere individualism, yet harbors self-pitying feelings of resentment and anger at his own experiences of racism. His ardent defense of states' rights would have required him to uphold Virginia's anti-miscegenation law, not to mention segregated education, yet he lives with a white wife in Virginia. He is said to dislike light-skinned blacks, yet he is the legal guardian of a biracial child, the son of one of his numerous poor relatives. He frequently preaches the virtues of honesty and truthfulness, yet there is now little doubt that he lied repeatedly during his confirmation hearings - not only about his pornophilia and bawdy humor but, more important, about his legal views and familiarity with cases like Roe v. Wade."
Matthew Franck at National Review Online took apart Patterson's ignorance of Thomas's actual judicial record and concluded: "I suppose the editors of the NYTBR knew they could count on Orlando Patterson to loathe Clarence Thomas, and that's all they cared about.But don't you think they could have at least found a Thomas-hater who has read one or two of his opinions?"